The mouse hole (2001) QS Serafijn & Hans Snoek & Jeroen van Westen & Maarten van Wesemael
The mouse hole was the nickname of a messy area, full of tunnels, elevations and depressions under the A20. The passage functioned as the connection between Rotterdam-Noord and Hillegersberg. In 1998, CBK Rotterdam was asked to help think about a new approach to the unsafe no-man's-land situated under a noisy highway and railway line, and to which a reservoir for excess sewage water had to be added. CBK Rotterdam, together with consultant Maarten van Wesemael, a specialist in the field of sustainability, selected three artists: QS Serafijn, Hans Snoek and Jeroen van Westen. This company designed an integral vision of the area, in which four principles were honored. A natural environment and human intervention are inextricably linked; a public space must be legible; artists should not behave 'autonomously', but strive for collaboration between different disciplines; and the ability to take care of a place is as important as the design of a place. From this point of view, it was proposed not to hide the reservoir for sewage water from view, but instead to give it a prominent and visible place. This created a mirrored surface that could emphasize the monumentality of the viaduct. The sewage pumping station was placed in the middle of the reservoir, so that 'the engine of the system was clearly and recognizable present'. The company wanted to let nature take its course along the edges of the basin. Finally, a lighting plan was advocated, in which the viaduct and the sewer pumping station were illuminated in a monumental way. In doing so, the artists accepted the sewage pumping station and the viaduct as necessary, but also vital components of urban society. Moreover, the approach had an ecological component: certain plant species had a beneficial effect on negative environmental impacts. Implementation of the program started in 2000 and in 2001 The mouse hole delivered.
QS Serafijn (Roosendaal and Nispen, 1960) is a visual artist, installation artist, photographer and writer. Well-known works by him are the D tower in Doetinchem (in collaboration with NOX Architekten Rotterdam, 2004), What is finished is not made (Apeldoorn police station, 2009), the equestrian statue John Wayne in Wateringse Veld (2010) and BANK! in the Hilversumse Meent (in collaboration with Buro Poppinga Amsterdam, 2011). In addition to columns, he publishes Notes and novellas such as 'STREEKROMAN (Cross-cut landscape)' (2008), 'TREKKEN' (the book for the dentist, 2010) and 'Het Wonder van Wateringse Veld' (2010). QS Serafijn is a teacher at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. He works and lives in Rotterdam.