NIO architecten
Pijnacker, Netherlands
Project Year

Interarea tunnel in Pijnacker

NIO architecten as Architects

What happened here? On the walls and ceilings of the tunnel a strange imprint is visible. A big, whimsical and brightly coloured imprint, an imprint of an unreal and immeasurable shape. As if during the building an unearthly thing got stuck between the formwork. As if the soul of the former landscape, being rooted up by bulldozers, has gone underground. As if the winding pattern of old polder roads, which has made place for rigid urban developments, takes revenge in the tunnel.

Compared to the furthermore generic tunnel the thing seems to have loomed up out of nothing. The thing is all the more strange because the rest – the other concrete walls, the asphalt, the paving stones, the fencing, the illumination lines that are at right angles with the road and the bicycle lane/footpath – looks quite normal. The only extravagance being that orange-red thing.

It is not art, even though it was designed and made with the same limitations. It was not invented to externalise an intimate or personal experience. No, on the contrary, it wants to make an inhuman form of life visible in a usually anonymous tunnel. Only in this way the tunnel is more than a connection between two areas: an alien, immeasurable, asymmetrical and disoriented experience. A tunnel that you will never understand, even though you have been driving through it every day all your life.

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