In a strange case of fact following fiction, a Dutch designer was inspired to create physical versions of faux-historical bridges first drawn on European currency in 2002.
The original two-dimensional illustrations of Austrian Robert Kalin were intended to represent periods rather than built objects, spanning Baroque, Classical, Gothic, Romanesque, Rococo and Modern 20th-Century styles.
Their three-dimensional counterparts, meticulously designed by Robert Stam draw on every detail of the notes, right down to the colors used. His works were erected as part of a housing project in Spijkenisse, Holland (near Rotterdam).
The European Bank wanted infrastructural art that would (so to speak) span cultures and nationalities, thus avoided mimicking existing structures in the semi-abstracted bridges on their new banknotes.
While they may look garish in color and strange in scale at first glance, pedestrians, cyclists and visitors reportedly appreciate them once they understand the unusual story behind their creation.
More from their designer: “On the first of January 2002 new banknotes were introduced in Europe. In addition to windows and gateways, these seven banknotes also depict several bridges. Each bridge has an individual appearance, all of which can be recognized as having originated throughout certain periods in European cultural history: Classical Antiquity, the Roman period, the Gothic period, the Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo, Iron- and glass architecture and lastly contemporary, twentieth century architecture. Now wouldn’t it be amazing if these fictional bridges suddenly turn out to actually exist in real life?”