New Dutch Waterline on UNESCO World Heritage List

The New Dutch Waterline is of great cultural-historical value, and it is fantastic that it is added to the World Heritage List of UNESCO. But what to do with a national monument of 80 kilometres hidden in the landscape and is in disuse for half a century?

OKRA has been working for ten years on developing the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterline, from Panorama Krayenhoff to the concrete implementation of projects at various locations along the waterline. We search for spatial and narrative elements that can form building blocks for a strong identity.

Each of our designs aims at making the stratification of the waterline tangible and accessible. To achieve this, we use simple means that produce an inspiring image. A cut in the dyke, as with the Gedekte Gemeenschapsweg, or a group of tourists who wander through the (virtual) landscape with special goggles.

For the Province of Utrecht, OKRA has elaborated and made practical the core qualities of the New Dutch Waterline. And for the municipality of Utrecht, OKRA made an area vision to give the four Lunetten on the Houtense Vlakte more meaning, improve cohesion, and increase its experiential value. The motto ‘Preservation through development’ is central to this.