ROTTERDAM – NEXT Architects has always been committed to addressing concerns at the edge of the contemporary discipline of architecture. Based in Amsterdam – with a subsidiary Chinese studio in Beijing – the innovative practice led by Bart Reuser, Marijn Schenk, Michel Schreinemachers and John van de Water looks beyond the traditional boundaries of design, engaging in an array of exploratory activities through which interactions and exchanges of information are thoroughly emphasised.
Among its highly-diverse portfolio of completed projects, The Elastic Perspective is unquestionably ambiguous as to its type, scale and function, and yet manages to hold and capture the interest of everyone who comes upon it. The looping oxidised-steel structure is located in an industrial precinct, near to railway tracks but dominantly prominently sitting on a small, grassy hillock, in Carnisselande on the outskirts of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Möbius strip-inspired staircase – though it appears to be endless – leads at its highest point to a panoramic viewpoint, from where it is possible to ponder on the city’s skyline, unfurling in the far distance.
Creating a dynamic perception as the viewers move along its sides, the winding installation is all the more intriguing as it establishes a contextual framework for the illustration of parallels with local social realities. The architects explain: ‘The inhabitants of this suburb still feel connected to Rotterdam, which many of them consider as their mother-town. However, it is not the case in their everyday life. The Möbius strip provides them with a glimpse of the city before making them turn their back to it, and ultimately face Carnisselande.’
Photos Sander Meisner