The Wadden Sea Centre

Photo Credit Icon Adam Moerk

The Wadden Sea Centre

  • Icon for facilities Facilities

Serving as a visitor centre and entrance point to the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Wadden Sea Centre represents a new generation of buildings marking landscapes of global significance. 

  • cities_and_towns

    Cities and towns

  • national_parks

    National parks

  • unesco_sites

    UNESCO sites

  • unesco_global_geoparks

    UNESCO global geoparks

  • main_roads

    Main roads

  • airports


  • cruise_ports

    Cruise ports

  • infrastructure_zoomed_out


  • infrastructure


  • paved_road

    Paved road

  • walking_path

    Walking path

  • sand___gravel

    Sand / Gravel

  • grass


  • trees___forest

    Trees / Forest

  • water


Graphic map, large.Graphic map, detail.Architecture illustration.

Protection and utilisation of World Heritage

Located in the southern part of Jutland, The Wadden Sea is Denmark's largest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Wadden Sea Centre serves as an entrance point to the national park and contains a museum exhibiting artefacts and information of the Wadden Sea’s history, wildlife, and vegetation. The visitor centre is an interpretation of the local building tradition and the rural farmhouse typology significant in the area. Built as an institution safeguarding nature preservation and at the same time stimulating tourism, the Wadden Sea Centre must uphold a delicate balance between exploitation and protection of nature.

Blending into the vernacular 

The old farmhouses and other historic buildings near the Wadden Sea seem to blend in with the landscape due to their building materials and often weather-beaten character. They have been around the local landscape for centuries, and the people living there have managed to lead their lives without overturning the natural balance. Dorte Mandrup, the designer of the Wadden Sea Centre, has re-interpreted this special cultural bond with the landscape. A delicate task of transforming an old farmhouse into a visitor centre with fully equipped advanced exhibition facilities, a café, and a large parking area. A thatched roof with a twist makes the building both modern and rooted in the vernacular tradition.

Building with sky.

Photo Credit Icon Adam Moerk

Key facts

  • Location

    Near the city of Ribe

  • GPS points

    N55° 17’44.38’’ E8°40’9.06’’

  • Protection Framework

    UNESCO Global Geopark

  • Estimated number of visitors

  • High season

  • Low season

  • Project Owner

  • Designer

    Dorte Mandrup Architects in collaboration with Marianne Levinsen Landscape Architects.

  • Year of construction


  • Materials

    Concrete, steel, timber, and glass

  • Grants