Scenario 3 was one of the most ambitious of the scenario we were thinking of creating: A floating island.
We propose re-create the concept of an island as a public space, a new invitation for a closer experience into nature, new perception of the river as a public space to relax and enjoy outdoor activities. The goal of this installation is to create a livable and lively extension of the river.
We started looking at ways to make one or to buy some parts in partial and made our own. We spoke to a lot of people, read a lot of information available online, instructables, forums. The very basic structure of an island consists of a platform and buoys.
We started what the island would offer, what kind of activities could we do it. There was one thing which we were really sure about, we wanted the island to be very open and versatile. We had done some workshops and asked from people what would they like to do and along with those ideas we thought that the island can serve various purposes. It can be used for relaxing on a sunny day, a small party, a concert or even a romantic dinner. We started thinking about ideas.
We decided that we want the setting to be cosy and intimate, so the island couldn’t be really big. We wanted it to accommodate 4-8 people at a time and not more. After the initially ideation we started looking at ways to do it, we wrote to a lot of companies to help us make it. And we also started looking at places nearby which offer any activities related to water. Simon from Lieve Zusjes- Stoere Broers told us that the old pontoons at the Nieuwpoort (a coastal city 70 km from Kortrijk) are being replaced and there could be a possibility of getting one from there.
We headed to Nieuwpoort in search of the pontoons and found the contact for the company responsible for taking care of the replacement and we also met Maarten from VVW-Nieuwpoort Euromarina. We setup a meeting with the contractor the next day and when we meet him he offered us a pontoon for a certain amount. And then we spoke to Maarten, who offered us one of the pontoon for free, as they were going to put them in scrap anyways. We were super happy and excited to get the pontoon for free. The only thing which we had to figure out was to transport the 1.8 meter x 8 meter to Kortrijk on our own. We planned of cutting the pontoon in parts so that we can transport it easily.
We got in touch with various companies offering mini trucks on hire and we found one which was 4 meter long and didn’t require a special driving license. We got to the Truck renting company along with a few tools to chop the pontoon in half. Deborah was the brave one to drive as she has a valid European license. It took some time for her to get used to the truck but the drive was easy.
We reached Nieuwpoort, met Maarten and got down to the task of disassembling the white float and cut the pontoon in half with a jigsaw. Some people from the club helped us get the parts of the pontoons in the truck with the help of a crane. We set off for Kortrijk with our truck. It took us around 90 minutes and we reached Bolwerk, where we were to build the island.
In Bolwerk, Stevan and Steven helped us unload the pontoon. It took us some time as they had a fork lift and it was raining as well. After unloading the pontoon we went back to the truck renting service to drop the truck.
Over the next few days we went to a few hardware stores looking for the other materials and supplies we needed for the island. We visited Hubo, Brico and Leroy Merlin and found the things which we were looking for.
More on the building process in the coming post.