Archiprint September 2014 \\ Volume 03 \ Issue 02
Dinsdag 18 November & Woensdag 19 November 2014
Bedrijvenmarkt Workshops Lezingen CV-check
Technische universiteit Eindhoven
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
Identity may seem as a wide, generic and somewhat unoriginal theme for a publication like Archiprint which, for the most part, aims to strike up a conversation with students and young professionals. Quite to the contrary, it has been an extraordinarily inspiring theme right from the conception that has both stimulated and sustained critical discussions. Through the curatorial process, the editorial board steadily developed a point of view on the issue that we believe is multidimensional, relevant and architecturally contemporary. This editorial elaborates our argument for and against identity as a central notion in architecture, supported by the rich and diverse opinions on the topic we have had the opportunity to bring together in the issue. We will also situate the individual opinions expressed in each article in a broader discussion presenting the argument of the editorial board. The previous issue of Archiprint inquired into Movements in Architecture that traced recent changes in practice and perception of architecture. It successfully captured a cross-section of contemporary movements or trends from sustainability to parametric design. Understandably, we were still reflecting on questions raised in that issue while pondering on potential themes for this issue. Looking back, a desire to find common ground in current architectural practice that seemed to traverse a very wide spectrum could have steered us towards a blanket theme like ‘Identity’. However, we did not foresee the extent to which the topic has really served that purpose. Scaffolds [page 6], a new attempt from Archiprint, assigned every member of the editorial board with the task of finding a personal point of view within Identity. The very useful exercise that we hope to continue in future editions, reiterated the tremendous scope of the theme, but it also emphatically demonstrated the common ground these starkly different, far-reaching observations – on art, architecture, the urban organism – share, proving the relevance of enquiring into such a blanket theme. The double-edged sword Within the theoretical framework of this issue, Identity has emerged as a strong
Kavitha Varathan, Michael Maminski
and critical notion in both the creation (in other words, creating an identity) and the experience of architecture (in other words, identifying with architecture). In creation, the creator or the architect asserts his identity on the created object or architecture. There is a will to assertively claim space by filling architecture with a distinct meaning and identity that is irrevocably tied to that of the creator or the creative agency. Some architecture is also subject to a will to sustain in time, others naturally tend to persist. In both cases, architecture that does persist becomes the collective expression of a culture, context or function. The architectural identity invoked in the act of creation and sustained in time may be referred to as Sustained Identity which becomes a frame of reference for any new architectural intervention. It is continuously evolving, is largely further attested and perpetuated, often interpreted, and sometimes challenged in the process of making architecture. Interestingly, experience of the architecture thus created also has an identity quotient, which operates on a much smaller scale – on that of an individual or a concentrated group. An individual’s (or a collective group of users’) identity significantly alters how architecture is perceived and more importantly used. Architecture enters into a dialogue instantaneously and contextually with each individual and depending on his experience and assumes an identity that is subjective and temporary. Julie Bosch, in her article [page 34], poignantly portrays the many worlds inside tediously similar row houses. The worlds created within these walls are unique for each inhabitant, different for father and son, for the length of his habitation. Each Experienced Identity is unique but is important because it affects the collective or Sustained Identity in the course of time. Identity thus is a volatile concept that strongly operates on two extremes of architectural production and in different capacities. Identity creation is both instantaneous and sustained. It simultaneously emerges and eventually dissolves with the perceiver and condition of discernment but also betrays a desire to sustain in posterity.
The conflict between the Experienced Identity and Sustained Identity is complex and it manifests as the crux of many articles in this issue; various writers, in strikingly different contexts and towards starkly different ends, seem to read identity in these two scales. Architects wield both Experienced and Sustained Identity Architects tend to distance themselves from any implicit agenda of identity creation, mostly because consciously constructing identity is looked upon as conspicuous and maneuvering. However architecture is inextricably woven with identity creation. The instinct to create identity, sustained and experienced, is probably the closest to the instinct to create architecture in that architecture is finding place in the existing, by making something new. While it may be apparent architects strongly influence the creation of Sustained Identity, it may be interesting to note they also notoriously affect Experienced Identity. The act of making something new is experiencing, interpreting and responding to a sustained identity. In the process, architects are almost forced to either refute or endorse a certain Sustained Identity. It is therefore critical architects are acutely aware of the architectural values they invariably perpetuate in both ends of the identity spectrum. Sustained Identity is a critical and central parameter in architecture creation. It almost acts as a yardstick that measures the quality of new interventions into its landscape. Ideally, sustained identity must sustain as an immaculate frame of reference, but more often than not its integrity is compromised. Ajeetha Ranganathan [page 8] and Dave ten Hoope [page 13] poignantly document two sides of a compromised Sustained Identity. Ranganathan examines the loss of local and vernacular identity in desire to comply with a global identity. On one hand, any vernacular or historical identity that has been bluntly interrupted is a collectively Sustained Identity which represents a specific condition and therefore cannot be resurrected as a true frame of reference.
On the other hand, entangled in politics of production and consumption, the ‘one’ global identity that is artificially sustained and promoted is making clones of our cities. Both fail as valid Sustained Identities; however architects have a choice and responsibility to meaningfully question the global identities we are building into. Ten Hoope brilliantly surmises the issues in actually carrying out that responsibility. He colorfully captures the reality of the developing world in contemporary India, the mammoth architectural commissions, the ambition of powerful developers, inherent contradictions, the war between a strong and diverse Indian identity and a desire to become the west, all playing out as factors that unabashedly perpetuate the new generic ‘international style’ and maybe renders the architect insignificant. Annemiek Osinga’s A Kind of Space [page 11] is a ‘pause’. The article recognizes the strong identity of Haussmann’s Paris, which has unapologetically claimed the spot as the immortal Sustained Identity of Paris. However, the ‘perception’ documented in the models suggests that every instance of perception is also a unique experience. Osinga finds space and potential to create a meaningful experienced identity even under the influence of a strong Sustained Identity. Experienced Identity, it may be argued, is slightly more significant because finally, it is what an architect really administers. The personal process of making something new is largely within every architect’s control. It is therefore not surprising there is a generous contribution of articles which enquire into one’s personal ethics of creating architecture. Alquin Olthof [page 19] after two decades of practicing architecture, found it necessary to reinterpret his master’s dissertation, his past and his city to gather personal motifs. The article is almost a retrospective manifesto that strongly advocates a unique and personal process of architecture creation. Marco Vermeulen [page 16] also features the city as his protagonist, but provides an interesting counterpoint to Olthof in that his personal process or tool to create architecture decisively departs from
a personal scale (and derives from an urban scale). As Anne Theiß and Daniel Geal argue in their article Personalities Create Identities [page 24], it is maybe most important that every instance of architecture emerges from a unique design process which reflects one’s own personality. Building architecture, one by one, as personal, ethical responsible Experienced Identities, can only ensure powerful and honest Sustained Identity reflective of our time but capable of change. In the light of Atmosphere As mentioned earlier the theme ‘Identity’ engages contemporary and ongoing architectural conversation. The renowned architectural publication OASE recently brought out their 91st issue on Building Atmosphere curated by an illustrious panel of architects and theoreticians and endorsed as well as guest-edited by acclaimed Swiss architect Peter Zumthor and Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa. The concerns expressed in this issue of Archiprint within the spectrum of Experienced and Sustained identity, significantly shares territory with the notion of Building Atmosphere. Largely, Building Atmosphere makes a case for an architecture that embodies the essence, nature and image of man and living. Understandably, we were curious! Paul Kersten represented Archiprint and reviewed OASE’s 91st publication event, which also hosted a conversation between its acclaimed contributors Zumthor, Pallasmaa and Böhme. In his article Atmosphere and Identity [page 29], Kersten enlists noted architectural historian and theorist Christian Norberg–Schulz to better understand the apparent kinship between identity and atmosphere. He quotes Norberg–Schulz, ‘the objects of identification are concrete environmental properties and man’s relationship to these is usually developed during childhood […] the child gets acquainted with the environment, and develops perceptual schemata which determine all future experiences’. Here Perceptual Schemata is quite a useful terminology to read the significance of Experienced and Sustained Identity and fathom the relationship between Identity and Atmosphere. Following Norberg–Schulz’s definition, Sustained Identity of architecture as a collective representation of human life strongly and continuously influences one’s personal schemata. Conversely, one’s personal schemata also determine one’s experience and therefore the construction of Experienced Identity. More specifically, the personal schemata of an architect will determine his interpretation of the architecture he encounters and the new architecture he endeavors
to build. It is critical to understand that drawing from a stream of consciousness one seeks to ‘affect’ the same stream of consciousness. There is always a risk of over-attesting a certain Sustained Identity, by creating more of the same. At the same time, any effort to completely or significantly breakaway runs the risk of emerging as irresponsible and shallow instances of experienced identity which is in turn unhealthy to a naturally Sustained Identity. The notion of Building Atmosphere, we believe, endorses the importance of this naturally sustained identity. Consequently, Identity squarely figures in this very potent contemporary architectural discussion. However, while we understand Sustained Identity as the actual representation of human life in ‘architecture’, Building Atmosphere endorses the propagation of a certain implied essence of human life that may or may not have consistently found expression in architecture, but rather, as atmosphere’s espousers may argue, has a right to find expression. Conclusion Archiprint’s inquiry into the notion of Identity has opened up many significant discussions and resulted in a few substantial hypotheses. Of these, we believe our reading of identity in architectural macrocosms and microcosms of sustained and experienced identity is particularly significant. The views expressed by many writers’ in this compilation touches on this twofoldness. The most direct reference, which also significantly steered the direction of the issue, may be Julie Bosch’s article Identity and the Living Environment, which explicitly endorses this duality in the terms ‘type’ and ‘token’. Other articles either address the duplexity, or strongly recognize the disadvantage of operating only in one or other – only creating or experiencing – identity. Especially introspective, interview or review articles on architects’ seem to incessantly try and find a modus operandi which allows an honest creation of an experienced identity while being acutely aware of their responsibility towards the Sustained Identity. Some try to be light, try to not inadvertently muddle the architectural stream of consciousness. Joost Ector, while interviewed [page 31] made an emphatic case to understand architecture as continuous movement and therefore accept one’s limited sphere of influence. Ector’s architecture not only tries to contain itself in the experience end, but also tries to allow for experience identity creation by every user. Others, the proponents of Building Atmosphere especially like Peter Zumthor, Juhani Pallasmaa
Kavitha Varathan, Michael Maminski
etc., stress the importance of a meticulous reading at the Sustained Identity end and carefully interpret that in one’s architecture. Every architect may arrive at his own concoction to respond to both these instances of identity creation. It is more important one does than the method itself. Michael Maminski’s piece Identity of a Place: Intervention and Harmonization in the Landscape [page 26] effectively outlines a ‘How to’ of an architectural process that emphasizes both instances of identity creation. Although, the article does not directly endorse the dual identity hypotheses, it is vividly aware of it. The twofoldness is recognized in the many dualities Maminski subscribes to – negation and reconciliation or conflict and reconciliation, exterior and interior etc. The writer makes a faultless case that any architecture is an intervention in a continuum that it comes in conflict with. The act of intervention is personal, predominantly an experience. The object of intervention, however, is engulfed by and becomes part of the continuum. The most useful distinction he makes of this duality is that he strongly asserts that duality applies to the process of making architecture as well. Creation of place is finding place in an existing stream of architectural consciousness or Sustained Identity, whereas creation of architecture is largely a personal identity creation subject to experience. Finally, responding to the contemporary positioning of Building Atmosphere, one cannot help but notice atmosphere nostalgically tends to overemphasize a ‘certain’ Sustained Identity. It is important to draw the difference here. Sustained Identity is largely a readable and recognizable architectural fact. It has resulted in styles, templates or even served as a tool to perpetuate power and allegiance in the past. It may continue to wield tremendous influence in the present, as the globalization of architecture testifies, but nevertheless it is an accurate record of architectural representation. Callous or indifferent interventions in the past may have upset the makeup of the prevalent sustained identity and its capacity to function as a valid framework, but that does not justify picking out and romanticizing merely one instance of expression. Building Atmosphere means well in that it endorses a careful reading on the macro scale and responsible creation in the human scale. However, Archiprint’s twin reading of Sustained and Experience identity may be more democratic, in that it merely emphasizes the importance of being aware of Identity operating in two extreme scales without promoting Building (any) Identity.
