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Observation tower 'Euromast'

Bakema designed the 125-meter observation tower on the occasion of the first international horticulture exhibition "Floriade", which was staged in Rotterdam in 1960. The Euromast was to be the exhibition's major showpiece. The municipal council wanted to erect a structure that not only offered a view of the temporary exhibition in the Park, but, as a permanent monument, also reflected the pride of the city of Rotterdam.

Bakema devised a construction that was to serve not only as an observation tower but also as a meeting center. He based his idea for the structure on the Wolkenbügel projects designed by El Lissitzky in the 1920s. In the same way that the Wolkenbügels offered views of the new Greater Moscow, the Euromast was to offer views to the reconstructed city of Rotterdam. El Lissitzky's idea was that the Wolkenbügels should house the offices of the USSR's state planning bodies. Bakema envisaged a similar important role for the Euromast. The various spaces in the Euromast were to serve as conference rooms for public authorities.

The construction of the tower consists of four cantilevered boxes that fan out. They rest on columns and are stabilised by aluminium cables. These cabins offer a view of the various administrative areas. While discussing the problems of the port, the city and the region, administrators could thus observe the relevant areas.

The cabin on the first and lowest level offers a view of the port and the Park. The one on the second level overlooks the city of Rotterdam. The cabin on the third level looks over the lower course of the Rhine. The view from the cabin on the fourth level extends to the Delta Works. The small platform at the top of the tower is an observation point and has a radar and television installation. The observation tower's design corresponds to the contours of the port. The columns allude to the ship's masts, the anchor cables to the rigging, and the cabins to the crow's nest and the bridge.

Bakema's design for the Euromast was not realized. The municipal council preferred the design by H.A. Maaskant.


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