Dutch designer Roeland Otten likes to brighten up urban streets by camouflaging misplaced public structures with site-specific art. He uses mosaics, geometric paint designs, and high resolution photograph wall coverings to recreate the otherwise blocked and lost views along city streets. Below are three different projects in which Otten decorates old, run-down public buildings that, although they are ugly, are necessary to maintain clean urban areas.
In Air Quality Measuring Station, Otten covered a small concrete building in Amsterdam with a pixelated mosaic pattern that suggests a low-resolution image of what viewers might see if the public health building did not exist. He used 2-inch tiles in 24 colors to create the design, and he took into account both sides of the building so that no matter where viewers stand, they are confronted with a conceptual view through the building to the other side.
In a second project, entitled Dazzle Painted Electricity Substation, Otten created a similar camouflage scenario on a rusty old electricity substation in Rotterdam, this time using acrylic paint to form an abstract geometric glimpse through the building. Rather than being faced with an eyesore in the middle of a developed park, residents are able to embrace the dazzling site-specific project as part of the modern park design.
In the third project featured here, entitled Transformatie Huisje, Otten says the purpose was to “bring back the lost view in this historical part of Rotterdam, that was taken by a concrete electric substation.” He coated aluminum sheets with high resolution photographs featuring the area’s trees and buildings, minus the substation, which ultimately made the square construction almost disappear into the surrounding streets. Otten’s thoughtful public art projects are a great way to convert these necessary buildings into gorgeous additions to any urban area.