The Amazing Whale Jaw

The Amazing Whale Jaw

Architect
NIO architecten
Location
Hoofddorp, Netherlands | View Map
Project Year
2003
Category
Bus stations

Passenger Terminals
Stories By
Poly Products

NIO architecten

The Giant Whale Jaw

Poly Products as Manufacturers

For this project Poly Products has engineered and produced an enormous blob-shaped building out of fiber reinforced composite. The entire building was constructed on site, made out of EPS-blocks and covered with a strong layer of glass-reinforced polyester. The skin was finished with a sustainable orange coating with gold sparkles to make it a real eye-catcher. The building is over 50 meters long and on the moment of completion the largest building and object made entirely out of plastic.

The Amazing Whale Jaw

NIO architecten as Architects

At the beginning of the year 2003 a bus station was built on the forecourt of Hoofddorp’s Spaarne Hospital. This facilities block is located in the middle of a square and is a public area in the form of an island that serves as a junction for the local bus service. The design of this kind of building is generally neutral, but here the aim was to create a strong, individual image that was less austere and generic. Hence, the building was designed in the tradition of Oscar Niemeyer as a cross between white modernism and black Baroque.


The building is completely made of polystyrene foam and polyester and is, as such, the world’s largest structure in synthetic materials (50m x 10m x 5m). The available budget meant that it could never have been created using conventional construction methods.


People often wonder about the building’s shape and what it represents, and there are a number of possible answers. A correct answer in architectural terms is that it can be viewed as a large boulder that has been worn away by footsteps and sight lines. A correct answer in philosophical terms is that it can be regarded as a form that has not been pored over but which simply allowed itself to be discovered. A correct answer in terms of the designing process is that it can also be explained as a product of this process, which in this case was somewhat intuitive because of the unfamiliar technical terrain in which everyone had to operate. All these answers are simultaneously correct and irrelevant. Like the white face of a geisha, every opinion and image can be projected onto the building and it has no answers of its own.

Project Credits
Manufacturers
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
ManufacturersPoly Products
Product Spec Sheet
Manufacturers
Shuyang Art Gallery
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Intersection of South Nanhu Road and Xueyuan Road, Shuyang County, Suqian City, Jiangsu Province, China - Build completed in 2014
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