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Archis #1 2001

ISSN 1568-2730

Archis c%%%%%%%%%%%% Dutch magazine for c%%%%%%%%%%%% Architecture c%%%%%%%%%%%% City c%%%%%%%%%%%% Visual Culture c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% #1 2001 c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Per issue c%%%%%%%%%%%% Nlg 32.50 c%%%%%%%%%%%% = C 15 c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%%

e normaal gesproken niet aantreffen in kleinere mediadomeinen als computerbeeldschermen, tijdschriften of websites. Het maken van dit onderscheid stelt ons in staat om een bruikbare analyse te maken - en niet louter een ongenuanceerde bevestiging - van de manieren waarop architectonische ruimten fungeren als consumptiemedia. De in dit project gemaakte diagrammen registreren bijvoorbeeld de gebruiksintensiteiten, bewegingssnelheden en bezoekersaantallen; zulke kerncijfers, die normaal worden gebruikt in conventioneel media- en publieksonderzoek, worden hier opgeroepen le instrumenten met het vermogen de BrandSpace-locaties letterlijk ‘naar buiten te persen’ als complexe, responsieve oppervlakken waarvan het potentieel nog niet werd gerealiseerd. In dit project wordt geprobeerd het potentieel van een specifieke ‘locatie’ als een merk-producerende interface te isoleren en te optimaliseren - een bewuste bevestiging van de locatie als een soort architectonisch ‘project’ of ‘ruimte’ die geheel is ingesteld op de mediaproducten van een bedrijf als AOL-CNN Time Warner. Epiloog Brand–Name Space ‘Het schouwspel is geen verzameling beelden, het is een so ssen mensen, bemiddeld door beelden.’ Guy Debord, De spektakelmaatschappij De benaderingen die in elk van deze voorbeelden zijn aangegeven werden niet gekozen als manieren om de reeds bestaande typologieën van de ontplooiing van de media in de stad (via reclameborden, lichtbakken of thema-omgevingen) te bevestigen, maar om de aandacht te concentreren op iets veel minder tastbaars: nieuwe modi of modellen die bruikbaar zijn om de patronen van gebruik/interface/bezetting/beweging te beschrijven via welke de ervaring van de stad begrepen kan worden als wezenlijk conti ediaproducten of interfaces. Terwijl de meest extreme hedendaagse voorbeelden van gemedieerde architectonische ruimte, productie of discours maar al te velen het idee geven dat we momenteel worden geconfronteerd met radicaal nieuwe 'aanslagen' op de veronderstelde autonomie van een discipline als de architectuur, is het belangrijk eraan te herinneren dat de werkelijkheid misschien omgekeerd ligt: de bizarre logica van ‘personality’, product en media ligt reeds lang diep ingebed in datgene dat we moderne architectuur noemen. Geconfronteerd met de extreme voorbeelden van on eldigend gemedieerde visuele omgeving moeten we eraan herinneren dat de opkomst van de moderne architectuur gedurende de twintigste eeuw werd voortgestuwd - en in veel gevallen direct werd bevorderd - niet door de ontdekking van nieuwe materialen, producten of constructietechnieken (zoals Le Corbusier het ons bijna een eeuw geleden wilde doen geloven), maar door wat daar rechtstreeks mee samenhing: massamarketing, image-opbouw en product-identiteit. Maar al te vaak worden de meest agressieve aandacht trekkende varianten van BrandSpace opgevat als de uitingsvorm l op sentimentele noties rond een zogenaamde ‘openbare ruimte’ die zou zijn nagelaten door eenvoudigere, minder ‘commerciële’ tijden. We moeten eraan herinneren dat het omgekeerde feitelijk het geval is: de ‘komst’ van de moderne architectuur viel samen met die van slechts één andere bij uitstek moderne bedrijfstak: de reclame. De moderne reclame en de moderne architectuur (tegelijkertijd even onontkoombaar commercieel als onmiskenbaar cultureel) zijn altijd onontwarbaar verstrengeld geweest – en zullen dat blijven.Het is hier niet mogelijk een uitgebreider overzicht te presente anier om verder te kijken dan het schokeffect van de meest extreme voorbeelden van BrandSpace™ in de wereld van vandaag is zich de verborgen episodes voor de geest te halen waarin blijkt dat de moderne architectuur reeds lange tijd een diepgaand gemedieerde, en mediërende, onderneming is geweest. Vanuit wat wij vandaag weten, kunnen wij ons een architect als Mies evengoed herinneren om zijn uitvinding van PhotoShop als om zijn glas-en-staalgebouwen, net zoals architecten als Max Bill of Charles Eames nu voor ons van belang worden om de graagte waarmee ze naast archi ed grafische ruimten ontwierpen (denk aan Bills geweldige ontwerp van het derde deel van Le Corbusiers Oeuvre Complete, of Eames’ gelijktijdige ontwerp van bedrijfsidentiteiten en bijbehorende fysieke ruimten, naast mediaproducten als films en publicaties) Je bladert door een tijdschrift van een vliegtuigmaatschappij en je ziet hoe daar een achteloze vergelijking wordt getrokken tussen de prestaties van Le Corbusier en een anoniem, totaal nietszeggend bedrijfsinterieur, en je herinnert je dat de architect zelf zijn moderne manifesten ooit aan de man bracht, gelardeerd met de krantenk d toegeëigend uit de reclamefolders van zijn, eveneens door en door commerciële, tijd. De BrandSpace™ van vandaag, samengebracht in tijdschriften zoals dit, of in de straten van de hedendaagse, onmiskenbaar kunstmatige medialandschappen, toont ons niet zozeer de buitenissige ‘andere kant’ van overigens vertrouwde architectnische producten, persoonlijkheden of plekken, maar voert ons op een uiterst verrassende manier terug naar de oorsprong van wat nog altijd een van de grootste uitvindingen op het gebied van product-positionering is: de ruimte van de moderne architectuur.T ereld waarin stijlen en bewegingen opzij zijn geschoven door fusies en overnames, stelt de continue escalatie in de reclame- en publiciteitswapenwedloop de ontwerpers overal ter wereld misschien wel voor grotere en moeilijker op te lossen problemen dan het probleem dat wij hebben als we hun felgekleurde opschriften en logo-bombardementen willen negeren. Uiteindelijk is, zoals Andy Warhol eens opmerkte, kopen moderner dan denken. Als wij een bewuste poging willen doen het heden te ontdoen van zijn nieuwigheid, moeten wij onszelf toch op de eerste plaats realiseren hoezeer d n onze huidige 24-bits kleurenwereld van Starbucks, GAP, de Absolut Cities en holografische reclameborden fundamenteel hetzelfde zijn als de verbleekte zwart-witfoto's die moeten doorgaan voor de wereld van Le Corbusier, Mies, het Bauhaus en hun nakomelingen. Aan ons de taak te bedenken hoe we aan, en niet alleen ín deze meervoudige realiteiten kunnen werken. ‘De reclame, die in de negentiende eeuw om niets meer ging dan het bekendheid geven aan een product, alvorens ze in de twintigste een industrie van de opwekking van verlangen werd, zal in de eenentwintigste eeuw worden. Dit vergt de ontplooiing van een reclameruimte die reikt tot de zichtbaarheidshorizon van de planeet.’ Paul Virilio, The Information Bomb, New York 2000 Reclame is het meest perfecte ononderbroken oppervlak ter wereld. Starbucks™ is de ultieme Miesiaanse ruimte. BrandSpace™ is de naam van een twee jaar durende serie werkgroepen en seminars in het AADRL (het Design Research Lab van de Architectural Association in Londen), waarin onderzoek wordt verricht naar de extreme consequenties van de merkgebonden architectuur en stedebouw van vandaag. Het doel is het alyseren, zo niet toe-eigenen en vervormen, van beelden van een buitenissige, maar toch in toenemende mate vertrouwd rakende wereld van synthetische producten, plaatsen en persoonlijkheden; een verzadigde media-omgeving waarin alle architectonische ruimte eerst en bovenal fungeert als het verlengstuk van de grootste uitvinding van de reclame: de merkidentiteit. In de hedendaagse markt van geproduceerde identiteiten is het woord ‘architectuur’ beschermd door auteursrechten die in handen zijn van een Nederlands conglomeraat. Het is de eigenaar van een in Amerika geproduce dschrift, dat het woord gebruikt om zichzelf te promoten als het meest gelezen vakblad in de Verenigde Staten. Het paviljoen van Mies in Barcelona wordt verhuurd aan particuliere sponsors, voor bedrijfsfeestjes of als achtergrond voor autocommercials. Frank Lloyd Wright verkoopt comfortabele, goed gemaakte vrijetijdskledingen Norman Foster prijst horloges aan als was hij een filmster of bekende sportman. Credit cards geven toegang tot de wereld op een manier die gebouwen anders nooit bieden, terwijl onze meest beroemde theoretici loungen in geadverteerde meubels en het Gug n star appearance maakt in de actiescènes van James Bond-films. Rem Koolhaas’ Grote Boek, als rekwisiet gebruikt in makelaarsadvertenties (theorie als hoofdkussen), levert op zijn beurt weer pagina's in andere Grote Boeken op. Sinds kort is architectonische ruimte niet meer slechts een beter soort collector’s item. Als je de advertenties ziet, moet je het wel eens zijn met de tijdschriftlezers overal ter wereld: architectonische producten, persoonlijkheden en ruimten zijn zoiets als een nieuw soort Absolut ©. Voor de ontwerper van vandaag moet het wel heel moeilijk zijn om nog uit elkaa t product ophoudt en de positionering ervan begint. ‘Check this out, die jongens van het Bauhaus aan het stappen, plus een hele zwik andere zeldzame opnamen die buiten de gewijde kluizen van het Bauhaus Archiv in Duitsland nooit te zien zijn geweest.’ Advertentie in Wallpaper voor de Bauhaus-tentoonstelling in het Londense Design Museum, juni 2000. Vandaag wordt alle architectonische ruimte als een absoluut unicum ontworpen. Vandaar dat alles er hetzelfde uit begint te zien. Sinds kort zijn we bij het AADRL begonnen te werken aan enkele complicaties van deze tegenstelling, e anieren. Op de eerste plaats in het atelier, door het ontwikkelen van methoden om informatie (statistische, grafische en visuele) te verzamelen. Uit die diagrammatische registratie blijkt dat de architectonische ruimte (evenals de stad zelf) een wezenlijk gemedieerde ervaring of werkelijkheid is, waarin de categorieën van virtuele ‘informatie’ (zoals logo’s of andere merktekens) en fysiek ‘materiaal’ (zoals muren, borden en andere oppervlakken) louter de extremen vormen in het continuüm van een wereld die beide beschrijft en erdoor wordt beschreven. Daarnaast doen we in de vorm van sem richt op het her-schrijven van genealogieën van de hedendaagse consumentenwereld, op zoek naar voorbeelden van het werk van twintigste-eeuwse architecten waarin onthuld wordt hoezeer die mediërende krachten wezenlijk zijn geweest voor het bestaan en de verschijningen van de moderne architectuur. Hieronder zal ik in het bijzonder ingaan op de eerste van deze twee categorieën en drie voorbeelden presenteren van de onderzoeks- en ontwerpprojecten die we momenteel onder handen hebben in onze postademische Master-cursus architectuurtheorie en design. We zijn vorig jaar gonnen, kort nadat we getuige waren van de manier waarop CNN ter gelegenheid van het nieuwe millennium een simpele binaire datum (01.01.00) wist in te zetten in een wereldwijd marketing/merkpromotie-offensief, waarin duizend real-time videoreportages uit de grote steden van de wereld werden gebruikt om elk idee dat we nog van stedelijkheid mochten hebben, hoe sluimerend ook, om te zetten in één naadloos, wereldomspannend Photoshop-beeld van architectonische iconen, monumenten en bedrijfslogo’s. Om enkele van de benaderingen samen te vatten waarlangs wij de best n BrandSpace™ hebben verkend, zal ik kort drie projecten bespreken. Elk daarvan legt de nadruk op een ander aspect van de verstrengeling tussen de hedendaagse architectonische ruimte, stedelijkheid en andere mediaproducten. Het eerste project, ‘Fistula’, begon vorig jaar met een analyse van hoe de merknaam-media momenteel verspreid zijn in een stedelijke omgeving. Hierbij keken we zowel naar de historische stad (een vierkante kilometer in het Londense West End) als naar een van de meest recente en meest kunstmatige uitbreidingsprojecten (het onlangs voltooide Bluewater Sho t grootste winkelcentrum van Europa), 30 km ten zuidwesten van Londen. Het tweede project, getiteld 'Transtasis', concentreerde zich op de dynamische globale en lokale bewegingspatronen naar en binnen Londen, om te laten zien hoe merken, ruimten en plekken voortdurend opnieuw langs bestaande trajecten worden geconfigureerd tot zowel stads- als productruimte. Het derde project, getiteld ‘TM’, registreert de operaties binnen een gebied in Londen genaamd de South Bank dat onlangs een re-branding heeft ondergaan; hier wordt de relatie verkend tussen virtuele mediaproducten euwe gigaconglomeraat AOL-Time Warner en de ‘werkelijke’ visuele ruimten van de stad, waarin zulke producten al blijken te bestaan. In elk van deze drie projecten ligt de nadruk enigszins anders, hetgeen ertoe heeft geleid dat zij elk andere noties hebben geformuleerd van wat locaties, programma’s of ontwerptechnieken zouden kunnen zijn die beantwoorden aan de eisen van de meest agressieve vormen van BrandSpace™ van vandaag. Fistula analyseert de overweldigende aanwezigheid van de media-artefacten, waaronder reclameborden en andere installaties die de hedendaagse sted volken. Om te beginnen registreerde elk lid van deze groep een bepaald specimen van de repetitieve structuren die we in de alledaagse ruimte van Londen voortdurend tegenkomen: micro-infrastructuren als de ATM geldautomaten, ‘seriële’ ruimten als die van de Starbucks-keten, meer traditionele reclamemedia als billboards, ‘ontsnappingsruimten’ als video-speelhallen en andere thema-omgevingen, en illegale, kleinschalige 'bombing'-installaties als de bekende ‘Andre the Giant’-posters die men in het Londen van vandaag (evenals in vele andere steden) aantreft. In elk van deze studies wo n de strategie van elk specifiek type product/medium afgeleide patronen van bezetting en activiteit geregistreerd en wordt getoond hoe de aanwezigheid ervan een breder stedelijk veld creëert met sterk repetitieve trekken en ruimten, vaak samengesteld uit een niet aflatende combinatie van identieke merknaam-elementen. De nietszeggende globale consistentie van de hedendaagse stedelijke ruimte (waar alles er overal, naar men zegt, ‘hetzelfde uitziet’) blijkt in deze studie niet te stroken met de klaarblijkelijk strategische installaties van specifieke mediaproducten en merknamen, die aan er een breder stedelijk veld. Het onderzoek werd toegespitst door een vergelijking te maken tussen de media in historische plaatsen als het West End en die in de nieuwere en agressievere commerciële domeinen als de recent geopende Bluewater mall. Hieruit bleek dat, ondanks de uiterlijke schijn, de verspreiding van merkgebonden reclameborden en mediaproducten diepgaande overeenkomsten tussen deze twee domeinen teweeg brengt. Als bijproduct van het onderzoek heeft dit project een tegenactie tegen de meest agressieve vormen van BrandSpace™ voortgebracht: de notie van e ankSpace’-actie gericht op een bewuste verstoring van bestaande visuele velden. Deze actie was erop gericht de bestaande ‘hyper-visuele’ oppervlakken, die gebonden zijn aan de meer conventionele toepassing van reclameborden (met tekst), logo's en beelden, bewust ‘uit te wissen’. Van hieruit ontwikkelde het project zich in de richting van een strikte omkadering van wat de belangrijkste locatie in de stad is: zijn verticale oppervlakken, die nu al dienst doen ten bate van de meest agressieve promotie en positionering van producten en identiteiten. Transtasis ‘Infrastructuren worden in to kaal en concurrerend, niet wederzijds versterkend en totaliserend: ze pretenderen niet langer dat ze functionerende gehelen scheppen maar vormen nu de commerciële voedingsbodem voor functionele entiteiten.’ Rem Koolhaas, The Generic City Transtasis neemt de nomadische, mobiele leefstijlen van vandaag als uitgangspunt. In dit onderzoek zijn de dynamische in- en uitgaande verbindingen van de stad, geregistreerd via de aankomstpatronen van bezoekers die gedurende een gemiddelde werkdag op de luchthaven Heathrow landen, in verband gebracht met een van de centrale infrast n Londen, Paddington Rail Station. Uit deze datastructuren komen sleutelmomenten van 'storing' naar voren, binnen wat door velen als ononderbroken verkeersstromen worden gezien. Zulke storingen zijn het resultaat van de vele opstoppingen en mislukkingen waarmee mensen worden geconfronteerd terwijl ze zich van het ene infrastructurele systeem (bussen, taxi's) naar het andere begeven. Door de bestaande infrastructurele trajecten door Londen in statistische modellen in te brengen wordt getoond hoe weinig soepel de toegang en beweging via deze systemen verloopt en hoe hier ke lokale niveaus, een categorie van 'locaties' ontstaat die beschikbaar is voor media/merkinstallaties die als functie hebben een naadloze stroom van stadsgebruikers te ‘ontwrichten’ (door de aandacht op te eisen). Door de bestaande grootschalige infrastructurele locaties te onderscheiden in vele kleinere clusters van ontwrichting (elk met een eigen, variabel niveau van verbindingen en interactie), worden de gebeurtenissen die zich hier afspelen in kaart gebracht als momenten in de tijd in het doorlopen van bewegingstrajecten, en dus niet meer als geïsoleerde geografische locaties in de obeert vervolgens gebruik te maken van deze momenten door het installeren van variabele, opzettelijk parasitaire gebeurtenisruimten en voorzieningen ten behoeve van de gebruikers, terwijl zij de reeds aanzienlijke wachttijden ondergaan die kenmerkend zijn voor het verkeer door de hedendaagse stad. In zijn dynamische aanpak van de kartering en statistische beschrijving verlegt de aandacht zich in dit project van de feitelijk bestaande mediaproducten die de stad bevolken (zoals reclameborden) naar de beleving van de stad, de manier waarop wij de stad ervaren tijdens onze continue b ke bezetting van alle plaatsen. Het gaat hierbij om manieren van zien die niet sterk verschillen van de kijkgewoonten die passen bij meer traditionele media-ervaringen, zoals het bladeren door een tijdschrift of het zappen langs tv-kanalen. TM ‘We zijn momenteel getuige van de uiteindelijke verdwijning van reclame – haar totale oplossing in alle aspecten van het leven.’ Jean Baudrillard, Le système des objets Het derde project, getiteld ‘TM’, verkent de mate waarin de stad een direct verlengstuk is van (en niet slechts een locatie voor) reeds vertrouwde mediaproducten en -ervaringen. Werke me Warner, stelt dit project een hypothetische vraag: hoe zou een onderneming als deze, die zelf opereert als een soort lopendeband-machine van merkproductie, de architectonische ruimte kunnen opvatten als een verlengstuk van haar kernproducten, haar eigen welbekende mediamerken? In de eerste fase van het onderzoek wordt informatie verzameld over de verschillende manieren waarop de ‘virtuele’ producten van dit soort ondernemingen reeds als fysieke installaties in de stad aanwezig zijn: in de schermen, interfaces, publicaties, reclameborden en andere mediaproducten die te ko boden en die we in onze gang door de stad regelmatig tegenkomen. Vervolgens concentreert het project zich op het onlangs ‘ge-her-merkte’deel van Londen dat bekend staat als de Southbank en dat momenteel sterk in de markt wordt gezet, in samenhang met een aantal van de nieuwste culturele/commerciële/toeristische-aanwinsten van Londen, zoals de London Eye en de Tate Modern. Ervan uitgaande dat de analyse van dit veld noodzakelijkerwijze verbonden moet worden met de producten van AOL-CNN Time Warner, heeft de werkgroep locatie/productplattegronden uitgewerkt die staande bedrijfssponsoring reeds strategisch is verspreid, opbrengsten genereert en bezettingspatronen vastlegt die de meer conventionele fysieke beschrijving van het gebied grof verstoren. Dit onderzoek spitst zich toe op de aanmerkelijke verschillen tussen de inkomsten die worden gegenereerd door de fysieke ‘ruimten’ die bepaalde locaties bezetten en hun meer in het oog springende externe oppervlakken. Vaak blijken de externe oppervlakken de cliënten veel meer inkomen op te leveren uit de verhuur voor reclamedoeleinden dan de bijbehorende ruimten uit de verhuur van vloeropp hter dit soort onderzoek is een voortdurende focus op de rol van strategische visuele interfaces: het is goed denkbaar dat ‘kijken’ de enige echte ‘activiteit’, het enige ‘programma’ is waardoor alle aspecten van de stad zich steeds meer gaan gedragen alsof het mediaproducten zijn. De bestaande visuele velden in de stad bezitten unieke dynamische aspecten die we normaal gesproken niet aantreffen in kleinere mediadomeinen als computerbeeldschermen, tijdschriften of websites. Het maken van dit onderscheid stelt ons in staat om een bruikbare analyse te maken - en niet louter een ong vestiging - van de manieren waarop architectonische ruimten fungeren als consumptiemedia. De in dit project gemaakte diagrammen registreren bijvoorbeeld de gebruiksintensiteiten, bewegingssnelheden en bezoekersaantallen; zulke kerncijfers, die normaal worden gebruikt in conventioneel media- en publieksonderzoek, worden hier opgeroepen als driedimensionale instrumenten met het vermogen de BrandSpace-locaties letterlijk ‘naar buiten te persen’ als complexe, responsieve oppervlakken waarvan het potentieel nog niet werd gerealiseerd. In dit project wordt geprobeerd het poten ieke ‘locatie’ als een merk-producerende interface te isoleren en te optimaliseren - een bewuste bevestiging van de locatie als een soort architectonisch ‘project’ of ‘ruimte’ die geheel is ingesteld op de mediaproducten van een bedrijf als AOL-CNN Time Warner. Epiloog Brand–Name Space ‘Het schouwspel is geen verzameling beelden, het is een sociale verhouding tussen mensen, bemiddeld door beelden.’ Guy Debord, De spektakelmaatschappij De benaderingen die in elk van deze voorbeelden zijn aangegeven werden niet gekozen als manieren om de reeds bestaande typologieën van de media in de stad (via reclameborden, lichtbakken of thema-omgevingen) te bevestigen, maar om de aandacht te concentreren op iets veel minder tastbaars: nieuwe modi of modellen die bruikbaar zijn om de patronen van gebruik/interface/bezetting/beweging te beschrijven via welke de ervaring van de stad begrepen kan worden als wezenlijk continu met andere mediaproducten of interfaces. Terwijl de meest extreme hedendaagse voorbeelden van gemedieerde architectonische ruimte, productie of discours maar al te velen het idee geven dat we momenteel worden geconfronteerd met r anslagen' op de veronderstelde autonomie van een discipline als de architectuur, is het belangrijk eraan te herinneren dat de werkelijkheid misschien omgekeerd ligt: de bizarre logica van ‘personality’, product en media ligt reeds lang diep ingebed in datgene dat we moderne architectuur noemen. Geconfronteerd met de extreme voorbeelden van onze huidige overweldigend gemedieerde visuele omgeving moeten we eraan herinneren dat de opkomst van de moderne architectuur gedurende de twintigste eeuw werd voortgestuwd - en in veel gevallen direct werd bevorderd - niet door de on euwe materialen, producten of constructietechnieken (zoals Le Corbusier het ons bijna een eeuw geleden wilde doen geloven), maar door wat daar rechtstreeks mee samenhing: massamarketing, image-opbouw en product-identiteit. Maar al te vaak worden de meest agressieve aandacht trekkende varianten van BrandSpace opgevat als de uitingsvormen van een aanval op sentimentele noties rond een zogenaamde ‘openbare ruimte’ die zou zijn nagelaten door eenvoudigere, minder ‘commerciële’ tijden.We moeten eraan herinneren dat het omgekeerde feitelijk het geval is: de ‘komst’ van d ctuur viel samen met die van slechts één andere bij uitstek moderne bedrijfstak: de reclame. De moderne reclame en de moderne architectuur (tegelijkertijd even onontkoombaar commercieel als onmiskenbaar cultureel) zijn altijd onontwarbaar verstrengeld geweest – en zullen dat blijven. Het is hier niet mogelijk een uitgebreider overzicht te presenteren. Echter, één manier om verder te kijken dan het schokeffect van de meest extreme voorbeelden van BrandSpace™ in de wereld van vandaag is zich deverborgen episodes voor de geest te halen waarin blijkt dat de moderne architectuur re epgaand gemedieerde, en mediërende, onderneming is geweest. Vanuit wat wij vandaag weten, kunnen wij ons een architect als Mies evengoed herinneren om zijn uitvinding van PhotoShop als om zijn glas-en-staalgebouwen, net zoals architecten als Max Bill of Charles Eames nu voor ons van belang worden om de graagte waarmee ze naast architectonische evengoed grafische ruimten ontwierpen (denk aan Bills geweldige ontwerp van het derde deel van Le Corbusiers Oeuvre Complete, of Eames’ gelijktijdige ontwerp van bedrijfsidentiteiten en bijbehorende fysieke ruimten, naast media ms en publicaties). Je bladert door een tijdschrift van een vliegtuigmaatschappij en je ziet hoe daar een achteloze vergelijking wordt getrokken tussen de prestaties van Le Corbusier en een anoniem, totaal nietszeggend bedrijfsinterieur, en je herinnert je dat de architect zelf zijn moderne manifesten ooit aan de man bracht, gelardeerd met de krantenknipsels die hij zich had toegeëigend uit de reclamefolders van zijn, eveneens door en door commerciële, tijd. De BrandSpace™ van vandaag, samengebracht in tijdschriften zoals dit, of in de straten van de hedendaagse, onmiskenbaar kunstma happen, toont ons niet zozeer de buitenissige ‘andere kant’ van overigens vertrouwde architectonische producten, persoonlijkheden of plekken, maar voert ons op een uiterst verrassende manier terug naar de oorsprong van wat nog altijd een van de grootste uitvindingen op het gebied van product-positionering is: de ruimte van de moderne architectuur.Toegegeven: in een wereld waarin stijlen en bewegingen opzij zijn geschoven door fusies en overnames, stelt de continue escalatie in de reclame- en publiciteitswapenwedloop de ontwerpers overal ter wereld misschien wel voor grotere e ssen problemen dan het probleem dat wij hebben als we hun felgekleurde opschriften en logo-bombardementen willen negeren. Uiteindelijk is, zoals Andy Warhol eens opmerkte, kopen moderner dan denken. Als wij een bewuste poging willen doen het heden te ontdoen van zijn nieuwigheid, moeten wij onszelf toch op de eerste plaats realiseren hoezeer de architecturen van onze huidige 24-bits kleurenwereld van Starbucks, GAP, de Absolut Cities en holografische reclameborden fundamenteel hetzelfde zijn als de verbleekte zwart-witfoto's die moeten doorgaan voor de wereld van Le C t Bauhaus en hun nakomelingen. Aan ons de taak te bedenken hoe we aan, en niet alleen ín deze meervoudige realiteiten kunnen werken. ‘De reclame, die in de negentiende eeuw om niets meer ging dan het bekendheid geven aan een product, alvorens ze in de twintigste een industrie van de opwekking van verlangen werd, zal in de eenentwintigste eeuw pure communicatie worden. Dit vergt de ontplooiing van een reclameruimte die reikt tot de zichtbaarheidshorizon van de planeet.’ Paul Virilio, The Information Bomb, New York 2000 Reclame is het meest perfecte ononderbroken oppe arbucks™ is de ultieme Miesiaanse ruimte. BrandSpace™ is de naam van een twee jaar durende serie werkgroepen en seminars in het AADRL (het Design Research Lab van de Architectural Association in Londen), waarin onderzoek wordt verricht naar de extreme consequenties van de merkgebonden architectuur en stedebouw van vandaag. Het doel is het vastleggen en analyseren, zo niet toe-eigenen en vervormen, van beelden van een buitenissige, maar toch in toenemende mate vertrouwd rakende wereld van synthetische producten, plaatsen en persoonlijkheden; een verzadigde media alle architectonische ruimte eerst en bovenal fungeert als het verlengstuk van de grootste uitvinding van de reclame: de merkidentiteit. In de hedendaagse markt van geproduceerde identiteiten is het woord ‘architectuur’ beschermd door auteursrechten die in handen zijn van een Nederlands conglomeraat. Het is de eigenaar van een in Amerika geproduceerd architectuurtijdschrift, dat het woord gebruikt om zichzelf te promoten als het meest gelezen vakblad in de Verenigde Staten. Het paviljoen van Mies in Barcelona wordt verhuurd aan particuliere sponsors, voor bedrijfsfeestjes of als a tocommercials. Frank Lloyd Wright verkoopt comfortabele, goed gemaakte vrijetijdskledingen Norman Foster prijst horloges aan als was hij een filmster of bekende sportman. Credit cards geven toegang tot de wereld op een manier die gebouwen anders nooit bieden, terwijl onze meest beroemde theoretici loungen in geadverteerde meubels en het Guggenheim museum een star appearance maakt in de actiescènes van James Bond-films. Rem Koolhaas’ Grote Boek, als rekwisiet gebruikt in makelaarsadvertenties (theorie als hoofdkussen), levert op zijn beurt weer pagina's in andere Grote nds kort is architectonische ruimte niet meer slechts een beter soort collector’s item. Als je de advertenties ziet, moet je het wel eens zijn met de tijdschriftlezers overal ter wereld: architectonische producten, persoonlijkheden en ruimten zijn zoiets als een nieuw soort Absolut ©. Voor de ontwerper van vandaag moet het wel heel moeilijk zijn om nog uit elkaar te houden waar het product ophoudt en de positionering ervan begint. ‘Check this out, die jongens van het Bauhaus aan het stappen, plus een hele zwik andere zeldzame opnamen die buiten de gewijde kluizen van het Bauhaus Arc oit te zien zijn geweest.’ Advertentie in Wallpaper voor de Bauhaus-tentoonstelling in het Londense Design Museum, juni 2000. Vandaag wordt alle architectonische ruimte als een absoluut unicum ontworpen. Vandaar dat alles er hetzelfde uit begint te zien. Sinds kort zijn we bij het AADRL begonnen te werken aan enkele complicaties van deze tegenstelling, en dat op twee manieren. Op de eerste plaats in het atelier, door het ontwikkelen van methoden om informatie (statistische, grafische en visuele) te verzamelen. Uit die diagrammatische registratie blijkt dat de architectonische ruimt lf) een wezenlijk gemedieerde ervaring of werkelijkheid is, waarin de categorieën van virtuele ‘informatie’ (zoals logo’s of andere merktekens) en fysiek ‘materiaal’ (zoals muren, borden en andere oppervlakken) louter de extremen vormen in het continuüm van een wereld die beide beschrijft en erdoor wordt beschreven. Daarnaast doen we in de vorm van seminars onderzoek gericht op het her-schrijven van genealogieën van de hedendaagse consumentenwereld, op zoek naar voorbeelden van het werk van twintigste-eeuwse architecten waarin onthuld wordt hoezeer die mediërende krach weest voor het bestaan en de verschijningen van de moderne architectuur. Hieronder zal ik in het bijzonder ingaan op de eerste van deze twee categorieën en drie voorbeelden presenteren van de onderzoeks- en ontwerpprojecten die we momenteel onder handen hebben in onze postademische Master-cursus architectuurtheorie en design. We zijn vorig jaar aan dit werk begonnen, kort nadat we getuige waren van de manier waarop CNN ter gelegenheid van het nieuwe millennium een simpele binaire datum (01.01.00) wist in te zetten in een wereldwijd marketing/merkpromotie-offensief, w al time videoreportages uit de grote steden van de wereld werden gebruikt om elk idee dat we nog van stedelijkheid mochten hebben hoe sluimerend ook om te zetten in één naadloos wereldomspannend Photoshop beeld van architectonische iconen monumenten en bedrijfslogo’s Om enkele van de benaderingen samen te vatten waarlangs wij de bestaande vormen van BrandSpace™ hebben verkend zal ik kort drie projecten bespreken Elk daarvan legt de nadruk op een ander aspect van de verstrengeling tussen de hedendaagse architectonische ruimte stedelijkheid en andere media