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
Scaffolds —First Grasps at Identity
De Grote Hof A worldwide phenomenon is the emergence of so called gated communities. In The Netherlands these strictly enclosed settlements hardly find breeding ground. However, a would-be popular typology in The Netherlands is the enclosed residential area. In contrast with the fully closed gated communities, these areas are still accessible for the public. The trick is to make these areas look as if they are closed with small entrances and little canals that surround the area. It is exactly for this suggestive aspect that these enclosed areas gain in popularity in The Netherlands: it offers an idea of overview and a strong identity for its inhabitants. This typology presents us a notion of identity; a very literal and at the same time metaphorical one. The inhabitants find identification with a residential area which slightly differs, and intentionally excludes itself, from what is understood as being the standard.1 Paul Kersten
Shahnemeh: The Poem of All Time The Shahnemeh (The Book of Kings) is an enormous poetic opus written by the gifted Persian poet Ferdowsi, between 977 and 1010 AD. This poem is the national epic of Iran. Shahnemeh is of central importance in Persian culture, regarded as a literary masterpiece, and definitive of ethno-national cultural identity of Iran. Study of the Shahnemeh gives us a literary excuse for exploring how culture moves across time and space, becoming part of the global common heritage. The Shahnemeh is still alive and well in Iran, still doing its best reminding Persians who they are. Peyvand Yavari Shahnemeh2 Much I have suffered in these thirty years, I have revived the Ajam3 with my verse. I will not die then alive in the world, For I have spread the seed of the word. Whoever has sense, path and faith, After my death will send me praise.
Strijp-S: Old & New Eindhoven Meet The city of Eindhoven partly thanks her image due to the rich history of this area. This strong and unique identity derives from its historical significance for the city and the industrial, recognizable atmosphere that has been preserved. Recently, new functions were added to the area, making it accessible for a wider audience while at the same time the genius loci stays clearly respected. By uniting the past with the present, the area gets an even stronger identity. Julie Bosch
1 Rieke Vos, ‘Campingvertier of de geïsoleerde identiteit’. Retrieved from: http://www.architectuurfonds.nl/content/dsr/i_050/Campingvertier_of_de_geisoleerde_identiteit_Rieke_Vos.pdf 2 Ferdowsi, Shahnemeh: The Persian Book of Kings. Poem translated by Reza Jamshidi Safa. Tehran, Iran. 3 Ajam is a word used in Persian and Arabic literature, but with different meanings. In Arabic, Ajam has two meanings: ‘non-Arab’ and ‘Persian’. Literally it means ‘the one who is illiterate in language’, ‘silent’, or ‘mute’, and refers to non-Arabs in general.
Levittown, Pennsylvania Between 1952 and 1958, Levitt and Sons – a real estate development company – built 17.311 almost identical single-family dwellings with lawns on roughly 26 square kilometres of land in Pennsylvania. Levittown, as it was named, became known as one of the largest suburban developments created in the USA. This community-like suburban project mainly housed returning veterans from WWII and their new families. Not only was almost every house in Levittown identical, all houses were equipped with standard kitchens and appliances, houses came with standard front yards with a white picket fence and green lawn. Also every adult was roughly the same age, family compositions and situations were alike, and for a long period of time residents were of the white, Caucasian race strictly and homes were not sold to African Americans! Levittown soon represented an idyllic, uniform, white and paradigmatic post-war American symbol of domesticity. In the documentary Great Expectations4, an older resident of Levittown describes how back in the heydays, a man returning from work at night, drove up into one of the many curvilinear streets of identical homes, entered one and sat down in the kitchen and read his newspaper, was suddenly shocked when a woman entered the kitchen and started screaming. It proved to be the wrong house! It seems that Levittown developed an identity of sameness and homogeneity, orchestrated by one single developer and building company. Michael Maminski Further reading: Julie Bosch, Identity and the Living Environment [page 34].
Courtyards The enigma of a courtyard is probably that it is the only true non-place in architecture. Like the infamous glass that is always half full as much as it is half empty, a place is always potent with meaning before architecture can create space; there is no clean slate without at least a suggestion of an earlier identity. In other words, there is no non-place that may allow an instance of pure architecture devoid of inherited meaning. I like to think, courtyards have persisted through history across cultures as a first gesture in creation of that ideal space. The abstract perfection of the ritual is profound. The instinct to conquer a place is tamed in the closing-in to make ‘space’. That space wades off the outside, only to open it again in the inside as a pure non-place charged with a potential for the ideal. The enigma of a courtyard is of course that the second gesture, the act of literally making a pure space is continuously suspended, is never realized but always implicit. So, where or when does the act of architecture begin may remain unresolved – like anything profound or worthy, but courtyard nested in the thick of things throws a neat curve! Kavitha Varathan Further reading: Michael Maminski, Identity of a Place [page 26].
Denmark’s Identity Struggle Several years ago, Denmark started to upgrade its image of producing dull architecture by implementing large modern projects. Funny fact is, that architecture companies in Denmark are very much in favor of Dutch architecture and collaborate a lot with Dutch architecture companies.5 Do the Danes try to find a new identity through Dutch architecture? Annemiek Osinga
4 Great Expectations. A Journey through the History of Visionary Architecture, directed by Jesper Wachtmeister (2007; Sweden: Solaris Filmproduktionen), DVD. 5 Kirsten Hannema, ‘Super Dansk’, De Volkskrant (2013). Retrieved from: http://www. volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/2844/Archief/archief/article/ detail/3496957/2013/08/23/Super-Dansk.dhtml  De Grote Hof, Rapp+Rapp Architects, 2007. Retrieved from: http://www.rappenrapp.nl/en/ projects/de-grote-hof-courtyard-dwellings/  Rostam and the Dragon. Painted by Mahmoud Farshchian. Retrieved from: http://pedramrostami.com/2.html  Strijp-S, Eindhoven [photo: Julie Bosch]  Cape Cod-style homes, Levittown, Pennsylvania [photo: Bettman/Corbis] Retrieved from: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/10/12/nyregion/13levittown.CA03.jpg  Mor Chowk or Peacock Place, City Palace, Udaipur, India [image: Wikimedia Commons] Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Courtyard#mediaviewer/File:Mor_chowk,_ City_Palace,_Udaipur.jpg  Isbjerget (The Iceberg), Aarhus, Denmark, designed by CEBRA, JDS, SeArch and Louis Paillard [photo: Annemiek Osinga]
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
Uniquely Globalized —Thoughts on Urban Character
The vastness of the notion of identity, as discussed in this issue of Archiprint, is more compelling than ever when reckoned in an urban scale. While we are still grappling with what may be the identity of a unit, a person, a building etc, the phenomenon is already lending to, growing or diminishing with a neighborhood, a city, country or a period of time. So what are the ramifications for the singular, the unique and the local units of identity when the already enormous ground of urban identity grows global ambition. Ajeetha Ranganathan, in her article, poignantly draws out the various players in the globalization of architectural aesthetics and the strain caused by the speed and the intensity of the phenomenon on slow, organic process of local identity creation. The identity of a city can be quite difficult to define or express, comprised as it is of numerous intangibles. However, the physical form of a city, its urban morphology, is something much more tangible and easier to define.
of the streets, construction materials and built form were derived from local conditions of geography, climate and culture. This can be seen, for example, in the narrow streets in hot dry climates such as Jaipur in India, where the houses share walls to prevent heat gain. Buildings were mainly of local materials – mud or stone or wood – and the details derived from the material, climate and culture. An example would be the mashrabiyas of the Middle East. These serve the dual function of cooling the hot air and to allow privacy for the women of the household. Another example would be that of the 15th century Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, India. The city is located in the Himalayas, and the mosque combines Islamic arches with a roof form suited to the heavy snowfall of the region. The scale of buildings and open spaces, the form of the buildings, the pitch of the roofs, construction materials, detailing and decorative elements were unique to each place, making the city distinctive and easy to identify.
Historic influences on urban form In the past, when one visited a city, it was possible to immediately get a sense of place in the city centre. Cities were shaped by geography, history and climate, giving each a unique identity. Building crafts were dependent on local materials and traditions, although there was a certain amount of influence from invasions and trade. The vernacular of each of these places was different. Old cities still retain some of these characteristics. Traditional cities had a centre of religious and civic public buildings around which housing neighbourhoods were clustered. The scale
Forces shaping contemporary urban environments The modern city is shaped by the effects of industrialisation and globalisation. ‘Everywhere in the world is becoming alike economically and culturally as a consequence of globalization. This is a scaling up from the national to a global scale of the old idea of ‘modernization’. From this perspective, common global norms about conduct, consumption standards, and cultural practices are spreading everywhere.’1 Road widths are now a function of the automobile, a condition that is global rather than local.
The invention of air-conditioning and elevators contributed to the spread of what Vidler described as the second typology — the building as machine2. Air-conditioning in particular facilitated the detachment of the building from its surrounding environment, revolutionising the way a building had to be designed. The hermetically-sealed building/ engine did not have to respond to heat, cold, noise or dust, day or night. The industrialisation of building construction also resulted in a change in the culture of building from a craftsman–led tradition to mass-produced standardization. The increase in standardization and the global movement of materials have led to a situation where buildings in vastly different locales use remarkably similar materials. Architecture is influenced by forces larger than design intent. Market demands, construction limitations, the demands of client and program or the restrictions of planning and safety regulations can combine to shape a large part of the built environment. As developers and construction companies operate globally, they tend follow standard procedures wherever they operate. These macro-influences on the built environment therefore largely operate in a similar way across multiple locations. The scales of buildings, construction technique, program and services and choice of materials are affected by these influences, which in turn 1 John Agnew (n.d.), ‘The New Global Economy: Time-Space Compression, Geopolitics, and Global Uneven Development’, Journal of World-Systems Research (vii, 2, 2001), 133–154 2 Anthony Vidler, ‘The Third Typology’, Oppositions 7 (Winter 1977), 287–294
has a bearing on the final built form. Air-conditioning, in combination with global standardisation of material and program has resulted in a built environment that is adrift from any relationship to its location. The centres of many cities are starting to lose their identity in the rush to globalise. Each city, of course, has some heritage structures carefully preserved â&#x20AC;&#x201D; palaces, cathedrals or temples. But the bulk of city centres comprise relatively new typologies- the office tower block, the mall. There are the ubiquitous glass office towers, the anonymous airports and the enclosed shopping malls. The latter typology combines conformity with a desire to stand out. The modern shopping mall is an entirely internalised building, with few visual connections to the external environment. Endless rows of shops parade along corridors. The desire to stand out from the neighbours has resulted in a rush to create unique brand identity. Each brand has a carefully-crafted identity which reflects in everything from store design to packaging. When the brand is global, this identity is replicated across all their outlets, creating the same experience anywhere in the world, an experience different from the neighbouring brand, whoever they are. Go inside a shopping mall and you are instantly transported to a place that is everywhere and nowhere. The same brands stare at you in Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam, Mumbai and Manchester. The marketplace and its consumers are global, united by a shared consumption of mass media and its affiliate brands. The brands too are global, transcending all notions of place in a solipsistic parade of retail shops and flashing advertisements. Branding has found its way, not just in individual companies, but also certain typologies. People automatically expect a mall to look a certain way, a software company to look another way. This expectation has become the context. For example, a software company in India may be more concerned about how its campus is perceived by its clients in California than by its local neighbours. In many ways,
The French (above) and Tamil (below) quarters in the former French colony of Pondicherry, India [photo: Ajeetha Ranganathan]
Although both respond to the warm and humid climate through devices such as courtyards and shaded verandas, the final built form is very different as it responds to very different social hierarchies and lifestyles [photo: Ajeetha Ranganathan]
identity has been replaced by brand. Architecture has also become a brand. As Deborah Berke says, ‘We live in a culture where heroes have been replaced by celebrities. In this climate, the architect must become a celebrity in order to gain the opportunity to build... Those who do build tend to produce signature buildings designed to attract the attention of the media and sustain the public’s focus.’3
Singapore [photo: Uma Saxena]
Brussels, Belgium [photo: Ajeetha Ranganathan]
Conclusion Most cities are still a mix of the traditional and the modern. Many cities, however, are growing at such a fast pace that the modern and the homogenous are fast outstripping the old identities. This then leads to the question: do cities really need a unique local identity in such a globalised world? While a city can survive without a clearly-defined local identity, it would be a significant cultural loss if Venice or Old Delhi lost their uniqueness, which is what makes people visit these places. The pressures on natural resources and growing costs of energy may also mean that buildings may be forced to be more climatically responsive and less systems-dependent. The challenge will lie in how cities negotiate the opposing notions of local identity in a global culture. Local governance and urban planning would have a significant role to play in this regard. These could range from interventions in planning bye-laws to the framing of a new vernacular which is derived from history but set firmly in the current context. Cities are not static. They grow and change with time. Taking into account the forces of globalisation and the aspirations of people, it may be interesting to examine how architecture can respond to these concerns while shaping an identity that is unique to its location.
3 Deborah Berke, ‘Thoughts on the everyday’, in: A. Krista Sykes (ed.), Constructing a New Agenda: Architectural Theory 1993-2009 (New York, Princeton Architectural Press, 2010)
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
A Kind of Space —An Interpretation of the Atmosphere in twelve Parisian Quarters
In February 2014, the graduation studio A Kind of Space, led by Jacob Voorthuis and Sjef van Hoof, started. The initial idea was to grab the atmosphere of a Parisian street. Twelve different areas in Paris were chosen and analyzed. As a process, and in order to come up with a comparable outcome, several models (of which two are published in this issue) were made to encapsulate the identity – or atmosphere – of a certain area.
