Cycling route Reconstruction Art Escamp

Start: Theatre & Filmhuis Dakota, Zuidlarenstraat 57, The Hague
End point: Marinipark
Time: approx. 2 hours

Not many people will immediately think of art when they think of the Escamp district. Yet there are more than a hundred sculptures in this vast area. The fact that there is so much art here has to do with the time in which this district was built. Due to the housing shortage after World War II, The Hague expanded rapidly and new neighbourhoods were created (e.g. Moerwijk, Bouwlust). The so-called percentage regulation applied to the reconstruction. This meant that 1% of the construction costs were intended to enrich this district with beautiful art. Hence all those statues between the flats and those reliefs and mosaics on houses, schools and churches. This public art tells us a lot about the compartmentalised Netherlands of the time.

What is special is that the newer art in this part of the city also often has a strong link with the architecture. Just like the reconstruction art of the past. Just think of the colourful ceramic reliefs in Wateringse Veld; the Vinex district that was added later. Haven't noticed all that art yet? Then it is time for an exploration of old and new art in Escamp.

How does it work?
The whole route is marked on the map, the starting and finishing points are marked as well as the works of art. You can join at any location and at any time. The route goes clockwise. There is a short explanation of each sculpture. Would you like to know more about an artwork? Then click on Read more.
The bicycle tour takes you past seventeen works of art, but there are many more sculptures to be seen in Escamp. Curious? Look them up on

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Jeroen Voskuyl, Zonder titel , 1957

It was a masterstroke by architect Sjoerd Schamhart to enrich the end of his school building with a relief. Artist Jeroen Voskuyl gives the representation dynamism with all those slanting lines and ladders. The work refers to reconstruction and the importance of education. If you look closely, you can also see that the artist has 'secretly' concealed ventilation grilles in some of the black areas of his drawing.

Jan Snoeck, Z.T. (Buizenplastiek) , 1957

On the left, in front of the school building, a rocket seems to be drilling its nose into the ground. Artist Jan Snoeck was commissioned by architect Sjoerd Schamhart to create a work of art for the ventilation grid of the basement. This inspired Snoeck to get to work with different-sized pipes. At the same time the Russians launched their first satellite (Sputnik) into space. Enough associations. Hence the nickname 'Snoecknik' for the work of art.

Rudi Rooijackers, Betonsculptuur , 1967

Another work of art for this school building. However, this concrete sculpture was originally made for the MTS in the Leyweg. There, it looked as if a group of large birds had descended upon the courtyard. The MTS had to make way for the new district council offices and in 2011 Rooijackers' angular concrete sculpture was given a second life here. If you look through the hairs of your eyes from a distance, you can see the birds sitting there.

Drive out of the street towards the Leyweg. Turn right and cycle
and walk through to the shopping centre square. Left
stands an oval church building.

Jacques van Rhijn, Keramieken reliëfs , 1958

In the post-war, compartmentalised Netherlands, there were separate schools, churches, sports clubs and newspapers for Protestants, Catholics, publicans, socialists, etc. Everyone stayed within their own group. Everyone stayed within their own group. Sculptor Jacques van Rhijn received his commissions from Catholic circles. For this special church building he made reliefs in fired clay (terra cotta): Christ in the centre and around him eight biblical scenes. More reliefs by this artist can be seen further along the route.

Follow the road on the right next to the church. Take the first right, then the first left.

Christa van Santen, Blokkendoos , 1965

When this school was built, Christa van Santen was commissioned to embellish the end wall. She wanted to make something that would appeal to children. In these abstract shapes in red, yellow, blue and white, children immediately recognise a block box. The relief is even more appealing when the sun shines on it.

Follow the Dalerveenstraat and turn right on the Loevesteinlaan. Cross over at the Pharos building.

Toby Paterson, Resetting , 2013

At the same time as his commission for the church on the Leyweg, Jacques van Rhijn received a commission from the Catholic housing association 'Verbetering zij ons streven' for works of art in two flats in the neighbourhood. Reliefs of people, nature and houses were the result. When one of the flats was demolished, the British artist Toby Paterson had this relief made.
Sawing out. Including wall and sockets. As a kind of tribute, he placed a completely new composition opposite the original spot. The other relief can still be found on the corner with the Hengelolaan.

At the crossroads, turn left onto Melis Stokelaan, right onto Aagje Dekenlaan and then first right.

Leen Blom, Marian Gobius, Reliëfs , 1951

Four reliefs hang to the right of the entrance to Roemer Visscher College. Further on, there are four more. You see children playing in an old-fashioned way with kites, dolls and balls. The way they are designed, you can see they are not of our time. It was one of the first art projects for schools in post-war The Hague. The building has been renovated. The reliefs with playing children remained.

Go back to the Aagje Dekenlaan.