IS


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Editors Ole Bouman (editor-in-chief) Lilet Breddels Arjen Oosterman Arthur Wortmann John Kirkpatrick (English copy editor) Translators Donald Gardner Nicoline Gqtehouse Victor Joseph Peter Mason Wendy van Os Arthur Payman Design Maureen Mooren & Daniël van der Velden with Manon de Boer Corine Datema

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With thanks to Claus en Kaan Architecten, Rotterdam De Architectengroep Rijnboutt Rijssenaars Hendriks van Gameren Mastenbroek, Amsterdam J. en M. Mol MVRDV, Rotterdam Neutelings Riedijk Architecten, Rotterdam OD 205 architectuur, Delft Van Mourik Vermeulen Architecten, The Hague Zwarts & Jansma Architecten, Amsterdam

Artdata, London Phone +44.208.747.1061 Fax +44.208.742.2319 Total Circulation, New York Phone +1.201.342.6396 Fax +1.201.342.2756 Mu Inc., New York davidrenard@hotmail.com Jan-Willem Poels, Albuquerque Phone +1.505.266.5245 Fax +1.877.471.2521 Title rights Archis Foundation, Amsterdam General conditions Applying to all offers, estimates and agreements made by Artimo are the conditions registered at the Direct Court and the Chamber of Commerce, Breda. ‘All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.’ While every care is taken to present the information in Archis as accurately as possible, neither the publisher nor the authors can be held responsible for damage of any kind that might result from use of that information. ISSN 1568-2730 Copyright 2001, Stichting Archis/Artimo

From: Archis 1/2001 — 2 — Credits

Back cover photograph Gertjan Kocken

Credits Archis the independent bimonthly magazine for architecture, the city and visual culture


A.-Res. Research

A.-Inn. Innovation

Credits 2

Urban psychology 8

Contents 3

BrandSpace™ Brett Steele 9

The look of the Netherlands Ton Verstegen 49

Key words 4

The city as trade mark Berci Florian 18

Editorial 5

Letter to the editor Biq 24

Merger or troubleshooting? Peter Swinnen 54 Interact or die Ole Bouman 59

What is it that makes Vinex people tick? Arnold Reijndorp 33 With or without rhetoric Burton Hamfelt 37 Zeitgeist ‘Branding’ 41 A.-Pol. Politics

A.-Rev. Review

A.-Dos. Dossier

Wandering in search of the genius fluvii Luuk Boelens 63

The canyon as gathering space Aaron Betsky 79

A glorious accident Arjen Oosterman 97

Books 88

Dudok Kees Christiaanse 69 Aesthetic control and the eternal call for change Anne Luijten 71 Rijksmuseum debate Ole Bouman 73 Centre for the arts, arts for the centre Wim Cuyvers 74

We look forward to the first issue.

This could have been your message!

Hedy

Send an SMS to: +31 (0)6 1104 6218

From: Archis 1/2001 — 3 — Contents

Design is a stroll on the beach. Architecture is a rollercoaster Bjarne Mastenbroek 109


Beach 109 The beach is an ideal public space. BrandSpaceTM 9 BrandSpaceTM returns us to the origins of what remains one of the greatest forms of product placement ever invented: modern architecture. Café 74 The studio is a place for introspection, the café is for looking at things. Didactics 79 The Diamond Ranch School is a didactic building, where our kids are educated in how our land works. Experience, a place for 18 Cities must offer a place for experience that is original, cannot be copied, and which attracts a certain type of person in a certain stage of life. Experience scenarios 4 It no longer matters what form a building takes, not even how the space in it is lived; what counts is that the required experience scenarios are on offer. Front 71 Architecture does not have a front. Genius fluvii 63 That is the spirit and atmosphere of movement, of dynamics, of changeability, at ever greater speeds, physical and virtual, mobile and motile. Interaction 59 Olivetti no longer develops products, but situations, interfaces and possibilities for communication. Life style Life style reminds the reader that everything is living.

37

Marketing 37 Marketing and television are the two most dominant cloaking devices that have screwed up the twentieth century. Merging and franchising 54 Merging and franchising hold the future. Of maybe the present.

Modularization 33 Homo Vinex puts together a life-story from the range of modules on the lifestyle market. Network society and network economy 63 These are impressive phrases, but what, ultimately, is the Fifth Report on Spatial Planning doing with them? Private life 33 It is because private life is so complicated that it forces its way more and more into the open. Rear 71 Architecture does not have a rear. Rijksmuseum debate 73 How are we going to pilot concepts like ‘nation’, 'history', 'art' and 'museum' into an age of cultural/ commercial theme parks? Studio 74 A studio is a place for introspection, a café is for looking at things. Style 37 Style is a whole new way of doing things. Supervisor 69 Steak tartare, pineapple, chicken and croquettes. Think tank When you dive into a think tank, make sure it has a deep end.

37

Vision 97 In choosing the architect-artist Enric Miralles, the City of Utrecht was not getting simply a solution to a spatial programme, but a vision. Visual fields 9 'Looking' is the one genuine 'activity' by which all aspects of the city increasingly operate as if a media product. XL book 37 Instead of being just a means to record our world, the XL book is becoming a means to generate our world.

Mobility 33 Mobility is not about the movement itself, but about the growing number of places where all manner of activities are enacted.

From: Archis 1/2001 — 4 — Key words

Key words


Counterfoil c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Archis c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Editorial c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Archis is c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Text: c%%%%%%%%%%%% Ole Bouman c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Photo: c%%%%%%%%%%%% Paul Bates/Reuters c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% ‘Echelon’ c%%%%%%%%%%%% Spy Post, c%%%%%%%%%%%% Menwith Hill, c%%%%%%%%%%%% Yorkshire, UK c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%%

Archis is, ... not past tense. Archis is still future tense. Despite the stormy weather the magazine has endured for the last while, a belief has persisted among its readers, its editorial staff and cultural-political circles in the need for a medium that freely and independently follows the vicissitudes of architecture, the city and visual culture. That need is as urgent as ever. Nowhere does the modernization of our daily existence manifest itself so obviously as in our manmade environment. The buildings we inhabit, the images around us, our urban society, the objects we use, the media we use to communicate, the whole landscape in which we find ourselves... Archis is the magazine for those who care about such things, either as professionals or as lay persons. Readers of Archis are people who are interested in a whole raft of questions: - What shape should architecture take within the dynamics of contemporary visual culture? - Amid universal urbanization, how do you create a city? - Where does architecture end, now that we have expanded its scope to include the entire landscape? - How far is architecture concerned with actual building, now that architects are turning more and more into spatial advisors? - Does architecture still have a disciplinary core? - To what extent do the projects of the international high flyers still bear any relation to everyday building output? - What will be the building types of the future, in an era of new social relations at work, in the family and in the society? - Is representative architecture still a matter of facades? - How does architecture as a static object react to the new economy of experience? - Does architecture still have a social or idealistic mission? - What is to happen with public housing, physical planning and government buildings in a time when the government is happy enough just to define ‘contours’ of the real world? - If you have to teach students architecture, what do you teach?

- How do you assess quality, when quality is inspired purely by the laws of the market or consumer demand? - What changes will occur if globalization truly extends its territory from the traffic in goods and data to the provision of services? - What future does the wall have, once walls have turned solely into supports for digital information and have thereby in principle become windows on the rest of the world? - What value will we attach to physical environments in an age when we spend most of our time in networks? And much else. Many questions; and Archis probes them. We have been appreciating architecture for over 70 years now. Archis is a platform for debate. A laboratory for research. A shop window for innovations in concepts, form and materials. A forum for ambitious architectural policy. A panorama of international developments. A sanctuary for speculative thinking on the struggle for space and the future of architecture. How will we go about it? The new bimonthly Archis will contain a well-filled project file, a thematic research report, news of salient developments in theory and practice, accounts of the main advances in architecture as a cultural strategy and, finally, short reviews of buildings, projects, books and exhibitions. All this will be combined into a clear and accessible journal six times a year. But there can be no Archis without its readers. This is a fact that we are determined to take much more literally henceforth. You can read, peruse and keep Archis. You can set to work with your favourite pages, or take them on your travels. Archis has become a medium for engagement, for reaction, for reference and perhaps for part of your professional communication. Archis is going interactive and we look forward to your responses.

Ole Bouman

From: Archis 1/2001 — 5 — Archis is


FAX ARCHIS 00 31 (0)20 330 25 12

Name: Date: Address: Fax: From: Archis 1/2001 — 6

Counterfoil c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Archis c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Fax c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% To: c%%%%%%%%%%%% The editors c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%%


Zeitgeist Branding What is it that makes Vinex people tick?

INSIGHT

1

Arnold Reijndorp

Within a decade or so a not inconsiderable proportion of the Dutch population will be living on one of the residential districts of the Vinex housing programme, which are already the subject of international notoriety. In this article the resident of these districts, homo Vinex, the new suburban, is portrayed as a postmodern who uses space in a new way. This newly born homo Vinex is given a provisional cultural-historical reading, one that may be an inspiration for spatial planning.

Borders’ magazine shelf.

BrandSpace™: Design ®esearch and Product Placement Brett Steele

Prologue The manifesto is only a logo (Just Do It™). ‘Advertising, which in the nineteenth century was simply the publicizing of a product, before becoming in the twentieth an industry for stimulating desire, is set in the twenty-first century to become pure communication. To this end it will require the unfurling of an advertising space which stretches to the horizon of visibility of the planet.’ Paul Virilio, The Information Bomb, New York 2000 Zeitgeist: een beeldrubriek met een interdisciplinaire

A.–RES.

Advertising is the world’s most perfect continuous surface. StarbucksTM is the ultimate Miesian space.

uit Colors

01

Prada banner bij het Barcelona Pavilion.


Urban psychology

Contents

Architecture in the age of the Experience Economy

Urban psychology Ole Bouman Brandspace Brett Steele

The psychology of the city has commanded attention ever since the emergence of the metropolis as both fact and idea. Certain special qualities were attributed to metropolis dwellers, and the city was assumed to confer on them a certain state of mind. Architecture designed for the metropolis all at once acquired a legitimacy peppered with psychological arguments. We are then faced with an extensive psychological repertoire: elevating, tranquillizing, self-assured, accommodating, and so on. Psychology became an essential mainstay of building practice. Environments continue to be derived from the type of person that uses them. Suburbia, for example, has many spokesmen who describe its particular mental state. Today’s home culture is increasingly determined by what the residents want, thereby establishing the psychological perspective of wishes and desires. But there are developments which turn psychology from a supporting argument into a fundamental premiss. Although one can scarcely attribute a burgeoning objectivity to this discipline, it has become indispensable in the growing tendency to lay down codes of conduct. Throughout our lives we are ‘coached’ and influenced, whether we know it or not, by monitoring. Our behaviour is increasingly regulated and controlled by numerous mechanisms, and the built environment adjusts to this, is endowed with certain 'ambiences' or chopped up into psychological 'zones'. In this practice it no longer matters what form a building takes, nor even necessarily how the space in it is lived; what counts is that the required experience scenarios are on offer. The issue, then, is a knowledge of image culture, user profiles, tactile interventions, audio frequencies. Can we still call this non-material task architecture, or do we have to make architecture of it?

Inspires: Fails to consider: File under: Related to:

The city as trade mark Berci Florian Letter to the editor Biq What is it that makes Vinex people tick? Arnold Reijndorp With or without rhetoric Burton Hamfelt Zeitgeist ‘Branding’

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 8 — Research — Urban psychology


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1

INSIGHT

Borders’ magazine shelf.

BrandSpace™: Design ®esearch and Product Placement Brett Steele

Prologue The manifesto is only a logo (Just Do It™).

