Observatory, Holwerd, the Netherlands
Investments are like a domino game, a good first step will attract the next, and so on. Thus the desire to create a new element that would raise again the interest over the area. The question is what functions and urban interventions would fit the best in the area without creating major disturbances to the local way of life. Building small accommodations for tourists and walking paths is indeed a solution, but is a long term solution. The area needs more elements of interest to attract more people. One possibility would be to bring back to life one or more traditions of the area: crafts, culinary specialities, cultural events. Another possibility is to build a function quiet enough but interesting enough to create a starting point for other investments. A third possibility is of course to create new traditions, new cultural events to attract people and future investors.
Beyond the dike - Inner Soul
There is nothing there. However the entire area has a strong vibration. The wind blows almost enraged and goes all the way through to one's bones. The locals are used to it; they are part of the scenery. For those not part of its daily routine, the place is a box of pure intensity. There are few materials and even fewer colours. The place asks for a natural intervention. Something that does not scream its presence. There are no boundaries here, no walls, and no limits. A stone fortress to protect, to make a statement seems a fitting place here. A place where one can see but can't be seen, much like one person's soul. One can see it if one is allowed. It is a private world but public in the same time. People are born open; they build the walls in later years. This is a place that cannot close but the vastness of it can be overwhelming.
The area needs a new life infusion which means new investments and new architectural or urban elements. A solution could come out of the two main elements of the area: agriculture and tourism. Hotels for tourists are required to experience an area and in turn attract more people to the area. However building only hotels without giving new attraction points is not economically sustainable.
The rough terrain does not allow for an easy intervention. Also, by being a protected natural area any major economical boost function would be too big of an investment. The Sky Observatory does not require large open spaces. It is a compact function advantaged here by the fact that there is no major light pollution. It is a function that presents interest for a rather large community. The location can become unfriendly however due to the fact that the observatory can be compacted it is easy to protect from the fury of the water.