The Opéra itself, designed by Charles Garnier, was constructed in 1875. Until the opening of the Opéra Bastille in 1989, it was the primary opera house of Paris.1
Avenue de l’Opéra Between 1853 and 1882 Paris was transformed in order to create a healthy and modern city. This urban renewal, designed by Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann, included several boulevards that provided the city light and air. The Avenue de l’Opéra, situated in both the first and second arrondissement of Paris, was one of them and required the demolition of a large amount of Parisian building blocks.
View from balcony of the Opéra Garnier [photo: Annemiek Osinga]
The model shows the strong perspective in the Avenue de l’Opéra, which seem to converge into the horizon. The building blocks in the front function as theater wings, out of which cars and pedestrians appear and disappear. This is called theatricality2. The stage is mainly territorialized by traffic. When standing on the balcony of the Opéra, looking in the direction of the Avenue de l’Opéra, you are the audience.
1 Jean Castex & Jean Charles Depaule, De rationele stad, van bouwblok tot wooneenheid (Nijmegen: SUN, 2003) 2 Theatricality involves a representation of reality as well as a relation between the spectator or
the audience and the actors on stage. These spectators and actors can reverse positions in a way that renders a steady position of spectatorship impossible. The potential of theatricality is strongly related to the perception of the specific spectator.
Interpretional model of the Avenue de l’Opéra [photo: Ben Kleukers]
A Kind of Space
Les Olympiades In the 1950s Paris started the GPRU (Grand Projet de Renovation Urbaine) which included 35 high rise apartment buildings. The project became the biggest urban renewal since Haussmann. Les Olympiades, situated in the largest Chinatown of Europe, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, became the most successful part. It was meant to connect Les Olympiades, with its fifteen planned towers, all named after Olympic cities, with train station Les Gobelins. Therefore, the urban planning of the area existed of a Le Corbusier-like solution: three (semi) subterranean levels for transportation (one for storage, one for the brand new train station and one for a parking lot), a level for labor and several levels for living, which was realized in high rise apartment buildings. The presence of the train station was the decisive factor for the urban composition. In 1970 it started with the construction of the platforms and in 1973 the first tower was delivered. In the end, two of the fifteen towers were never built, because of expropriation problems. Therefore, the top platform was never finished and left in a devastated state for over 40 years. After the departure of the last train from train station Les Gobelins in 1992, two basement levels of Les Olympiades were transformed into the logistics department of the Asian commerce.3 The model reveals the scale of the surroundings. The space is guided by striation4; the buildings, the green-
View from the Rue de Tolbiac, when arriving on the upper level of Les Olympiades, Paris, France [photo: Annemiek Osinga]
ery, even the street lights and the facades, everything is outlined. The corridor flats seem to bend over, while the high rise apartment buildings disappear into the sky. This has a certain effect on the visitor. When arriving on the upper level of Les Olympiades, coming from the Rue de Tolbiac, you feel very small compared to the surroundings, but as soon as you reach the zigzagged pavilions you start to grow.
3 Pavillon de lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Arsenal, Connaissance des Arts: Les Olympiades Paris XIIIe, Une ModernitĂŠ Contemporaine (Parijs: Groupe Les Ă&#x2030;chos, 2013) 4 French philosopher Gilles Deleuze defined striated space as the regulated space, which is homogeneous and where the relation between two objects is always univocal.
The graduation studio A Kind of Space consists of twelve students: Fieke van den Beuken, Jorg de Bie, Thijs Frijters, Aukje Goossens, Iris van Huijstee, Murat Imamoglu, Ben Kleukers, Sam de Koning, Tess Landsman, Annemiek Osinga, Josefien van Soest and Lieselotte de Vrught.
Interpretional model of the upper level op Les Olympiades [photo: Ben Kleukers]
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
Between Dave ten Hoope Skyscrapers and Townships —Architecture at Breakneck Speed I have always been quite the traveller, but never could I have anticipated the journey that was about to take hold of my life. After registering my office Studio Dave, I chose a voluntary exile from an economically hampered Europe, and went east. After being groomed in the Eindhoven fashion, New Delhi became my training grounds. Following some six months of doing architectural competitions, 3D visualisation work, and graphic design, I now was working for Morphogenesis, one of the leading architectural offices in modern day India. The days of the student were over as I welcomed the lifestyle of a professional. As I was exposed to Indian lifestyles and customs along with the occasional superstition and religious beliefs, I became more aware of my position as architect within the fabric of everyday life in the hubbub of 21st century Asia; of my foreignness – to be exploited later on in the real estate market; of the (mis)fortune of being spoiled by contemporary architecture & engineering. Everything happened in high speed and nothing was too much; being architect as well as inhouse architectural photographer I had the opportunity of exploring some of the most fascinating places in across North–India, like Mumbai, Delhi, Noida, and Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh. Little did I know, however, that the design philosophy of this office evolved into somewhat of a personal attitude towards architecture later on – a blend between generic architecture and local adaptations.
Architect at D&D and the world of real estate developers To be told that working with a developer is somewhat different from working with a private client is quite different from walking the mile yourself. Being brought in D&D (Design & Development, Delhi) as their very first foreigner to be hired expectations were high — very high (a process to be repeated later on at BBCL). I was brought on board of existing and on-going projects to make alternative designs; at the same time there was not a competition that went by for which I wasn’t responsible to make, calculate, and present an option. The project scales were mind boggling at first – especially coming from the cradle that I call home, being used to individ-
New Delhi, India, 2012 [photo: Priyanka Sharma]
ual villas, row houses, an occasional office, and car show rooms. Nothing of the sort up here; new office for EY (Ernst & Young) on a 2+ acre site (8.400 m2); a 70-story skyscraper with a footplate of 1.500 m2; a 140 m tall twin tower on a piece of land 4.35 acres (close to 18.000 m2) — to be designed, calculated, and presentable within 24 hours; a mixed-use development, including office tower, retirement homes, business suites, studio apartments, SoHo’s, shopping mall, 6-screen cinema, game zone, food court, club, all in all some 80.000 m2 on a parcel of land amounting to 10.4 acres; and to top it all off, masterplanning for a new township of 120 acres! I was introduced to the concept designing servant rooms with servant toilets, separate circula-
Between Skyscrapers and Townships
tion for the resident and the cleaners/cooks/ servants, the necessity of balconies for each bedroom, the luxury of having a family and a drawing room in addition to the living room, as well as the true master bedroom complete with a set of sofas, table and of course a king size bed. The image of India as a third world country was shattered as I was exposed and subjected to design for the rich and the top segment in real estate. It felt like I was going places. Imagine my genuine surprise (and delight) when I was asked to design the new office for EY. With a local set-up (Gurgaon), the management was looking for a very contemporary building, yet designed conform the local ‘laws of design’: Vastu Shastra. Having studied the basics in my pastime during my tenure with Morphogenesis, I developed
a concept in which the most auspicious number in the Vastu system was the golden principle for the entire design — 9. In this way the central cut-outs, or patios, that run throughout the building in a staggered fashion have a clear dimension of 9 x 9 meters, equally distributed, 9 meters from the outer facades. The positions of the managers, the directions the work stations face, the location of the different departments, the global dimensions of the building, the main entry, and even the pattern across the facade, are all based on the strict rules of Vastu, yet in contemporary fashion, one might even say, bordering the generic. The H2O mall (from Home-to-Office, and the water based theme), was a different story altogether. Here the challenge was to bridge an extensive residential requirement, with
Dave ten Hoope
high-class office spaces, all the while sharing the plot with top-segment shopping and entertainment spaces, and last but not least, to provide for the senior citizens in the form of retirement apartments. In this scheme I segregated all four different components in terms of vehicular movement, parking spaces, and pedestrian circulation, even though the different components are all part of the same building mass. Even though there is no direct connection between the various individual programmes, visual links are established by means of vistas on site level, staggered terrace spaces, transparent openable – roof system, and even a fullfledged waterfall that comes down from the studio apartments (top of the image), pours down into a massive glass cone, and empties into a 2.500 m2 water body that flows through
Impression of the 60m tall Hanging Gardens project with Jain temple, Chennai, India, 2014 [visualisation: Visual N. Motion]
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
the shopping complex. Though the fluid lines and lavish materials hint at the generic images shown all around the world, it is the local wind and sun direction, as well as the local vegetation that makes it all possible. Manager Architect at BBCL Following my tenure with D&D I was approached by BBCL (Barath Building Construction Pvt. Ltd.); the offer: Manager Architect, heading the architectural department and creating one-of-a-kind buildings across Chennai, capital of the State Tamil–Nadu. As scary as it sounded I accepted wholeheartedly – off to yet another adventure! Architecture has become a side-dish, better yet, a desert – but a desert to fight for nonetheless! Whereas for some desert comes in the form of a meal, I am forced to take all three courses and preferably emerge without an upset stomach. Politics both inside and out, together with the economy and the pragmatism of the day demand it so. But play your cards right and that very desert might well become an appetizer for some; if you know who to talk to and how, that appetizer can end up as a full–fledged meal in itself! In a world in which every second counts, and each little piece of land is to be utilized,
15 you have to know the rules of engagement. Apart from a good dose of languages I now speak fluent metric and imperial, and even make use of the local denominators lakh and crore1. Within the studio the meter prevails, while every sit-down with clients is accompanied by feet and inches. The higher you move up in the food chain, the more you wish you had paid more attention during math, statistics, and economy, for the world seems to move in numbers – profits, saleable, carpet, and plinth areas, room dimensions, common loading, parking lots, height restrictions, ground coverage – it seems that for each project Euclid and Chanakya renew their wedding vows. At the moment I am responsible for the design of half a dozen projects, with an equal number of projects lined up, ready to be put into pipeline. Whereas the main focus during my period in Delhi was on mixed-use developments, the majority of the projects I am handling down south are of Residential nature. Standing at Schiphol on Gandhi Jayanti (The International Day of Non–Violence) at the end of my last academic summer, a train of thoughts went through my head, as excitement filled my body. Little did I know, however, that only 18 months later over 300.000 odd m2 of residential spaces
and individual villas, about 50.000 m2 of office spaces, some 30.000 m2 of shopping mall and multiplex, and over 170 acres of master-planning came out of my Staedtler. Some projects have not made it beyond the concept stage, others have made it to the engineering phase, and then there are some projects that are either under construction, or have even seen their completion already. Never could I have imagined the stress and frustration that comes with the job; neither could I have anticipated the genuine joy that I felt while standing in my first completed project – a luxurious marketing office. (S)P(L)ACE At the advent of summer 2014 another chapter dawns; the opening of an independent Architectural office ready to take on the world in a time that developers and investors alike are expending their hold on the planet in search of riches and glory. Today more than ever I hold Vitruvius’ words in the highest regard for it is an unspoken truth that ‘the architect should be equipped with knowledge of many branches of study and varied kinds of learning, for it is by his judgement that all work done by the other arts is put to test. This knowledge is the child of practice and theory’2. While the foundation was laid in the Design Capital of Europe, it is here, in all its shocking appearances, that practice provides all that is necessary to finally, truly practise, learn, and grow. Ancient Greece was ruled by scholars, Rome was in the hands of the masses; the latter applies to modern day Chennai as well. A great man once said: ‘win the crowd and you’ll win your freedom.’ For all intends and purposes I intend to do so and emerge enlightened from an exiled existence in a country far away from home. 1 lakh (100.000); crore (10.000.000) 2 Vitrivius, The Ten Books on Architecture, Morris Hicky Morgan (trans.), (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1914), ‘Chapter 1: The Education of the Architect’, 5.
Fifth floor of the design for new Ernst & Young Office in Gurgaon, Delhi NCR, India, 2013 [visualisation: Dave ten Hoope]
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
Regional and Urban Identity —An Interview with Marco Vermeulen
Julie Bosch, Michael Maminski
While there is an increasing need for distinctiveness and clear identity, cities and regions are starting to look more and more alike. The built environment is becoming uniform and bland, unspecific to actual needs and local qualities. By addressing the environment’s existing spatial, geographical and economic qualities in architectural and urban design, significant difference can be made to improve cities and urban environments. This also holds for rural regions where the designer can find richness in local history and characteristics to be implemented in architectural design and strategies. Archiprint talked to Marco Vermeulen, founder of Studio Marco Vermeulen, about these issues regarding regional and urban identity, and how architects and urban designers should address these notions.
of the port. Until 20 years ago, ships were sometimes moored seven rows deep here. It was a functional port and no one thought about its identity. These days, you see a whole range of experiments and research being conducted in a continuous search for the identity of Rotterdam. Today Rotterdam is a skyscraper city, tomorrow a sport city, next a social laboratory. In my view, Rotterdam’s most important quality is that it is a water city. In 2005 there was an architecture biennale called The Flood, curated by Adriaan Geuze. At a global level, it examined how water safety issues could be connected to spatial properties. It struck me that in a city like Rotterdam – which hosted the biennial – that issue did not receive much attention. At that time water safety issues were considered challenges to engineering, not to architecture.
