On 12 March, the first prototype of the Bobbing Forest was launched at the RDM University campus in Rotterdam. The Bobbing Forest is a unique project, initiated by artist Jorge Bakker. Aim of this art project is to create world’s first forest of trees that are bobbing around in refurbished buoys.
As engineering partner in this project, Mercon was responsible for calculations on the concept and the building of the buoy itself. As a basis an old and out-of-use North sea buoy, donated by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, was used. Calculations by Mercon’s engineering department led to an adjusted design taking environmental circumstances in mind such as wind load, effect of waves, rain water etc. Students from Mercon’s own training centre and experienced welders from Mercon’s factory used 1500kg of steel to refurbish the old buoy to a true and functional art object.
Mercon was selected by art producer Mothership to be involved in this innovative and sustainable project. The trees used for the project, are trees that are removed from locations in Rotterdam and are stored in a depot for reuse or destruction. The buoys have been removed from the North Sea and were replacement by new ones. So also these will find a second life.
Mercon’s managing director Willem Griffioen, who happens to be a great art lover, was immediately enthusiastic about this project. “It is a perfect example of how companies, cities, universities, students, engineers and artists create something beautiful, inspiring and sustainable’’. More info about the Bobbing Forest, its philosophy and partners can be found at www.dobberendbos.nl