In march 2006 Gedachtegoederen, as a breeding place for the creative industry in Zaandstad was asked to design an anti-graffity coating for a new bicycle tunnel in Zaanstad. The winning sketch design made by Overtredes W with Maartje Dros en Eric Klarenbeek.
Two factors were determining for the design of Pixelpoort (Pixelgate in Dutch) : the material chosen and the desire to design a modern city gate that shows the people living in Zaanstad showed that ceramic tiles are the only grafitti resistant material. With brightly coloured square tiles, one can make greatly enlarged images on the wall of the tunnel. Every tile corresponds with one pixel of the image.
The tunnel is a landmark that's part of the main access road for cyclists coming from Amsterdam, so it’s a good place to tell something about the city you’re approaching. Zeeland has a rich history: the golden age started at the boarders of the Zaan. The invention of the wind mill led to industrialization of production processes already quite early. Still, some of the Netherland’s biggest companies are based in Zaanstad.
Apart from the history of Zaanstad, we also wanted to give the current inhabitants of Zaastad the opportunity to show what they are proud of right now. Everybody living Zaanstad can participate by designing a part of the tunnel wall. On the website www.pixelpoort.nl people can contribute their design. Some groups are actively approached by the designers, such as scholars and elderly people. The design team euses all the designs made by the inhabitants of Zaanstad to compose the final design.
From the architects