In 2005, the Dutch artist Lowieke Duran announced an international contest to design an architectural folly--a visually provocative, poetic structure without a specific function--for the Heijplaat district, a once flourishing, now down-and-out industrial dockland area of Rotterdam where there has recently been some promising new development. The 45 winners are collected in this joyful catalogue of experiments. Some standouts include an adobe-style mini-lookout tower, built with Dutch earth; a recycled aluminum "Snake Table" that winds in and out of a series of trees and can seat dozens of neighborhood acquaintances; a concrete-and-mortar oracle; and a giant seesaw the size of a city park.
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