T: +31 (0) 6 34 13 34 14

M: studio@patricionusselder.nl

The Tonder Ruin

Location: Old town, Tønder

Type: Construction

Situation: Proposal


Tønder is a small village in the south of Denmark and it is depopulating. 

We were asked to propose a project for the town to save it from it’s fate and make it “attractive” but after carefully analysing the reasons for this towns depopulation, to purposefully “safe” it seamed like a unnatural thing to do: hermetically conserving the history, highlighting aspects of it, or making it attractive for tourists in any other way would kill the towns meaning and purpose: to be a place where people live and gather. 

Patricio thought that embracing the fate of the town actually is a beautiful way of redefining itself: the fact that in the future people would gradually play a smaller role and wildernis was going to have a bigger role can be ingredients that give the town a new, unique character.

The proposal is situated in the center of the town, replacing a car park for a square with an amfitheater-like space below ground level which is made to become a ruin. While people live here it functions as a green and intimate meeting point. 

As people will leave the town plants will grow taller from between the tiles and eventually this place will be the starting point of the reconquest of the town by nature allowing the town to become something completely different, like a forest.