Text by SKOR:
The commission consisted of designing a functional artwork that invites public interaction, enhances the vastness of the area and the high-tech character of the surroundings, and above all makes a visit to the beach much more pleasurable. Aspects that came under consideration included access to the beach, parking facilities, seating and a lookout point.
Jan Konings designed a beach access consisting of three staircases leading to Maasvlakte 2’s recreational beach. Because the staircases vary in height they also serve as places where visitors can picnic, beat the sand from their shoes, or just while away the time. After its completion in Spring 2012, the staircase will be a functional and beautifully designed addition to the dunes on the new beach.
Portscapes 2: Jan Konings (The Netherlands 1966) primarily focuses on creating alternative approaches to organising public space because he believes that it functions less and less well as a result of increasing regulations and privatisation. Konings works at the cutting edge of urban design, landscape, art, ecology and design, and investigates ways of improving and enlivening the social cohesion of public space with (minor) changes or additions, prompting more involvement by people in their surroundings.
Previous works include designing a park from a former refuse tip in Haarlem and a meeting place for youngsters in a new housing estate in The Hague. He is also the initiator and driving force behind Hotel Transvaal, a hotel spread throughout the refurbished Transvaal neighbourhood in The Hague. Hotel Transvaal makes use of the interspaces that arise when a neighbourhood is changed: in buildings designated for demolition, in as-yet unsold spaces in new buildings, on fallow ground, and of spaces provided by local residents who have organised one-to-five star accommodation in their homes.
Portscapes is an initiative of the Port of Rotterdam Authority (Project organisation Maasvlakte 2). SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain supported the project with a substantive and financial contribution.
One of the other artists is earlier featured land art icon Jan Dibbets,