Studio Marco Vermeulen has worked on several projects involving water in Rotterdam. What can you tell us about the role water plays in Rotterdam? And about its connection to the identity of the city? I’ve been living in Rotterdam for 15 years now. The funny thing is that 15 years ago, the river was seen as much less central to the city than we conceive it to be today. As a born and bred Brabander, to me the river is a central element in the city, but many people from Rotterdam feel that the river is on the outskirts. That is why we [Studio Marco Vermeulen] are able to rent relatively cheap office premises on an island in the middle of the river Maas: that actually speaks volumes about the prestige of that river! Of course, the river has always been part
What are the problems Rotterdam is now facing? And how do you respond to them as a spatial designer? Rotterdam is probably the lowest-lying city in Western Europe. On a European scale, its geo-morphological context is extraordinary. Since water approaches the city from four directions – from the sea, the river, the sky and the ground – it has to contend with almost every water problem imaginable. Rotterdam is one big laboratory for urban water challenges. The question is how to solve the water safety issue while simultaneously addressing other problems, for instance regarding housing, public space, and so on. By working on these issues, you implicitly work on the identity of Rotterdam as well.
What is your approach exactly? Can you describe a specific problem and your response to it? Like I said, the water comes from four sides. Also, the coming decades will feature more rain falling in shorter time spans due to climate change. With this, the peak load on the existing sewer systems will increase and that will cause all kinds of problems. This may not seem all that important, but all basements in a city like Rotterdam flooding regularly will entail enormous economic damage. Not to mention the reputational damage. So you have to tackle this challenge on the scale of the city. There are two things you can do: invest money underground and maximize the sewer system, or add extra capacity to the water system locally. The first has been done near the former Dutch Architecture Institute (NAi), now the New Institute, where a huge basement has been constructed in recent years that is deliberately flooded when this kind of peak load occurs. This is actually a way to increase the capacity of the sewer system. It has cost millions, but is invisible to the general public. In the Rotterdam Waterstad project launched in 2005, we proposed to create public space locally, at the district level, that could safely be flooded a couple of times per year at times of heavy rainfall. Instead of pouring those millions into the ground, you can beautify a square! You see, in addition to the water safety issue, creating large-scale public spaces in the city is also a major challenge to Rotterdam. By now, two of these water retention squares are realized in the city.
Regional and Urban Identityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;An Interview with Marco Vermeulen
Model of water retention square [photo: Jeroen Bodewits]
Gas receiving station, Dinteloord, The Netherlands [photo: Ronald Tilleman]
Julie Bosch, Michael Maminski
Regional and Urban Identity—An Interview with Marco Vermeulen
And in this way, the water city imago is made tangible? Yes, it is made visible and legible at the same time. First, you solve the water safety issue; second, you do this in a way that makes the city more beautiful and attractive. In addition, the squares meet an educational purpose: people become more aware of how the water system works, of the metabolism of the city. Studio Marco Vermeulen tackles many issues related to the profile or imago of the city, its environment or its context. Imago is really just a marketing tool, you literally try to create a certain image of a city, of your surroundings, or of yourself. That image can then be used to initiate change. On the other hand, an imago must have some basis in reality. Eindhoven calling itself Skyscraper City would be fine and dandy, but if there are only seven high-rise buildings in town, it will not do any good. Eindhoven calling itself Water City would make no sense at all. A city must have some demonstrably distinctive feature. Once you have decided what that is, you can of course use it to develop something to found character and identity on. Right now, we are working on the Southern Frontier. Nearly everyone knows the New Dutch Waterline: it runs north to south, from Naarden towards the Biesbosch. The Southern Frontier begins at the West-Brabantse Waterline and runs from the Graven area to the Bergen op Zoom area. The line is 150 km long and in the seventeenth century covered the area between the fortified towns of Bergen op Zoom, Steenbergen, Willemstad, Heusden, Den Bosch, Graven and Ravenstein. The area in between was defended by flooding it: by inundating it. The Netherlands is famous for its efforts to dam and protect itself against the water. The waterlines, however, make a good example of the use of water to keep out an enemy. The Netherlands is actually covered by this type of waterlines. It is quite fascinating at the system level, especially the size and
18 scale at which they occur. A challenge like this has historical actuality: you can point out the forts; you can tell where the inundated areas, redoubts and positions used to be. You can take this heritage as a starting point for the regional development of the entire Southern Frontier area. At a meta level, the area is regarded as a green leisure landscape in the midst of all the urban dynamics. It is located centrally between the Randstad, the Flemish Diamond, the cities of Brabant and even the Ruhr Region. Together with its historical significance, this generates a huge development potential. How does Studio Marco Vermeulen ensure that these issues of local identity manifest as buildings? Can you give an example? Obviously, the previous example represents a large-scale issue. At the same time, I also enjoy to occasionally address regional subjects. We were asked to design a gas receiving station in Dinteloord. Gas is, of course, a fossil fuel and old economy; however a biodigester was built in the area simultaneously. A biodigester generates methane from organic material. This methane will soon fuel the greenhouses. That is interesting, because this sector is then run locally on residual material from the adjoining sugar factory. To express this development architecturally, we wanted to make the façade panels of the gas receiving station from organic material: bio resin and hemp fibres, so completely bio-based. One panel features the chemical formula of natural gas in exactly the right ratio of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. So you actually read ‘fossil’, written in the language of the green economy. A regional issue is thus translated into a façade panel. As a designer, you can alternate between those scales and provide demonstrations on a smaller scale. Designers love such challenges. Looking at an environment in a more generic way allows designers to work on different scales. The region is also proud of the first bio-based (read: bio composite) building
Julie Bosch, Michael Maminski
in the world and does not fail to proclaim so. It is a good precursor of something you are going to see a lot more of soon: vegetable materials used as building materials. The sugar factory, for example, is presently investigating whether they can use their own waste products for construction materials. As a designer, you can stimulate processes by thinking logically: you translate a development in an almost journalistic way, contributing something on a small scale. And this in turn has a positive effect on the region. Like the concept of water squares: it strengthens identity and economic development on a larger scale. These are ongoing developments, but it is also our job to make things tangible and clear that are a bit more difficult to understand or not tangible, by making them very concrete for just an instant. Those stories are not necessarily merely abstract: as a designer, you can translate them as well. And vice versa: you can also feed the translation back to the story. Translated from Dutch by D’Laine Camp
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
On the way, but where does it lead to?
What is your identity as an architect? What defines your identity as an architect? An architect’s personal identity is undoubtedly related to his/her frame of reference. In this essay, Alcuin Olthof describes the relevance of becoming aware of your personal ‘archive’. It can be valuable to start this ‘journey’ – with a reflection on your learning path – and to explore your qualities in order to develop a better self-awareness and understanding of yourself and as an architect. One way to express this quest in a concrete form is through drawing. The visualized ‘quest’ and ‘search’ within yourself can prove to be a powerful tool for getting to know your qualities, desires and capacities.
I worked on an imaginary depiction and drawing exercise based on Van Heel’s The Journey. In 1988, The Journey, the metaphor for ‘being on the way’, was a major influence in my own final thesis called Masterpiece. After seven years of studying, I had the idea I was only starting to ‘be on the way’, trying to find my way in architecture and understanding what I was doing in the professional work field. What makes me study Architecture? Present tense, indeed, because the question and its subsequent research are still relevant to me. The reason I used Van Heel’s work for the workshop is because there is a story written and published, besides the physical model. My own thesis is only carried by images and therefore less transferable. By reading part of The Journey out loud and asking for a representation, l challenged the students to approach architecture the way Van Heel and I did.
The walls on either side of the stairs consist of books as far as the eye can see. From top to bottom, perpendicular to the length of the staircase, they form a huge accumulation of written language. It seems an almost physical impossibility; there in the depth, where vanishing point and origin are placed, the pressure on the books has to be huge.1 The Courthouse The text of The Courthouse contains three parts in total: The Case, The Journey and The Game. The above fragment is from The Journey. It calls to mind the image of an archive. Are archives not the memory of organizations and in this case the source of critical (self)-examination? What did I read? Which information did I consume? What is stored? What is its value? In his graduation project, Van Heel felt more or less forced to engage in concepts such as origin and objectivity. In his philosophical search and writing, and by making an architectural model of the spaces he describes, Van Heel organized all this information into a suggestion that shows how to deal with questions like these. Workshop In March 2014, together with a small group of students,
Essay This essay is a result of an interesting conversation about the metaphor of an archive, and the importance of an architect’s self-reflection. Another question arose in the same conversation: What does your archive look like? And more questions followed, like: Which books are stored in it? What is your source of inspiration? Where does your fascination lie? Why do you study architecture? Why do you study it at this university? Is it architecture or engineering? What is architecture about? Thinking These are meaningful questions, which can only be answered in moments of reflection and by self-enquiry. There is no objective and there is no conclusive answer. 1 Free translation from Dutch from: Gerard van Heel, De Gerechtsplaats (Rotterdam: NAi Uitgevers, 1994), 26. The Courthouse is the graduation project
(1993) of Gerard van Heel at the Academie van Bouwkunst in Arnhem, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, faculteit Bouwkunst. With this project he was one of two winners of Archiprix ’93.
On the way, but where does it lead to?
There is no truth. There is only your own truth — for the moment. After all, if everything moves, the truth will move too. One of the bearing questions of Van Heel is about how to approach truth objectively. Is truth more than the quantifiable, more than ‘to which one measures’? The philosopher Martin Heidegger thinks and writes about the basic existence of people. One of his tools is etymological research and with this tool he argues, for example, that life and the act of building equate to ‘being’ or ‘existence’. And the act of building is filling a spot, the ein-frieden. As a result, space and the limitation of it is directly linked to the subject that takes care. This ‘subjectification’ is a way to live and build a place to give. Truth is one of Van Heel’s most important research points. He seems to be influenced in his approach by Heidegger. Like Heidegger, he examines the word ‘truth’ through etymology. In this way, according to him, there is a completely different explanation captured in the Dutch word waarheid (literally ‘truth’, but in this meaning translated as ‘whereness’). In Dutch, the word waar is about the question of ‘where’. In this way it is approached as an adverb of place, an inquiry to place. According to Van Heel, ‘whereness’ is in essence an architectural concept.
mean ‘right’. We take what is right for us to know or right to carry over to others. The one who transmits knowledge has the responsibility to ensure that what he or she has experienced is transferred as correct. Second-hand knowledge is no knowledge.2 Derkse likes to describe the profound and patient art of transferring knowledge as education. In Dutch there are two words for education, namely educatie and onderwijs. For this treatise, he makes a relevant sidestep into the original meaning of both words, and especially into the apparently contradictory movement that they indicate. To be able to assert oneself – to turn outside – one should also be able to turn inside, and step onto one’s own (learning) path.3 Living in circles In December 2013, it was exactly 25 years ago that I graduated at the Architecture Academy in Rotterdam. This special moment made me look back at my graduation project and again there was a point for reflection. In my quest, I returned to this point and I looked at it with other, more experienced, eyes. I saw the richness of what I had touched that time. In relation to the metaphor of Van Heel’s archive, I saw that a lot of knowledge has been stored since then; and a lot of knowledge has hardly been touched. I recognized the old perspective and the emergence of a new perspective. The circle seems to close itself. Long ago I became an architect because I like to draw and now I acknowledge the importance of the (architectural) rough as my way to speak out and to investigate.
Transformation In my graduation project, I considered it important to rest a moment and see where my seven years of study had brought me. Why was I here, what was it about and where was I going? I described a part of my quest in a scenario. And make, in this way, a lively but realistic travelogue approach that draws attention to relations between (personal) opinions, developments and possibilities. I took The drawing a city as subject, one that gave answers to my questions. Like architect Michiel Riedijk stated in his inaugural The butterfly as the metaphor for transformation was the speech, architectural design originates in the drawing.4 logo of my study. It will never be the same after its transformation from a larva. The same goes for awareness and I completely agree with that vision. That is why the former gathering knowledge. Once you have gained it, there is no workshop with students about The Courthouse by Van Heel is used as a depiction exercise. For an academic way back. It is about an everlasting change. environment, Riedijk defines architecture as shaping a Marcel Derkse, a master in Business Administration, spatial idea. In this context it is always good to realize deals with existential issues about change and transforthat architecture is thereby not a free art, but social, mation. In his book Free as a Butterfly he describes the meaning of learning. Learning is both gathering knowl4 edge and transferring knowledge, according to Derkse. 2 Michiel Riedijk, ‘The Drawing. The Architect’s Free translation from Dutch from: Marcel The Dutch word for knowledge is kennis. Derkse deRaison d’Etre’. Lecture delivered upon asDerkse, Zo vrij als een vlinder. Werkboek voor scribes knowledge as experience that has become insight. transformatie (Deventer: Ankh-Hermes, 1998), suming the office of Professor of Architectural 116.
