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Mannes is my name! Welcome to Assen, the Netherlands! The public sculpture that this site is dedicated to by its makers is a huge loyal wooden dog awaiting and greeting passersby in front of the newly constructed Assen railway station. From 4 October 2018 this impressive appearance will pay attention to all those who care to come to meet him — by day or night, whether visitor or inhabitant, whether in a hurry or taking ones time, you’ll find Mannes awaiting you and enjoying your presence.

The Assen municipality commissioned this work after the careful selection of four shortlisted designs out of 66 international applications. After some political skirmishes, which attracted the obvious media attention and some premature popular opinion forming, the team consisting of visual artist Q.S. Serafijn and NIO architects could start the project’s realization.

Mannes staat klaar om te verhuizen

Mannes at the wood shop

Mannes was conceived, designed and planned straight from a 3D software model. CNC (‘computer numerical control’) wood milling cut and polished the pieces of the puzzle that was to become Mannes... who also needed careful coloring and coating at a specialized shipyard.

Mannes puzzle

Some parts of Mannes the Puzzle

Inside Mannes an audio capturing system that is especially sensitive to young children’s voices prompts fine water spraying from embedded nozzles in the thick wooden skin. 360 LED lights inserted in the surrounding pavement react to pedestrian presence. The lights form another nebulous presence around Mannes and branch off in the direction of the city center, softly dimming and lighting up under one’s step.


This site is all about the giant wooden welcoming dog public artwork at the Assen railway station plaza. Assen has 67,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the province of Drenthe in the northern part of The Netherlands. For its newly constructed railway station the city commissioned a public artwork with interactive properties and a landmark quality.

The selection by a broadly composed committee of art and engineering experts honored the proposal by a team consisting of artist Q.S. Serafijn and NIO Architects, both based in Rotterdam. Their project’s protagonist bore a name soon to be on everybody’s lips: Mannes, the giant dog.

For more information on the project you can contact Mr. Jouke Kleerebezem at Het Reputatieatelier,

mannes contour