‘duincasino middelkerke’ wins the international architecture prize 2022


duincasino middelkerke: a new lighthouse along the sea

‘Duincasino Middelkerke’, envisioned along the coast of Belgiumhas just won the prestigious International Architecture Award 2022. The project was created by DELVA Landscape Architecture & Urbanism and ZJAunder the direction and supervision of Debuild and in collaboration with OZ, Bureau Bouwtechniek and various experts from the Nautilus Consortium.

The new venue complex on the coast of Middelkerke will host a casino, hotel, restaurant, multifunctional event space and underground parking to guarantee a car-free zone at street level. In addition to reinforcing the sea wall and making it pedestrian, the design is part of an improved public space where the boulevard and the Place d’Epernay meet.

Steven Delva, founding partner at DELVA, comments:The integral design is a new chapter in the history of Middelkerke, which was once originally a fishing village after the formation of dunes on the historic Testerep peninsula. The dunes provided flood protection and the channel between the island and the mainland was directly connected to the North Sea. After a century of large-scale developments and infrastructure projects, the original landscape has largely disappeared under stone and asphalt. Our design will restore the dune landscape to its former glory.

all images courtesy of DELVA

The DELVA teams (see more here) and ZJA (see more here) envisioned the integration of the public space of “Duincasino Middelkerke” into the existing Place d’Epernay, creating a harmonious weaving of fluid geometries. Connecting the city, the square and the beach, a vast artificial dune in which the casino, the public hall for concerts and exhibitions and the restaurant are located.

Sea lyme grass, water features, and sand ravines flowing down to the beach simulate a dune experience. The new public space, with the climb to the green square at the top of the dune, is a tourist attraction in its own right. Attached to the open space is a beach hotel with its enigmatic sculptural silhouette, an understated icon with an open grid of curved Accoya wood beams,’ share DELVA.


a public-private partnership

This project was only possible thanks to dedicated collaborations with the various departments of the municipality of Middelkerke, the Environment Department and the Maritime and Coastal Services Agency of the Flemish Government. Indeed, the entire design optimizes energy, waste management and production processes and uses recyclable materials wherever possible.

Jean-Marie Dedecker, Mayor of Middelkerke, concludes as follows.The international architecture prize testifies that we made the right choice two years ago. Our selection committee, made up of many experts, was immediately won over by the sober and intuitive design. This award has now validated the unanimous decision. We also felt the build team did their homework thoroughly and came up with a sleek and durable design. This landmark for our city is under construction. We look forward to the domino effect of the new Venue Building to boost the Middelkerke experience.’


restoration of the original dune landscape

Proposal Proposal

axonometric view


Plan “Duincasino Middelkerke”

project info:

Last name: Duincasino Middelkerke

location: Belgium

customer: Municipality of Middelkerke

landscape architecture: DELVA | @delva.la

architecture: ZJA | @zja_arch

developer: Deconstructed

execution architect: Bouwtechniek office

casino and hotel design: oz

entrepreneurs: Democo, Furnibo

advisors: COBE, VK Engineering, Beersnielsen, Witteveen+Bos, Plantec, MINT, Sertius


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