Benthem Crouwel Architects is reinforcing the Afsluitdijk. Together with West 8 Urban Design & Landscape architecture, Benthem Crouwel Architects forms the design team of Levvel - a combination of BAM, Van Oord and Rebel. The project, which includes not only strengthening the dike but also increasing the water discharge capacity, started late 2018.The name Levvel is a palindrome, based on the Dutch phrase: “Lely’s erfgoed veiliggesteld” which means “securing Lely’s heritage”. It refers also to the water level management of the IJsselmeer and the turning of high tide, two important functions of the Afsluitdijk.
The Afsluitdijk is an icon of hydraulic engineering. The 32-kilometre long water barrier (the longest dam in Europe), completed in 1932, has been protecting the Netherlands from flooding for almost 90 years. It is a unique and impressive feat of Dutch engineering, and with the Chinese Wall, it’s one of the two man-made structures on Earth that can be seen from space.
With respect for the hydraulic heritage and the iconic emotional value of the Afsluitdijk, Benthem Crouwel Architects (together with West 8) is designing various reinforcements and renovations: reinforcement of the dike, new pumping stations to pump water out of the IJsselmeer into the Wadden Sea even at high tide, a fish migration river and a new bike path on the seaward side. The famous Dudok monument will also be updated.
With the strengthening of the Afsluitdijk, a priceless construction with an inestimable practical, emotional and historical value to the Dutch will be ready for the future.