A rooftop playscape
When renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano designed NEMO science centre in Amsterdam, he imagined the terraced rooftop would serve as a true piazza, or city square. As such, interaction – including interplay between man and the elements – should play a prominent role. When the building was later renewed, we were called in to develop a rooftop playscape that brings sun, wind and water to the forefront. Energetica highlights the potential of these renewable energy forms through kinetic sculptures in Amsterdam’s highest plaza, which offers impressive views across the city.
Play and learn
Public spaces are most successful when they foster social participation, which is why Energetica stimulates play while highlighting the potential of renewable energy – a pressing topic for a science centre such as NEMO. ‘Typically, a museum has a front door and you pay to enter,’ says NorthernLight cofounder Peter Slavenburg. ‘NEMO adds a free-access city square to Amsterdam – one that’s interesting and playful. Other museums should follow suit. It’s outreach in a very literal sense.’
Interaction, space, harmony
Three key concepts – interaction, space, and harmony – formed the basis of the project. Visitors can control everything from a sundial to a kite while learning about the elements and discovering how renewable energy works. The incorporation of wind, water and light makes for a continuously changing environment that responds to both external weather conditions and the actions of visitors. To create harmony and satisfy a wide range of users, we created a balanced mix of art installations, dynamic play elements and relaxation zones.
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