From inside to outside
For years Hammacher has felt an affinity for sculptures in a natural environment. Now that the extension of the museum is complete, he wants to realize a sculpture garden, following the example of Battersea Park in London, Middelheim in Antwerp and Sonsbeek in Arnhem. He envisages a garden with enough space for 50 to 100 works. The sculpture gallery would then ‘continue into the open air and form the transition between an indoor and an outdoor museum’ as it were. Architect Henry van de Velde and the trustees of the Kröller-Müller Foundation support the plan.
After examining several locations, a piece of land measuring three and a half hectares on the east side of the museum is eventually chosen. This site is bordered by the Pampel farm on one side and the Franse Berg on the other and can be well secured due to the proximity of the museum. The land is owned by the Hoge Veluwe National Park Foundation, which would therefore have to provide it to the museum on perpetual lease. The negotiations, however, are difficult.
Nevertheless, the landscape architect Jan Bijhouwer is commissioned to investigate the possibilities of the site. Bijhouwer, professor at the Agricultural College in Wageningen since 1946, always explicitly responds to the characteristics of the specific landscape in his designs. According to him, there is no location more suitable for placing outdoor sculptures than the Hoge Veluwe.