Dutch studio MVRDV has released visuals of the Van Gogh Homeland, an architecture and sustainability biennale launching in the Netherlands, curated by its co-founder Winy Maas.
The biennale event, which is named after Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, will attempt to shine a light on the environmental pressures and flood risks currently facing North Brabant’s landscapes through a mix of architecture-, landscape design- and sustainability-themed exhibits.
While it nods to van Gogh’s love for the region, it is also hoped to “reignite the enthusiasm of both young and old people for the Brabant landscape”, MVRDV said.
“Vincent van Gogh had a great love for the Brabant landscape, as can be seen in many of his paintings,” said the studio.
“This landscape is now under pressure,” it continued. “The number of floods is increasing while farmers, cities, industry, and nature lovers are fighting over the available space.”
“The ambition is to show, in an attractive and accessible way, how the landscape that inspired Vincent van Gogh 150 years ago can be made more sustainable and greener in the future.”
Van Gogh Homeland is a joint initiative between the government program Midpoint Brabant, MVRDV and the Van Gogh Homeland Foundation. The biennale’s first edition of the event in 2025 will be curated by Maas.
Collaborators on the project also include the Efteling theme park and North Brabant province deputy Stijn Smeulders, who is helping to lead the development of the plan.
The proposal for the event is divided into three parts. These are the main Van Gogh Homeland Biennale, the Van Gogh Homeland Experience and the Van Gogh Homeland Atelier.
The biennale is planned to take place in 2025 and will take the form of an outdoor exhibition for a range of temporary installations, with the city of Tilburg as its centre.
According to MVRDV, exhibits will include “temporary super dunes, horticultural towers, rain chambers, and heather houses that will be placed throughout the landscape”.
“Our outdoor exhibition will soon consist of numerous pavilions that will be placed in the landscape, like a string of beads,” explained curator Maas.
“We do not give visitors a moralistic message, but let them feel climate change – the dryness, the wetness. We also show possible solutions such as a garden tower or a super dune.”
The Van Gogh Homeland Experience will be an attraction developed in collaboration with Efteling, while the Van Gogh Homeland Atelier is hoped to become “a hub for knowledge transfer”.
The biennale event is planned to take place in a different area of Brabant every two years. The first will take place in the centre of the region.
“Van Gogh Homeland as a whole will further strengthen Brabant’s identity,” said the Van Gogh Homeland Foundation.
“The expectation is that, thanks to the way the biennale presents information, young people will also feel more involved in the major transition challenges, as well as the landscape that surrounds them – which of course they will manage in the future.”
MVRDV is an architecture studio founded in 1991 by Maas with Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. Elsewhere, the studio is working on a masterplan for an AI hub and a library with a sweeping form.
The visuals are courtesy of MVRDV.
Founding partner in charge: Winy Maas
Partner/director: Gideon Maasland
Design team: Gijs Rikken, Rik Lambers, Bin Wei, Karolina Duda, Kristina Knauf, Mark van Wasbeek, Natalia Lipczuk, Yayun Liu
Visualisations: Antonio Luca Coco, Stefania Trozzi, Jaroslaw Jeda
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