A commission by the municipality of Heerhugowaard
From classical antiquity until the introduction of the meter, the kilometre and the hectare in 1816, the human body was the ‘measure of things’. Distances and surfaces were expressed in ‘feet’, ‘ellen’, ‘thumbs’ and ‘rods’. One ‘foot’ measured about 30 cm and one ‘rod’ was 12 feet. A ‘morning’ was a piece of land that the farmer could plough in one morning, a distance was expressed in ‘so many hours of going’. Purely physical experiences of space and time in the landscape.
Around 1630 the polder Heer-Huygen-Waert was reclaimed and from the outset the Middenweg formed the central axis of Heerhugowaard. This dead straight line in the polder formed the ruler and yardstick along which the 17th century surveyor could measure plots, ditches and possessions, always in ‘rods’, ‘feet’ and ‘mornings’.
We still use the ‘foot’ as a unit of measurement when we ‘fit’ something. We hardly know the ‘rod’ as unit of measure anymore, but the beautiful coincidence wants a cyclist to travel about 12 feet, so one rod, or 3,70 meter, during one round trip of the bike pedal.
As Middenweg has become a bicycle street it is very fitting to rename the ‘rod’ as an obsolete unit to the 21st century ‘pedal’, a new standard especially for cyclists on Middenweg-Zuid.
This work of art was made possible with financial support from the Mondriaan Fund.
For more information; HUMAN DIMENSIONS.pdf
Here’s a film of ‘the making of’…
making the Mesolithic site in the town Cascade, de Eschmark, perceptible. Commissioned by the municipal Eschede.
During archaeological research, four so called ‘hearths’ have been mapped. What we see now are discoloured spaces in the subsoil with small objects of flint nearby. This speaks to the imagination, these must have been places where hunter-gatherers came together to eat, have meetings or to sleep. Who were these people, what did they do, what were they thinking? We know that they did not stick to one place, but travelled around. Was their presence a consistent pattern or were their comings and goings unpredictable? What led them to this area?
The four hearths now form the foundation for the VUUR-STEEN plan. The surface of the hearths consists of a stony material (concrete) that seems to have been ‘cracked, torn and split by the heat’. The stony surfaces contain relief patterns of various cores of flint and in the craquelure pattern shapes light up in the night. Shapes that are inspired by the flint objects that were found.
The hunter-gatherers travelled from place to place and were thus not always present in this settlement, the fire did not burn continuously and this is still the case. Measurements over the years show us that when the atmospheric pressure drops below 1013 hPa (hectopascal) the chances of rain increase. If the pressure rises above 1013 hPa, the chances of stable weather are much higher. This 1013 hPa boundary dictates whether the hearths burn or not. Our travellers settle down in Cascade when the weather is nice, and leave when it turns foul.
Click HERE for more information about the is project
is a piece for the district of Ossehaar, commissioned by the municipal Coevorden.
This artwork is a landmark, viewpoint, meeting point, and playground at the same time. It reminds of the medieval history of Coevorden as a motte-and-bailey castle. As a solar calendar, it shows the annual trip of the sun across the sky. The hilltop at its 12 meters gives a free view over the landscape and enables people to always see the sun rise or set.
The 7th of May and 6th of August show the sun rise in the extension of the ‘As van Ossehaar’ and the sun sets here on the 3rd of February and 8th of November. Four ‘Days of Ossehaar’ separate the year in four new quarters. Four dates that may inspire events in this new residential area in Coevorden.
However, it is also a place to relax and enjoy more quiet moments, taking in the view and the sunset…, time slowing down.
Unveiling: June 2010
Look around 360 degrees from behind the piece on the hill in Ossehaar
For more information about the background and details, see PALISADE (English)
ZAND NAAR KLEI (SAND TO CLAY)
Commissioned by the municipal Westvoorne, Mediation KunstenBedrijf.
The new building project Elisabethhof in Oostvoorne is situated in the transition of dune landscape to polder.
This fact has been taken into consideration when designing the street pattern that has been constructed of light yellow and grey brick stones, ‘sand and clay’.
Gradually, the flowing forms of the dunes morph into the straight lines of the polder landscape. Big oval shapes form naturally in this transitional area.
Four of these ovals are lifted from the pavement as kind of planting trays. Wooden duckboards are integrated into the oval shapes, functioning as seating areas.
Piet Oudolf designed the planting in the oval shapes.
Read more about this project in an INTERVIEW with Kunst en Bedrijf.
Read the article KUNST MET KLINKERS in the magazine STRAATBEELD, September 2010
For more information about the backgrounds and details, see ZAND NAAR KLEI design;
Construction spring 2009 in collaboration with Segno d’Arte
Photography: Kees AB
THE BREVIARY PARK OF SAENDELFT
commissioned by municipal Zaanstad.
Saendelft is an extended residential area of the historical linear settlement Assendelft (in Noord-Holland). The urban planning project of Saendelft is based on the medieval battle-landscape of the polders around Assendelft. If we look further into the history of this area, we’ll see that the OerIJ, as a tidal channel, used to be connected to the North Sea.
