Sitting on a hilltop in the suburbs of Rotterdam, this modern day sculptural Belvedere tricks visitors into thinking they can unceasingly walk around it. Located in Carnisselande, a suburb of Rotterdam, the pre-weathered Corten steel staircase, designed by Amsterdam based studio NEXT Architects, presents an unique point-of-view over the city’s skyline. Although endless in appearance, the structure is based on the form of a Mobius Strip which means that the surface of the pathway loops around underneath, making it impossible to walk continuously around the entire periphery. The Elastic Perspective was commissioned as part of a local art initiative and, although located in an industrial precinct, this winding installation provides a highest point where is possible to contemplate Rotterdam’s skyline thus revealing its poetic lightness.
Brief description by the architects: The design consists of a circular stair which leads the visitor up to a height that allows an unhindered view of the horizon. The path makes a continuous movement and thereby draws on the context of the heavy infrastructural surroundings of ring road and tram track. While a tram stop presents the end or the start of a journey, the route of the stairway is endless. The continuity and endlessness have a double meaning, however. Because the stair is based on the principal of the Moebius ring, is has only one surface and can only exist as a three-dimensional object. Upside becomes underside becomes upside. The suggestion of a continuous route is therefore, in the end, an impossibility: Far away, so close. Because of its structure the shape of the object is hard to perceive; every perspective generates a new image with which the design is not only a contextual but also a very literal answer to the given context of the local art plan: an Elastic Perspective. Location: Carnisselande Client: Municipality Barendrecht Team: Marijn Schenk, Bart Reuser, Michel Schreinemachers with Joost Lemmens, Marieke Spits, Anne Ricard, Agata Piet Material: steel Construction: ABT adviesbureau voor Bouwtechniek Completion: june 2013