COMMISSIONED BY NS
Natacha Mankowski has subjected the NS Depot underneath Sloterdijk Station to a real metamorphosis. She was struck by the depot as a particularly closed block on a square that cannot be called a square. Inspired by the magic and elusiveness of Anastasia, a city from the famous book Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, she decided to work out the idea of an oasis on Piarcoplein: a public place in the most magical and mysterious sense.
With The Square – a work covering the entire depot that alternates painted perspectives with glowing photo panels – she created an illusion as irresistible as a fata morgana in the desert. Anyone leaving the station via the metal walkway will come across The Entrance, where paintings in warm tones suggest an entrance to a mysterious space. The choice is to enter, or not. The connecting Corridor presents a long row of windows. These also light up at night and here too it is uncertain where they might lead to. The Great Wall then opens up unexpected places. Finally, The Baths on the south side evokes associations with an Oriental bathhouse; with, on the right, in trompe l’oeil, an entrance, indistinguishable from reality, with a skylight that is also illuminated at night. Anyone taking the time can discover more and more. The circles painted on the ground, for example, from which the distorted representations of the anamorphoses fall into place. Or the places where the paintings escape and spill over to the station and street furniture.
The Square is an architectural diorama, an illusory viewing cabinet that reflects a different kind of reality: an immaterial architecture to disappear into.
ANDREA CANEPA & BEN WEIR,
COMMISSIONED BY HOLLAND CASINO
With a surprising constellation of exuberantly coloured geometric shapes, Andrea Canepa’s Detour Structure stands out against its surroundings. On the surreal-looking track, the many gates, platforms and tunnels challenge you to try out different routes. Detour Structure offers an alternative path that also appeals explicitly to our physical skills and invites us to travel in a different manner: while searching, playing and balancing, we find our moves forward as though on a game board.
Canepa envisioned a labyrinth, a self-contained space in which surprise and confusion prevail and you quickly get lost. A business environment such as Sloterdijk is designed to guide large crowds through the area as effectively as possible. This type of efficiency is challenged here, so that the labyrinthine course itself demands your full attention and the environment in which it is located suddenly appears surprising. Andrea Canepa is fascinated by the way the world is organized and the logic behind it. She once reduced a book to its smallest parts and then rearranged the whole on the basis of a completely different principle.
If you look at Detour Structure in the area through half-closed eyes, you will notice that she is playing with the dominant architectural vocabulary here. It is as if she has imagined turning the blocky box of the predominantly angular, modernist architectural style of Sloterdijk inside out, in order to build something from it that undermines its own self-evidence. Detour Structure offers a fresh perspective to demonstrate that this area could actually look very different.
(CHAJA HERTOG & NIR NADLER),
COMMISSIONED BY LASALLE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
Just imagine: it is 1883 and we are in rural Sloten, an area where radical changes are heralding the modern era. The North Sea Canal has recently been completed, the first polder farmlands are being dug into dock basins, and the Groote IJ polder will soon be drained to provide space for the coming industrial terrain of the western docklands. Soon nothing will remain of the original agricultural character of the IJ polders, nor of the rich fishing tradition and endless variety of boats that once characterized this area. Now see how a historic sailing ship extends diagonally across the square between the train station and Bright Offices.
The wooden boat dates from 1915 and exudes craftsmanship. Its cold anatomical dissection, although spiced with romance, creates a resonance between its elongated shape and the ribbed station roof. Together, they form a surreal constellation that reminds us of days gone by and makes us think about our modes of transport, then and now.
Intersections is a work by Hertog Nadler, an artist duo who previously realized Portal at the station in Zwolle. Portal, a panoramic video installation with a sort of Droste or mise en abyme effect, mirrors a tableau vivant in which, among other things, a shepherd as time-traveller drives his herd up the sleek marble staircases of the station, while a contemporary NS television broadcaster philosophizes in her report about the relationship between past and future. These are works of art that drill a hole, as it were, in everyday reality to offer a view of a different time, a different atmosphere. They question and disrupt the naturalness with which we accept our current world.
Anyone wandering among the debris of the sawn ship experiences a perspective in which past and present are interwoven: you ‘hear’ the sails flapping, while seeing concrete, steel and glass.
Special thanks to Stichting Jacht Recycling.
KAPKAR | GTO-B10
COMMISSIONED BY EDGE TECHNOLOGIES, APG, ABP
Artist Frank Havermans is an experimental architectural designer. He is fascinated by the way cities develop in an ongoing alternation of construction and destruction. Havermans builds constructions that are defined in relation to their place and that can be interpreted as proposals for change. At Sloterdijk, he was intrigued by the former SFB Head Office – the current APG building on the Basisweg – a robust and closed building that dates from the 1970s. As unobtrusive as it is at ground level, it becomes special when seen from the sky, when the ring-shaped floor plan catches the eye. Striking, in the words of Havermans, because “the modernist constraints of rectitude” are rarely broken in a business environment like this. He took the floor plan of the building – currently being renovated by Edge Technologies – as the starting point for KAPKAR | GTO-B10. Isolated and folded fragments of the floor plan determined the shape of the artwork.
The ambiguous nature of Sloterdijk was also a guideline. Because although the current public space is in fact a grey traffic-hub of a place, the hard infrastructural character of this landscape nevertheless has its own charm. Frank Havermans wanted to connect to this with a work of art that, in his radical scaling down, wants to be an intermediary in this phase of change. KAPKAR | GTO-B10 offers an opportunity to isolate yourself, to muse or have lunch. With its alienating appearance, reminiscent of a temporarily landed research surveyor, it offers a different perspective on the environment. After the renovation of the APG building, it would fit perfectly on the roof.
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