I’m coming through the revolving doors and it takes eight steps, onto a marble floor with two mats, a shelf for flyers for events in and around the city organised by different headings; Rotterdam, Diversen, Culture, Culture, Discotheque, Bibliotheque. Culture’s got exhibitions, gigs, festivals, leaflets. Diversen basically has the same but other things as well. Discotheque seems to be a selection of leaflets published by the library, by the Musicweb which is part of the library, about different types of music for example, Arabic, African, the Blues, Electronic music, Gospel, Hip hop in the Netherlands, Prog, Dutch songwriters, Musicals, Motown, music for children, Ballet, Minimal music, composers from the Netherlands. Theres a security camera, then we go through the security gates, there’s a selection on my right which I assume would be new books. Looking up there are about – I dunno – a hundred massive lampshades, kind of domestic looking lampshades; oversized. And then as you see where the escalator goes up (similar to a shopping centre) you get a view up into the other floor of which there are four, (two, three, four,) four more, so five altogether? Some kind of design exhibition in the middle, something about the city. Photos of inhabitants with little quotes that are displayed on a kind of temporary scaffolding type structure with tensile wire and bulldog clips, Ikea clip on desk lamps….
On my left there is some seating with an oversized chess game. There’s about, (two, three, four) five men sitting around, two men standing up. The massive chess pieces come up to their thighs.
Now I’m standing in front of a pillar that has a display case next to it, cantilevered so it appears to be hovering. Inside there is – some kind of – etching of some stormy sea, and some people by a windmill. On the other side, a street scene which is almost like a Hogarth but less debauched… lots of people out and about living their lives in a very… dramatised way. Thats a cafe. I’ll go in later. Public toilet. Large open space with six benches, a grand piano; covered over.
Heading back over to my right theres – some kind of – red counter with two women, name badges and suits sitting behind three Dell computers. Looks like somewhere that you might purchase something or make a query? Then there the RotterdamPass area which is yellow and green, a big communal desk with a computer protruding through it, a screen on either side and key board on either side. Lots of face out shelving for leaflets which I think look like they are for – things like – care homes for the elderly; programmes for the elderly. Its quite a big space and its very empty, its about.. maybe you’d fit about twenty double beds in that space. There’s also a ticket machine like you get when you go for a blood test, two one step up Ikea stools and twenty yellow Ikea metal chairs. The extractor fans and pipes are all visible when you look up but they are painted black. A counter called Retour which I guess means Return. And the glass is tinted red. Behind there are, there’s a kind of trolly system like you get at the airport for your baggage, or a sushi restaurant, and then about forty trollies with returned books on. Just by the escalator.
Gonna go round here first and go towards the Musicweb. There’s a yellow display object, which is designed around a pillar, which has – kind of – padded protrusions you can sit on and a screen coming out, and (like) an arm, which at the end, has earphones attached and looks as though – looking at the screen – you can listen to music. On this page we’ve got Adele, Enya, erm Peter and the Wolf, Baby Metal, Queen, Boots, Greenday, Eric Clapton and some other things I’m not sure, the Wrainwright Sisters. Its very quiet. There’s a screen on my left with lots of small pictures of album covers making up the face of Bob Marley. Pixelated. The music library has two booths, three booths, set into the wall, two computers, bit like a diner, but a cylindrical protrusion; again with earphones so you can listen to the collection. Theres a rental collection of vinyl, which you can search through on the screens and then request for the vinyl to be taken out of the stores – which you can the take away, and bring back. Seems to be predominantly men in here. There’s moving targets on the floor, so there’s obviously a lightbulb with a transparency pattern on some kind of timer to move around slowly, I guess to make it seem like a music venue? There’s also massive oversized lightbulbs. Lampshades which inside have three huge bulbs. Yellow plastic sixties type lampshades as well. A water dispenser. (Im going to just look through the door). Lots of shelves. Cd’s, dvd’s, I cant see vinyl. Maybe there isn’t vinyl. There’s pictures of vinyl everywhere but that doesn’t nesascarily mean they actually have it. I feel like they – somehow – want this to feel like the record shop in Clockwork Orange, but I’m not quite sure how it does – but somehow it does. I think its the booths. Limited palate which is; yellow, black, white and orange. Stylized. Everything else is white.
