Drop shadow


Parklaan was commissioned by the Province of Utrecht to develop a vision of means of enabling people to experience the anti-tank trench around Utrecht. The anti-tank trench is part of the New Dutch Water Defence Line, and was dug during the Second World War to reinforce the line. The plan comprises various recommendations, including that of rendering the tank blockades visible once more. We received a follow-up commission to further elaborate the design of the blockades.

tankversperring biltseweg
A tank blockade was installed wherever a road crossed the anti-tank trench. It consisted of a block of concrete into which steel pegs were inserted. While these blockades were removed after WW II, the concrete block was usually left behind and was covered over by a thick layer of asphalt.

We would not want to reconstruct all of the blockades, even if it were possible. We therefore sought to devise some means of referring to the location and the effects of the blockade.

tankversperring-009.jpg tankversperring-007.gif

The pattern of the holes in which the pegs were inserted was therefore marked out on a concrete slab, which was laid on the raised road. We also picked out the drop shadow of the steel pegs, making it visible on the road surface. We chose the moment that the war began, on the morning of 10 May, to do so. The drop shadow naturally alters according to the blockade’s position in relation to the sun. A code was also applied, which provides further information about the element. ‘WW II and blockade‘ are self-explanatory. However, a unique number indicates both the type blockade in question and the number of steel pegs it contained. T2.110 is a Type 2 blockade containing 110 spears.