Kees Timmer, De hulpvaardige , 1959

This sturdy white sculpture in the central reservation was made by sculptor Kees Timmer for the HBS (secondary school) on Guntersteinweg. It stood at the top of the stairs near the entrance. As if a father was carrying his child to the door. Typical reconstruction art. It shows how to behave as a good citizen: you go to school and you are helpful. Timmer depicted this in a very simple way. When the school was demolished, it was given a new place.

Turn right at the end of the street. Follow the Erasmusweg, turn left at the Leyweg towards Wateringse Veld. After the roundabout with the Noordpolderweg take the first left. Continue until you reach the bridge on the left.

Wietske van Leeuwen, De Paprikabrug , 2011

That looks delicious! Juicy tomatoes, giant leeks and bright red peppers decorate both sides of this bridge to Ellertsveldlaan. Normally, ceramicist Wietske van Leeuwen makes stacks of shells, plants and animals. The commission for this bridge wall gave her the opportunity to go all out. With all those tasty things, she refers to the horticulture in the Westland before the construction of the new Vinex district.

Cycle back to Zevenwoudenlaan via Oldambtlaan and Hunsingosingel (twice first right). Continue to the pond on the left.

Hans van Bentem, FruitFaceFountain , 2012

With a bit of luck, this exuberant head will spray. But even without water jets, it is attractive to see what vegetables and fruits this enormous head is made of. The longer you look, the more you see.
discovered. Artist Hans van Bentem hereby gives a nod to the 16th-century Italian painter Arcimboldo, who constructed his portraits from vegetables, fruit, animals and objects. Isn't that witty?

Drive down Zevenwoudenlaan, turn right at the T-junction onto Santiagosingel. Turn right at the Laan van Wateringseveld.

Q.S Serafijn, John Wayne , 2010

An equestrian statue in a Vinex district? When Q.S. Serafijn was commissioned to make a work of art for Wateringse Veld, he first wrote a story. All residents received a copy of that novella. In the heart of the neighbourhood, he also placed a statue of the main character: John Wayne. Bucket, tomato and flowers refer to events in the
story. Thus, he gave the residents of the new neighbourhood a shared history.

Drive down Laan van Wateringseveld in the direction of Escamp, on the Dedemsvaartweg take the first right, then the first left (Leggelostraat). Continue to the corner of Melis Stokelaan.

Gerard van Remmen, Reliëf met dieren , 1955

No fewer than six different animal figures can be seen on the end wall of the last flat: a bear, woodpecker, swallow with young, turtle, snail and stork. Sculptor Gerard van Remmen chose nest-building animals. As a reference to living in the surrounding flats. The reliefs of gravel concrete are firmly anchored to the inner wall, the outer wall is bricked up around them. That is called nail-proof art.

Cross over and cycle left to the corner Melis Stokelaan/Dedemsvaartweg.

Lotti van der Gaag, Ornitopus , 1966

That is quite a whimsical shape you see there between the Dedemsvaartweg and the three high flats of the Drentheplantsoen. With a little good will, you can see a bird's foot in it. Ornitopus appears to be the Greek word for it.
Lotti van der Gaag's work often featured strange creatures and curious plants. Fellow sculptor Rudi Rooijackers specially made this plinth. Almost as whimsical as the sculpture itself.

Henri Jacobs, Palimpsest , 2018

Look across the street. Five brick façades in a row here each have their own pattern. Stripes, dots and crosses alternate. It looks as if artist Henri Jacobs has made a drawing, erased it and started again (Palimpsest). The 'lace' balconies in between were designed by Demakersvan. With this art commission, housing association Haag Wonen is putting
reconstruction art in a contemporary way

Continue along Melis Stokelaan and turn right at the end into Lozerlaan. On the other side is a high-rise building.

Dieter Ludwig, Abstracte tekens , Ca.1978

Four ordinary apartment blocks were built in 1971 on Lozerlaan, the wide connecting road that marks the post-war expansion of The Hague. It is the abstract signs on the end walls that give the towers their iconic character.
give. You can see them from afar: the square, the triangle, the circle and the star shape in red, blue and white. No wonder that the murals were always retained when the facade was renovated.

Follow the road and turn right at the second high-rise into Hengelolaan. Drive on to the De Stede shopping centre. Cross over at the zebra crossing.

Kees de Kruijff, Groep van zeven paarden , 1975

Here, on the corner of the shopping centre, is a beautiful group of small horses. Heads up, ears pointed: all seven stand proud and alert. There is no question of abstract forms or wild expression. Sculptor
Kees de Kruijff has depicted the animals true to nature. What a difference from that mysterious horseman on horseback in Wateringse Veld and
how completely different from the last image of this route.

Return briefly, first left, then right to the Marinipark end point.

Marino Marini, Paard en ruiter , 1959

This equestrian statue is really something else. Here, the rider almost falls off his horse. The Hague was proud to acquire this work by the world-famous Italian sculptor Marino Marini. Marini renewed the tradition of the equestrian statue. At first, this was a little too modern for some local residents. But a few years later, the mood had completely changed and the statue was not allowed to leave. The park was even named after it.