The Gothic word ‘ken’ and also the Yiddish word ‘ken’
Design at the Faculty of Architecture of Delft University of Technology on Friday, 23 January 2009. (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2009), 8.
Archiprint6â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Creating & Experiencing Identity
socially and culturally embedded. In the case of Van Heel the spatial idea is about an archive. In my own case the idea was about the way to the centre, the source. The workshop resulted in a next step. The focus was on investigating the own attitude to life, which serves as a foundation for the four dimensions of professional and personal leadership: self-awareness, decision making, decisiveness and capacity. He or she who obtains a self-awareness, can articulate the own will much more sharply. The person who knows what he wants can take more responsibility for his own decision making. From that particular responsibility acts and behaviours acquire more consistency and perseverance. Because we are studying architecture, imagining and investigation of this (spatial) reality takes place in the architecture drawing. Co-edited by Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Laine Camp
Masterpiece, 1988 [illustration: Alcuin Olthof]
The market is a place for exchange, and exchange is a ritual. Rituals can be regarded as principles for organizations: a standardized cyclic pattern of practice where participantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; fixed roles are connected to fixed times and places. Rituals also teach and confirm (individually and as a group, from tradition) our identity, our lives and ethic ideals. Memory is important for the ritual because it acts with it. The market organizes both an individual and collective memory. To organize or to structure is an architectural act.
On the way, but where does it lead to?
In my Master thesis there is no city â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the city only occurs in the eye of the observer. The centre, the source, is covered by a complex structure of columns, reflecting vertical slabs and a labyrinthine structure. Masterpiece, 1988 [illustration: Alcuin Olthof]
Masterpiece, 1988 [illustration: Alcuin Olthof]
Archiprint6â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Creating & Experiencing Identity
23 There is only one right comparison to make: the comparison with myself a week, a month or 25 years ago. The centre is my centre. Although the shape of my centre has changed with time. The vertical extension has become bigger. The obstacles to reach the centre have turned out to be more complex. Why? If you only obey, you learn nothing. Learning is thinking about things you hear and see, investigating them and seeing in which way they fit you. It is like a coat. If it fits, you wear it. If not, you put it in the closet. And then there is magic: something happens without explanation, suddenly, out of control. It is a surprise, free and powerful â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I believe in magic.
Masterpiece 2.0 [illustration: Alcuin Olthof]
Masterpiece, 1988 [illustration: Alcuin Olthof]
I used to call the city Trimo because of the three (tri) powers, but it seems to not be the right name. One morning I woke up with the name Token in my head. The dictionary tells me that a token is something used to indicate authenticity, authority or something serving to represent or indicate some fact, event or feeling. This meaning fits better with the new approach. The approach is different. This time there is no alternative. I have to enter the city one way or another. I see myself overseeing the city. Masterpiece 2.0 [illustration: Alcuin Olthof]
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
Personalities Create Identities
Anne Theiß, Daniel Geal
Personalities Create Identities is a unique inquiry into identity, thanks to its starkly different vantage point. Anne Theiß and Daniel Geal are brand identity professionals who have recently set up shop in Eindhoven under the guise of BluePea, It’s a one-of-itskind endeavor that believes only a collaborative creative process between clients, audience and creative, each with starkly different roles, can truly encapsulate the identity of a company. Their first major project saw a web designer, interior designer, architects, a lighting designer and friends working together to create a unique business identity for two Englishmen in Cologne, Germany. Although the discussion about identity in this issue of Archiprint is multidimensional, with each view expressed opening up another perspective, and therefore rich, related discussions, there is also a certain implicit understanding about the premise of identity as an abstract architectural notion. Personalities Create Identities challenges that when professionals who ‘create’ identity approach the idea. The views expressed are also relevant to young architectural professionals thinking about setting up practice, in discussing the importance and possibilities of creatively conceiving your company.
you the way you actually see yourself? The way we see ourselves and the way others see us is often quite different and constantly changing. Strangers are able to form a quick impression of who we are from the clothes we wear, our latest hairstyle or the way we walk, even though these things are just the outside influencers and not necessarily a true reflection of our inner selves. You will notice that achieving an exact match between the way we would like to be seen and the way we are actually seen is nigh on impossible.
If you asked a complete stranger to describe your personality from just your appearance, do you think you could predict what he would say? Do you imagine being pleasantly surprised at his answers or quietly disappointed? If you then took this stranger for a coffee and a chat, do you think his opinion of you would change? Even then, do you think he would get to see the ‘real’ you? And finally, is this ‘real’
Now cast your eye onto the business world and you’ll realize a company is no different. How customers perceive the identity of a company in the long term depends on a great many variables such as the services you provide, the pure motivation and spirit within your company, or the way your staff talk about your company to others; but before they get to experience the real you, they must want to. If customers are not familiar with a company, a decision will often be based on a company’s look and feel. Sometimes, when looking from an insider’s perspective, it’s hard to grasp how outsiders actually perceive your company; what they see and what you think they see can be two different things. Although they are just the tip of the iceberg, your logo, tone of voice and visual identity is extremely important when communicating with potential and current customers. Whether it is a single written word, a full advertising campaign or the buildings and spaces where you work and welcome your customers, every tiniest detail counts and influences whether or not outsiders see you the way you’d like to be seen; whether or not they are attracted to you as a company.
In the summer of 2013, we (Anne Theiß and Daniel Geal) set up Blue Pea, a company we hope will help improve professional communication and identity perception. We believe that the combined knowledge and ideas of outside experts is the key to optimising professional communication. Blue Pea is a collaboration of creatives and like-minded professionals who believe in working together to help other professionals communicate more effectively with their customers. Looking back, it all started about two and a half year back when we helped setting up a different company. Two Englishmen living in Cologne, Germany, had decided it was time their German peers finally got a taste of real English cuisine. These are the kind of guys who were so convinced that the Germans would love English food that they ordered a pallet of Cornish pasties and started handing them around to strangers at every possible opportunity. Everything they do is fun, a bit quirky and with an open mind. When they finally decided to turn their ideas into reality and create a company, we set about trying to embody their drive, passion and personality into every aspect of how it would be seen. Right from the very start, there was a graphic designer, a web designer, a web developer, a copywriter and an art director involved; not because we consciously planned it, but because we all knew each other and valued the talents and opinions we could bring to the table. By bringing all these experts together – even before the business idea was complete – we were able to achieve remarkable results; the basic business idea kicked-off an amaz-
Personalities Create Identities
ing design process. When the graphic designer started creating the first logo, a massive thought process started which questioned not only the look and feel, but also the fundamental principles of the company. Once the logo was finished, a friend of the owners who had no idea about the company, commented on what the logo communicated to him and we all realised how successfully it was portraying what the company actually stood for – natural, quality, fun, & friendly! When they decided to open up their first shop earlier this year, we went to Cologne armed with tape, paper and pens and for a day of brainstorming and sketch-drawing with the owners, ourselves and an architectural lighting designer and interior architect we invited to join the discussion. As we had been involved from the start, we understood the soul of the company and what was needed to keep the shop in line with the company’s online and offline communication. By the end of the visit, the initial ideas of the shop’s structure, materials and look and feel were born. So many things have happened organically
Having your own unique presence is the holy grail. This can be achieved by combining the right people, competencies and keeping an open mind. [illustration: Anne Theiß]
25 while working on this project and the two Englishmen continue to run the company in the same way today, continually tweaking and developing things to ensure the best chance of success. The conception of The Tasty Pasty Company showed us how combining the right people and having an ongoing exchange between various professionals can achieve remarkable results. It was an inspiring and motivating process and was fundamental to the start of Blue Pea. As all Peas were involved from the start, all innovative ideas have remained consistent through all communication channels and, in our experience, has led to more consistent, trustworthy communication and ultimately to the creation of a strong business identity and a greater chance of business success. Allowing things to develop organically enables the true spirit of a company to come through. Our message to our fellow creative peers is, observe, listen and support. It’s our job to understand our clients and their customers and it’s our job to ensure that the hard work a company puts in getting its strategy right is
Anne Theiß, Daniel Geal
not let down by the way it communicates with the outside world. If you are thinking about setting up your own business or improving the way your existing company communicates, use this opportunity wisely. By communicating your authenticity – the soul of your company – your customers can discover what you’re really like and it brings the image of how you want to be seen and how people actually see you more closely together. In the journey to find the right communication for your company you may get to learn more about yourself, which is even better because although the goal is to make you more attractive from the outside, the real reward is creating a more appealing company from the inside; that is the holy grail that will help you create your own unique presence in the market and ultimately ensure that your customer’s interest in your company is more than just a superficial one.
For small, start-up or even businesses in the planning, we will be giving free workshops from time-to-time in various locations throughout the year. www.blue-pea.com
Personality perception depends on a great many variables. What people see and what you think they see can be two different things. [illustration: Anne Theiß]
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
Identity of a Place —Intervention and Harmonization in the Landscape
When you step into a room or building, you immediately get a grasp of what the space is like. We can say something about its characteristics, how we experience the spaces and what moves us. In short: what the building is like. Surely this holds strong references to the notion of atmosphere [see Atmosphere and Identity, page 29] but can we also speak of a building’s identity? But how is that identity defined? This essay elaborates on the very beginning of a building’s identity and its conception. Michael Maminski explores the embedment of identity in a building in relation to its context, and how that identity is managed further on by shaping the building.
The design strategy Zumthor mentions regarding rooting architecture in the landscape, shows surprisingly many parallels with the theory of the late Austro-American architect Raimund Abraham (1933—2010) on architecture and the constructed place. Not only because of the fact that both architects have been inspired by the theories of Heidegger, but also because both Abraham and Zumthor consider architecture as a primary act that intervenes with the landscape and inherently has strong links with the landscape.
Just like human life takes place in the physical environment, buildings do as well, acquiring their position in the landscape by forming a relationship with it. The physical environment is a space in which everyone and everything interacts. The man-made environment and architecture exist alongside the naturally formed landscape and topography. The tension between architecture and landscape is a theme often seen in the work of the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor (*1948). In his designs, Zumthor gives a lot of attention to the embedment of buildings in the landscape. If one were to study Zumthor’s oeuvre, one would notice the building’s extreme sensibility in use of materials, workmanship, expression and atmosphere, by which Zumthor connects the object to its place. According to Zumthor, deep-seated memories, thoughts and associations can be recalled during the ‘experience’ of a building.1 Zumthor takes the philosopher Martin Heidegger into consideration when he says that thoughts need to be able to express themselves, ‘thought travels through a specific space which contains traces of place and architecture.’2 Our thinking is so closely connected with our experience of space and even needs the physical space to thrive. Architecture has a profound power to give meaning to a place or environment.
Every new work of architecture intervenes in a specific historical situation. It is essential to the quality of the intervention that the new building should embrace qualities which can enter into a meaningful dialogue within the existing situation. For if the intervention is to find its place, it must make us see what already exists in a new light.3 Since the 80’s and 90’s, Abraham has written and spoken repeatedly on architecture and intervention and so formed his unique theory which he describes in his essay ‘Negation and reconciliation’. Abraham talks about intervention and conflict in architecture; by this he means the influence of the act of building on the ‘existing landscape’. In addition, Abraham also addresses the aspect of materializing the building as a result of earlier intervention in the landscape, in reconciling the building with its physical and cultural context. The theoretical legacy of Abraham shows a lot of similarities with the way Zumthor deals with themes such 1 Zumthor illustrates the importance of feelings above those of reasoning by means of his childhood experiences: ‘There was a time when I experienced architecture without thinking about it. Sometimes I can almost feel a particular door handle in my hand, a piece of metal shaped like the back of a spoon. I used to take hold of it when I went into my aunt’s garden. That door handle still seems to me like a special sign
of entry into a world of different moods and smells.’ Peter Zumthor, Thinking Architecture (Baden: Lars Müller Publishers, 1998), 9. 2 Peter Zumthor and Hélène Binet, Peter Zumthor Works. Buildings and Projects 19791997 (Baden: Lars Müller Publishers, 1998), 7. 3 Zumthor, op. cit. (note 1), 18.