Gonna go up the escalator. Just seen a map for the building which shows that it has in fact, (one, two, three, four, five,) six floors, as well as the ground floor. I might not make it around the whole building. Going up this escalator is giving me a bit of a view of the tiles which are extremely reflective, on the floor below. K, on this floor there seems to be alot of communal study areas, again theres a huge overpowering light, some display cases, kind of modular display cases – which are actually quite nice – with some photocopies of books, and some old slightly antiquated looking books under glass. The title, W-e-r-e-l-d-k-r-o-n-i-e-k from the year 1915, there’s a sign that says 100 jaar so it must be one hundred years since something?….maybe just the publication of that particular book? Um.. theres an enormous screen. It’s about two metres by a metre. It’s on wheels. It’s got some kind of interactive display.
Ok I’m walking into a section now which is carpeted with a blue/purple/pink/orange/brown/navy mottled pattern – again this seems to be some kind of information point. The huge lampshades here have telephone numbers on them, some say Information and some say Rotterdam, Werken, so maybe this is where you go for – kind of – civil information. There’s three massive desks with fake Gerberas in orange glass vases in the middle, six plastic chairs around each of them – in a kind of lurid yellowy green and and coral. I can see a photocopier. Seems to be some furniture which looks like its been designed specially as opposed to being bought from Ikea or some design store. Made out of OSB and metal and ply. Almost sort of like Donald judd-like shelving. Modular. There’s black/orange veneer and paint on some of the wood and then there’s cut outs on some of the metal plates – like – like a digital display, square tiny holes that spell out the letter four/the number four, and then U !
Loads of screens, screens everywhere. I can see right now, (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen,) fifteen screens – within view. There’s some ply.. there’s loads of ply furniture. There are five – kind of – lamps, that look like – kind of – occasional tables with exposed bulbs attached. And then above each one there’s a screen, hovering, attached from the ceiling. One of the TV’s is playing F.r.i.e.n.d.s silently with Dutch subtitles. it’s the episode.. I don’t know.. we’ve got Ross and Rachel in shot. Rachel is reading a letter, Ross is looking upset… they both seem to be really shocked by the contents of the letter. Rachel puts her head in her hands. Phoebe, Monica, Chandler and Joey all come in together out of, Monica’s bedroom? now they’re all comforting Rachel.
Theres some very strange furniture in here. Between two massive columns theres a whole load of – like – industrial sized cling film wrapped around two columns. And then on that there seems to have been – some kind of – commissioned mural/spray painted – graffiti style; of a white guy and a black guy. I cant really talk about every individual piece of furniture because there is so much. Its everywhere. It all seems very – well – if it was all being used, there would be hundreds of people in here. The tables are quite high so they have high stools to reach them, it all looks a bit scuffed like its been really used but it seems new; odd angles; trendy veneers.
This escalator is half the size, you could only fit one person on here. Oh my god. It just goes on and on. Well, stretching off, way into the the distance, there’s shelves of books – but the shelves only come up to shoulder height, so you can see straight across the whole space. I can see James Joyce I can see Kafka, … I’m not recognising… Marion Keyes. I guess its alphabetical. Graphic novels. Five massive shelves of graphic novels. Huge purple rug (with) a purple table (with) eight white chairs around it. Everything is – very kind of – Poppy. One flat colour per surface. Not any plants. I’ve just seen one plant and its made me realise that’s the first one I’ve seen.
Again loads of computers. There’s a little area here with eight. Special collection of children’s books/special children’s area over there. (Some kind of) Velvet/grandiose/Poppy/fake/Louis-the-fourteenth-style armchairs with a small boy reading a graphic novel. There’s a kind of Chinese dragon suspended from the ceiling – made out of a rag rug.
I’m going up one more. There’s cabinets set into the floor that have the Sinterklaus sweets and little pictures of Black Peter. Ooh, the escalators have stopped or they’ve slowed down. Maybe they slow down when people aren’t on them? Yeah. I’ve – I’ve just stepped onto it and now its going twice as fast. There’s a soft play area with a baby crawling around. Oh my god this is enormous. I’m just going to keep going up the escalator.. this whole floor is um… bookshelves. People working at desks on their laptops and smartphones, see through orange plastic chairs. Two plants as I come up onto this floor – floor four. I’m just going to go – go up to the last one quickly. There’s so many lampshades, I reckon theres about fifty on each floor, times six? seems – like – pretty extravagant. Leather chairs – kinda look like – Franz West, but obviously not. Welded frame. magazine subscriptions, some of the titles; Motorbike, TopGear magazine… these are all dutch… One World magazine, Kiddo magazine, The Optimist, Pension Pro. There’s an extrapolated map here; the colours correspond to the carpets on each floor, so grey for the tiles on the ground floor/blue for second/red for third/yellow/orange/red/purple.