PG (Manhattan on the Maas)


The Kop Van Zuid area is a confused area, focused on the Manhattan escapism that captured the imaginations of so many Dutchman in the 1800’s. The area is still the docking point for cruise ships, which bring thousands of tourists at a time to the city, looking to grasp the feel of Rotterdam in their short visits. Rotterdam is a city frequented by tourists, the majority of whom visit the city for a day, a transitory city across a tour Europe. Rotterdam, as observed through the eyes of a tourist, is one filled with large, statement buildings, but has a real sense of sparseness, with wide uninhabited streets and tourist attractions dotted around the city. From a far, or through a lens, the city takes on a whole new appeal; a manipulated view of the city. The lens allows for Rotterdam to send a statement about itself to the world, whether political, cultural or economic; and this is captured in the work of Paul Martens and his ideals of the Metropolitan Condition.

Delirious New York describes how the Beacon Tower of Coney island with it’s red and white flashing light deceived ships and lured them off course by mimicking that of the main lighthouse of New York harbour. This deceit is one that reflects the Kop Van Zuid perfectly; the pier mimics New York in street width and skyscraper design, attempting to deceive its users into believing that they are somewhere they are not. The Spherical Skyscraper will do just this; it will determine how the user moves through the building and sees the city of Rotterdam. It is not how they choose to see the City, but how it has been designed for them to see it. The panoramas described above, will be the eyes of the Skyscraper, particular points will allow for users to view the real city from above, and the panoramic qualities will be brought into the rooms themselves, engulfing the user into the Metropolitan Condition. This will only happen in 4 distinct areas of the building, all else is closed off from the real city, to produce a fake, mimicked and distorted view of the city. The key to ensuring the skyscraper is a success is though the humanization of the building. Large scale buildings can only truly appeal to users is through the ability to interact with them in a unique; quite often in the production of a souvenir. In the 21st century the souvenir is about the captured freeze frame and ‘Selfie.’ The circulation of the building will use the transport types of the City to move people through the building in a unique way, producing freeze frame images of Rotterdam throughout; for the users to observe and interact with.


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