Voorlinden and Holland’s gardening tradition
In the 17th century, numerous country estates popped up around The Hague, as wealthy merchants developed country retreats. Voorlinden is a fine example, but the grounds of the Voorlinden estate are part of an even grander Dutch tradition: formal gardens. Just as beautiful as the historic country houses and castles dotted all over Holland are the grounds that surround them. Various landscaping styles were embraced over the centuries and are still there to be enjoyed; in addition, Holland’s mild climate and proximity to the sea offer ideal conditions for growing plants. And in the Dutch Golden Age, ships brought exotic specimens from the colonies.
Renowned landscape architects.
In the early 19th century, an English landscape park, designed by JD Zocher and his son, was established at Voorlinden, and in 1912, when the current country house was built, the British architect RJ Johnston also designed the surrounding garden. In 1913, Leonard Springer planted native as well as exotic trees, some of which are still there. Finally, the internationally renowned Dutch landscape architect Piet Oudolf created the gardens that surround the modern museum building.
Experience art at Voorlinden
The gleaming white museum building at Voorlinden houses an extensive and unusual art collection acquired over the last 50 years. In addition to rotating presentations from its own collection, the museum puts on temporary exhibitions. The museum’s highlights, showcased in a permanent exhibition, focus on experience of the viewer and can often be entered or otherwise be engaged with. Artworks include ‘Open Ended’, a sculpture by the American artist Richard Serra, which is four meters high, 18 meters long, seven meters wide, and weighs almost 216 tons; ‘Swimming Pool’ by Leandro Erlich; and the hyperrealistic, larger-than-life ’Couple under an Umbrella’ by Ron Mueck.