Hidden Landscape (Verborgen Landschap) is an organization which operates at the cross-over visual arts, landscape and cultural heritage. Artistic director is Hans Jungerius, managing director is Caro Delsing.
We are fascinated by contemporary landscapes and the hidden stories and processes which formed them. It’s our believe, that manmade landscapes can be seen as a ‘cultural inscription’: an inscription that can be read in order to understand who we are and what we do.
This approach makes it also possible to discover new opportunities in our environment. Our aim is to make these new opportunities visible in a way that they can be experienced in real time. To reach this goal we develop projects for places that can not easily be defined, places with a mixture of underexposed issues.
Another point of view
To uncover opportunities, we believe it's important to create space for the subjective perception within the world of spacial planning ect. Especially since we observe that there is an increasing need for places that have meaning and a growing need for sustainable solutions and alternative connections.
The fine arts can contribute to this: like no other professional group, artists are especially able to observe and to find new meanings. They can open up a different appreciation of the world, of our environment.
With this mission as a starting point, we are working on a concrete goal in Arnhem:
Our ambition is to develop at the northern edge of Arnhem a 21st century Landscape-Park. A park that combines landscape, art and heritage. But also a park that will function as a "cultural axis", a park that will link the city of Arnhem effectively with the green Veluwe and the major institutions that are situated there: The Dutch Open Air Museum, Kröller-Müller Museum, Burgers' Zoo and National Park De Hoge Veluwe.
We are based at ‘Buitenplaats Koningsweg’. This former military site is beautifully situated on the northern edge of Arnhem, 6.5 kilometers away from the city center. In the next years 'Buitenplaats Koningsweg’ will be developed into a ‘cultural enclave’ (for working and living).
21ste century Landscape Park
Our focus on the northern edge of Arnhem is not by accident. This is a very intriguing area. During World War II the Germans built right there the largest airport in Europe: Fliegerhorst Deelen. It had a magnitude of the current Schiphol. More than 900 buildings were constructed, over 200 of theme are now national heritage. The Germans camouflaged these building as farmhouses (called ‘Heimatschutz style’). They integrated the buildings into the existing landscape and grouped them in five fake villages to avoid recognition from the air. Nowadays, the landscape contains many traces of this past, such as remnants of the flights paths. And of course, there are many stories. Remarkably: the general public is completely unaware of this fascinating history. After World War II, under the influence of the Cold War the area remained under military control. It remained inaccessible and therefore unknown.
Making this unknown history visible, is an essential starting point of our ambition to realize a 21st century Landscape Park. This Landscape Park will not become a ‘static park’, it will not be designed on a drawing board. We see the Park as a ‘programmable volume’: as an ‘outdoor laboratory’ in which art, architecture, landscape and heritage interact and in which new forms of (heritage) tourism can be developed. A park that grows organically. In which objects appear and disappear.
Strong asset of the Landscape Park is also that it can function as a cultural corridor, a cultural axis, that connects the city of Arnhem and the Veluwe in an effective, interesting way. Such a connection is currently totally missing. As a result of this, there is no public stream between the city and Veluwe: tourists visit either Arnhem or the museums up north; they do not visit both. This is a missed opportunity.
How does it work?
This area can be seen as the third (new) Park in sequence: the first park is Sonsbeekpark, the second park is Zypendaal and the third park will be the 21st Century Landscape Park. Because of the fact that this forest has become "out of sight", it should be 'reclaimed'. Not by changing the landscape itself, but by programming it. By programming it, people will experience it in a different way. We have plans for a Belvedere (a viewing point), a resting-point and a landmark across the highway.