The Bionic Dike - Adaptive Watersafety Strategy

date: 20 Jan 2016
The bionic dike is a daring, alternative approach to the Dutch water safety: 100% adaptive! Instead of repeatedly raising and fortifying the rigid dikes of the Netherlands, we propose to grow higher grounds. The traditional static dike becomes an organic dike that strengthens itself over time. The result is not one single dike, but a dike landscape that protects against the forces of nature and at the same time generates a new natural landscape for living, working and pleasure.

The bionic dike is a proposal for a dike landscape where adaptive bio based landscape design and adaptive civil engineering meet. The biodike is part of the bionic dike and serves several purposes: it provides a higher level of protection than the existing Grebbedijk, and new land for agriculture, economic activities and leisure activities. The biodike is slowly being raised by the production and harvesting of willow trees. The organic material inside the biodike ferments to produces hot water for the inhabitants of Wageningen.

At the historic town of Wageningen, the Grebbedijk gradually changes into an adaptive mechanism that is hidden underground during low tides, but uses the pressure of the river flood to match with the river water level. This “sliding dike” can also be easily extended in the future. This mechanism offers the city of Wageningen an unprecedented panoramic view on the Rhine, the new marina and floodplains.

Location: Wageningen (NL)
Program: 5,3 km linear metre of water safety works, agriculture, recreation and a marina
Client: BNA, Delta Ontwerpplatform (Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment), Waterschap vallei en veluwe, provincie Gelderland, Gemeente Wageningen
Partners: The Cloud Collective, Braaksma & Roos Architecten
Year: 2015-2016
By opening the Grebbedijk, Wageningen gets a new riverfront
The production of biomass to raise the land
The existing Grebbedijk connects two hills
The core of the bionic dike is made off recyled bio ashes
Framers grow the dike higher year after year
The dike has got peaks and valleys, like a natural landscape would have
A natural landscape as a water defence
Wageningen gets a new harbour, right in front of the old town
The cuts in the Grebbedijk auto-close when the river rises
An underground basin raises the dike door when filled with water
By opening the Grebbedijk, Wageningen gets a new riverfront
By opening the Grebbedijk, Wageningen gets a new riverfront

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2018
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