Deltawerk //

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Natuurmonumenten & Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency

For centuries the Dutch struggle against the water has united engineers of all kinds. This resulted in groundbreaking experiments and inventions, including the Delta Works that protect the country nowadays.

The enormous test models in national monument Waterloopbos, the former Dutch Hydrodynamics laboratory, are in decay. One of these models is the Delta Flume, which was used for making massive waves on scale one to one to test the strength of enormous engineering works. Our intervention Deltawerk // is a tribute to the majesty and seemingly indestructible power of the Dutch delta works. In a radical way this intervention sheds new light on the practice of preserving cultural heritage.

The waves in the Delta flume are gone after 40 years of technological progress and many different experiments. By excavating the sand plateau around the flume a gigantic ‘delta work’ of 7 m high and 250 m long is unveiled and surrounded by water. Massive concrete slabs are cut out of the 80 cm thick walls and turned 90 degrees around their axis. The space offers an intense spatial experience of light, shadows, reflection, and views through the Waterloopbos. Over the years the slabs will be colonized by a nature. The space changes through the day, the seasons and over the years.

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