Identity of a Place
as the embedment of a building in the landscape. Both architects focus on finding harmony between building and landscape. In this essay, the Saint Benedict Chapel by Zumthor will be compared to the theory of Abraham about ‘conflict and reconciliation’ of landscape and architecture. How is the theory of Raimund Abraham about architectural space and the constructed place present in the work of Peter Zumthor? And does it tell us something about the identity of the built object within its context? Emergence, conquest and harmonization of a place In his theory, Abraham focuses on the creation of a place. This precedes the creation of architecture. Here Abraham relies on a notion of philosopher Martin Heidegger, namely that of the etymology of the German word Ort (place).4 The reason that Abraham goes back to the word Ort, is because according to him architecture begins with the creation of a place rather than with elements of architecture, such as forms, aesthetics or material. A place is ‘antithetical to any form of aesthetic or historical manipulation.’5 According to Heidegger, the word Ort originally meant the point of a spear or lance. This point is a mystery and has significant power and potential to transform energy into matter. When the spear is thrown, it possesses kinetic energy – movement. This movement is an act that manifests itself in observable cognitive basis. At the moment the spear hits the ground, it lands on a spot and defines a ‘place’ – it creates a ‘gathering together’6. In the midst of everything else, the vast landscape or undefined space, exactly the place which has been hit by the tip of the lance obtains this sense of a unique, predefined place. The transformation of the topographical nature, the ‘conquest of the site’7, lies at the basis of the ontological nature of architecture according to Abraham. Architecture, as an act, also appeals to this aspect of ‘collision’. An architectural intervention clashes with the archetypal position of the horizon: where heaven and earth meet. However, this line of the horizon belongs neither to the one nor the other. Before any form, aesthetic or ‘historical speculation’8 is created, ‘the striving for’ is already a full act. ‘One either builds up to the sky or down into the earth.’9 Abraham calls this act the first act in the creation of architecture. The task in the second act, the design process, is to harmonize and reconcile the disharmony and chaos caused during the initial interference, namely the collision. In this process a shape is being defined, materials are assigned and atmospheres are created. The ‘crack’ that
Caplutta Sogn Benedetg, Sumvitg, Switzerland [photo: Michael Maminski]
4 From Martin Heidegger’s essay On the Way to Language (Unterwegs zur Sprache), 1959. 5 Raimund Abraham, ‘Negation and reconciliation’, in: Kate Nesbitt (ed.), Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture. An Anthology of Architectural Theory 1965-1995 (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996), 465.
6 Ibid. 7 Ibid. 8 Raimund Abraham, ‘In Anticipation of Architecture. Fragmentary Notes’, in: Brigitte Groihofer (ed.), Raimund Abraham. (Un)built (Vienna; New York: Springer, 1996), 114. 9 Ibid.
Identity of a Place
has emerged on the horizon is closed by ‘filling’ it with matter again. This matter can be of different nature than the matter that previously resided on the spot. This new material might as well create a new harmony, one that is achieved through contrast and constant tension between the old and the new equilibrium. Abraham writes: ‘a continuous process of dialectic confrontation: equilibrium through tension.’10 Sacredness in wood: Caplutta Sogn Benedetg On a hill in the town Sumvitg in Graubünden, Switzerland, stands a small chapel named after St. Benedict, the patron saint of the town. The chapel was designed by Zumthor in the late 80’s and its shape contrasts with the local architecture of dark wood farmhouses. On certain aspects, this new chapel speaks the town’s same, established language, but simultaneously breaks with the traditional context. In line with many old village churches, the chapel’s location has been carefully selected: visible from the village and clearly distinguishable from the rest of the buildings. In contrast, the material from which the chapel is mainly produced is un-traditional for a church and rather shows similarities with the local houses – wood. Analogous to the first act of a conflict that Abraham defines, Zumthor speaks in almost the same terms about the same act. This happens even before any form is given to the St. Benedict Chapel, it’s purely about the act of wanting to make an intervention in the landscape around the village. ‘Every new work of architecture intervenes in a specific historical situation,’ writes Zumthor.11 Zumthor seems to refer to an existing situation which is determined by past events: a village, city or landscape, or in this case the town of Sumvitg. The term ‘landscape’ as used by Zumthor, has a much more concrete and identifiable character than the abstract association Abraham makes when he speaks of ‘landscape’. In the context of Abraham’s theory, the challenge for Zumthor was to harmonize the decomposition, to create a balance through tension. Zumthor himself writes that if the new building wants to find its place, it should enter into a dialogue with the existing situation. Abraham would state that the gap between heaven and earth must be closed. In addition, according to Zumthor, essential qualities that are granted to the building should shed new light on the existing - the characteristics of a place.12 Analogously it can be said that the collision, initially triggered by the landscape, should be harmonized through dialogue. One of the aspects of that harmonization is giving
shape. In Zumthor that form is closely related to the material which is thought. Architect Mohsen Mostafavi writes: ‘[...] the forms of the buildings are built up by means of a meticulous attention to materials.’13 In the chapel, 39 vertical wooden columns determine the floor plan in the shape of a leaf or drop. This shape resounds in both the exterior and the interior and gives the chapel a protective, female form – a ‘forma materna’14. Zumthor thereby avoids the reference to the atmosphere of the traditional and dominant church form. Additionally Zumthor chooses wooden shingles and cladding for the chapel – a material widely used locally and therefore enriched with a vast knowledge of craft and has a graceful aging process. Therefore, the chapel is deeply rooted in the genius loci of the place. The choices made regarding the form and material, determine how the intervention that was initially created, is harmonized in the end through tension. Renewal through reconciliation For both Zumthor and Abraham, the landscape is the source for the creation of architecture. The act of making architecture, the actual building and ‘the wish’ to build, intervenes with the existing, ever-present landscape, according to Abraham. This collision creates a disharmony in the whole and it must bear the consequences of the building. Zumthor’s buildings and views have partly found their image in the theory of Abraham. In the chapel of Sogn Benedetg, Zumthor creates a dialogue between the historical context and the building that makes a reconciliation happen. The following words by Zumthor are probably the most striking when it comes to a similarity with the theory of Abraham. Zumthor describes successively the act of intervention and conflict in the landscape, the reconciliation process in the form of the design of the building, and re-creating a harmony and its result: a new place. We throw a stone into the water. Sand swirls up and settles again. The stir was necessary. The stone has found its place. But the pound is no longer the same.15 10 Ibid., 113. 11 Zumthor, op. cit. (note 1), 18. 12 ‘For if the intervention is to find its place, it must make us see what already exists in a new light.’ Ibid. 13 Peter Zumthor, ‘An Architecture of Stillness’, in:
Peter Zumthor and Mohsen Mostafavi, Thermal Bath at Vals (London: Architectural Association, 1996), 6. 14 Peter Zumthor and Hélène Binet, Peter Zumthor Works. Buildings and Projects 19791997, 56. 15 Zumthor, op. cit. (note 1), 18.
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
Atmosphere and Identity —A Reflection on OASE 91
During the preparation of this issue of Archiprint, we attended the conversation between Gernot Böhme, Peter Zumthor and Juhani Pallasmaa organized by OASE Journal for Architecture, on 29 April 2014 in Amsterdam. OASE organized this evening on the occasion of their 91st publication called Building Atmosphere. A topic of which we think is strongly related to the subject identity. We attended to this evening to get a hint about the relation between atmosphere and identity. The evening, introduced and led by Klaske Havik, consisted of short introductions from Böhme, Zumthor and Pallasmaa on the theme Building Atmosphere followed by a conversation between the speakers.
ed: ‘Architecture always has produced atmosphere, for instance atmosphere of holiness and power. But architecture beyond modernity rediscovers the perspective of the user. It is not only about the building as such, but it is dealing with felt space, mindful bodily presence. This might become an explicit topic in architecture’1. In line with Böhme, Juhani Pallasmaa seems to derive his interest in the concept of atmosphere from the user’s point of view. He is mainly interested in the relation between man and place and the tactile and haptic experiences in buildings in an existential sense. Pallasmaa states: ‘It is this haptic sense of being in the world, and in a specific place and moment, the actuality of existence, that is the essence of atmosphere.’2
Giving voice to the user perspective In his introduction, Gernot Böhme argued that atmosphere as meant in Building Atmospheres departs from a critical stance to modernism of which the style is overly dependent of the visual. After having shown his personal contribution to misty photography, Gernot Böhme stat-
Starting point for atmospheric experiences In OASE 91, according to the editors, also Christophe van Gerrewey defines atmosphere as ‘an intimate relationship between building and man’3. In line with these definitions, the focus on materiality, detail and also aging in the work of Zumthor can be explained in this way as atmosphere has to do with scale, with things happening close to people. Moreover, this relationship between building and man has a deeper meaning if we are to believe Zumthor. In response to the question raised by Michiel Riedijk about tendencies towards nostalgia of the farmer life in the mountains and how one ever can convey these notions based on one’s own intuition and feelings in communal knowledge or practice, Peter Zumthor answered: ‘We all come from houses and landscapes. That’s where we start, it is our basis. These 1 Gernot Böhme at the presentation of OASE 91, 29 April 2014, Amsterdam. 2 Juhani Pallasmaa’s reaction to: Gernot Böhme, ‘Encounerting Atmospheres’, OASE 91 (2013), 99. 3 Klaske Havik, Hans Teerds, Gus Tielens, ‘Editorial’, OASE 91 (2013), 11.
Gernot Böhme’s ‘misty photographs’, OASE 91 presentation, 29 April 2014, Amsterdam [photo: Michael Maminski]
Atmosphere and Identity
are starting points for atmospheric experiences. If you want to create atmospheres, this is where you should start. It has nothing to do with nostalgia’4. A well–known example of how one’s memory strongly influences one’s understanding of what certain spaces mean comes from Peter Zumthor’s book Thinking Architecture where he describes his aunt’s kitchen. He states that the atmosphere of that room is ‘insoluble linked’5 to his definition of a kitchen. Linking Building Atmosphere to identity via the concept of ‘engagement’ The explanation by Zumthor of how the past contributes to the practice of building atmospheres strongly relates to the work of Christian Norberg–Schulz regarding the identity of places. In The Phenomenon of Place, Norberg–Schulz argues that future experiences are predetermined in the past: ‘[…] the objects of identification are concrete environmental properties and that man’s relationship to these is usually developed during childhood’ and ‘the child gets acquainted with the environment, and develops perceptual schemata which determine all future experiences’6. So as Zumthor states that atmosphere is based on the places we come from, Norberg– Schulz states that human identity depends on schemata developed in the places where our roots lay. What atmosphere and identity of a place have in common is that both involve engagement with a certain place. The question is how to facilitate this engagement? Influencing moods Afterwards we asked Juhani Pallasmaa about his ideas on the relation between atmosphere and identity and he referred to tune management as a method to hold the different ingredients of a place together that influence the mood of people. While the quality of a space is there for everyone to be experienced, it is there in an objective sense and in this way the identity of or identification with this space can take shape through the perception of people. Moreover, Pallasmaa argued that atmosphere is the accumulation of ingredients of the identity of a place. This relates to what he stated earlier that evening: ‘why do some spaces make us feel like outsiders, while others make us feel like insiders?’7. Building identity: challenging and risky As the essence of atmosphere is the actuality of existence, identity and atmosphere come very close to each
other. Could we imagine Building Identity as a topic in architecture? Can identity also be a strong concept or a counter-balance to come to an architecture that rediscovers the perspective of the user? Can identity as a concept also pursue a specific aesthetic? Christian Norberg–Schulz argues that we need existential foothold to orientate ourselves in and identify with places. Moreover, states that ‘Human identity is to a high extent a function of places and things’8. To identify with a place has to do with concrete objects that fit one’s personal schemata. Building Identity would be a very challenging and at the same time risky task. On the one hand it would insist that a certain situation or context is taken seriously and that one makes efforts to build sustainable, on the other hand, identity is a concept subjected to personal perception and therefore one risks to build on quicksand: the identity of the place might change through the perception of people or through contextual changes in a physical sense. A hidden agenda in Building Atmosphere? Throughout the evening organized by OASE increasingly it seemed that the referred atmosphere is a very specific sort of atmosphere in itself, characterized by vagueness, slowness and rootedness. It seems that atmosphere is a very subjected concept here; subjected to misty photography and mountain life, tradition and ageing of building materials. In this sense atmosphere seems to have a hidden agenda: propaganda for certain aesthetics. We should ask ourselves if we should fill a certain concept or place with a very defined meaning. Subsequently, as future architects, how can we take the user perspective seriously, including its indeterminateness, and take the inherent dynamics of human life for granted as well?
4 Peter Zumthor at the presentation of OASE 91, 29 April 2014, Amsterdam. 5 Peter Zumthor, Thinking Architecture (Basel: Birkhäuser, 1998), 9. 6 Christian Norberg–Schulz, ‘The Phenomenon of Place’ in: Kate Nesbitt (ed.), Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture. An Anthology
of Architectural Theory 1965-1995 (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996), 424. 7 Juhani Pallasmaa at the presentation of OASE 91, 29 April 2014, Amsterdam. 8 Christian Norberg–Schulz, Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture (New York: Rizzoli, 1991), 21.
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
In Pursuit of No Style —An Interview with Joost Ector
Annemiek Osinga, Kavitha Varathan, Luuk van den Elzen
On 9 May 2014, Archiprint was given the opportunity to interview Joost Ector of Ector Hoogstad Architecten, a Rotterdam based architecture company. Ector spoke about his view on identity and discussed this topic through his opinions on the transformation of buildings, sustainability and atmosphere according to the OASE 91 presentation.
