The Zwin visitors centre

In 2012 Sweco Belgium, then Grontmij, together with Coussé & Goris architects, won the competition organized by the province of West Flanders for the layout of the spacious park area of the Zwin and the realization of the new visitors centre. The goal was to eventually attract more visitors, without compromising in terms of nature and recreational value. Our landscape and nature experts worked on restoring the landscape and nature conservation area of the Zwin Park and the surrounding typical landscapes such as the Kleyne Vlakte (Kleyne Plain).


Location: Knokke-Heist

Client: Province of West Flanders

Period: 2013 - 2016

Partner: Coussé & Goris

The visitors centre aims to be a model of innovation. The concept is based on sociological, environmental and cultural dimensions that lead to creating extraordinary experiences. The building will have its own atmosphere, which expresses its educational and human character and which enters into a dialogue with the authentic Zwin plain and the visitors.

The entire Zwin Park is being renewed, wherein all existing infrastructure is being replaced and more typical dune (woodland) habitats are created. The principles are the integration and combination of new nature with the Zwin’s nature and the concentration of activities in two buildings that are integrated horizontally into the Zwin landscape.

The Zwin Park is the centrepiece in a unique landscape. It is surrounded by the Zwin plain, the recently developed Kleyne Plain nature conservation area, the Zwin woodlands and the dune belt on the North Sea. It is not an option to place a variety of spectacular, non-nature-oriented attractions in the Zwin Park. The focus has to remain on observation and perception of the landscape.