‘Advertising, which in the nineteenth century was simply the publicizing of a product, before becoming in the twentieth an industry for stimulating desire, is set in the twenty-first century to become pure communication. To this end it will require the unfurling of an advertising space which stretches to the horizon of visibility of the planet.’ Paul Virilio, The Information Bomb, New York 2000 Advertising is the world’s most perfect continuous surface. StarbucksTM is the ultimate Miesian space. BrandSpaceTM is the name of a twoyear AADRL studio and seminar series exploring the extreme consequences of today’s hyper-branded

Inspires: Fails to consider: File under: Related to:

architecture and urbanism. Its goal is to record and analyse, if not appropriate and distort, images of an alien, albeit increasingly familiar, world of synthetic product, place and personality; a saturated media environment where all architectural space operates first and foremost as

an extension of advertising’s greatest invention: brand-name identity. In today's market of manufactured identity the word ‘architecture’ is copyright-protected, by a Dutch conglomerate that owns an Americanproduced architectural magazine which uses the word to advertise itself as the most widely-read professional journal in the U.S. today. Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion is rented out to private sponsors for corporate parties or used as a backdrop for car commercials. Frank Lloyd Wright sells comfortable, well-made, casual clothing and Norman Foster endorses watches as if he were a movie star or sports personality. Credit card companies offer forms of access buildings don’t normally provide, while our greatest theorists are featured (Being John Malkovich) lounging in furniture advertisements and Guggenheim Museums star in the action sequences of James Bond films. Rem’s Big Book is used as a prop in real estate advertisements (theory as a headrest), which in turn create pictures that become pages in other Big Books. Recently, architectural space hasn’t just become a better form of collectible. Looking at the advertisements, it’s hard not to agree with magazine readers everywhere: architectural products, personalities and spaces are something like a new Absolut. Clearly, one of the hardest things to do as a designer today is tell where the product stops, and its placement begins.

Prada banner at the Barcelona Pavilion.

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 9 — Research — Brandspace


2

INSIGHT

present in that which we take to be modern architecture, but moreover, have been essential to its livelihood and central to its appearance(s). In what follows I’ll focus on the first of these two categories of our work, and present three selected examples of our current research and design projects at the AADRL Design Research Lab, a Post-Graduate M.Arch course in advanced architectural theory and design at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. We

Gap advertisement featuring Frank Lloyd Wright.

I. 2001 Architecture as a consumable product

‘Catch snaps of the Bauhaus boys partying and a host of other rarities that have never left the sacred vaults of the Bauhaus archiv in Germany.’ Advertisement in Wallpaper magazine for London’s Design Museum ‘Bauhaus’ exhibition, June 2000 Today, all architectural space is designed to be absolutely unique. And so, everything has begun to look exactly the same. In the AADRL we’ve been working recently on some of the complications of this contradiction, in two ways: firstly, in the studio, by developing forms of information gathering (statistical,

graphic and visual) and dynamic diagramming able to sensitively register — and not just blindly confirm — the fact that architectural space (like the city itself) is a fundamentally mediated reality or experience, in which categories of virtual ‘information’ (like logos and other identifying marks) and physical ‘material’ (like walls, signs and other surfaces) are merely extremes in a continuous world describing and described by both. Alongside this work we have also used our seminar research to rewrite multiple and deliberately episodic genealogies of today’s highly mediated, thoroughly commercial, consumer world; seeking out those twentieth-century examples of architects’ work able to reveal the considerable extent to which mediating forces have not only always been

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Architectural space as mediated experience: London.

inaugurated this work last year, soon after watching CNN’s millennial marketing/global branding of a simple binary date (01.01.00), during which a thousand real-time video relays from the world’s great cities were used to convert any lingering notion we might have of urbanism into one world-sized, seamless, PhotoShop image of architectural icons, landmarks and corporate logos; a stark televisual record of exactly the sort of architectural space/ product we’re also attempting to describe, model and respond to in our ongoing research and design work.

Architectural space as mediated experience: Beirut.

II. Design ®esearch Diagramming BrandSpace™

‘In general, the close connection between advertising and the cosmic awaits analysis.’ Walter Benjamin, The Arcades For purposes of summarizing some of the approaches by which we’ve

Photograph taken by Mendelsohn of Times Square.

Inspires: Fails to consider: File under: Related to:

been exploring existing forms of BrandSpaceTM, I’ll briefly show three current projects, each of which emphasizes a slightly different aspect of the intertwined relationship between today’s architectural space, urbanism and other media products. The first project, titled ‘Fistula’, began with an analysis last year of how brand-name media are currently distributed in an urban environment; looking at both the historical city (a square kilometre of London’s West End) and one of its newest, most artificial extensions (the Bluewater Shopping Complex; recently completed 20 miles Southeast of London as Europe’s largest shopping mall). A second project, titled ‘Transtasis’, has been studying instead the dynamic patterns of global and local movement into and through London; showing how brands, spaces and places are continuously reconfigured along existing trajectories as the space of both city and product. Finally, a third project, called ‘TM’, records operations within a newly ‘re-branded’ precinct in London known as South Bank; exploring the relationship between virtual media products like those of the new monster-corporate-conglomerate AOL-Time Warner and the ‘real’ visu-

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 11 — Research — Brandspace


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INSIGHT al spaces of the city in which such products can be found to already exist. Each of these three examples pursues a slightly different emphasis, which in turn has led toward their each formulating differing notions of what might constitute sites, programmes or design technique responsive to the demands of today’s most aggressive forms of BrandSpaceTM.

ulating urban space today. Each member of this team first documented a particular form of the repetitive structures frequently encountered as the everyday space of London: micro-infrastructures like ATM bank

Fistula ‘But today, we collect advertisements.’ Alison & Peter Smithson, Without Rhetoric

Fistula analyses the overwhelming presence of media artifacts, including signage and other installations, pop-

Presence of micro-infrastructures in everyday space.

machines; franchised ‘serial’ spaces like Starbucks; more traditional forms of media/signage like outdoor billboards; ‘escape’ domains like video arcades and other themed environments; and illegal, small-scale ‘bombing’ installations, like the wellknown ‘Andre the Giant’ campaign, which can be found in London (like many other cities) today. Each of these studies records patterns of occupation and operation unique to the objective of each product/media type, revealing how their presence assembles a larger urban field with highly repetitive features and spaces frequently made up of an unyielding combination of identical brand-name elements. The bland global consistency of contemporary urban space (where everything and everywhere is often accused of ‘looking the same’) is shown in these studies to be at odds with obviously strategic installations of particular media products and brand names that vary considerably across larger urban fields. An important component for refining this research has also been a comparison made between the media populating his-

Streetscape with commercial signs removed (from Bruce Mau, Life Style). torical spaces in London, like its existing West End, and those of newer, more aggressive, commercial domains like the recently opened Bluewater shopping complex. This research has shown how, despite appearances, the deployment of brand-name signage and products today helps establish deep similarities between these two realms. This project’s research has led to a corollary response to today’s most aggressive forms of BrandSpaceTM: a notion of tactical ‘BlankSpace’ operating to deliberately disrupt existing

Fistula AADRL, project from phases I & II, by Masato Ashiya, Markus Bergerheim, Jean Santelis & Theodorus Spyropoulos, supervised by Brett Steele.


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Traffic flows to and from Paddington Rail Station. visual fields. Designed to displace already-existing ‘hyper-visual’ surfaces reliant upon more conventional uses of (literal) signs, logos and images with a form of calculated ‘erasure’, this project has evolved toward a strictly limited idea of the most significant site in the city: its vertical surfaces, which already operate to most aggressively promote various forms of product placement and identity.

Transtasis ‘Infrastructures are becoming more and more local and competitive, not reinforcing and totalizing: they no longer pretend to create functioning wholes but now spin off functional entities.’ Rem Koolhaas, The Generic City

Inspires: Fails to consider: File under: Related to:

Project detail with variations on product installations. Transtasis takes as its point of departure today’s nomadic, mobile, lifestyles. Dynamic connections into and out of the city, recorded in the arrival patterns of visitors landing at Heathrow Airport throughout a typical working day have been related in this research to one of London’s key inner infrastructural sites, Paddington Rail Station. These data structures have revealed key moments of ‘disruption’ within what many think to be uninterrupted travel routes, which are the result of the many breakdowns and

failures confronted while moving from one infrastructural system (like buses, or taxis) to another. Statistical modelling of existing infrastructural trajectories within London show how these paths frequently fail to provide ‘smooth’ access and movement; assembling at very specific, local, levels a category of ‘site’ available for forms of media/branded installations whose very purpose is to likewise ‘disrupt’ in an otherwise seamless flow of urban occupants (which they seek to accomplish by capturing a viewer’s/user’s attention). Reformulating existing, large-scale infrastructural sites into a clustering of many more smaller disruptions (each of which offers a variable level of connection and interaction), these events are mapped as moments in ‘time’ along trajectories of movement, rather than as isolated geographic sites in ‘space’. Transtasis seeks then to exploit these moments through the installation of changeable, deliberately parasitic, event spaces and facilities catering to the users experiencing the already-considerable delays characterizing movement through the city today. In its dynamic approach to mapping, and statistical description used for recording and analysis purposes, this project shifts attention away from the actually existing media artifacts of the city (like signs, etc.) toward instead the experience of the city and how it is perceived as a result of our

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 13 — Research — Brandspace


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continuous movement and temporary occupation of all spaces; ways of seeing not unlike viewing habits associated with more traditional forms of media experience, like magazine flipping or channel surfing.

TM ‘We are witnessing today the ultimate disappearance of advertising — its total absorption into all aspects of life.’ Jean Baudrillard, The System of Objects

A final project, titled ‘TM’, explores the extent to which the city is a direct extension of (and not merely a site for) already familiar media products or experiences. Working with AOLCNN Time Warner, this project poses a hypothetical question: how might a company like this, which itself operates as a kind of continual brandmaking machine, conceive of architectural space as an extension of its

'Brand distortion map' of the South Bank.

Sight lines. core products — its own well-known media brands? Initial research gathers information on a number of ways in which the ‘virtual’ products of this sort of company already exist as physical installations in the city: as the screens, interfaces, publications, signage and other media products on sale and regularly confronted while moving through the city. The project additionally focuses on the recently ‘re-branded’ part of London known as the South Bank, which is now

heavily marketed through its association with many of London’s newest cultural/commercial/tourist projects, like the London Eye or the Tate Modern. Approaching the analysis of its project field as necessarily continuous with the products of AOL-CNN Time Warner, site/product maps record how existing corporate sponsorship is already strategically distributed, generating income and registering patterns of occupation that are gross distortions of more conventional physical descriptions of the site. This research focuses especially on the considerable difference between revenues generated by physical ‘spaces’ occupying sites and their more prominent and visible exterior surfaces — which often create far more income for clients as signage leased than do the corresponding buildings as floor space rented. What fuses research on the city and other forms of media is a constant attention to the role of strategic visual interfaces: ‘looking’ may be the one genuine ‘activity’ or ‘programme’ by which all aspects of the city increasingly operate as if a media product. Uniquely dynamic aspects of existing visual fields in the city, not normally present in smaller media

TM AADRL, project from phases I & II, by Joakim Dahlqvist, Sonja Stummerer & Francesco Tiribelli, supervised by Brett Steele.


