In the media

Sustainable ambitions


The port of Rotterdam aims to become the most sustainable in the world. In the context of the circular economy, the port is working hard on developments that support this goal, among others, by reducing the use of polluting fossil fuels. Stimulating the use of LNG (liquified natural gas) is part of this. This fuel and the role it can play in a sustainable future is not very well known to the general public. In 2017, the first berth for the bunkering and transhipment of LNG was built: Dolphins 83 on Landtong Rozenburg.  The Port Authority wanted to give this location a special appearance by having the 17 mooring posts fitted with a sustainable art application. For the realization of this ambition, the Port Authority called in the expertise of Mothership.




The Port of Rotterdam Authority favours the reuse of materials from the harbour and from its own company. Jeroen Everaert therefore found the inspiration for the work of art first of all in the storage of ‘residual material’ from the harbour. Due to the rapid innovation in equipment and the strict safety requirements in the port, used objects are regularly replaced. In the depot, in addition to bollards, parts of quay walls and old buoys, he also found entire mooring posts, which he immediately had reserved. The second inspiration for the work of art were the rowers, the users of the mooring posts throughout the harbour. Their work includes mooring the ships; even the largest container ships are still moored by the rowers. After talking to the rowers and visiting their work location, the first idea was born: high up, from a recycled mooring post, overlooking the work of the rowers and the Dolphins 83 where the LNG transhipment takes place. The size of the mooring posts are gigantic, but because most of the structures are under water and the ships moored to them are even bigger than the posts, they seem relatively small. Mothership therefore developed a proposal in which the mooring posts to be recycled would be placed on land, right next to the moorings of the LNG ships. This makes the dimensions in the port not only visible but also tangible. And by creating a viewing platform on the bollard, it became the perfect place to inform visitors about LNG and the work of the rowers.

The shape of the bollard and the platform refer to the bollards in the water (the platform is at the height where the water level is when the bollard is in the water) and to the equipment used by the rowers. Just as the oarsmen’s immense cables are twined ship’s ropes, the three stairs intertwine from the bottom around the mooring post to the top. The colours and materials used also refer directly to the harbour. Around the platform there is a series of information panels that tell visitors about the view, with a poem written especially for the location by city poet Derek Otte.


Role of Mothership


Mothership conducted research, developed the concept with content and form of Paal 83 and led the construction team. As an expert in communicating a message, Mothership translated the client’s wish into a work of art that said exactly what the Port Authority was looking for: a work of art that is an ode to the work in and the ambitions of the port. With this work of art, constructed from recycled materials, we are contributing to the circular economy and reinforcing the port’s image as sustainable.

The lookout post has been much visited from the start. Both the pole and the view and the information panels are frequently shared on social media. The lookout tower has proved to be a photogenic object that has been picked up and distributed by various professional and amateur photographers.


Added value


Mayor Aboutaleb wants more tourism in the port, to show how big, safe and green the port of Rotterdam is. Paal 83 does exactly that: the observation tower attracts many people to the port, with fantastic views of the Calandhaven and the second Maasvlakte.

In its concept and execution, Paal 83 makes it clear that Rotterdam can be proud of its port. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is leading with the ambition to make the port sustainable. Mothership has translated this message in the way we know so well: the power of art is communication.

The watchtower has been nominated for two awards: the National Steel Award and the Benelux Hot-dip galvanising Trophy.

On social media, great appreciation is expressed for the unique experience offered by the watchtower.

“Cool initiative. Beautifully done. Watch Tower is unique in that location!”

“Like climbing up from the bottom of the Caland Canal. In reality, you start 20 metres higher until you tower high above the surroundings. Wonderful panorama of the harbour with the crane barges nearby.”

“A different view of reality, ready to climb?”

“A great view at the Landtong in Port of Rotterdam – on top of the famous Paal 83.