BLAUW is a proposal for a 16-meter tall public observatory tower designed by Matthijs la Roi Architects. The project is one of the five shortlisted projects for a public art competition for the new Sluisbuurt Neighborhood in Amsterdam.
Sluisbuurt is a new development which is currently under construction on the Zeeburgereiland (Island) in east Amsterdam. This high-density district will allow for towers to be build up to 125m, previously unheard off in the mainly lowrise city of Amsterdam. The artwork would be the first build project located in the new Neighborhood.
BLAUW means Blue in Dutch and is a reference to the local sky and water of the site. The vibrant colour will act as a beacon for the ambitious Sluisbuurt neighbourhood that will follow. The project consists of a series of slightly shifted stacked boxes and stairs. The composition of staircases evokes an Escher like atmosphere. Various balconies and windows will frame perspectives to nearby neighbourhoods like the Oosterdokseiland, IJburg and the IJ river.
The structure of the project is planned to build out of timber with reclaimed wood for the cladding. In the brief, the municipality asked for a temporary project which will need to be dismantled after five years. After that, BLAUW can be dismantled into separate pavilions. These pavilions will be distributed throughout the five neighbourhoods of the Zeeburgereiland. During workshops with local citizens and businesses, new functions will be developed for the pavilions. Potential functions could, for instance, be a: community library, playground equipment, or a bird observatory.