The Port of Rotterdam, like all other World Ports, is extremely photogenic.
It seems an obvious choice to exhibit the dynamics of the port with impressive blow-ups and film images, multimedia and technical effects. One can argue that nowadays most contemporary Port exhibitions are similar in that way.
We decided to develop a very different concept at the Maritime Museum Rotterdam. In this new port presentation, we affirm and revalue the narrative power of the individual objects and the collection as our core assets. We present a vast number of objects. Mainly models, of all that characterizes the port: ships, cranes, dredgers, containers and so on. Scale models, handmade with love and pride over the years. These objects are the keys to a multitude of personal stories – stories we know will touch the hearts of the public, young and old, as it did ours.
My design goal – in addition to solve a rather challenging spatial puzzle – was to make an immersive installation as a whole (wow) that offers a different experience every time you get closer (aha). A beautiful, dense, layered installation in which you can endlessly stroll around; the dynamics of the port captured in a basic, bold, kaleidoscopic, static scenography.
We developed a scaffolding system, build in a grid from standard pine beams, connected through reversible joints. Therefore, this construction is completely versatile; the exhibition can easily be updated over time, and all elements are reusable for future projects.
In cooperation with Dave Hoop (DTP)
Photography by Fred Ernst