Urban & Landscape

Marielyst: The Square and the Beach Path

The story of a modern town by the sea

As part of the campaign “Stedet Tæller” (The Place Counts”) orchestred by Realdania, the project “The Square and the Beach Path” in the town of Marielyst in the southern part of Denmark was developed. The aim of the competition was to obtain greater quality in the town spaces and create a connection and relation to the beach. As a tourist town, Marielyst very much depend on its coastal references in order to be a place that attracts visitors.

Our winning proposal unifies the beach town and enhances the atmosphere of beach and beach holiday – during all seasons.

The central narrative of this specific place is the story of Marielyst Oestersoebad – the hotel by the Baltic Sea which has given name to the town, and which is the reason why there is a place to talk about at all. Our proposal creates a new foundation for the beach hotel as phenomenon, and adds images and moods spun from the magic and dreams of the seaside holiday to the town of Marielyst.

With the beach hotel as our conceptual lead, we set off at the roots of the town of Marielyst to create a modern seaside resort characterized by the light atmosphere of the beach hotel. By reinforcing this aspect of the town's cultural history - and in accordance with the specific landscape dialect on site - we create a branded identity which enhances the original spirit, realizes a new and more beautiful square and creates an exciting new link between the square and the beach thus embodying an authentic and coherent identity for Marielyst.

We create the link between town and beach by using four key strategies:

We link the sea and town by adding a symbolic navigation mark to Marielyst – a clear orientation point from both land and sea.

The surrounding nature is incorporated into the square by marking the entrances and defining the space with the aid of trees, which create a visual connection with the surrounding nature.

The square is attired with a massive, unifying oak floor thus mimicking the strength of the sea. The floor brings together buildings with very different looks and creates a space that belongs to everyone and can be used for everything.

We include the local businesses by viewing each cadastral as a room in the seaside hotel.  With a firm grip of the story, our vision entails the local character of the individual buildings. Inclusiveness creates flexibility for both hosts and guests. The interaction between site, merchants, residents and guests creates life.

1. prize in competition

1. prize in competition


Marielyst, Falster


Guldborgsund Municipality and Realdania


2014 - 2016




15.000 m2


DKK 19 mio.


ETN Architects and Sweco
  • Competition proposal
  • User involvement
  • Design proposal
  • Project proposal
  • Concept design
  • Implementation


"Marina and more" - a multifunctional and active meeting place, where activity opportunities on both water and land attract more and new users. Client: Middelfart Municipality