Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape
and Studio Frank Havermans

| 8 comments
 

A flightless spaceship is slowly creeping around a former Cold War airbase near Utrecht (+ slideshow + movie).

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans is an art installation and mobile research space located at a former Royal Netherlands Air Force military base in Soesterberg, 14 kilometres north east of Utrecht.

The project comprises a 4.5 metre-tall black vehicle with two large wing-shaped legs that exit a diamond-shaped cockpit and have caterpillar tracks on the feet. "The object revives the mysterious atmosphere of the Cold War and its accompanying terrifying weaponry," said the designers.

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans

There is seating for ten people to work inside the object, which will be used by visiting researchers. "The unconventional combination of nature and Cold War history offers an exciting environment for the development of knowledge about nature, technology and aviation," said Ronald Rietveld.

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans
Interior workspace

The vehicle is housed in a former F15 plane hanger and when in use travels along the disused airstrip. "The lethargic pace of the caterpillar wheels gives viewers a long period of contemplation of the elevated vessel and its historical context at the military airbase," the designers said.

"Due to this brutal object's constantly changing position in the serene landscape, it allows the visitor to experience the area and the history of the military airbase in new ways."

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans

The elevated vehicle was designed to resemble military aircraft but remains flightless. It is 4.5 metres tall, 11 metres wide and eight metres long.

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans

A third leg extends over the back end of the capsule to provide stability and has a wheel on the foot for maneuverability.

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans

The machine is constructed from steel and wood that is sprayed with liquid black rubber. The interior is lined with painted wood.

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans

"It is a functional piece of work that serves as a research station," said the designers. One of the first groups to use the workspace is aerospace engineering researchers CleanEra from Delft University of Technology, who are researching environmentally-sound aviation.

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans

The Secret Operation project was originally created for arts festival Vrede van Utrecht 2013.

Here's a movie of the vehicle in action:

Rietveld Landscape is a design and research office based in Amsterdam. Its other projects include an arched foam screen with hundreds of building-shaped holes inside a disused chapel in Utrecht and an installation featuring rows of flaming torches inside an abandoned building. See more coverage of Rietveld Landscape »

Previous work by Frank Havermans includes a bright red tower resembling the head and neck of a monster and a sunken concrete pavilion built by a stream in the Netherlands.

See more transport design »

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans

Images are by Michiel de Cleene and René de Wit, courtesy of Rietveld Landscape.

Here's a full project description:


Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans

When aircraft Shelter 610 opens its ruthless doors, a monstrous black behemoth slowly comes driving out. The object revives the mysterious atmosphere of the Cold War and its accompanying terrifying weaponry.

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans
Diagram

At an almost excruciatingly slow pace, the artwork uses its caterpillar tracks to cross the seemingly infinite runway. Due to this brutal object's constantly changing position in the serene landscape, it allows the visitor to experience the area and the history of the military airbase in new ways.

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans
Click for larger image

At the same time, the artwork functions as a working environment for researchers. Their temporary stay creates opportunities for innovative research programs that otherwise would be impossible.

The general aesthetic of the sculptural object resembles something from a science fiction movie. However, it is a functional work that serves as a research station. One of the groups occupying the space is CleanEra: technical university (TU) delft aerospace engineering students who are developing the 'no noise, no carbon, just fly' technologies for the future of flight.

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans
Front section - click for larger image

For example, inside the object, students of the Technical University Delft will develop a program for the innovative flying of the 21st century: "no noise, no carbon, just fly". The old runway is the perfect test site for state of the art aviation experiments.

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans
Interior layout - click for larger image

The mobile sculpture and shelter 610 are perfect spaces for research, experiment and innovation for groups coming from various disciplines. The unconventional combination of nature and Cold War history offers an exciting environment for the development of knowledge about nature, technology and aviation.

Secret Operation 610 by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans
Interior - click for larger image

Design team: Frank Havermans, Ronald Rietveld, Arna Mackic
Production leader: Koos Schaart productions
Location: Former Flight Base Soesterberg, The Netherlands
Client: CBK Utrecht, Vrede van Utrecht
Coordination: Ella Derksen

  • James

    Looks like a space invader.

  • Brennan Murray

    It looks cool, but my real question is why? I want to classify it by it’s function. But what is its function? Is it art or a “research station”/room to discuss and think about aircraft design? If it’s art, then I have no qualm with it, art by nature is subjective. But a room or anything else for that matter seems like a waste of time and or resources.

    I’m sure there are better work-spaces present on that military base or anywhere. Just my humble two cents?

  • pad

    Put a 60k watt sound system in it and bring it to the Playa.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    Somebody saw Tron as a kid ;)

  • student

    This project just has nothing to do with anything. It achieves none of the goals it sets for itself, but it seems like it doesn’t even try to achieve them. I’m just baffled.

  • amsam

    I’m with Brennan M – so long as it’s an art piece, it’s totally fabulous. When they start saying it’s a “research station”, that’s when they start to sound dumb.

    (For whom to research what, pray tell? Before you know the answer to those questions, it’s not a research station.) But as a site-specific art installation, IMHO it’s delightful.

  • that guy….

    Purely conceptual. But just looking at it allows the mind to think differently, don’t objectify or fight its purpose weather it has one or none. Its form is simple and almost engineer-like and has an element of industrialist.

  • zee

    I need someone to fund my whims and fancies.