Project: MEGAA
Typology: Concorso di progettazione - Ostend Beach Walk Competition
Site: Ostend (BE)
Year: 2016
Designer: La Macchina Studio, Mimì Coviello, Andrea Conte

Modularity and flexibility
The strategy aims to think of a modular infrastructure using movable elements that can draw different walkways depending on the period of the year and on the exigence of the city.
An easy movable element that reminds, somehow, the temporary wooden walkways of Venice that provides raised routes around the town.
If in the cold season this modular walkway will be a walkway parallel to the seaside, the same structure (without any need of storage) will be used by the tourists as gangways to reach the water.
Particular attention will be given to the accessibility of the modular walkway that can allow an easy mobility along the waterfront.
Building and moving this easy infrastructure can be considered also as a shared and participated design with the population of Ostend.

Green infrastructure
The vegetation will have two meanings and uses:
Partly, the modules of the walkway will be considered as a resilient intervention, a modular counterbalance for the lighter elements of the walkway able to fence the wind and it will have also this character of temporariness as well as the other modular elements.
In another way, the vegetation will be considered permanent and as part of the green ribbon, a permeable barrier that can counteract the dune erosion. Having in mind the green engineering of the oasis in the desert, the permanent vegetation, as part of the green ribbon, will consider the green elements as tools for help the endemic fauna as well as the flora, to grow on Ostend seaside. The vegetation that will be consider is endemic and constitute the starting point for the project of the green infrastructure.

Landmarks and Cultural Scenario
Taking in to account the existing permanent landmarks that are already on site (Dancing Waves near the Kursaal and Vertigo), the design strategy will consider the possibility to enrich the walkway with new permanent landmarks that can become the new skyline of the seafront and the permanent elements, together with the green infrastructure, while all the others are temporary and changeable.
The new landmarks will be public art interventions, involving the population to participate on the changes that their waterfront will have, giving to this interventions a strong endemic identity.
Next to the permanent landmarks of Ostend, also a temporary dimension will be encouraged for the performing arts.
As in the past on the same site (Rock Strangers, Arne Quinze / Altar, Kris Martin), the idea is to add arts on the walkway, to create different spaces using the modules to build temporary stages along the walkway that generating interesting spaces where to host public art, installations and performances.

A new dimension
This new dimension of the seafront, in between temporary and permanent actions, will give the possibility to the tourists of enjoying Ostend seaside during the summer season and more and to the population of Ostend to be part of a project that can change the meaning of a common place and that can create many other opportunities.