Former entrant to the WAN 21 for 21 Awards Next Architects has completed a curious folly upon a grassy hill in Carnisselande. Realised in October 2013, the €150,000 structure is a raw steel staircase based on the principal of the Mobius strip, forming a rusty ring of metal that drapes sinuously across the green landscape.
The structure has been entitled ‘The Elastic Perspective’ and its heavy metal form draws ties with the existing infrastructure in the vicinity, namely a ring road and a tram track. Both transportation routes deposit visitors at the folly to gain elevated views of the Rotterdam skyline.
The Elastic Perspective is part of a local art plan for the municipality of Barendrecht and is accessible to the general public. Having been based on a Mobius strip - whereby a single strip is twisted into a continuous loop with one side and one boundary component - the staircase can be travelled to a certain point before the illusion takes hold and the stairs continue on the underside of the structure.
Next Architects explains: "We are intrigued by the Mobius strip, by its characteristic of having only one surface, no top nor bottom. When used as a path, it suggests a continuity, but crossing that path is - at least physically - an impossibility.
“It’s that kind of ambiguity that we recognised in the inhabitants of this suburb: mentally they still feel very much connected to their mother town Rotterdam, but in daily life they are definitively disconnected. With the Mobius strip stair we offer them a glimpse towards the Rotterdam skyline, but to continue their trip, they have to turn backwards, facing the context of their everyday life, Carnisselande."