From September 10 onwards, visitors to the Hook of Holland can enjoy Diorama Nieuwe Waterweg. One of the most important pieces from Rotterdam’s city collection, in a special way. It marks the 150th anniversary of the Nieuwe Waterweg canal.
A replica of the 100-square-meter painting by Dutch artist Jaap Gidding will be placed on the roof of iCOON. This former bunker, once part of the Atlantic Wall, currently serves as a museum. It’s located at the far end of the Hook of Holland. MVRDV designed a viewing platform. In the shape of the letters HVH (after the Dutch name Hoek van Holland). Visitors can see the work – with the real Nieuwe Waterweg in the background.
Diorama Nieuwe Waterweg by Jaap Gidding (1887-1955) is considered the Rotterdam equivalent of Rembrandt’s famous Nightwatch. It is a symbolic work in the sense that it connects central Rotterdam to its surrounding districts all the way to the coast. Including the Hook of Holland, which is officially a district of the city.
Anniversary of the Nieuwe Waterweg
Measuring 5 by 20 meters, the canvas is larger than life. Due to its size, is rarely put on display. The last time it was shown was during the celebratory exhibitions during Rotterdam’s stint as Cultural Capital of Europe in 2001.
The 150th anniversary of the Nieuwe Waterweg canal is an excellent opportunity to draw attention to the diorama and the importance the Nieuwe Waterweg has had on the development of Rotterdam as a world port. The exhibition on iCOON also anticipates the new metro station, opening this autumn. It will connect the center of Rotterdam directly to the beaches of the Hook of Holland, boosting the development of the area and further emphasizing the relationship between the two cities that was established by Gidding’s work.
The design for the viewing platform is a nod to an earlier MVRDV study in which a collection of buildings bearing these letters was proposed as an advertisement of sorts for the Hook of Holland.
Previous MVRDV installations
Visitors will be able to walk and climb through it and experience Gidding’s artwork from various angles. HVH is a temporary installation in the best MVRDV tradition: playful, suitable for a wide audience, and designed to generate attention for undervalued places. Previous MVRDV installations include The Stairs to Kriterion, the Rooftop Walk, and HNI Podium.
For Rotterdam, this is a way to celebrate the city’s history. Since the closure of Museum Rotterdam in 2020, the city has been considering a new historical city museum. In the run-up to this, pop-up exhibitions and events will be organized at various locations in the city, under the title You too! – The Story of Rotterdam (Ook van Jou! – Het Verhaal van Rotterdam). In this way, the city’s collection remains visible and alive.
The lookout point is located at Badweg 1B in Hoek van Holland and has free access.
Opening hours: Saturday, September 10 until Sunday, October 9 from 11.00 til sunset.