top of page


2014 - 2016 Gelderland .NL

On assignment for ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles] & Waterboard Vallei en Veluwe

A preview of aerial video shots realized by Denis is available on both Vimeo and Youtube. Initially shot in 4k, here compressed and resized to HD.

In a time of climate change, the government is investing in flood prevention, Hoogwatergeul Veessen-Wapenveld (high water channel) is the biggest intervention of the national Dutch program 'Room for the river'. What once was called 'the struggle against water' moved into a concept of coexistence, so also for this project, instead of stopping the water, the water is being let in. If the water level in the river IJssel rises to a critical level, the Hoogwatergeul will be opened up. The channel functions as a by-pass for the river to lower the water level and minimize the risk of flooding in the nearby city of Zwolle.

The Hoogwatergeul has a length of 8 km and is flanked by two long embankments. To the north and south, two long bridges form the respective inlet and outlet for the water. The bridges both have a length of 800 meters. The southern bridge, the inlet, has an integrated hydraulic engineering work composed of 60 lock gates, a mechanism similar to the Delta Works in the southern province of Zeeland.

An interdisciplinary team of architects, landscape architects and engineers worked together to create an integrated design for each individual item of Hoogwatergeul. The design emphasizes spaciousness, transparency and the quietness of the landscape. The bridges are designed as solid, secure waterworks that are carefully integrated into the landscape. Besides the two civil works, the Hoogwatergeul consists of 11 smaller bridges and one pumping station, all parts of the Hoogwatergeul have a similar character.

Denis worked from the air and ground according to a list of points of interest for this assignment. Due to the massive length of the area, aerial photography was executed from the plane and with the drone for smaller subjects and lower perspectives. Landscape photography was also captured on large format negatives.

The book dedicated to the Hoogwatergeul Veessen-Wapenveld offers insights into the social and geographical context and the innovative approach of this landscape intervention.

For this project, Denis worked in collaboration with Waterboard Vallei en Veluwe, ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles] and Veenenbos en Bosch – Landscape Architects, documenting the complexity of the project for a period of two years.

Published by BlauwDruk Publishers





In the Netherlands, Room for the River (Dutch: Ruimte voor de Rivier) is a government design plan intended to address flood protection, master landscaping and the improvement of environmental conditions in the areas surrounding the Netherlands' rivers. The project was active from 2006–2015.


The Room for the River project site encompasses four rivers: the Rhine, the Meuse, the Waal, and the IJssel. The project area is in the Netherlands, but morphological impacts extend upstream into Germany, portions of France and Belgium, and may reach to the Rhine headwaters in Switzerland over time.


The design presents an integrated spatial plan with the main objectives of flood protection, master landscaping and the improvement of overall environmental conditions. Completion of a basic package of forty projects is foreseen for 2015, with a budget of €2.2 billion.