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A Mies cap as a souvenir. domains like computer monitors, magazine or web pages, help to make useful distinctions between, and not just blanket assertions confirming, the ways in which architectural spaces operate as consumable media. Diagrams in this project register for example intensities of use, speeds of movement and sizes of audience; qualities normally associated with more conventional forms of media and audience analysis, here invoked as three-dimensional tools able to literally ‘extrude’ BrandSpace sites as complex, responsive visual surfaces formerly unrealized within current conditions. This project seeks to isolate and maximize the potential of one such ‘site’ as brand-making interface — confirming itself as a kind of architectural ‘project’ or ‘space’ fully consistent with the media products of a company like AOL-CNN Time Warner.

Streetscape in Rotterdam.

Epilogue Brand–Name Space

‘The spectacle is not a collection of images; rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images.’ Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle The approaches indicated in each of these examples weren’t initiated as a way to confirm already-existing typologies for the deployment of ‘media’ within the city (like billboards, signs or themed environments), but rather to direct attention toward imagining something more elusive: new modes or models useful in describing the patterns of use/in-

Inspires: Fails to consider: File under: Related to:

Streetscape in Amsterdam. terface/occupation/movement by which the experience of the city can be seen to be fundamentally continuous with other media products or interfaces. While today’s most exaggerated examples of mediated archi-

tectural space, product or discourse suggest to too many that we are now confronted by radically new ‘threats’ to the supposed autonomy of a discipline like architecture, it is important to recall that the opposite might be

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 15 — Research — Brandspace


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INSIGHT the case: the bizarre logics of personality, product and media have long been deeply embedded within that which we take to be modern architecture. In confronting the extreme examples of today’s overwhelmingly mediated visual environment we must recall that the rise of modern architecture itself during the twentieth century was promulgated upon — and in many cases directly derived from — not the invention of modern materials, products or engineering (as Le Corbusier might have wanted us to believe nearly a century ago) but rather their necessary accompaniment: mass marketing, image making and product identity. Too often, today’s most aggressive attentionseeking forms of BrandSpaceTM are taken to represent an open attack on sentimental notions of supposedly ‘public’ space imagined as lost from simpler, less ‘commercial’ times. In fact the opposite should be remembered: modern architecture itself ‘arrived’ alongside, significantly, only one other uniquely modern building industry: advertising. Modern advertising and architecture (at once as inevitably commercial as they are undeniably cultural) have been — and remain — indelibly bound together. Space here doesn’t permit a more extensive overview, but one way to move beyond the mere shock value of today’s extreme examples of BrandSpaceTM is to recall the hidden episodes by which modern architec-

ture has long been a profoundly mediated, and mediating, enterprise. From today’s vantage, architects like Mies can be looked back upon now for his invention of PhotoShop no less than his glass-and-steel buildings, in the same way that architects like Max Bill or Charles Eames deserve our attention now for their willingness to design graphic no less than architectural spaces (recall Bill’s great design of the third volume of Le Corbusier’s Oeuvre Complète or Eames’ simultaneous design of corporate identities and their physical spaces alongside media products like films and publications). To flip through an airline magazine today and see the achievements of Le Corbusier casually compared to an anonymous, wholly unremarkable corporate interior, as they are in a recent advertisement for a global airline, is to be reminded that the architect himself once forged modern manifestos by appropriating clippings taken from the publicity materials of his own thoroughly commercial age. Today’s BrandSpaceTM assembled in magazines like the one you’re holding now, or in the streets of today’s decidedly artificial mediascapes — rather than portraying alien forms of otherwise familiar architectural products, personalities or places — return us in the most unexpected of ways to the origins of what remains one of the greatest forms of product placement ever invented: modern architectural space. Admittedly, in a world where styles

and movements have been shoved aside by mergers and acquisitions, the considerable problems posed to designers everywhere by an everescalating arms warfare of advertising and publicity are perhaps even harder to solve than their bright signs and logo bombing campaigns are to ignore — after all, as Andy Warhol once remarked, buying is more modern than thinking. Trying to deliberately rob the present of its novelty (and so, at least partially distinguishing ourselves as architects from a world increasingly extruded from the advertiser’s imperative or tourist’s desire to do the opposite; that is, manufacture newness), our most important acknowledgement must remain how fundamentally alike the architectures of our current 24-bit colour world of Starbucks, The Gap, Absolut Cities and holographic billboards are to the faded black and white images we take today to be the world of Le Corbusier, Mies, the Bauhaus and their progeny. Our task today is figuring out how to work on, and not just in, these multiple realities.

From: Archis 1/2001 — 16 — Research — Brandspace


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MAIL BRETT STEEL BSTEELE@ EASYNET.CO.UK

From: Archis 1/2001 — 17


From: Archis 1/2001 — 18 — Research — The city as trade mark


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The city as trade mark ‘Orchestrating a unique experience’ Berci Florian

For a long time the world economy was determined by scarcity. Nowadays it is abundance and the ability to fine-tune supply to individual desires and needs that are determinant. This applies not only to Philips and leading supermarkets, but also to cities and regions. Anyone who wants to remain visible in the Global Village will need to offer a unique proposition; a unique experience, a range of experiences distinguishing it from all other cities; a place for experiences that is original, cannot be copied, and which attracts a certain type of people in a certain stage of life to contribute to giving form to the identity of that city and further enriching it with their presence and behaviour.

Study commissioned by Almere Council for an encounter between Almere and the lakes (Oostvaardersplassen): 'One of the qualities of the imagined encounter between Almere and the lakes: living beyond the cattle grids on the edge of Oostvaarderspark, a green zone with a sense of the lakes but not their quality. Houses have no gardens of their own, though there is the direct interaction with nature and the spectacular view from your veranda across the expansive savannah of Oostvaarderspark, with the horns of a Heckrund a subtle threat at an appropriate distance. Houses are modern but of subdued design. People live here in a close-knit harmony with nature.'

Globalization has shrunk the world. Borders have disappeared, both physically and culturally. One taste, one language, one art, one entertainment and - who knows? - maybe with the further development of modern communication technology, one global mind. The development of a global culture offers social advantages, but disadvantages too. If the framework we live in grows more uniform, perhaps we will come to better understand each another worldwide, which will facilitate effective access to knowledge, insights and ways of thinking from

different cultures and worlds. On the other hand, we see that the global culture that has been manifested so far in the world - a superficial monoculture - is only inspiring and durable on a limited scale. This duality is becoming an increasingly important guideline in urban development. How much global culture should a city have in order to function as part of the modern, globallyorientated world? And how much culture may a city have before it loses its own identity and originality and becomes invisible? How do you facilitate encounters with glob-

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Inspires: Fails to consider: File under: Related to:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 19 — Research — The city as trade mark


al culture without losing your own identity and originality? And how do you position yourself in a market that, with the growth of individualism, tends more and more to prefer the exotic to dull mediocrity? Urban development will increasingly have to take shape from a global perspective. The strategic aspect of importing concepts and formulas from other parts of the world is no longer sufficient to be able to claim a enduring position on the market. Freedom of choice is one of the most important gains of Western society. Diversity is a prime condition of this. So a one-sided supply that is exclusively developed on the basis of the values of an allcomprehensive global culture will eventually fail to satisfy the public. So the question is: How should you arrive at new ideas and concepts? How do you abandon the current method of product innovation based on the principle of copying and elaborating on the knowledge, experience and success of others? And how do you forge new urban solutions, concepts, ideas and products that are surprising, distinctive and cannot be copied? It is looking more and more as though we need not expect traditional marketing to come up with an answer to this. It is too much orientated towards the existing market and still assumes that a mission will be successful as long as you manage to adapt your supply to the demands of the market. The problem with this is that, on the basis of more or less the same analysis, that market will also generate more or less the same adequate positioning and market approach. And if different parties target the same market, there is a great likelihood that they will gradually come to behave in the same way and resemble one another more and more. So it does not make much difference whether they have copied one another or simply been inspired by the same market. Their supply and positioning in the market will gradually become more and more identical, which is diametrically opposed to the market principle of freedom of choice and

diversity. This is not such a problem in a highly regionally divided world, but in the modern, globalizing world the formulas will become increasingly predictable and will eventually no longer be able to arouse the interest of the public. The growth of individualization and globalization offers opportunities for urban development to take shape proceeding from a different tradition. Never before have we been so free to arrange our lives in accordance with our individual desires and needs, no matter how whimsical or exotic these may be. Whatever your talent as a person, organization, enterprise, region or city, the chance is greater than ever that somewhere in the world you will find people who will be interested in your talents, both personal and commercial. And this forms an essential basis for arriving at surprising and distinctive new ideas and developments from within, and therefore by definition original, distinctive, surprising and significant. In terms of marketing and product innovation, however, this means that the world has to be more or less turned upside down. Everything we have learned about responding to the wishes and demands of the market will have to be replaced by responding to our own motivations. The more successful we are in that, the greater the chance that we will produce something original. For example, the better Amsterdam is able to create a unique culture in the long term, the greater the likelihood that it will be recognized and appreciated in the future. This creates a new framework for giving shape to cities in terms of their origin, not exclusively in terms of their historical importance and a paralysing nostalgic desire to preserve the past, but from within, in terms of the city’s cultural singularity and the unique chemistry between people. A physical ambition – a thousand homes, 20,000 m2 of shops, 100,000 m2 of offices, or a London-style shopping mall – is no longer enough. Instead, cities will

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have to develop a specific and unique identity, a place which is experienced as original and inimitable, which attracts a certain type of people in a certain stage of life to contribute to giving form to the identity of that city and further enriching it with their presence and behaviour. What about Amsterdam's so-called Southern Axis or Zuidas, for example? As it looks at the moment, it will become the Manhattan of the Netherlands. Businesses and developers are fighting to establish their headquarters on the most expensive site in the country. All the same, it is worth reflecting on which Manhattan we are creating there. Are we trying to imitate the New York Manhattan? Or are we reflecting the trends in Berlin as a new European centre of commerce? And how should a specifically Amsterdam-style Manhattan look to distinguish itself from the other Manhattans in the world? What properties, qualities and image ought the Southern Axis to have in order to be able to perform a unique international function? And what culture should we develop there that is characteristic of Amsterdam? – not invented, but original and rooted in the local and regional culture? Does that imply, for instance, that the Amsterdam Manhattan should be smaller in scale, more artistic, more wayward and villagelike than its North American counterpart? Thinking along these lines goes much further than a well-conceived spatial vision, an original architecture, or the copying of an attractive commercial concept. It includes the creation of an identity which can be appreciated in a unique way, which is profoundly original, and which cannot be copied, with the intention of extending and accentuating the existing market position of a city so that its unique position can be claimed with even more conviction in the future. This touches on such points as scale, structure, programming, functions, leisure facilities, the sort of actions and activities that characterize the image of the city,


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Study model for restructuring of the ‘railway zone’, the area of Delft freed when part of the track is sunk directly below the town. For the design team the issue here is: 'How can those qualities germane to Delft be brought out further when developing the railway zone?' The intention is not to reproduce, from out of a nostalgic desire, the historic inner area of Delft.

events and – in the last resort – the chemistry of the people who operate there. You could also consider shopping precincts along these lines. What ought the Almere shopping precinct to look like in order to strengthen the identity of that city? What chemistry are you looking for? What should presently make the environment of the city centre of Almere a unique experience that cannot be compared with any other shopping centre in the Netherlands? And what about the shopping precinct in, say, Bijlmermeer in South-East Amsterdam? Shopping precincts are situated in an environment that represents a culture of its own. All the same, almost every shopping precinct has the same image because they are developed on the basis of the idea that a shopping precinct is a physical facility. But once you have managed to grasp the identity of an area (why people live there), it becomes possible to give a shopping precinct such an

image and identity that people can relate to it. Think too, for example, of a specific range of shops, the scale, the type of interaction with customers, and specific events which can only be brought out to full effect in that shopping precinct. It follows automatically from this train of thought that the Bijlmermeer will generate a set of characteristics utterly different from those of, say, the inner city of The Hague. There is no longer any need to stick to the standard themes; Christmas, Valentine's Day and so on. Each site will generate its own themes on the basis of its own originality, resulting in an ever greater supraregional impact. But that also calls for integrating new disciplines in urban development, a way of thinking that is not usual among planners, urban designers and architects. Urban developments must be given a more thematic content, but then on the basis of themes that are strongly rooted in the existing

local identity and culture, so that the city's own market position can be claimed even more strongly in the future. The range of themes will then need expressing spatially as worlds of perception, so as to be able to offer the public a range of experiences that is unique and meaningful.