We are not bound by any so–called style and I actually think that is a plus! I strongly believe in working as a collective in the office. I have the privileged position of heading five project architects, all with their own qualities and handwriting. That way every project becomes the result of a unique combination of place, client, program and designer.
Identity and Ector Hoogstad Architecten We are working on the next issue of Archiprint and we are trying to understand the notion of identity. So let’s start with the obvious question, what is identity according to you? Of course, why not start with the hardest of them all! I think identity is what defines you, including character, but that is too broad.
Are there aspects of your handwriting that persist across projects? Of course! Our handwriting is everywhere in the spatial structure of the building. Our designs are best recognizable in how we arrange space and enrich it with meaningful visual interaction or juxtapose different aspects of the program. There may also be small or more superficial things that are more easily visible. The way we treat surfaces or the way we use random striping or certain colors – they seem to come back. However, they are more like tools you like to use as a designer because you have had a good experience with them before. Their purpose is not to create some kind of visual continuity or style. There was a competition many years back, called ‘The house with no style’ that I still like to remind myself. I would rather pursue ‘No Style’ – it is more interesting in a way.
Putting it differently – your larger philosophy, ‘Architecture is happiness’ implies you design around the user and therefore represent their identity. How do you express your identity as an architect or office within a design process that strives to represent that of the user? I see no conflict there. Our designs are not primarily about us nor are they some kind of meta-architecture. The future users of our buildings are at the center of our projects. We therefore strongly believe in designing our buildings together with our clients. We allow ourselves to start with literally nothing and let the design grow under our hands, so to speak. We get involved with the client or user – to know how they work, think, where they are situated now, how their community feels and so on. I believe if you start with try-
Joost Ector [photo: Edith Verhoeven]
ing to understand the people and their need for the new building and from there organize space and activities, the design naturally takes shape after a while. We postpone our judgment of what the building should look or feel like. It sometimes frustrates our clients – they always like to know before we start what they are going to end up with (laughs), which is of course by definition impossible! Our soft designs consolidate by and during the process, and clients tend to understand the end result far better because they are so deeply involved in the process. They naturally grow into the concept of the building.
Yes, the ‘arranged spatial structures’ are definitely discernable in your projects – spaces like ‘Study landscape’ or ‘Loop promenade’. However, do mixed-use spaces sometimes corrupt the identity of individual spaces? I think these are two different things. A mo-
In Pursuit of No Style—An Interview with Joost Ector
no-functional space can have a very focused identity, whereas in a mixed-use space a designer can play with juxtapositions, contrasts and combinations. In either case the resulting identity can be very strong and convincing. Besides, what is an individual space nowadays? Since we got rid of the old fashioned office, the private home and the hotel room are virtually the only individual spaces left, really. They are less of a challenge for an architect because they are limited in terms of atmosphere – they are mostly about rest, contemplation or reloading. In my opinion, communal space with a certain theme to it, like education, public transport, working environment or cultural space, is much more interesting. We feel fortunate we can design so many educational buildings. They are potentially one of the richest types of social spatial structure. On transformation What is the ethos of transformation projects which by definition tamper with an existing identity to create a new one? How is it different from starting from scratch? Tampering is too negative. Only few buildings deserve the absolute right to always remain intact. Others just have to change because of their economic value or the importance of the space that they occupy. It is the natural order of things. It is perfectly normal and important to adapt – that is why good transformations are so inspiring to so many people. They demonstrate the possibility of a dramatic change for the better. There is instant layering, character and tension instead of just blunt newness. In a new project you have to first give a lot, before you can enter into a dialogue with your design. Sometimes the process may not go so well and this dialogue is never there. With reuse designs, it is more social and often more fun! Even completely uninteresting buildings can make the most fascinating reuse designs. Class–A monuments are often difficult to redesign because they demand you to be
32 humble and fit. A building that you can enter into a dialogue with on equal terms is more interesting, where it is not a law by itself but a set of possibilities. It is not just reacting, it is also acting. These underdog buildings are my personal favorites. I call them ‘frogs’ – all they need to turn into something beautiful is the kiss of a good architect. (laughs) Yes, you negotiate not just with the firms’ identity or the users’ but also with the existing identity. That is our type of creativity! And I particularly like your choice of the word negotiate. As an office, we have a problem-solving attitude. Some architects create almost a kind of autonomous architecture merely by playing with the concept of architecture, like a painter or a writer whose creative incentive comes from within. However, we are at our best when a client says ‘I have this problem, I’m not sure it can be solved, please take a look at it.’ It sparks our imagination to be confronted with existing buildings, highly contrasting programs, difficult situations etc. Sustainability Should we now invest in a future possibility for a change or enable it even? I think so, yes! Working with existing buildings has made me more aware of which types of quality stand the test of time and which don’t. In a way, we think about the future and make things clearer and easier for the future architect of our buildings. This attitude adds value in terms of economy as well as sustainability. In general, the concept of disposable architecture has vanished. Ten years back, there were buildings you knew when they were built, they will be empty their whole lives or abandoned as soon as their first lease runs out. We are now stuck with countless buildings that never gained any profit and will only cost money to remove. I don’t think any self-respecting architect wants to be responsible for a situation like that today.
Annemiek Osinga, Kavitha Varathan, Luuk van den Elzen
So architecture should usefully last. I like to think of architecture as a thing that we do, instead of a product that we create, if you know what I mean. I am very interested in how a design grows, how a building is used, how it holds out, what kind of adaptations it needs. I think of architecture as an ongoing movement that has more energy in the beginning, comes to a sort of a temporary standstill and then moves again. This conception of architecture as a fixed thing does not inspire me. It is like... I recently read about a scientific experiment that finally managed to demonstrate that tar is a liquid. It is a jar of tar that very slowly produces drops – it makes a drop once in fifteen years or so. That is the way we should be thinking about architecture, as a slow, slow movement, like a glacier. Architecture and freedom Buildings over time gather their own identity like apartment facades dotted with different curtains, praxis chairs, plants and so on. Recently, Atelier Kempe Thill actually prescribed the type of curtains that the residents of one of their designs were allowed to use. Same curtains everywhere! It is not new – Mies van der Rohe did it with the Lakeshore Drive apartments – but it is not my style. I am too much of a liberal, to go into people’s homes and prescribe furniture or curtains only to make the outside look homogenous – just to say I designed this! It sounds like a typical profile of a control freak. I am interested in looking at it the other way around, if you accept people’s differences then you design a building that can withstand these influences. So if you should have a façade with balconies attached to it – I don’t think the question you should ask yourself is, ‘How can I prevent people from putting different Blokker chairs there’, but, ‘How can I design a building in such a way that even when people do that, it is still architecture’.
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
Reminds one of the Lacaton & Vassal buildings where people are free to do as they please! Lacaton & Vassal are a big inspiration to us. They do as little as possible, all simple, and it has maximum effect. I like them because their buildings have a sense of freedom and are fully transformation-proof. There are rigid structures that can be re-clad or re-decorated or whatever you feel like, as against the architecture of somebody like Peter Zumthor’s. A Zumthor house may appeal aesthetically, but you can never sit at a table in your T-shirt and jogging pants. I think it was Heidegger, who said architecture starts with putting a pole into the ground. Suddenly space becomes interesting because there is an object to relate to. That is what it’s all about. We put up columns, floors and walls, and instead of decreasing the amount of freedom we create new possibilities. Have you ever been disappointed with how your building has been used? Of course, a number of times. Some people don’t have a feeling towards their environment and are quite pragmatic about buildings. Others suffer from certain standard preconceived ideas. It disappoints me, but I don’t see how I can influence it. You can try to make your design so strong that it fills the users with inspiration or you can invite them to work together with the space you give them, but you cannot prevent them from going against it. So, we offer each of our clients the same standing invitation: if you want us to change something for you, please get in touch! Atmosphere Talking about Zumthor, we are reviewing the OASE 91 event in this edition. What are your thoughts on OASE 91’s theme, Building Atmosphere? Although it is used all the time, atmosphere is a word with little meaning in itself. It is a hook where you put on different clothes. It is an
33 empty word and the same goes for identity, actually. You cannot speak in abstract terms about either one of them. It is not subjective – you have to load it, like a brand. A brand doesn’t communicate unless you load it with certain values. Atmosphere can be formal, festive, cold and so on. It seems to me, the OASE publication surprisingly restricts the meaning to only a certain atmosphere of solemnity. You mention atmosphere on your website while referring to interior spaces. How do you interpret it? We too are guilty of misusing the word atmosphere. It is far too complicated and too subtle to be used so carelessly, but we do want to imply that we consider crafting a well-fitting atmosphere as the core of every interior design. We care a lot about the interiors of our buildings, maybe even more than about exteriors. So we go right to the beginning and try to get inspired by the users of our building, find out how they see themselves, would like to see themselves, how we see them and what we see as potential for them. We try to create a corresponding atmosphere around that. The future Tell us about plans on building abroad. So far, almost all of our work has been in The Netherlands. Our understanding of buildings is deeply rooted in Dutch culture. However, it would be good for the office to experience other cultures. I think getting involved with foreign projects could also help us see our domestic projects in a different perspective. So international expansion is definitely one of our ambitions. You were briefly interested in China. Yes, we did a number of invited competitions and other projects there, none of which were ever built. I was deeply disappointed with our Chinese adventure. I realized after a while that Chinese clients tend to typecast – they want a European architect for an iconic build-
ing, an American or even a British architect for a good solid office building, only Americans maybe for high class hotels and so on. So in I came with my portfolio – European but not iconic at all and a bit of everything instead of a narrow specialization! They did not know in which category to put me! (laughs) Besides, the market in China is not so huge. The top five percent has all the interesting buildings. Everything below has a completely different definition of quality and is primarily about quantity. I felt a bit lost and thought, ‘Well, let’s not do this.’ What does the future look like for Ector Hoogstad Architecten? I’m certain it looks quite bright. We haven’t been affected by the economic crisis, even managed some steady growth over the years. We’re doing some of the most challenging projects in The Netherlands and we’re being approached ever more often by new clients to help them out. Our work has met with broad acclaim and is being published internationally. I think that’s a perfect starting point for further consolidation of our position, at home as well as abroad, as one of the foremost Dutch architectural design firms.
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
Identity and the Living Environment
I am fascinated by the relationship people have with their abodes and dwellings. As a prospective architect, I think it is useful to explore how such relationships develop and how I can respond to them during the design process in order to successfully create places where people will feel at home. Though abodes and dwellings are two totally different things, identity plays an important part in the way people form opinions about both of them. Identity is a notion that is difficult to grasp. The first thoughts it brings to mind are about one’s true self, one’s personality or the imago one has. However, the notion of identity is not that easy to describe. In one of his lectures, Dan Gaskill discusses the elements that contribute to the identity of people and objects by referring to a number of philosophical theories. He does not produce a clear and distinct answer, but he does introduce a way to approach the concept that helps clarify the issue. He writes:
Looking at an individual body, we can say that it is the same body it was 15 years ago, even though most of its cells have regenerated. A body, argues Gaskill, maintains the same identity as long as it changes gradually and at no time ceases to exist. However, the continued existence of a body does not equal the continued existence of an individual. The continued existence of an individual additionally requires psychological continuity. In this context, Gaskill refers to the work of John Locke. Locke says that a certain individual that used to exist is the very same individual today only if he or she remembers what he used to do, feel, think, and so on. An individual is therefore the same individual when he can remember everything from an earlier point in time. Though this sounds feasible, there may be cases that call this argument into question. Gaskill argues that neither having the same body, nor having the same thoughts and personality prove conclusively that one is a specific individual. He introduces an interesting ontological idea that is useful for understanding the concept of identity: the distinction between type en token.
You survive for as long as you exist. And you exist whenever there is an individual that is you. But what are the necessary and sufficient conditions for there to be an individual — A type is a generic form or concept that is you? This is the problem of personal (bicycle); identity.1 — A token is a specific item of that type or object (this bicycle). Gaskill describes the changing of individuals by focusing on their bodies and inner properties. In Take, for instance, this essay. There is only one that regard, people are more like other people of essay as I wrote it (the type), but there may be the same age then like themselves during childmultiple tokens of this essay in existence, for hood. Yet individuals differ from other individuexample because I printed it out several times. als: they do remain the individuals their mothers In that case, each token contains the exact gave birth to. So the question is: What makes number of consecutive words that encode for them the same people they were 15 years ago? this type of essay. The word essay is therefore
ambiguous: it can refer to a generic type or to a specific token. This applies to everything that can be subjected to the type/token distinction. I think that Gaskill comes up with a useful definition of identity when he applies this theory to the existence of individuals. A token of an individual is the person that has the properties for being an individual. The token of an individual is used to refer to the body of an individual, like the essay refers to a text on paper. A type of an individual is an abstract phenomenon: one might say that the type of an individual is the whole of properties required to exist as a specific individual. This would mean that there can only be one type and one token per individual: when that single token ceases to exist, the type also ceases to exists, and vice versa. Identity can therefore be said to equal type. The identity of an individual is their collective properties, memories and all the other things that contribute to existing as a specific individual. But can this theory be applied to dwellings? Let’s call the collection of construction materials the token. As in individuals, the whole of properties required to exist as a specific dwelling, then, is the type. It is apparently possible for multiple tokens of the same dwelling type to exist. Look at large-scale residential neighbourhoods, consisting of row upon row of identical dwellings. Yet residents or users are not likely to consider such identical buildings identical. Their existence only begins after their comple-
1 Dan Gaskill, ‘Personal identity (or: what does it take to survive?)’, http://www.csus.edu/ indiv/g/gaskilld/intro/PersonalIdentity.htm. Accessed on 4 November 2013.
