The bionic dike Wageningen, NL

year: 2016
size: 10 - 100 ha
type: landscape design
client: BNA, Delta Ontwerpplatform (Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment), Waterschap vallei en veluwe, provincie Gelderland, Municipality of Wageningen
with: The Cloud Collective, Braaksma & Roos Architecten
The bionic dike is a daring, alternative approach to the Dutch water safety: 100 procent 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.
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