Wednesday, February 26, 2014

the elastic perspective

I've always had a soft spot for architectural follies - their impracticability make them intriguing, with their general lack of necessity often paving the way for creativity. So of course, an impossible stairway, providing a means to get nowhere other than a nice view, is right up my alley.

Designed by NEXT Architects, The Elastic Perspective is beautifully winding folly of a staircase in the Dutch city of Carnisselande. As the firm explains about the project:
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.
See more on NEXT's website.


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