Identity and the Living Environment
Het Witte Dorp, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Notice house number 11! [photo: Julie Bosch]
tion, and from that moment on they begin to diversify. After a while, the dwellings contain not only external properties but a large number of memories and experiences as well. Once merely a row of identical houses, a specific row of houses becomes my street, with my dwelling, my private domain on it. The other houses in the street are no longer identical to mine: they are Joe’s dwelling where I like to go because it’s always nice and cosy, and Jane’s dwelling, and so on. Experience and social interaction create specific relationships between the different locations. The identity of dwellings is thus assigned by individuals and experienced differently by different people. Christian Norberg–Schulz describes the process as follows: Within the urban level, the individual usually possesses his more ‘private’ existential space, but it is essential that this is understood as part of a larger whole. Such an understanding grows together with man’s gradual becoming part of a social context. ‘Socialisation’, thus, has to be accompanied by the development of existential space to
become really meaningful ... The more the man is ‘at home’ the more precisely he can define his environment.2 So during the time they live in this private domain, individuals discover structures in their living environment. This creates a sense of belonging. Familiarity with their environment becomes part of their lives, since everything they do is connected with this environment. However, both discovering the environment and understanding it as part of a broader context contributes to feeling involved in a living environment. The type of the dwelling, therefore, continues to develop. The question is whether over time, once identical tokens that have developed into new types will continue to allow various tokens, or have changed into individuals like people, that allow only a single token per type. This, I think, is where the difference between the identity of individual people and the identity of dwellings kicks in. Dwellings have no brain to store experiences in and therefore nothing much changes for the dwellings themselves. Significant or major events will leave their trace, but the type of the house changes very
gradually or hardly at all. However, to an individual, the significance and contextuality of the dwelling change due to social interaction and experiences. As these are different for different individuals, a dwelling can simultaneously accommodate different identities awarded by different individuals. When the current occupants leave the dwelling, they make room for new occupants that will start attaching new meanings and create new contexts for this specific dwelling. During the time that individuals live in a specific location, the identity of their living environment is continually being defined more clearly. This identity shows how individuals interpret and appreciate their environment. Through social relationships and networks within an area, groups of individuals will share these experiences and therefore feel connected to each other and their living environment. Translated from Dutch by D’Laine Camp
2 Christian Norberg-Schulz, Existence, Space & Architecture (New York/Washington: Preager Publishers, 1971), 27-36.
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
Book Review Archescape—On the Tracks of Piranesi Gijs Wallis de Vries
€35,00 | 1001 Publishers ISBN 978 90 71346 002 Large format, 240 pages, richly illustrated. Available in (quality) bookstores, through bol.com and Idea Books. Since the 18th century there hasn’t been an architect as influential as Giambattista Piranesi. He continues to inspire scholars, philosophers and architects alike, most recently by having been featured at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennial. In Archescape; On the Tracks of Piranesi Gijs Wallis De Vries describes him as ‘the master of the architectural suspense, who suspended the classical paradigm of architecture to reveal its contradictions and liberties.’ Contradictions and liberties indeed, as Archescape: On the Tracks of Piranesi is comprised of a manifesto and a treatise, as well as a rêverie. Archescape: On the Tracks of Piranesi, as the name suggests, delves into the concept of Archescape, a conjunction of the words ‘architecture’ and ‘escape’. In this concept architecture and landscape merge
36 by tracing so-called ‘flight lines’, thus offering an escape to serenity and tranquility. The city would frame the landscape, allowing the observer to contemplate it. At the core of the manifesto, Wallis De Vries shines a light on the concepts of flight lines and escapism along some theories of Deleuze and Tafuri as well as a number of utopian concepts. Not only to give reason to, but also – it being an architectural disquisition – to give form to this ancient desire for escape, already cautiously introducing Piranesi and his exemplary work on the Campo Marzio. The ‘treatise of the pensile city’ covers Piranesi’s four works about the pensile city, concluded by his Il Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma. The treatise relates the main body of this work; the etches and ichnographies of the Campo Marzio, to Wallis De Vries’ theory of Archescape. Wallis De Vries takes us on a walk through the Campo Marzio, and like a blind man ‘feeling’ braille he minutely ‘feels’ every bump, dent, extraction and protrusion, guiding the reader’s eyes over the entire map of the Campo Marzio, as to provide him with the almost full experience of personally wandering through it. Wallis De Vries’ vivid, imaginative and precise narrating goes a long way, because, in his words: ‘the plan is a discourse read by a walking eye, and as it walks it becomes a body alive with the space and the light it moves through and lingers in.’ Clearly, Wallis De Vries, who could ultimately be seen as an architectural philosopher, couldn’t help but include a meticulous division into architectural typologies of the elements present in the Campo Marzio as well. However, after a quite lengthy but interesting elaboration he ultimately dismisses these, since he feels that an escape towards arbitrariness wouldn’t be an escape after all. Wallis De Vries elegantly navigates his discourse through theories of famous philosophers and works of the influential architects that Piranesi collaborated closely with and, while passing Piranesi’s oeuvre in review, traces Piranesi’s interest in the Eternal City back to its Venetian roots. Ultimately he arrives
Frank van Kessel
not at an unambiguous conclusion, but at an even more elaborate tissue of interwoven theories and works which each have their own discourse, but meet to weave the fabric of the treatise and support Wallis De Vries’ theories where relevant. However, for the mind that is unfamiliar with philosophy, the discourse might be a tad tiring to follow at times. Therefore Wallis De Vries provides an impressive amount of footnotes containing elaborations that, while occasionally provoking a feeling of reading two stories at once, do give the reader the sometimes needed support. Finally, the rêverie takes the reader for a walk along existent and non–existent feats of architecture that bear relation to escapism, or in essence – in one way or another – engage in a relation with the landscape itself. They could be merging, framing or occupying it, either acting like elements from a pensile city, thus tracing flightlines, or like elements that incorporate one or more principles of the pensile city from Piranesi’s works. Examples range from the New York Highline and the Boston Emerald Necklace to Le Corbusier’s theoretical plan Obus. Equally impressive as the text though, is the accompanying body of images, each of which individually demonstrate said feats of architectonic framing of the landscape, and thus provide places of and ideas about contemplating a landscape and giving this much sought after freedom of mind, escape. In the end the book obviously succeeds in being more than just a manifesto, a treatise and rêverie together. This book is a must-read for those who can appreciate architectural philosophy, supported by impressive and well-chosen imagery. The book might also appeal to many enthusiasts of architecture history, as it meticulously analyses one of the most influential and impressive architectural pieces of late Piranesi’s Campo Marzio, related to one of the most interesting concepts of these times. In this work Wallis De Vries weaves a web of theories in which he captures the mysteries, workings and intricacies of Archescape, so be sure to pore over every page.
37 AnArchi News Welcome to our new column, AnArchi News. Starting this issue, Archiprint will feature a column on the latest news from and about AnArchi. BEP As most of you are probably aware, a professional traineeship (Beroepservaringsperiode or BEP) will be implemented in January 2015. This means that after graduation, every architect, urban planner and landscape architect will have to spend at least two years gaining experience as a trainee. This involves costs to the graduates as well, namely €3,000 per year. Efforts by AnArchi and VIA Stedebouw have proved successful: the graduates of January 2015 have been given the opportunity to opt out of this scheme by graduating earlier. At the moment, we are working in collaboration with Delft and Wageningen to scrutinize the new regulations and to perhaps realize adjustments. MDE This year, AnArchi’s Multi Day Excursion (MDE) will take place in October: 18 students and Jacob Voorthuis will travel to Vienna for a cultural and architectural journey. Lustrum This academic year is the fifth year of AnArchi ‘s existence, its first lustrum. And that calls for a celebration! After the Space-Time anniversary celebration in March, we will conclude our anniversary year with another activity at the beginning of the new academic year. Scale figures The scale model figures are still available at AnArchi. Their launch has been a great success. There has also been a poll on the desirability of other scale figures. We will keep you posted on possible increases in our line of products.
Change of address September 2014, we moved from floor 5 to floor 1. You will now find us near the coffee and pastries at Plaza. New board The line-up of the Board changed on Tuesday, 9 September. The fifth board turned over its office to the sixth board. We wish the sixth board of AnArchi all the best for this academic year! To keep up with all the latest activities and news of the BEP, keep an eye on our Facebook page, newsletter and posters. 5th Board of AnArchi
Ajeetha Ranganathan is an architect, writer and designer. She is interested in the larger impacts of design, specifically in the relationship between society, the environment and architecture. Her current research interests include ‘The Post-Oil City’ and ‘ObeCity: Can cities make us fat?’ Ajeetha heads the research team at an architecture firm in India. Dave ten Hoope has gained his Masters in Architecture, Building & Planning at the Eindhoven University of Technology. He has worked at various architectural offices across India. He is a published writer, editor, graphic designer and architectural photographer. He currently works as Manager Architect in Chennai, India. Marco Vermeulen is an architect and urban planner. He graduated cum laude from Eindhoven University of Technology in 1998. Immediately after his studies he co-founded the office Urban Affairs. He was a tutor of architecture & urban design at the Eindhoven University of Technology and guest lecturer at Delft University of Technology and the Academie van Bouwkunst in Rotterdam. In 2009, Marco founded his own office Studio Marco Vermeulen in Rotterdam. Alcuin Olthof is an architect and coach wizard. He creatively connects knowledge of both the physical and mental space with the motto: ‘There is more space than you think.’ Anne Theiß graduated from the University for Art and Design in Halle (Saale), Germany and Daniel Geal read German and French at the University of Portsmouth, England. After learning their trades in the areas of design, copywriting and art direction, they founded the communication and brand identity firm BluePea, sharing their
38 vision of offering a more collaborative and human approach that’s aimed at finding genuine solutions. They believe a key component of a successful business is a strong and successful business identity, achieved by communicating an authentic, consistent message, inspired by having the right people on board. Joost Ector graduated cum laude at the Eindhoven University of Technology in 1996. He was directly employed as assistant designer at Hoogstad Architecten, based in Rotterdam. Later on he became project architect and architect director. In 2002, Jan Hoogstad handed down the company to his co-directors Joost Ector and Max Pape.
Archiprint September 2014 \\ Volume 03 \ Issue 02 Eindhoven Free publication ISSN 2213-5588 Journal for Architecture, created by students and graduates of the Department of the Built Environment, Eindhoven University of Technology and architecture study association AnArchi. email@example.com www.anarchi.eu facebook.com/pages/AnArchi issuu.com/anarchi Publisher AnArchi Eindhoven University of Technology Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning Vertigo Building Den Dolech 2 5612 AZ Eindhoven The Netherlands Editor-in-chief Michael Maminski Final editors Annemiek Osinga, Kavitha Varathan Editors Julie Bosch, Paul Kersten, Frank van Kessel, Peyvand Yavari Contributors Luuk van den Elzen (AnArchi) Advisory committee Bernard Colenbrander, Jacob Voorthuis, Gijs Wallis de Vries, Maarten Willems Layout design Michael Maminski Printing Drukkerij van Druenen, Geldrop www.vandruenen.nl Back issues Archiprint1 Archiprint2 Archiprint3 Archiprint4 Archiprint5
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19 On the way, but where does it lead to? Alcuin Olthof 24 Personalities Create Identities Anne Theiß, Daniel Geal 26 Identity of a Place —Intervention and Harmonization in the Landscape Michael Maminski 29 Atmosphere and Identity —A Reflection on OASE 91 Paul Kersten 31 In Pursuit of No Style —An Interview with Joost Ector Annemiek Osinga, Kavitha Varathan, Luuk van den Elzen 34 Identity and the Living Environment Julie Bosch 36 Book Review Frank van Kessel 37 AnArchi News AnArchi
Archiprint6—Creating & Experiencing Identity
4 Editorial Kavitha Varathan, Michael Maminski 6 Scaffolds —First Grasps at Identity Archiprint Editors 8 Uniquely Globalized —Thoughts on Urban Character Ajeetha Ranganathan 11 A Kind of Space —An Interpretation of the Atmosphere in twelve Parisian Quarters Annemiek Osinga 13 Between Skyscrapers and Townships —Architecture at Breakneck Speed Dave ten Hoope 16 Regional and Urban Identity —An Interview with Marco Vermeulen Julie Bosch, Michael Maminski