Pontsteiger or Amsterdam's Ouroboros
It's in the west side, close to the harbor and the sea. It's the first building cruise ships passengers would see of Amsterdam approaching the city.
Not far from Haarlemeerport, a city gate facing west and consequently the close-by Haarlem, possibly an inspiration for the design.
I have had the chance to work on this project while I worked at Arons en Gelauff architecten.
I worked mostly on the visualizations of the facades for roughly half a year.
During my job interview with Floor Arons, two years prior, I saw the maquette's building for the first time. He described the story of the concept and the competition they won long before. He referred to it as having the shape of a chair.
After a year working with them, it was time to develop that project. It had been on still for quite a while. Everything had to change, just not the shape. Basically it was like a low rise complex on a Amsterdam block had been folded in the middle.
I had worked on that 3d model for so many months and copy pasted so many windows to test the effect, that i completely lost myself into that task. I lost myself into that scale, I have never designed anything that big. It was very hard for me to picture the result.
I heard saying the word snake's skin multiple times, referred to the progressively narrow windows from west to east.
When we were discussing how to make the exception part of the building, the first two floors of the bridge with trusses, firstly all the elements, beams, pillars and trusses were painted in white.
We made lots of different options in the typical Dutch designing style with views from close-by (drone?) and far away.
So I thought it was logical to treat the exceptional part of the project in a different manner. Enough of the orthogonal lines! Let's focus on the trusses instead. To do so, i suggested to highlight the trusses in white and beams and pillars should have done in black/dark gray.
Floor later made fun of me, saying that now that part had black crosses because I was a catholic designer, Dutch humor.
Now with a later insight, after seeing the construction unfolding before my very eyes, I cannot stop seeing that the completed building looks like a giant snake biting his own tail. And those white trusses are his teeth.
If the popular mobile phone game of Nokia bestseller 3310 Snake was in 3D, while loosing at it bumping into the snake's body, you could create a shape like that.
The evolution of the interpretation is stunning: from a chair, to a gate to a snake.
I totally love the idea that it looks like a Ouroboros.
What is an Ouroboros?
The Ouroboros or uroborus is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. Originating in ancient Egyptian iconography, the ouroboros entered western tradition via Greek magical tradition and was adopted as a symbol in Gnosticism and Hermeticism and most notably in alchemy. The term derives from Ancient Greek: οὐροβόρος, from οὐρά (oura), "tail" + βορά (bora), "food", from βιβρώσκω (bibrōskō), "I eat".
Funny enough, a symbol of Gnosticism with crosses in it.
I wish they came up with this concept idea to begin with, but somehow that it turned into a symbol of circular time is amazing.
If you pay attention you can spot this symbol in pop culture as well.
What was the shape of the crown that Sansa Stark was wearing on the finale of Game of Thrones?
Now I see that Pontsteiger is the crown of Amsterdam, the queen of the North.
Even Gucci is selling pricey rings in the shape of a snake biting his tail.
I kind of want one too.
Is this syncronicity or what? The logo of this event in Ruigoord is a dragon eating his tail.