C aan Zee
On a national, provincial and municipal scale, there are advanced plans for the transformation of the Dutch coastal area. Castricum aan Zee, a small beach town north of Amsterdam, is not really a priority in these plans. However, local entrepreneurs and a local developer have high ambitions and decided to take action. Space&Matter was approached to think about the future of Castricum aan Zee and to come up with a strategy for its development.
The project CaanZee explores the potential of the seaside and researches the requirements for contemporary tourism. Unlike its big brothers Scheveningen, Zandvoort and Noordwijk, Castricum aan Zee offers a different dynamic: its laid-back vibe, a distinctive quality which is dearly treasured by its current visitors. Here, there are no flashy buildings, casinos or theme parks. Instead, there’s bottom-up, small-scale initiatives that value nature and respond to the needs of their guests: slow-tourism in harmony with the local ecology, all based upon the cooperation of a network of local parties, new entrepreneurs and developments.
Space&Matter designed a number of interventions that go hand in hand with the existing qualities and landscape: a lookout tower as a new landmark for the area, an alternative route from the train station, a robust pier for relaxing, a sustainable hotel for long-term visits, a beach pavilion and an exhibition space to combine art and nature, all of which are designed with the necessary parking facilities for cyclists. The various interventions are connected through a recognizable form, branding, sustainability, (natural) material and colour-use. Newly designed pedestrian paths connect the different points of interest and invite the visitors to explore the surroundings. The proposed plan encourages an even spread of tourism across the area and, therefore, the impact on nature remains balanced.