Brandgrens Rotterdam

Brandgrens Rotterdam

Rotterdam, Netherlands | View Map
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Brandgrens Rotterdam

West 8 as Landscape Architects

Rotterdam Brandgrens (the fire limits) permanently marks the areas of the city that were destroyed by the bombing on 14 May 1940 and the ensuing fires that broke out. The bombing only lasted fifteen minutes but managed to destroy practically all of Rotterdam’s city centre. In 2007 CBK Rotterdam invited designers Wieki Somers, Atelier van Lieshout, Studio Anthon Beeke and West 8 to present their ideas on how to mark the fire limits. A jury was asked to choose one design. On Monday 14 May 2007 the winning design by West 8 was announced by vice mayor of Rotterdam, Lucas Bolsius.

West 8's design uses light objects to mark the fire limits permanently in the public space. An iconic image of a flame is incorporated in circular light objects on the ground and in several information stations, that together form the marking. The image of the flame shows a visual connection with Zadkine's statue commemorating the bombing of Rotterdam. The light objects come to life at night illuminating the icon. This physical marking of the fire limits is coupled with information about the historic meaning of the bombing, accessible through the information stations and a website.

The jury was unanimous in choosing West 8's design: "West 8's proposal delivers a complete package that not only focuses attention on the marking of the fire limits, but also fully incorporates the historical context of the bombardment. It may not be the easiest proposal to be constructed. The jury, however, deems it the most comprehensive, most innovative and most layered of the design proposals, and therefore advises the municipality of Rotterdam to further develop West 8's design."

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