Marielyst Square and Beach Path

Updated 27.07.22 |
Signe Moeslund Mains

Photo credit: Steven Achiam 

In 2013, Guldborgsund Municipality and Realdania launched an architectural competition for the regeneration of Marielyst Square and Beach Path. The winning proposal was submitted by GHB Landskabsarkitekter in collaboration with the local ETN Arkitekter. Today, the physical environment consists of oak plank flooring, white picket fences and planting whose course ties Marielyst together an brings the beach right into the heart of the town, Marielyst Square.

"Rarely have you seen a prouder Mayor. From now on, the square we are standing on will be the hallmark of Guldborgsund. Forget everything you have heard about problems in peripheral Denmark.” John Brædder, Mayor of Guldborgssund Municipality, Folketidende April 2015 

Branding & Diserability

The regeneration of Marielyst Square and Beach Path helps support and maintain a positive identity for the town, improve capacity and increase the opportunities for holiday visitors with new attractions, such as better tracks and paths for cyclists and walkers that lead into the surrounding nature. According to Marielyst Municipality, the regeneration of the square and beach path has generated a vibrant atmosphere which has made the local traders invest in embellishing their properties facing the new square.  

The reinvention of Marielyst Square challenges the view of the seaside resort by orchestrating trade, leisure and tourist activities while at the same time catering to the needs of the local residents. The idyllic seaside hotel theme offered by the proposal is a good example of an identity with great branding value. This makes way for a vivid commercial life contrasted by a sublimely designed urban space which brings the beach environment all the way up to Marielyst Square.” The Assessment Committee, The Danish Landscape Award 2015 

Tourism & Satisfaction

The urban regeneration of Marielyst Square and Beach Path has strengthened tourism in the area and improved the visitor experience of the place. As Marielyst has been selected a ‘Special Resort’ by the Danish Knowledge Centre for Coastal Tourism in Hvide Sande, various tourism analyses of visitor satisfaction were conducted in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The analyses show that satisfaction increased from 2014 and 2015 with an improvement in the town’s ‘Net Promotor Score’ (NPS), which is a measure of the extent to which tourists would recommend the holiday resort to friends and family. If the tourists’ experience of the urban environment is considered in isolation, 71 % were satisfied or very satisfied in 2015. Moreover, 54 % of the tourists emphasises the town’s ‘atmosphere’ as the main reason why they would recommend Marielyst as a holiday destination. 

Photo of Marielyst Square and Beach Path by GHB Landscape Architects and ETN Arkitekter. Photo credit: GHB Landscape Architects
Photo credit: GHB Landscape Architects

About the case

DHB Landscape Architects and ETN Architects have created a strong architectural identity through the regeneration of the square and beach path of Marielyst, a project which is part of Realdania’s campaign ‘Stedet Tæller’ (Place Matters) carried out with Guldborgsund Municipality as the client. The urban regeneration helps support the story of the modern coastal town by strengthening the cultural history of the town in line with the landscape qualities of the area. The original spirit of the place is enhanced through the narrative of the seaside hotel Marielyst Østersøbad, which has given the place its name, and today, the area realises a new square that creates a link between culture and nature. Oak plank flooring, white picket fences and young trees characterise the urban space and bring the town’s main attraction, the beach, right into the town square with a seamark placed at the centre as guidepost. The oak flooring makes you want to take off the shoes and walk barefoot during the summer months and offers new opportunities for hosting markets, concerts or other events all year round. 

Read more about Marielyst Square and Beach Path by GHB Landscape Architects