Margot Berkman | Portfolio Categories Public Area
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The song of the Nightingales © Berkman en Janssens 2005

Measurements: 625 m2


Do you hear the nightingales singing? 


The paddling pool in Park de Watertoren in the district of Zuilen in Utrecht has been prepared for the summer. The pumps are cleaned and the paint is inspected. The artwork ‘The Song of the Nightingales’, a floor painting, painted by artist duo Berkman and Janssens requires little maintenance. 





Hortus Conclusus © Berkman en Janssens 2006 Bleiswijk bicycle tunnels

Nature transformed into fairy-tale landscape ‘Hortus Conclusus’  
The artwork ‘Hortus Conclusus’ of Berkman en Janssens consists of four groups of white sculptures that are positioned in a gently sloping landscape. Access to this enchanting world is prevented in a playful but also robust way by the placement of two monumental corten-steel fences, each 38 meters long and 1.70 meters high.


Animal figures can also be seen as decoration of the fence; the birds and the surrounding flowers from the Rottemeren area are cut from 20 millimeters thick steel. Through these cut out parts of the fence the visitor can see the white animals such as the unicorn, the lion, the dog and the lamb. You can find the ‘Hortus Conclusus’ by using the bicycle and pedestrian tunnel, which was built along the banks of the Rotte.


The tunnels (110 m x 3,5 m) announce the central area from afar. Thousands of small birds, such as the little bitterns, nightingales and golden orioles , in the warm colors orange and yellow, accompany the passerby to the central area where the story of ‘The Lady and the Unicorn’ is told.


The fairytale artwork is located in the landscape on the banks of the Rotte below the A12 near Bleiswijk. Commissioned by Prorail and GZH (Groenservice Zuid-Holland) and in collaboration with Grontmij and Heijmans BV. The work of art ‘Hortus Conclusus’ decorates in a playful way two bicycle and pedestrian tunnels and the public area in between. The tunnels connect the north and south of the recreational area De Rottemeren.






Cave Canem 2010

In the countries around the Mediterranean Sea you often see  decorated iron fences in front of the windows as burglary prevention.


Inspired by that application, Ron and Brigit Schreuders commissioned to make a window fence to embellish their front door in 2010. It was clear that their dog ‘Angel’ is the ‘guardian angel’, the protector and guardian of their home in Zandvoort. You can see Angel’s profile and the initials of the clients in the decorative fence.


In Rome and Pompeii you can see beautiful floor mosaics, which alert visitors to the dog’s vigilance: Cave Canem.



De Moor, de Dame en haar Hondje © Berkman en Janssens 2005 Amsterdam

Measurements: 40 m x 4 m


The Golden Age in Amsterdam

The artist duo Berkman and Janssens were commissioned to decorate the entrance of the ProRail building on the Ruyterkade in Amsterdam to make it recognizable. ‘We have researched the history of this place, the function of the former river IJ and the art treasures that came ashore in 16th and 17th century. Objects of silver, gold and ceramics from all over the world to Amsterdam. Forms of great decorative beauty. That was the starting point for the design,’ said Berkman. ‘De Moor, de Dame en haar Hondje (The Moor, the Lady and her Dog)’ is lit from the floor at night. In addition to an increase in the sense of social security, this also creates a fairytale appearance.


Artworks by Margot Berkman are often located at places where people go through, pass and continue. The artworks create space, ‘as if you were looking through a peephole and coming up with your own story, the idea of a different world, a fairytale world.’

Loveletter ©Berkman en Janssens Delft 2008 IKEA hotel

Three art commissions from IKEA for the Concept Center.


The source of inspiration for this fireplace are old tiled stoves from Sweden, the  delft blue tulip vases and  ‘De Liefdesbrief’ from Berkman en Janssens at the Delft A13 exit.


The painting ‘The Love letter‘ by Johannes Vermeer and the tapestry series La dame et la Licorne were the inspiration for the artwork ‘de Liefdesbrief’ near the A13 at the Delft exit. The perspective in Vermeer’s paintings and the warm color red, which stands for love, can be found in the red-white pillars under the viaduct. The animals are inspired by 17th-century Delft blue animal tiles and the six-part tapestry series La Dame et la Licorne (Musée de Cluny, Paris), where a woman surrounded by animals is depicted in an enclosed garden (paradise).


The artwork was unveiled on 20 September 2007 by Lian Merkx, alderman of the city of Delft, Anders Westney, CEO of IKEA, and Folkert Post, chief engineer-director Rijkswaterstaat Zuid-Holland.


For the exhibition at Museum Lambert van Meerten, Museum Prinsenhof and the realization of the artwork for IKEA Delft, miniatures are produced in a small edition.



The Kings’ Fence around the Kings Tree 2011-2019

Secret assignment for the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander in 2013


In honor of this, a King’s Tree was planted in each of the 408 Dutch communities. This was an initiative of the foundation:‘Nationale Boomfeestdag’ and the ‘Oranjebond’. Margot Berkman was given the secret assignment to design and realize a finely decorated fence for the Royal Family in 2011.

King Willem-Alexander planted on April 23, 2013 in the presence of mayor J.J. van Aartsen the first Royal tree in the Transvaal district park in The Hague. He was assisted by a number of children from group 6 of the Comenius school in that district.


For information:

Fucus Vesiculosus Bar 2011

Measurements: 6,3 m x 1,5 m


On 11 March 2011, the nuclear disaster in Fukushima took place. All life in the nearby sea died.


When I walk along the North Sea beach I often find ‘Fucus Vesiculosus’ (bladderwrack). Because of the bladders, the algae keeps upright when it is under water. Breathtaking shapes in all sorts of sizes. The symbolic meaning, shape and transparency is a source of inspiration for cut out and painted studies.


The corten steel is rusted, colored from deep brown to bright orange with shapes of bladderwrack and air bubbles that are laser cut out of the steel. In the evening, the algae and the air bubbles light up through the LED lighting behind. On the wall you can see the algae.


De Liefdesbrief © Berkman en Janssens 2007 Delft

The city entrance of Delft near A13 and IKEA has acquired a poetic identity with this artwork of Berkman en Janssens.



In the public space an assembly of different elements can be seen with an area of ​​5000 m2. The artwork consists of 10 shiny white steel sculptures (h = 2,5m), black and white checkered natural stone embankments and 24 decorated pillars and lighting. Artists duo Berkman and Janssens designed and realized more than 30 artworks for public area from 1996-2010.


Sources of inspiration: the paintings by Johannes Vermeer, ‘the Love Letter’ from the Rijksmuseum, historic Delft blue tiles and the ‘la Dame a la Licorne’ carpet series from Museé de Cluny in Paris. The warm color red, which symbolizes love and the suggestive perspective from Vermeer’s work can be found in the painted pillars under the highway. The white sculptures are inspired by the animals on the carpet series ‘La Dame a la Licorne’ and 17th-century Delft blue tiles.


The artwork was unveiled on 20 September 2007 by Lian Merkx,  Anders Westney (director IKEA), and Folkert Post (chief engineer-director Rijkswaterstaat Zuid-Holland)