Time Warp

The park at the W.G. Witteveenplein is a design by Projectburo Kop van Zuid, based on an idealised image of how the square will look in twenty years: a city park bursting with trees. The design proposed by Driessens/Verstappen/Holleman is based on a leap in time: planting a sixty-year-old tree in between the young plantings gives us a glimps of the future by actualising part of the idealised image now. In the beginning, the sweet gum tree is towering above the younger trees on the square but as the surrounding trees mature over the years, it will gradually relinquish its prominent position, ultimately being subsumed by its environment. The films will make this unhurried process of growth visible.

Time Warp calls for three additions to the square:
- a mature sweet gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua)
- street signs referring to this site: www.witteveenplein.com
- steel markers indicating the camera positions for the five films-in-progress.

On November 20 in 2003, a sixty-year-old sweet gum tree coming from De Limieten nursery in Huizen, has been planted at the center of the square. Since Time Warp was completed on November 28 in 2003, the Liquidambar tree is officially supervised by Werf Feijenoord, a subdivision of the Rotterdam public works department and responsible for the cities open space planning. Although it was taken into account that the tree would need several years to regain its full strength, the adaptation was more difficult than expected. Ultimately the two heat waves in the summer of 2006 proved fatal to him. In such a case Werf Fijenoord has a duty to replant. The tree has been cut down at March 12 in 2007 and it has been replaced one day after by a younger Liquidambar of about the same heigth, coming from Van Den Berk nursery in Sint Oedenrode. Through this occurrence it turned out that the Liquidambar is no longer a stable reference point, but itself became part of the process of transfromation that is taken place on the square.

the square on completion in 2003

idealised image of the square in 2023