• Competition
  • Almere
  • NL
  • 2008
  • i.c.w. Pnina Avidar

Ik loop door ‘t polderland
onder den hellen regen;
oneindig is het land,
oneindig zijn de wegen…

(Hendrik Marsman, Polderland)

The project Fit to Scale for the landmark demanded at the location of Hollandse Brug (Dutch Bridge) starts from the spatial experience of transition: from the Old Land to the New Land and vice-versa. The project proposes to mark the space on the bridge, sublimating the visual and physical experience of passing from the space of the Old Land (small-scale, hybrid, closed and finite) to the space of the New Land (large-scale, homogeneous, open and infinite) and creating a space-mark instead of a land-mark.

Fit to Scale directs the gaze and turns the transition from Old to New into an actual and intense spatial experience. The project proposes to literally scale the linear spaces for cars, bicycles and pedestrians on both sides of the bridge: wider in the direction of Almere and the relatively new Flevopolder, smaller in the direction of the old peat polder. All physical elements (posts, stripes, signs, etc.) will be scaled accordingly: bigger and removed in the direction of the New Land, smaller and nearer in the direction of the Old Land. All of course within the limits of current traffic regulations in order not to influence safety or circulation.

This apparently simple intervention, a rather modest adjustment in size of the standard elements required for the new, extended bridge, generates a radical twist of size, scale and perspective (the key elements of the Dutch landscape), creating a terse and specific, but at the same time self-evident spatial and visual experience of the transition in both directions. Going to the New Land one’s outlook broadens. It appears to be nearer, it is spacious and open and it offers elbowroom, infinite possibilities and views. Under influence of the broadening perspective in the direction of Almere one almost as a matter of course pushes the pedal, generating some sort of double acceleration that appeals to the dynamics of the New Land: the wide perspectives seem to be even nearer as they were at first sight. Going the other way the outlook narrows. The Old Land seems to be a little further. It looks hybrid, but familiar and it offers a feeling of security, historical continuity and insight. As a matter of course one slows down under the influence of narrowing perspectives. The experience of time and space is the opposite of the experience on the other side of the bridge. The road to the Old Land takes a while longer than expected at first sight, but offers the possibility of a random gaze and a moment of re-orientation.

From the old…From the old


the new…the new

and from the new…and from the new

back into…back into…

the old .the old .