Dezeen Magazine

City Camouflage by Roeland Otten

Dutch designer Roeland Otten uses mosaic tiles, paint and photographic prints to disguise scruffy public buildings like this former public toilet in Amsterdam (+ slideshow).

City Camouflage by Roeland Otten

Above: mosaic tiles on Air Quality Measuring Station in Amsterdam

For the latest instalment in Roeland Otten's City Camouflage project, the tiles provide a pixelated view of Jan van Galenstraat shopping street.

City Camouflage by Roeland Otten

Otten's project began in 2009 with the transformation of a former electricity substation on the corner of Graaf Floristraat and Heemraadsingel in Rotterdam.

City Camouflage by Roeland Otten

Above: Transformatie Huisje in Rotterdam uses a photograph printed on aluminium

He clad the building in sheets of aluminium printed with high-resolution photographs of the surrounding streets, so that it seems almost invisible among the houses and trees.

City Camouflage by Roeland Otten

Last year he used acrylic paint to transform a rusty electricity substation on the Boompjeskade waterfront in Rotterdam.

City Camouflage by Roeland Otten

The bold graphic paintwork makes the substation blend in with the water and foliage nearby.

City Camouflage by Roeland Otten

Above: acrylic paint was used for Dazzle Painted Electricity Substation in Rotterdam

Similar projects featured on Dezeen include a glass building disguised as an old farmhouse in the Netherlands and clothing that blends in with manhole covers and vending machines.

City Camouflage by Roeland Otten

We previously featured Otten's collection of 26 chairs that spell out letters of the alphabet.

City Camouflage by Roeland Otten

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Here's some more information from Otten:

Air Quality Measuring Station (2012)

An old public toilet building used to measure the quality of the air in this thoroughfare in Amsterdam was to be renewed, but the district council determined the area shouldn't suffer from another concrete element. The design camouflages the little concrete building of GGD (Health Department of the city) Amsterdam.
 The tiling patterns bring back the lost views as pixelated images of the shopping street Jan van Galenstraat.

Made in 2012. Materials: Winckelmans tiles 5 x 5 cm in 24 colours, anti-graffiti coating. Dimensions: 1.8 x 3 x 2.8 m

Location: Jan van Galenstraat, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Dazzle Painted Electricity Substation (2012)

In the newly developed park at the Boompjeskade/Leuvenhoofd in Rotterdam there was a rusty 70s electricity substation that was not on any map, 
therefore not taken care of, and was still there after the completion of the area. 
Commissioned by Rotterdam City Development, the old object got a fresh look with this dazzle painting.

Made in 2012. Materials: acrylic paint, anti-graffiti coating. Dimensions: approx. 2 x 1.5 x 2.5 m

Location: Leuvenhoofd, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Transformatie Huisje (2009)

Purpose of the design is to bring back the lost view in this historical part of Rotterdam that was taken up by a concrete electricity substation.
 It was the winning entry of a contest for artist and designers organised by the Graaf Florisstraat in 2007.

Made in 2009. Materials: coated hi-res print on aluminium. Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 m

Location: crossing Graaf Floristraat/Heemraadsingel, Rotterdam, the Netherlands