Architecture

Secret Operation 610 – scary mobile art that doubles as a laboratory

Secret Operation 610 – scary m...
Secret Operation 610 is meant to invoke the atmosphere of the Cold War (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Secret Operation 610 is meant to invoke the atmosphere of the Cold War (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 is housed in a reused hangar (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 is housed in a reused hangar (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Secret Operation 610 is meant to invoke the atmosphere of the Cold War (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 is meant to invoke the atmosphere of the Cold War (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Interior of Secret Operation 610 (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Interior of Secret Operation 610 (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Secret Operation 610 on the runway (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 on the runway (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Secret Operation 610 rolling past hangars and bunkers (Image: Rietveld Landscapee, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 rolling past hangars and bunkers (Image: Rietveld Landscapee, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Secret Operation 610 changes its position in the landscape (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 changes its position in the landscape (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Secret Operation 610 in its hangar (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 in its hangar (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
There is a 4 km (2.4 mi) runway on the site (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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There is a 4 km (2.4 mi) runway on the site (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
The team behind Secret Operation 610 (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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The team behind Secret Operation 610 (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Secret Operation 610 with interior lit (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 with interior lit (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Secret Operation 610 with interior dark (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 with interior dark (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
The site is a former NATO interceptor base (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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The site is a former NATO interceptor base (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Secret Operation 610 is the result of 18 years' work (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 is the result of 18 years' work (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Secret Operation 610 is described as a mobile sculpture (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 is described as a mobile sculpture (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Secret Operation 610 is also used as a classroom and laboratory (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 is also used as a classroom and laboratory (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
Secret Operation 610 emerging from its hangar (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)
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Secret Operation 610 emerging from its hangar (Image: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, Michiel de Cleene)

Rolling out of a hangar on the former Soesterberg Air Base in Utrecht, The Netherlands, is a black, angular shape that looks like a stealth hermit crab crossed with an airport waiting lounge. This combination of mobile sculpture and laboratory, called Secret Operation 610, was unveiled on September 13 as part of the Festival de Basis. It was built in collaboration by Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans, and Koos Schaart over an 18-year period.

The home of Secret Operation 610 is a former NATO base. Where the air once split to the roar of US Air Force interceptors, there is now only silence as most of the 380-acre site is allowed to go back to nature. But part of it is being redeveloped as the site of the new Nationaal Militair Museum, set to open next year.

Housed in a hangar once reserved for Phantoms and F-15s, Secret Operation 610 is self-propelled on caterpillar treads. It’s meant to invoke the atmosphere of fear and tension of the Cold War as it rolls around on the 4 km (2.4 mi) runway to provide visitors with different views of it in the landscape. Inside there’s seating for 12 people.

The building, or vehicle, or mobile sculpture, or death machine or whatever it is, along with its hangar, are currently used as classrooms by students from the Delft University of Technology for developing flight technology that is silent and carbon-free.

Sources: Rietveld Landscape, Studio Frank Havermans via Gizmodo

3 comments
Rt1583
Like most art, I guess you've got to be half off your rocker to really get it.
Louis Erasmus
Thanks for that opening line! You caused a really scary apparition to brighten up my day :-)
MG127
looks like one of those "planes" in bad sci-fi b-movies that have 2 seconds screentime before they explode.