Rising from a swell of sand dunes, Marco Casagrande’s latest installation, Sandworm, meshes architecture and beautiful organic art. The curvaceous structure is made from dried woven willow and lays on the Belgian shores of Wenduine in Belgium. Sandworm creates an airy semi-shelter that can be used for picnics, relaxation and reflection.
Over the course of four weeks, Casagrande and his team of young architects constructed the spiney frame and open weave of the structure, not far from the water’s edge. Reaching almost 150 feet long, Sandworm is an amorphous shape, looking almost as a reclining figure from afar. The figure undulates into the land, becoming one with the beach on which it sits.
When approaching the woven shelter, the 32 foot high form evokes a feeling of Gulliver tied to the beach. Entering at either of the open ends, visitors will experience an extraordinary display of light and shadow. The delicate weave of the willow branches gently filters in sunlight, creating shade in a dazzling pattern. Oval skylights are also woven into the ceiling of the structure, letting direct beams of light to illuminate the interior.
Since the Wenduine beach is used primary for leisurely afternoons, Casagrande made Sandworm large enough to accommodate multiple families at once, inviting them to nap or take meals and take a break from the hot sun. Since the structure is made from natural willow, it harmonizes with the surrounding nature, fusing with the environment itself.
Casagrande’s Sandworm carefully meshes nature and architecture, while creating a functional shelter that also doubles as a striking example of organic environmental art.