GEO-METRIE (Geo-Metry)

Commissioned by Overijssel county

The provincial road N34 touches the meandering Vecht just once in the landscape of Overijssel, this point is also called ‘The Point of Tangency-N34’. A point of tangency in geometry is the point where a straight line touches a curved line. The original meaning of geo-metry is the ‘measuring of the earth’.

In the early 18th century, military engineer Pieter de la Rive (1694-1771) mapped the catchment of the Vecht in Overijssel. An eye-catching element in this drawing is a 35 kilometre long defence line that stretches from Gramsbergen to Dalfsen. However, this line was never built and remained a mere ambition. What remains is a stunning 18th century map. It is informative to compare such historic maps with today’s topography: what has remained the same and what has changed? One of the strongholds in De la Rive’s line was to be in the exact same place as the Point of Tangency N34 is today. From a military point of view, this was a strategic and clever place for a stronghold, because, just like today, this particular place touched a curve in the meandering Vecht. If De la Rive’s plans had been executed 300 years ago, we would be able to see a podium where all the hidden qualities of the Point of Tangency are concentrated. If we were to turn this into a contemporary piece of land art, we could again bring those qualities back to the surface. I would like to suggest a piece of art that is inspired by the geometry of the Old-Dutch bastion-type. It requires the use of dimensions that are based on the Rijnland’s measurements (in rods and feet), just like Pieter de la Rive would have used; ‘de la Rive revisited’.

Sketch design: April 2012
Official unveiling: 13 September2013
For more information about this design, see the booklet GEO-METRY (English)



Art in the ‘Bos op Houwingham’ (north-east of Groningen), commissioned by the county Groningen.

Now, in the place where the former peat-land Houwingham was once submerged by the sea, a nature- and recreational area with a water storage function resides. Recent archaeological investigations have discovered a hallchurch and two so-called ‘stone houses’ under the current fields. Both archaeological digs and modern day magneto measurements reveal traces of the past in the discolouration of the Dutch soil. This phenomenon of discolouration is visible through discolouration on a concrete surface. Traces of oxidation of steel grit map out the shapes of quays and dykes as rusty brown discolourations on the concrete. The locations of the archaeological monuments are marked by elements of baked clay. This clay presents us with a footprint of the hallchurch and the two stone houses in its relief. Seven concrete plateaus (5 x 5 meter) are scattered over seven strategical places in the area and help people orient themselves in the Bos op Houwingham.

Design: August 2008
Completion: 16 October 2013