THE JETTY TO THE MONT-SAINT-MICHEL

Countries: FRANCE
Categories: INFRASTRUCTURE
Date: 2014
Built on a rock in the bay, the medieval town of Mont Saint Michel topped by its abbey and monastery represents a major cultural landmark on one of the most visited sites in France. 
The Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay are part of the Unesco list of World Heritage Sites since 1979. In 1897 a dam exceeding the highest level of high tide was built to connect the land to the Mont Saint Michel Island to assure permanent safe access for visitors. By obstructing the Couesnon River partially sand was accumulating approaching the continent to the island. In order to preserve the island a new causeway and a 756 meters long jetty replace the existing road allowing water to circulate and to restore the insularity of the Mont-Saint-Michel.  
The new causeway and jetty with a total length of two kilometres search for continuity and perfect integration into the site.The jetty’s design blends into the landscape by achieving a maximum of transparency. 
Perfectly horizontal, the deck merges into the horizon contrasting the verticality of the abbey. Its slenderness is achieved by a sequence of 134 pillars with only 24,4 cm of diameter and a distance of 12metres between each pair. Obstruction to water is minimized. The pillars are fixed on the bottom into the foundation –concrete pillars with a diameter of 120cm founded on rock about 30 meters under sea level - and on top to the deck avoiding any diagonal structural element to achieve its pure appearance. 

Photo credits: Mathias Neveling, Pavel Rak, David Boureau, Michael Zimmermann
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