Photos by BASTIAAN VAN DER SLUIS
Bastiaan has worked at architecture offices like Powerhouse Company, Fernando Donis, gallery Garage and Basematters design agency. He studied Interior Architecture (Willem de Kooning Academy), Real Estate, Philosphy and is currently participating the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture Master Program and working at Ector Hoogstad Architects.
Tropicana was the largest subtropical oasis in the Netherlands. The swimming pool offered the visitor the imagination of being (at least a day) in paradise among the palm trees, banana trees, and that at a constant temperature of 30 degrees. The pool complex was equipped with a whopping two family slides, three body slides, a large lazy river, a wave pool, children’s pool, grotto, solarium and outdoor swimming pool. It was one of the jewels of Rotterdam and people came from far beyond to grasp for this unique opportunity and (childhood) memory.
Because of the popularity money was coming in as water, yet it was never intended to be spent on maintenance. In the period between 2007 till 2010 the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation found many flaws in the pool and there was no money to repair such problems. In addition to that the bath was a negative number of times in the news because of incidents. Popularity sunk and Tropicana went bankrupt after 20 years. Till today the whole complex has been closed, being a non-public space on the border of the city center.
With the ‘Abandoned Places #1’ series Bastiaan tries to tell the story of the vacant swimming pool Tropicana, two years after its closure as a public space. During the photo shoot he noticed the difference in ‘abandonation’ and the ‘adaptation’ of the space. Where on the one hand his photos show an overview of the space as a theater of emptiness, on the other it shows the re-use by people who lived there.
Public places and art brings people, thoughts and opinions together. It enriches each other, which gives every person space for shaping their own opinions. With ‘Abandoned Places #1’ Bastiaan wants to make people consciously or unconsciously aware of this importantness.