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Climate change adaptation

Coastal protection


The Fehmarn Belt Tunnel is not a compromise with nature but a win-win

26. February 2024

Solution provider


Schønherr is an architectural firm whose primary areas of expertise lie within urban and landscape architecture, strategic and physical planning, infrastructure, climate architecture, and cultural heritage. The firm's approach is that the cultural and natural values ​​of the city and landscape are tools for addressing the major societal challenges of our time.

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The Fehmarn Belt is a 18 km wide strait between Denmark and Germany across the Baltic Sea. Here, Schønherr is involved in the design of a fixed link between the Scandinavian peninsula and continental Europe allowing for both transportation of goods as well as public and private travel. The project stands to be the largest infrastructure project in Denmark, and the longest immersed tunnel in the world. Schønherr is responsible for landscape analysis, using the surplus soil on site, construction site development, the design of the main geometry of the facility, and designing technical/public functions around the onshore facilities, as well as visual material for communication purposes.


The Fehmarn Belt Tunnel project requires unique landscape interventions, emphasizing a careful balance between functionality and aesthetics. Large quantities of seabed soil excavated for the tunnel are repurposed to create a vast wetland, enhancing biodiversity and offering recreational spaces. Preserving dikes as narrative markers, the project transforms Lolland’s coastline, providing protected areas for migratory birds and new recreational opportunities. The road alignment incorporates a gentle slope, allowing drivers a panoramic view, symbolizing the story of the flat land, shallow water, and the tunnel’s connectivity.


New valuable natural areas are introduced to the coastline of Lolland, including wetland, lowland, inland lagoon, heath, and nature preserve. All are designed according to existing ecosystemic hotspots as well as migration routes, and the added recreational opportunities will give the increased amount of tourists opportunities to enjoy the natural surroundings without compromising biodiversity.

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