Overloon, the Netherlands
WAR MUSEUM OVERLOON
A LANDSCAPE VISION FOR THE HISTORICAL BATTLEFIELD SITE
War Museum Overloon, surrounded by a 12 ha. woodland park, is the recreational focus point of the area. The largest war museum of the Netherlands was founded in 1946 on the remnants of the Battle of Overloon. The relationship between museum and surroundings is still sensible nowadays but is no longer visible due to all the new functions situated in the museum park.
To restore the connection between museum and surroundings and to relate to its battlefield past, War Museum Overloon is focusing on renewal the coming years. The outdoor exposition area is part of the bigger renovation of the building and redevelopment of the indoor exposition. The landscape vision proposes a spatial zoning, where each area has its own function and appearance. This zoning contributes to a narrative park.
Starting from the inviting entrance area, a clear route through the statue garden leads you to the main building, adding to the museum experience. Next to the entrance area, there is the outdoor exhibition area. War and liberty are the two themes that play an important, contrasting role in the museum. The indoor exposition focuses mostly on World War II – the outdoor exposition continues in the present and looks ahead to the future. A walk along the wall of war shows images of all the missions in which the Netherlands have been involved since World War II. In the outdoor exhibition you can start looking for answers to the questions: Why are there conflicts and war? What are the causes? In a declaration-labyrinth answers are hidden for a younger audience. In a bigger battlefield-like area the older audience (12+) can find answers by using a device and geo-tracking.
In the outdoor pavilion there is time for reflection. How can we prevent war? What kind of solutions or tips do visitors have? Visitors can leave messages on the wall of peace.
Other existing functional areas in the park – a forest theater and a forest climbing park – are strengthened in their identity and can also be used by the museum visitors as picnicking area and natural playground.
The bicycle route is extended through the museum and adds to the recreational network around the museum on a bigger scale.