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Winy Maas selected as the first curator of Van Gogh Homeland Biennale

Netherlands Architecture News - Apr 25, 2023 - 13:11   1567 views

Winy Maas selected as the first curator of Van Gogh Homeland Biennale

MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas has been named as the first curator of the inaugural Van Gogh Homeland Biennale in the Netherlands to bring awareseness on the environmental issues currently rising on the Brabant landscapes.

The inaugural biennale, set to be planned for 2025, will bring a new perspective on the region’s coming challenges and open up new discussions on the environmental threats that the Brabant is facing today.

As MVRDV emphasized, the Brabant landscape is threatened by the increasing number of floods and a lack of available space for farmers, cities, industry, and nature lovers.

The architecture and sustainability biennale, developed by Midpoint Brabant, MVRDV and the Van Gogh Homeland Foundation, aims to tackle the current challenges of the region by combining the knowledge of architecture, landscape design, and sustainability, along with expertise in the leisure industry.

The goal of the biennale is to create "an attractive and accessible way, showing how the landscape that inspired Vincent van Gogh 150 years ago can be made more sustainable and greener in the future."

Winy Maas selected as the first curator of Van Gogh Homeland Biennale

The Van Gogh Homeland Biennale will be made possible in collaboration with the regions and municipalities of Brabant, alongside important regional players such as the Efteling amusement park. 

The biennale is planned in three parts: Van Gogh Homeland Experience, which is an attraction that is being developed in collaboration with Efteling, the main Van Gogh Homeland Biennale, and the Van Gogh Homeland Atelier - which is a hub for knowledge transfer where the attraction and the biennale will be developed.

Set to take place in 2025, it will be the first edition of the biennale shaped by Winy Maas. The event will be in the form of an outdoor exhibition incorporating a range of interventions and temporary installations that will house typical Brabant landscape elements. 

Visitors will be invited to an adventurous expedition through temporary super dunes, horticultural towers, rain chambers, and heather houses throughout the landscape.

All the interventions, inspired by Van Gogh's vision of the Brabant landscape, are aimed to accentuate Brabant’s best features and explore the limits of using the landscape in multiple ways.

Winy Maas selected as the first curator of Van Gogh Homeland Biennale

"[The biennale] will let them feel climate change"

"If you think about the climate challenge, you have to dare to think big," said Winy Maas. 

"Exploring so many possibilities can get the ball rolling. Our outdoor exhibition will soon consist of numerous pavilions that will be placed in the landscape, like a string of beads." 

"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." 

"In my opinion, the task for the coming period lies in the interweaving of city with nature, and of nature with city. We must be open to a critical approach to each other's ideals," Maas added.

Winy Maas selected as the first curator of Van Gogh Homeland Biennale

The organizers plan to run the biennale in a different area of Brabant every two years. The first will take place in central Brabant, with the municipality of Tilburg as its centre. 

"This Brabant biennale will manifest itself not only in the landscape, but also in the urban fabric," said Joost Melis, director of the Van Gogh Homeland Foundation, and programme maker Lian Duif. 

"Van Gogh Homeland as a whole will further strengthen Brabant's identity. It is precisely because of its accessible nature that a visit is attractive for various audiences." 

"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," Melis added.

Van Gogh Homeland is an initiative of Midpoint Brabant – Stichting Van Gogh Homeland and is being realized by MVRDV in partnership with the Municipality of Tilburg, Efteling, and Libéma. 

MVRDV revealed plans for a nature-inclusive masterplan for Noviotech Campus in Nijmegen. The firm is also designing a new Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence Campus in Heilbronn and completed a wholesale market with undulating, landscaped and publicly accessible roof in Tainan.

Project facts

Project name: Van Gogh Homeland 

Location: Provincie Noord-Brabant

Year: 2021-

Client: Midpoint Brabant – Stichting Van Gogh Homeland

Architect: 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

Copyright: MVRDV Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries

All images courtesy of MVRDV.

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