Design principles for the Grebbelinie
- Cliënt: Stichting voor de Gelderse Vallei (SVGV)
- Team: Michael van Gessel, Patrick Mc Cabe, Mark van der Bij
- Year, status: 2011, completed
Finally gets the Grebbe is getting the attention it deserves. Together with the New Dutch Waterline, the Stelling van Amsterdam and Hadrian’s Wall it is a special cultural historic, military and landscape phenomenon. A defense work that is inseparable from the landscape in which it exists, because it uses precisely the peculiarities of the landscape. In the case of the Dutch Water Lines; ingenious and complex systems of water control which when (intended to prevent and regulate the water or drainage) reversed could be used as a system for rapid flooding of the underlying countryside in defense of the towns. This makes the Lines a tribute to the Dutch landscape. The Grebbelinie of all the defensive water Lines is special because it consists entirely of earth works and, unlike the others, actually functioned during the second world war. The question now is how this Line from the Grebbe mountain at Rhenen to Eemmond in Bunschoten Spakenburg can be made recognisable, accessible and alive. There have been some studies done. This study is not a repetition but a continuation which initially examines the landscaping and design of the main ‘earthen forts’, the Fort Buurtseeg´ on the border of Renswoude and Veenendaal, to develop the structure of resulting guidelines without needlessly limiting the diversity of possible design devices of each individual defenzive works.
The Grebbelinie is a military defense of about 68 kilometers long which can be flooded, and dates from the 17th century. The height of the various ‘bowls’, successive inundation areas, each with a height of half a meter, listens carefully to the surrounding landsape. The lands have to adequately flood so the enemy trenches and ditches can not see, but again, not so much that it becomes navigabel by boat. This system required the construction of quays with cross locks. These transverse dikes formed in turn, the weakest links in the line and had to be defended from so-called outposts.
Involvement and role Together with landscape architect Michael van Gessel, Patrick Mc Cabe (landscape architect) were invited to design the vision that would strengthen this national monument, that could be used to develop the forts adn outposts as well as the furniture for the Grebbe Line. The furniture line that was developed includes the most important general objects and details to be applied along the 68 kilometers of Grebbe. The goal is to create a clear and coherent picture of Grebbelinie and a handbook for the varoious day to day elements of the park, such as fences, information boards, picnic tables, benches, stairs and ramps, bicycle and pedestrian sluices, walls, and even tunnels for amphibians. In the context of the reconstruction of the Grebbelinie and the different works on this line in the coming years, specific projects have been defined and carried out. The project describes a certain standardization of different decor elements and furniture. It serves as a guide to the various parties involved for making estimates. The aim of the proposals is to establish a uniform expression of Grebbelinie and to point out the history of the site visitors. The furniture is further elaborated in mind for this purpose.
The designs are unobtrusive and simple set put the military, but rustic qualities of Grebbelinie form the basis and the idea is to complete. Many earthen forts and work in the Gelderland Valley The furniture line is composed of three basic materials: steel, wood and sand. The steel parts with black coating are used for fencing, pedestrian and bicycle locks and information boards. The benches and tables are made of wood. The wall components, including denominations, walls and other vertical elements are made of sandbags with a concrete mixture. The paths are made of sand.
The full suite of furniture is worked out in detail, priced and distributed as a digital handbook for anyone who works on one of the projects within the area of the Grebbe. The furniture designs are currently being applied to more than five forts and work and some occasional areas along the Grebbelinie for several smaller projects. Raw, simple materials form the basis for the elaboration. Paths are carried out in a half-hardened finsihses of sand mixed with clay. The paths must have a convex finish. Stairs and ramps are made of concrete with a sweeping finissh for grip. Ramps are carreid out in long elongated strips and equipped with dilations. Mutual distance of the dilatations is determined by standing surface. Maxim is 5m. All steel parts are preserved (galvanizing) and coated in RAL 7021 Muv the moving parts of the hinges: they are made of stainless steel.
The Daatselaar and Asschatterkeerkade are the first in a series of small projects (designed by Michael van Gessel and Patrick McCabe) for Grebbelinie. By doing small interventions in the landscape, the landscape of the military Grebbelinie with its 67 km back to life. A series of major projects, including the reconstruction of the fortress on the Buurtsteeg, The Hoornwerk and Lambalgen be completed in 2014-2015.