Resillient coast for Sint Maarten

The assignment of Sint Maarten was an own initiative, in response to the hurricanes who hit the island of Sint Maarten in 2017: Irma and Maria. Both hurricanes have hit Sint Maarten hard, and brought a lot of damage to the island. This has led to the following question: How can the island be future proof and can cope with natural disasters? The design focused on the Dutch part, this has to do with difficulty of the assignment and the political separation between North (France) and the South (Dutch). Secondly the southern part is more venerable to disasters, it is the more build-up and economically important part of the island.   


When the ecosystem is healthy, it can resist natural disasters  and even protect the coast. Mangroves will absorb the waves, Seagrass will catch the sediment and Coral reefs will break the waves. If used wisely, those ecosystems can be used to protect the coastline.



On the left side of "Great Bay", at Philipsburg, are some remainders of mangrove forests. This will help and subsitute the idea of growing a new mangrove forest over here. This mangrove forest will be builed around and in Fresh pond, the mangrove on the North, and will go into the Great Bay. In the design it can be seen that this forest is build with a sand catching system made out of jetties. In front of these forests, artificial reefs (the purple spots) will be placed to break the waves and to adjust the currents.

Those reefs are placed nearby excisting reefs, the reason for this is that those reefs tell that the current situation is suited for coral growth. Besides, the artificial reefs will come to life in a short amount of time due to the tansistion of seeds and organisms from the nearby coral reefs.


With those developments, the west-side of the Great Bay will transform in a natural bay. with Coral reefs, Seagrass beds and a Mangrove forest.

Besides, this creates an oppurtunity for a new kind of tourism: Eco-tourism. For the tourists and citizens, the mangroves and coral reefs will be accesable and tell the story of the water defence system. There will be a route through-out the mangroves, built on dams, the experience of this route will change in time, when the mangroves will grow on the new stabilized lands the view will change.

In the mangrove, there will be a education center on the East-side which will be used as an informationcenter and as aamangrove-, seagras-s and coral- nursery. On the West-side of the mangrove, there will be hotels/lodges in the forest to spend the night in the mangrove, those hotels are focused onon Luxur and Eco-tourists.

For the coral reefs, there will be an education center, combined with a hotel and restaurant on the reefs, part above and part underwater( this can be seen on the visuals underneath this page). There will go ferries from the beachwalk, Mangroves, Waterlodges and Fort Amsterdam to this center. It will form a new highlight for Philipsburg, divers and non-divers both can experience the coral reefs now. Secondly, around and build-up on this reef, there will be a underwater museum with sculptures which will be taken over by the underwater world. Those sculptures will tell the story of the island of Sint Maarten.






View from the beach, with in front the mangrove forest. It used to be a empty beach without any green structures. It has changed into a green small world, the beach still co-exists but now there are trees surrounding it. Mangroves will make natural pools to swim in clean and blue waters, and the tropical atmostphere will be boosted by palmtrees on the beach which are highly resisted to storms. This will be the ideal beach for Eco-tourists to stay.

Artificial Reef

As can be seen, the Education center is both aboce and underwater to experience the artificial reefs. On top of the building there will be solar panels used for both the center and the electrification for the reef, which will help the corals to grow faster and stronger. The center will be used for visitors to take a look underwater and for divers as a platform to start their dives.