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Inspires: Fails to consider: File under: Related to:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 21 — Research — The city as trade mark


Redactie Archis P.O. Box 2410 3000 CK Rotterdam

Rotterdam, January 30th 2001 letter code: Aq©b©001©ar project: Ypenburg, Grienden subject: photographs

Dear Sir, Here are some pictures of two of our office’s projects in Ypenberg and Puttershoek. They were taken by the photographer Jacqueline Schellingerhout. Neither the photos nor the buildings relate to the sublime aspects of housing design for which Camiel van Winkel apparently yearned in Archis 2000/7. The image of buildings is a major issue at present. It would seem that this research extends primarily in breadth, however. Under Vinex, an endless series of innovations in the formal repertoire have been invented on the basis of a fairly restricted Dutch housing typology. Ready-made fences from the do-it-yourself hypermarket are of course not correct in this context, as the illustrations to Van Winkel’s article mercilessly show. (There are plenty of other clichés around. The front gardens of our projects have recently tended to be embellished with French-style pavement cafés – two rusty iron chairs and an optional table of similar metal, or perhaps a mysterious pumpkin or two. Alternatively, a painted roof tile as a nameplate. Or little orange European Cup flags. And so on...) We may well wonder whether this kind of kitsch ‘stands for’ something as Van Winkel asserts. After all, there is nothing new about residents fencing off, tarting up and securing their patches of territory. Just look in the average city-block back garden, e.g. in De Pijp in Amsterdam or Westerkwartier in Delft, and you will note exactly the same urban static as is generated by our Vinex pioneers. All that the new housing developments lack so far is the secondary static of overgrowing foliage. Deep-rooted, familiar phenomena like this are more prone to clash with new buildings because of their superabundance of designed tastefulness and good cheer. With all his concern for the image, the Dutch architect is incapable of catering for the everyday reality of living in a house. This is the

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main reason we find the image output of recent years so dissatisfying, superficial and ill-founded. When the reality of living in a house is the starting point for the design process, it cannot turn up as a stumbling block in the post factum evaluation. So we take the fence and the café scene for what they are. As Andy Warhol once said, ‘I like boring things’. The windows of our projects are preferably symmetrical and unashamedly cluttered with fancy pelmets, net curtains, more or less correct Venetian blinds, fretwork geese and other home-crafted products. It is no coincidence that our social housing project in Ypenberg brings to mind Westerkwartier in several respects. We align with ‘European’ designers like Aldo Rossi and Roger Diener, both of whom are unjustly neglected in the Netherlands. We also keep a close eye on young London firms like Caruso St. John and Sergison Bates, who are developing an experiencebased architecture of the banal. Jacqueline Schellingerhout does not take orthodox architecture photographs. Her shots are not corrected for distortion but show aspects of the buildings as they actually present themselves. She places the architectural intentions on a line with the way people take possession of their residential environment, not one against the other. Your magazine has touched on an interesting aspect of the current Vinex panic. We think it is a valid contribution to the discussion on the problem of dwelling. There is much to be said about it. Yours sincerely,

Hans van der Heijden

Grienden housing, Puttershoek, 1997-2000 Architect: BIQ, Rotterdam Design: Hans van der Heijden and Rick Wessels with Paul Voorn Client: De Maashoek, Puttershoek; NCB, Harderwijk Ypenburg housing, Rijswijk 1996-1998 Architect: BIQ, Rotterdam Design: Hans van der Heijden, Rick Wessels and Theo van de Beek with Paul Voorn, Michel Zaan and Tjarda Bos Client: Vidomes, Zoetermeer enclosure: photographs by Jacqueline Schellingerhout 2/2


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What is it that makes Vinex people tick? Arnold Reijndorp

Within a decade or so a not inconsiderable proportion of the Dutch population will be living on one of the residential districts of the Vinex housing programme, which are already the subject of international notoriety. In this article the resident of these districts, homo Vinex, the new suburban, is portrayed as a postmodern who uses space in a new way. This newly born homo Vinex is given a provisional cultural-historical reading, one that may be an inspiration for spatial planning. Should you want to do a roaring trade in the new city of Almere, start up a removals firm. The residents of Almere are enthusiastic movers it seems. As soon as a new district is under construction, restlessness breaks out and many of them reach for the removals crates that often have only just been unpacked. This tendency to move house is so strong that the local authority is alarmed by it: if this goes on there will never be an attachment to one district, and before you know it they will move on to another city. Call it the lack of an Almere feeling. Léon Deben and Kees Schuyt from the University of Amsterdam write in a recently issued report: ‘People living in a district of Almere are a group rather than a community.’1 By this they mean something else but it does bring to mind tourists on a package tour. People from different backgrounds and with different ideas are thrown together haphazardly because they have booked the same trip. Sometimes it clicks, but often they never see one another again. That image of a group of tourists is fascinating and is certainly not confined to the new town of Almere. It reflects things as they really are in many new residential areas, the Vinex locations, all over the Netherlands. There are two contradictory but equally pertinacious impressions of the Vinex district and its residents. The classic image of the suburb focuses on the built environment and attributes its qualities (‘dull’and ‘homogeneous’) to the people who live there. From criticism of the dearth of urbanity on the Vinex districts we get the impression that the residents spend almost all their time there. Walter Benjamin’s suburban ‘Etui-Menschen’2 have supposedly withdrawn from the confusion and menace of city life. If they have to go elsewhere for work or recreation, they do so in the protective cocoon of their own car and travel to places that are just as homogeneous and free from the taint of the unfamiliar as the Vinex district where they live. The other, more recent stereotype connects the Vinex district with a new, postmodern type of being. These nomads are no longer tied to a particular place. They can live anywhere; in fact, the residential setting has lost all its attractions for them. They can dwell in the city without being urbanites, or in a Vinex district without feeling like suburbans. The new nomad, simply, is nowhere and everywhere at home. The interesting thing here is that both types converge in the tourist group. Indeed, the Vinex district actually displays a large number of similarities with the collectively organized individual arrangements offered by the tourist industry today. How do you join this group of tourists? How in fact do you end up on a Vinex estate? The most important general trend is the increased mobility, enabling people (or households) to organize their lives on a much larger spatial scale. That means more freedom to choose where you want to live. There is no longer any need to live close to your place of work. In fact, it is sensible to choose a strategic home base orientated towards a

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Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 31— Research — What is it that makes Vinex people tick?


What is it that makes Vinex people tick?

multiplicity of work locations. But that by no means suggests that your domicile is unimportant. On the contrary, the quality of the place, of both home and setting, becomes more important than ever. The second major trend is the greater diversity in life-styles. Here too there is a greater freedom to arrange your life as you choose. Distinctions in life-style lead to different preferences as regards habitat. Some people want to live in the city, others prefer a suburban or rural setting. That clear-cut difference in preferences is a salient feature of the recently published government memorandum People, preferences, homes. Those preferences for a certain type of living environment are determined much more by culture than by function. Some who would find living in the city more convenient nevertheless prefer to live in the countryside, and vice versa, because in spite of the crowding and the inconvenience, many, including families with children, still like the city better. In an ideal situation everyone would enjoy living where he or she wants. Reality, though, is different. The dream home in a dream setting is just out of reach or unaffordable for many people. Whether in the city or in the countryside, existing housing stock is limited and pricey, especially in the Randstad conurbation. An ever-swelling number have to fall back on the Vinex developments. These try, on a modest scale, to offer the differentiation evidently in demand. Thus we see the buyer of a city home looking out onto something more farmhouse-like, and the kasbah home-dweller is fortunate in having the neighbouring residential lighthouse as an orientation point. They are not dissatisfied with what they have, but they still dream of that home in that ideal setting. Vagabonds and flâneurs So the actual state of play in a Vinex district is not uniform, and neither is the true profile of homo Vinex. His or her life-style is marked by contradictions and an ambiguous attitude towards the area where they live. Homo Vinex is indeed a nomad in some respects, but in a different way from what the trendy term suggests. The English sociologist Zygmunt Bauman uses the image of the nomad in his Life in Fragments to bring out the difference between how we live today and how people lived in the past.3 A person’s path through life used to be clear at an early stage. The destination was known, and so was the itinerary. Bauman compares that situation to a pilgrimage: the pilgrim travels along a fixed route, from place to place, towards a goal that is known to him from the reports of those who have gone before. The road may be full of inconveniences and dangers, but he does not swerve from it. He may never reach his final destination – the place of pilgrimage – at all, but does not think up a completely different destination when halfway there. And that is precisely what postmodern man – which we shall call homo Vinex for convenience’s sake – does do. Bauman refers to a number of variants – vagabond, flâneur, tourist, player – but they all boil down to someone who does not tie him- or herself down. Homo Vinex keeps all the options open for as long as possible. The life of homo Vinex is determined by the need to keep making decisions. Paradoxically, even adopting a traditional life-style is a deliberate choice. Not that the whole day is spent examining options, for daily life is largely guided by habits and routines. Anthony Giddens sees the essential difference from a traditional life-style in the fact that these routines are the object of reflection: why do I do it like this, why not like that, how do others do it, would I like to do it that way too?4 You can change your life-style without raising undue principled or moral objections. This brings out another factor: so-called individualization is to a large extent a collective process. It is looking and knowing that you are being looked at. Making sure you don’t miss the trend, or cautiously keeping a distance from everything that looks even vaguely trend-like.

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We need Archis in Paris too! Jean-Louis

3. Zygmunt Bauman, Life in Fragments. Essays in Postmodern Morality, Oxford, 1995. 4. Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens and Scott Lash, Reflexive Modernization. Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order, Cambridge, 1994.


