Monday, February 23, 2015

Lines of sight - some ephemeral

In January 2014 I noticed that all the buildings along the Sophiakade had been demolished and that I could see the tower of the Hef bridge from a place where I had never seen it before.
I had to research this in more detail. Why could I see it? How exactly could I see it? Through what valley or urban canyon could I see this icon of old Rotterdam? How long was the sightline? (2 km)
I could also see the Willemsbrug through one of the openings. The demolition had revealed sightlines that probably would vanish very quickly. A distance of 1,7 km.
Having been sensitized to sightlines I discovered another one in the same neighborhood. This time a permanent one, following the direction of the Sophiastraat and ending at the Red Apple building at the Scheepmakershaven. A distance of 1,9 km.

A bit of playing with Google maps let me analyze the sightlines. They were shorter than I had expected. In my mind Rotterdam is bigger and the distances are larger.
Hunting for sightlines is interesting and surprising. Is it possible to do this on purpose? Is it possible to plan this in advance? Or do we have to stumble on this by accident? Have it find us, instead of us finding it?

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