Amsterdam-based Rietveld-Architecture-Art-Affordances (RAAAF) and Atelier de Lyon have revealed designs to reimagine one of The Netherland's monumental "tribute[s] to the majesty, and seemingly indestructible power, of the Dutch Delta Works." The works themselves—a network of dams, sluices, locks, dykes, levees and storm surge barriers in South Holland—have collectively been described as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Deltawerk 1:1 is an intervention examining the practice of the preservation of cultural heritage by inserting a new structure within Waterloopbos, the former Dutch Hydrodynamics Laboratory.
One structure in Waterloopbos, a collection of test models each no longer serving their original function, is the Delta Flume – a structure used to artificially form enormous "full-scale" waves to test the strength of the Delta Works projects. By excavating the sand plateau around the flume, RAAAF intend to reveal "a gigantic 'Delta Work'" 7 meters high and 250 meters long, surrounded by water. In their words: "Massive concrete slabs [will be] cut out of the 80 centimeter-thick walls and turned 90 degrees around on their axis." The 'room' thereby created offers an intense spatial experience of contrasting light, shadow, reflection – and views through the Waterloopbos itself. "Over the years," the designers state, "the slabs will be colonized by nature. The space [will] change throughout the day, the seasons, and over the years."
Deltawerk 1:1 has been commissioned by the Natuurmonumenten & Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency and conceptualized by Erick de Lyon, Ronald Rietveld and David Habets. It is set to be realized in 2017.