Unfinishable Markermeer, The Markermeer Plan

The making of any island is an act of optimism and renewal. Growing out of the mud in the protective embrace of hard-edged havens the new wildlife and human settlements will perhaps provoke a potent mixture of feelings: struggle, renewal, fragility, precariousness and strength. I hope that each island will grow in a way that articulates and reflects something of the emotional struggle of those living around the edge of the mere.

The ring of islands in the Markermeer would help restore the declining ecological balance in the mere by creating quiet waters in the lee of the islands. Here less turbid waters would allow the water bourne silt to fall making clear water edge conditions.

The huge marsh is placed where new openings in the Houtribdyke would act as the ‘lungs’ of the mere oxygenating the water and making habitats for marsh birds and the white-tailed eagle.

The Oranjesluizen would be moved further away from Amsterdam to a line drawn across between Waterland and Almerestad. The inhabited islands of Markeroogen would shape a new waterfront for Amsterdam/Lelystad addressing the Markermeer and the historical reference of the former Zuiderzee.

I should like that most islands be inhabited by wildlife only. However, I know that governments, dredge companies, tourism and recreation industries and nature conservation are all competing for their stake on the landscape. Yet, the mere needs to keep its open horizon and become a place for all living things to thrive. Within the realm of these struggles the islands will take shape.

Client: Rijkswaterstaat, NL (in collaboration with John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog)