In 2015, smok entered a speculative competition with the brief for a floating toy museum in Amsterdam, resulting in a scheme that subverts the idea of separating the visitor from the artefacts, where toys interact with the viewer through dynamic, energetic exhibition methods.This museum is interlaced with ‘toy tubes’; they gather exhibits and, via a series of paternosters, conveyor belts and suspension tracks transport them through the exhibition spaces. Propelled within the tubes, and categorised only by size, the undulating lines of toys generate a kaleidoscope of original, unusual and unrelated collections to amuse and entertain.The observers take their own journey through this “clockwork” wonderland. Both object and viewer move independently, along different paths through the spaces. They interact from different vantage points, constantly varying perspective, interpretation and experience.
It is intended that by day the semi translucent external skin hints at the movement beneath; the shadowy movements within combined with the reflections in the water hint towards a mysterious, imaginative world inside. At certain vantage points, pedestrians are allowed to glimpse into the interior.
As night falls, the glow from the museum reveals the interior more clearly. The quintessential toy shop window, displaying the delights on offer, encourages visitors of all ages to press their noses against the glass and say to each other: “Let’s come back tomorrow, when they’re open”.