As a new icon for Amsterdam, Rietveld Landscape proposes JackUpCity. JackUpCity is a plan to reconnect Amsterdam with its harbor area. Since decades most of the Amsterdam people do not even know that their city has a harbor, while it’s one of the biggest in Europe. There’s no real emotional connection between Amsterdam and its current harbor area, which leads to difficulties finding people to work there.
In addition, the Western Harbor District contains great amounts of open unused space, which makes this area a ground for creative expression and cultural exploration. Taking this into account Rietveld Landscape ascribes huge potential to new forms of land use in this area. JackUpCity is meant to restore a visual and therefore imaginary link between Amsterdam’s centre and the harbor area. This should reshape an emotional connection of Amsterdam with its harbor that, in fact, made Amsterdam to what it is now. The raw and solid visual expression of the 120 meters high drilling platform symbolizes the unexpressed potential of the harbor.
The name of the project JackUpCity goes back to the name of these kinds of drilling platforms. The jack-up rig proposed here is a Rowan Gorilla VII used before to drill for gas in the Dutch part of the Wadden Sea and currently unused. A jack-up is a drilling platform fixed on the bottom of the sea and resting on a number of supporting legs. The most popular designs use three independent legs, although some jack-ups have four legs or more.
“A jack-up is a floating barge fitted with long support legs that can be raised or lowered. The jack-up is towed (or self propelled) onto location with its legs up and the barge section floating on the water. Upon arrival at the drilling location, the legs are jacked down onto the sea floor. Then “preloading” takes place, where the weight of the barge and additional ballast water are used to drive the legs securely into the sea bottom so they will not penetrate further while operations are carried out. After preloading, the jacking system is used to raise the entire barge and drilling structure above the water to a predetermined height or “air gap”, so that wave, tidal and current loading acts only on the relatively slender legs and not on the barge hull. Modern jacking systems use a rack and pinion gear arrangement where the pinion gears are driven by hydraulic or electric motors and the rack is affixed to the legs. Jack-up rigs can only be placed in relatively shallow waters, generally less than 400 feet (120 m) of water.”
Since the jack-ups are able to float, transportation to the harbor of Amsterdam will not be very complicated. In February 2008, a Rowan Gorilla VII abruptly entered the harbor of Rotterdam. The incredible pictures must have been a huge source of inspiration to for the JackUpCity project. Only when seeing these images one can really understand what a 120 meter high platform can mean for the radiation of a harbor district. It’s like being in a fairy-tail, as if a whole city is floating above us in the air. As fata morgana tickling imagination that makes you feel like acting in an industrial version of Alice in Wonderland. JackUpCity will be an immense contribution to Amsterdam’s skyline and therefore to the attractiveness of the city. This could be the purple cow that Seth Godin speaks about — it’s remarkable and fascinating.