National Park + Heritage

Cultural-Historical Vision The Hoge Veluwe National Park

The Hoge Veluwe National Park is particularly known as the manager of over a five thousand acre nature area. However, there is a growing interest for the heritage managed by the Foundation. Together with the Hoge Veluwe National Park, we developed a vision for this heritage.



The Hoge Veluwe National Park was established 75 years ago in order to retain the legacy and ideas of the Kröller Müller couple. The most important goal is to retain the autonomy of the park and to possibly reinforce the combination of nature, art and architecture and allowing visitors to enjoy this. But from what vision does this take place?


In 2007 an analysis on cultural-historical values in the park was presented. In subsequent years we worked on the development and description of a cultural-historical vision in order to deal with these values responsibly. The vision abandons the object-oriented approach and is based on an area-specific approach promoting a coherent image of cultural-historical landscape development and the elements which are part of this.


The Hoge Veluwe is remarkable because of the connection between the ancient cultural landscape of the Veluwe and the well preserved estate of the Krøller-Müller couple which unites nature, art and architecture. The vision provides an assessment framework for policy making and future developments, such as future building plans. To this end, a separate architectural vision was developed. The park has developed an implementation programme based on the Cultural-historical vision. Simultaneously, a number of important restoration projects started, such as the restoration of historical lanes and the restoration of the garden and park of St. Hubertus Hunting Lodge.


The Master plan 2010-2025 describes the spatial policy of The Hoge Veluwe NP. The plan is an assessment framework and provides guidance for concrete policy and investment decisions but, however, leaves room for flexibility with regard to the implementation of these decisions. The plan is based on three pillars: nature, recreation and cultural history. The fact that cultural history is taken into consideration in spatial and financial decisions for the 5.000 acre park, is new and innovative.


H+N+S developed the Cultural-historical vision in collaboration with a special project team, based on a cultural-historical analysis which was completed earlier. The vision is based on the valuation of the various cultural-historic landscapes, objects, layers of time and themes. The vision has been intelligently integrated in relation to the other pillars and is future- oriented: there’s a focus on a good balance between conservation and development.

The starting point for the policy is the right balance between ecology and economy. The heritage and ancient landscapes of the Veluwe with their characteristic plant and animal species, are sustainably preserved. Furthermore, in order to remain financially independent, the park needs to be developed to attract visitors. Policy is shaped by three pillars: nature, cultural history and visitors. The Cultural-historical vision formulates the second policy pillar.


The size and complexity of the park call for an area-specific approach. Subareas have been distinguished from the landscape base layer, the cultural-historic landscape types and time layers that form the planning units for further development. The characterised subareas are an essential tool to carefully consider the cultural-historical aspect, including the addition of a contemporary separate layer on top of the range of historical time layers.


During the valuation, there’s a focus on the historical layers of the Park and there’s an important role for the Krøller Müller period. The couple plays a decisive role in the history of the park. Their estate includes a varied landscape of, on the one hand, predominantly private estates in the northeast and south, and, on the other hand, very open moorlands and drift sand landscapes in the central part. This dichotomy has been largely maintained and is a useful starting point for future development, both from a cultural-historical and an ecological perspective.


Based on the valuation, recommendations were made in the Cultural-historical vision on what values need to be maintained, reinforced, restored or developed and how these can be used for the experience of heritage and heritage education. Some recommendations apply to the entire park, others are specifically formulated for a subarea. The vision also includes an architectural vision. The architecture of future construction plans should be coherent and of outstanding quality.