Tulip, by Innovatieplatform 2
The Innovatieplatform has send Eikongraphia images of the Tulip Island they have drawn in the North Sea. In addition to the tulip-form that was published in the last post, they send me three other versions of the tulip (plus a small one).
I just post all the images here, because they have not been published anywhere else yet. It is a lot, I know, and they look pretty horrible too. But because the images are so annoying, they get interesting again as critical things. The distorted tulip-figure seems to criticize the love-me obsession that defines Dubai and theme parks in general.
The Innovatieplatform unfortunately writes the opposite: The tulip-island has to encourage entrepreneurship in The Netherlands, and has to attract foreign investment. It is basically a 100-kilometer long advertisement for Holland.
In the media it is suggested that the tulip-form is related to the logo of the government-department that promotes The Netherlands abroad, Holland Trade. Very funny, but the relation Holland – Tulip stands without that.
I keep wondering though why the iconography is so literal. Why not abstract it a bit?
The image of the tulip has the advantage that the ‘leaves’ can be used to make a very long island. This is important, as only a band of sea close to the mainland can be used. Further away the sea gets too deep.
The research into the feasibility of such an island, which has been set up by the government last week, has to answer whether a polder or an island is best suitable. The sea close to the coast is about 20 meters deep. Therefore technically a polder is possible. It would take three or four years to get the water out though, and because of water infiltration you would have to keep pumping forever.
Building an island, like is done in Dubai, would take – depending on the size of the island – about ten years. When the island is ‘terraformed’, the island is free of maintenance. The suggested island of 50.000 to 100.000 hectares is 12 to 24 times as big as Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. It seems then like a very improbable plan.
The variants of the tulip differ only slightly in parameters:
- Variant 1 has the most slender ‘leaves’, and is located the furthest into the sea.
- Variant 2 has the biggest ‘leaves’, and is located the closest to the coast.
- Variant 3 is the only one the have a straight stem.
- Variant 4 curves to make a small ‘sea’ before the tourist coast of Scheveningen.
Next to the ‘tulip’ island, in the Dutch media there is also much attention for the design for the North Sea done by Adriaan Geuze of West 8. Although the image has been published nationwide in newspapers, the PR of West 8 declined my request for an image and stated the image has not yet been ‘released’. So, here is photoshopically-enlarged image of the design from elsewhere, without a big 1280-pixel version.
Adriaan Geuze favors terraformed islands over polders, from the point of maintenance. In comparison with the tulip his archipelago looks much nicer, much more beautiful. I am not saying I like it over the tulip. Both ideas have different qualities. For me the tulip has something subversive. The islands of Adriaan Geuze are just very ‘nice’.
Because Geuze copy-pastes his islands from the northern part of The Netherlands, his proposal redefines the orientation of the country. Now there is a ‘head’ with a couple of islands. When Adriaan Geuze gets his way the country would turn in its orientation. I realize that is not the most interesting consideration.
One of his islands could – and that would be really interesting – house a relocated Schiphol Airport. In and around Amsterdam the air would become silent again.
A final note: The Dutch polders are traditionally characterized by a grid. Both the designs of the Innovatieplatform and West 8 just forget about that tradition. I would argue that we have to design from the grid, to make such an island rooted in Dutch culture, to continue that tradition.
That is why I myself proposed earlier this year an ‘inverted grid’ of islands in the Markermeer, east of Amsterdam. It looks weird, kind of odd, and I don’t think anyone else has designed anything like that yet.
Somehow, when somebody is asked to design an island, he/she starts by copying other islands. In the end Adriaan Geuze’s is just as iconographic as the Tulip.
Adriaan Geuze/West 8 - Islands in the North Sea (Copyright West 8)
Earlier: Tulip, by Innovatieplatform 1
Related: Tulip, by Eikongraphia