Floris Schiferli draws some ideas based on Mental Charlois

20 11 2011


Floris Schiferli is an artist and architect living in Oud Charlois. For one of his recent projects, he decided to use the material from Mental Charlois, give his own interpretation and make some very interesting proposals.

He organised the Charlois inhabitants in several population groups:


Charlois inhabitants timeline by Floris Schiferli

Historically the area was a farmer’s village on the other side of the Maas. With the development of the Rotterdam harbour though it soon transformed into a workers neighbourhood. International “imported” workers soon joined Dutch worker families. In the 1970’s with the independency of the former colonies Surinamese and Antilleans came to complete the colourful mix of inhabitants. The latest addition is the artists, who came here the last 5 – 10 years.

Young people hang out, close to the Maastunnel


Maastunnel hangout:

In the conclusion map of good and bad spots in Charlois, the artificial barrier between the river Maas and Oud Charlois, the Maastunnel is marked mostly as a good spot. Rather looking at cars then ships? The new youth is fan of the monumental Tunnel trace, or is it the great waste-burn Castel designed by Maarten Struis the real near-by attraction? Since teenagers are a hunted group in the south of Rotterdam, the area around the Maastunnel entrance is a good hangout, not too far from the supermarket, donner-kebap and their homes. The ventilation system of the Maas tunnel blows out warm air, so the spot is always slightly warmer than the outside temperature. The dike that contains a bike path can easily be misty and works as a visual barrier, so the users can have some privacy. Plus, the traffic noise is covering up the sounds of teenagers having fun. Seems like a win-win situation!

Bar and Restaurant terrace on Charloisse Kerksingel


Charloisse Kerksingel:

Several people have already proposed this idea. In the old times, the church used to be centre of public life, as everything happened around it. Nowadays, the amputated green park around the old Church, enclosed by a little fence, discourages the possibility to use it as a square. Looking at the movement traces, we understand the importance of the place, while a look at the historical maps show that different shops used to be located facing the church. There is simply no other square in old Charlois within so much potential. Houses all around function as a form of social control and there is already a cafe-bar and restaurant and a gallery. Imagine the sun shining, having a cold beer and some good finger food…

Proposed new metro station at Zuiderpark


Metro stop South-park.

A great park with hardly any visitors considering its size. Strangely enough the Zuidpark appears in most of the maps as a reference point but hardly anyone mentions that they actually go there. The movement traces form a big circle around it. A lot of people are depending on the public traffic, especially in the south of Rotterdam. Making the park more accessible could actually increase the number of visitors.



Mental Charlois at Laleli Mosque

25 08 2010

Here are some pictures from our workshop at the Laleli mosque. It was our first men-only workshop and it was very interesting, mostly because of the language barrier, which we had to overcome! At the end, it prooved to be a very interesting experience on finding ways to communicate and our friend, Dursun Koca, helped us a lot!

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Overlapping the routes of the Hugo de Grootschool students

12 05 2010
This is the map that came from overlapping the routes the students usually follow.We also asked them to indicate in green the places they like, where they feel safe and they prefer to go and in red the places that they don’t find beautiful or attractive. Most students find comfort in their house and like the park, eventhough not many go there often. Maashaven is concidered by many not a nice area. The school is probably the place which creates the most mixed feelings!
Overlapping of students' routes and indicating good and bad places
Overlapping of students’ routes and indicating good and bad places

Mental Charlois at Hugo de Grootschool

27 04 2010

In March 2010 we were requisted by the Historisch Museum of Rotterdam [http://www.hmr.rotterdam.nl/] to collaborate with the Mental Charlois Project for their research project “The Town as Muse”.

Students of the Hugo de Grootschool, in Charlois, divided in two groups and lead by their teacher Lidwine Loorbach, participated to the Mental Charlois workshop, giving completely different and unexpected results compared to the last time.

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workshop pictures

31 03 2010

Here you can see some pictures of our first Mental Charlois workshop in t’Ot’je the garden in the artist’s block in Struitenweg.

It was a beautiful summer day and everybody seemed to have a good time during the workshop. The atmosphere was great for the participants to come together, discuss and enjoy the workshop

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Oud Charlois outline map

10 03 2010

Participants were asked to outline what they think Oud Charlois is. Most of the results circled the area around the Oude Kerk. Some included the Waalhaven and some went as far as the Maashaven. The overlapping of all imaginary limits create a new map of Oud Charlois.

oud charlois outline produced by the overlapping of individual perceptions

overlapping the routes

28 02 2010

overlapping the individual routes of the participants of Mental Charlois

Even though this seemed to be the most technical step of the whole process, it revealed the differences in the way people move and direct themselves. The busiest areas of Charlois stick out and a strong relation to the center becomes prominent. Looking at the drawing as a pure pattern is very fascinating.

movement patterns produced by overlapping the individual routes of the Mental Charlois participants