The urban planning project of Saendelft is characterised by long, green strips between the building blocks, called ‘Groene Dragers’ (or ‘Green Carriers’). Because of these strips, the horizon is present throughout the neighbourhood. In various places, big oval spaces are situated over these ‘green carriers’. The ovals are slightly turned facing away from the green. Oval 1 is the designated area for this project and is located in Saendelft West, in ‘Parkrijk’. Striking about Oval 1 is its exact orientation into a north-south direction. This enables the oval to free itself from the haphazard direction of the urban planning grid and point, like a compass needle, towards the earth’s magnetic field. This way, it embeds Saendelft and its residents in a greater, cosmic context.
Sketch design: 2008
Unveiling: 21 June 2009 at 13.41h
For more information about background and details, see HET GETIJDENPARK VAN SAENDELFT (English)
For a detailed explanation on the sundial, see ANALEMMA (Dutch)
Execution and realisation in collaboration with Segno d’Arte
NOORDERZON (MIDNIGHT SUN)
Marking of the location of ‘Huis te Vleuten’ below the railway between Utrecht and Rotterdam. Commissioned by ProRail.
Beneath all the new development remains all that has been lost, and this design intends to make this absence visible.
If the daily things around us become visible with the light of the morning sun, this design intends to contrast this with the midnight sun;
The Midnight Sun is a source that brings hidden memories back into the light
and shadows of lost objects,
reflections of hidden tracks
and echoes of forgotten stories are brought back to the surface.
Design: 2006 in collaboration with Ingmar Heytze
Click HERE to read and see more about the subject (Dutch)
Engineering executed by Segno d’Arte
OOGHOOGTE (EYE LEVEL)
Commissioned by municipal Vlist
In Stolwijk, a part of the municipal Vlist, a small new urban planning project is being realised.
Stolwijk, situated at the edge of the village, borders directly on the open peatland area of the ‘Groene Hart’*.
In this part of The Netherlands, the NAP** lies on +1,60 metres, nearly the same height as the general eye level.
This causes the (invisible) NAP to coincide with the (visible) horizon.
‘EYE LEVEL’ makes both points of orientation visible.
Every streetlight has small mirrors at 1.60 metres, at ‘eye level’. The mirrors reflect the image of the street, but we can also see the horizon and the open polder landscape that is located behind the houses, or do we see the landscape the way it used to be…? Is this critical commentary on the urbanization of the Groene Hart or is it a moment of poetry, a happy coincidence; “it depends on the way you look at it…”
Sketch design: 2005
* The Groene Hart is a relatively sparsely populated peatland area in the Dutch Randstad.
** NAP stands for ‘Normaal Amsterdam Peil’, or ‘Normal Level in Amsterdam’, and is the reference height used for measuring water levels.
commissioned by the municipal Wijchen
A vision on the cohesion of the various connections to the Ringweg around Wijchen and an elaborate design for the kinds of connections.
7 connections to the neighbourhoods; theme: SEDIMENT
6 connections to the centre; theme: THE SOURCE
7 connections to countryside; theme: THE STREAM
Near the 7 connections from the ring around Wijchen to the countryside, oval ‘traffic signs’ are located on traffic islands or in the roadside. To the side, we can see pictures of water in different situations. Beneath the pictures is a retro reflecting foil which makes them light up in the headlights of passing cars. The signs are situated in pairs and bend towards the traffic as well as each other. The Stream forms a poem full of associations and contrasts; big versus small, above versus beneath, there versus here, fire versus water, and swirls versus clouds, reaction versus action, and cause versus consequence.
Design 2002 / completion 2004
Commissioned by Facilitair Bedrijf ministry of OC+W
Interior designers: OTH (Ontwerpgroep Trude Hooijkaas BNA)
On the 5th floor of the Hoftoren in The Hague (the ministerial wing of Education, Culture, and Sciences) are two oval meeting rooms.
To improve the acoustics, these rooms are partially decorated with wooden partitions with a very fine grid with holes.
“… But what reduces the sound, seems to cause visual annoyance…”
By lacing the partitions and the grids with ‘strings’, I intend to reduce the visual ‘white noise’ with ‘music’.
Each room will have 5 different scores, 10 variations, 10 etudes for the oval rooms.
Close up and in a certain light, the pattern will be clearly visible,
but from a greater distance, the pattern will reduce to a soft mist,
Design and completion: 2004
REGIA PACIS (Queen of Peace)
Commissioned by Amsterdams Fond voor de Kunst, Borough Zuid-Oost, and the parish of the Vredeskerk.
A sketch design for the square of the Vredeskerk in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost.
Just like the church square in the Italian village Piënza, the design of the Vredeskerkplein is a projection of the church façade.
The lattice window is seen in the oval brass dish and the three vertical lines of the tower project long lines along the length axis of the triangular square.
The ellipse-shaped dish has the form and structure of a leaf of the water lily Victoria Regia. One focus point of the ellipse forms the source (alpha) and causes a pulsing wave in the shallow water in the dish. The waves turn to the other side of the dish and ‘implode’ in the second focus point (omega). The wave pattern is visible at night as a projection behind the lattice window of the church.
Long benches have been integrated into the lines that lead from the tower and define the square. The waves of the water underneath the benches are a reference to the ‘wondrous temple well’. (Ezekiel 47: 1-12)
Sketch design: 2003
Click HERE for a booklet about this design. (Dutch)