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What is it that makes Vinex people tick?

Modules The choices people make concern how they organize their daily lives and the shape they give to a particular life-style or way of life. A life-style is not expressed in what you think, but in what you do. The choice of a particular home on a particular site is probably determined in the first instance by practical considerations such as the size of the household, the accessibility of work and school, the presence of facilities and the available budget, but at the same time it is an important statement in the story people wish to tell about themselves. In this respect, then, there is less and less difference between a home and, say, a car. There is something striking about that life story: it sometimes jumps from one subject to another. A great many accounts of life-styles suggest a large measure of coherence. After all, a good deal of life-style research is done in the interests of marketing, which is naturally concerned not only with the value orientations of households but most particularly with the corresponding products and the best way to promote them. So far attempts to use research of this kind to get an understanding of the residential preferences attached to different life-styles have been based on the incorrect hypothesis that there is a correlation between value orientations and a particular type of home or location. Choosing is not just a question of demand, but also of supply. What we see today is that organizing our daily life and shaping our life-style are subject to modularization. Complete life stories are not offered, but just as fixed courses of study have been replaced by packages and modules, a life story can be put together from the range of modules on the life-style market. Homo Vinex assembles, so to speak, a life-style from the components on offer. Some try to achieve cohesion, but others want contrast and combine what seem to be incompatible modules. Homo Vinex reserves the right to be inconsistent and to make choices that at first sight fail to belong to the same story. The fact of not living in a city doesn’t mean that you are not an urbanite. And choosing an organized trip doesn’t mean that you are a typical tourist. It’s just easy that way. In giving form to a life-style, space is expressly set aside for chance, for what may happen at any moment. Seen in this light, choices are never definitive. Next year life may follow a very different course. Whether you opt for it or not, it is not always liberty hall. The increasing flexibility of the economy demands constant adaptation on your part and a solid dose of resilience. In this respect it is quite possible to completely lose control of your own life story (see Sennett5). Planning your own space It should be clear that the modules concern particular activities enacted at a particular site in the urban field. Work, education, home life, going out, sport, culture, holidays and health care are assembled in both time and space into an individual life-style. On both counts – time and space – friction arises with the pre-programmed spatial planning and the social organization of time. This last-named aspect has been pored over during the last few years by a committee set up by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The committee’s proposals show that time and space are closely interrelated and often interchangeable. Nor does the individual organizing of space take much notice of official spatial planning. Thanks to the compact-city policy, the Vinex districts are built as extensions of existing cities, but in most cases are separated from them by motorways and railway lines. Planners and urbanists regard these as barriers, and sometimes they are overcome at enormous expense. A motorway has even been overarched and a park laid out on top of it.

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Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 33— Research — What is it that makes Vinex people tick?


What is it that makes Vinex people tick?

The residents of those new developments, however, regard the motorways that separate their neighbourhood from the existing city not as barriers but as fast links with equally peripheral work locations and facilities, and with the homes of relatives and friends in other outlying urban areas. Many residents therefore experience not the city but the Vinex district as the centre of an urban landscape with old and new small-scale and large-scale nature reserves, amusement centres, concentrations of shops, business parks and industrial areas. What homo Vinex does is to assemble his or her own city from this growing supply of places of different character. The discussions on reducing mobility focus on commuter traffic, but for the Vinex residents this is only one of the many zigzag movements that they make every week. It is precisely in their free time – or freed time as leisure researchers call it nowadays – that they opt for the car because the public transport timetable (assuming there is any public transport at all at night and in the weekends) is incompatible with the sense of being free. Here mobility is not about the movement itself, but about the growing number of places where all manner of activities are enacted. This ‘new urbanity’reflects the increased flexibility of the labour market, changes in personal relations, shifts in responsibilities within the household, cultural trends in dwelling and recreation. The idea that public life is going into a decline because people are retiring into their private lives, has proved untenable. It is because private life is so complicated that it forces its way more and more into the open. That can be clearly seen in the enormous proliferation of the mobile phone. Not only does this make it possible to be directly confronted with intimate details in the lives of complete strangers at any moment and in any place; it has also changed the way use of the public domain is organized.6 ‘Encounter’ is less and less fortuitous or based on the route of regular places (the local pub), but is arranged at any moment and at any place by the mobile phone. In this way the public and social space of the urban field is getting more and more to be a space where small parties of tourists circulate and assume a place. Space that attracts Does this mean that spatial planning is no longer relevant? People are after all creating their own spatial configuration. Or is the purpose of spatial planning only to prevent the collapse of society that some regard as the inevitable consequence of this liberty-hall mentality? For just how urban is that new urbanity? Is not all that mobility more than anything else a mobility of avoidance, geared to avoiding everything that is unfamiliar? There is no denying that individual organization of space is driven by both dreams and fears. Spatial planning policy pays little attention to either, but they do form the breedingground of countless themed settings and sites, from shopping malls to Center Parcs. These are often banal, insubstantial translations of those fears and dreams, with only limited appeal to the curiosity that sends homo Vinex off either to foreign climes or on safari in the neighbouring city. Time and again, neighbourhoods that have been written off prove capable of reviving and transmuting into interesting environments. The creating of an individual landscape is seriously restricted by the low level of differentiation in what is on offer. What we need is quite another spatial planning than the present one, which is still based on functional connections and hierarchies. We urgently require a planning that makes use of the amazing explosion of attractive sites, of cultural meanings and identities in the urban field. What was said above about personal ordering of space and the modularization of lifestyles seems to fit in perfectly with the concept of the network city, which has now found

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6. Gertrud Lehnert, Mit dem Handy in der Peepshow. Die Inszenierung des Privaten im öffentlichen Raum, Berlin, 1999.


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] What is it that %%%%%%%%%%%%] makes Vinex %%%%%%%%%%%%] people tick? %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text: %%%%%%%%%%%%] Arnold Reijndorp %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Arnold Reijndorp is %%%%%%%%%%%%] a researcher and %%%%%%%%%%%%] consultant in urban %%%%%%%%%%%%] planning and %%%%%%%%%%%%] urban issues with %%%%%%%%%%%%] his own practice, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Reijndorp Stedelijk %%%%%%%%%%%%] Onderzoek en %%%%%%%%%%%%] Advies. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 7. Margriet Meindertsma %%%%%%%%%%%%] (ed.), Stadslab. Over stedelijke vernieuwing %%%%%%%%%%%%] en herstructurering, %%%%%%%%%%%%] unpaged, 2000 %%%%%%%%%%%%] (distributed by: KEIKenniscentrum voor %%%%%%%%%%%%] stedelijke vernieuwing, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Rotterdam). %%%%%%%%%%%%] This article is a revised %%%%%%%%%%%%] version of a lecture %%%%%%%%%%%%] delivered to the Centre %%%%%%%%%%%%] for Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape %%%%%%%%%%%%] (CASLA) and ACHK ‘De %%%%%%%%%%%%] Paviljoens’, Almere on %%%%%%%%%%%%] 13 December 2000 on the occasion of the exhi%%%%%%%%%%%%] bition ‘Viva Vinex!’ %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

What is it that makes Vinex people tick?

its way into spatial policy. But even that concept is understood in a functional way. There is insufficient focus on the character and quality of the nodes and the nature of the relationship between them. Why should public transport nodes have any other interest for people than that they can change modes of transportation there? Other nodes play a much more important part in their lives: the places they go to for entertainment, the tennis club where they make new friends, the theme park they visit with the whole family. Influenced by the cultural sector, the leisure industry, the developers of new nature reserves and housebuilders, a new cultural spatial planning is emerging of all kinds of remarkable places all vying for the favours of a homo Vinex searching for new adventures and experiences. That trend can be shrugged off with a criticism of the commercialism or lack of authenticity of those new places, but the fact is they have meaning in the way daily life is organized and the life-styles of a great many people are given shape. It is the mass culture facilities that could form the new public domains of our time. So far they have been included in spatial planning policy merely as a claim on space and ignored as a cultural factor. And cultural policy largely targets the cultural-historical values stored in the landscape and is blind to the cultural significance of new places. It is by no means inconceivable that a Vinex district might become an interesting location for others besides the residents and their relatives and acquaintances. It is as least as inconceivable that theme parks will be incorporated in a new urban experience on a scale larger than that of the existing city. New lateral cultural links are able to emerge due to the ambiguous attitude of many Vinex residents towards their neighbourhood. The memorandum People, preferences, homes mentioned earlier indicates two main trends in the demands for housing: there is a much greater demand both for genuine urban living, and for genuine rural living. So here are opportunities for a much greater differentiation, not in terms of density, but on points that are much more essential for the urban or rural character, bearing in mind that both epithets are artificial qualities. Despite all the talk about differentiation and diversity, and the study trips and appealing references these elicit, Vinex proves to be a machine with the dials so arranged that more or less the same product comes out every time, discounting variations in styling and colour. We must beware of escaping the Vinex frying-pan only to fall into the fire of a deregulated housing construction market. Let us deploy this ‘wild’ homes tactic above all to achieve a much greater differentiation in residential settings and an increase in cultural significance. A recent publication issuing from the Stadslab project attempts to identify those factors which are of critical importance when it comes to the identity of a site.7 What happens, for example, if you make a new residential area less instead of more accessible? Or leave out the services? Or, alternatively, combine it with large-scale new shopping, leisure and sports facilities? What happens if you work much more collectively at one place and in a strictly individualistic way at another? If you sell lots in an as yet unparcelled field or wood? Or alternatively if you put all your efforts into a setting that is not only carefully organized but managed too? The result will be areas that come a lot closer to how homo Vinex organizes his or her life and space.

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Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 35— Research — What is it that makes Vinex people tick?


From: Archis 1/2001 — 36— Research — With or without rhetoric


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Of course this proliferation could be explained as a rather obvious consequence of the inebriating possibilities of the information age, affordable easy-to-use desktop publishing technologies, decades of watching television, bulk buying, endless desires for self promotion, and in the words of designer Bruce Mau, 'the global image economy'. But is it not also more this new creative compulsion that most of us possibly find ourselves in now: the 'I am interested in so many things and have so much to say' drive? We are developing greater and greater means to target and mass communicate. So what's the problem? Well there is no problem really, from the perspective of architectural history, the XL book has proven to be indispensable in educating our profession, from Virtruvius to Alberti to Diderot to the Sweets Catalogue (the bulkier American book equivalent to the NBD). The difference now is, the XL book instead of being just a means to record our world is becoming a means to generate our world. It is not just a mirror but also a motor. It has become a medium, a design tool like the 1:2000 context model, the floor plan, the computer fly through, the diagram, the book. This is no small thing.

BURTON HAMFELT

With or without rhetoric LIFE STYLE BY BRUCE MAU AND THE PROBLEM OF THE XL BOOK

The XL book is becoming a defining medium for architectural, and ultimately cultural, expression of our time. The proliferation of names, authors, designers, publishers involved are too numerous and well known to start mentioning. Moreover, it has been 5 years since S,M,L,XL helped set this standard. But what is specifically important about the XL book? Did we not use to relegate them to the unenviable other class of the 'coffee table book'? This all changed when the subject of the XL book started becoming the authors, in some cases the designers and increasingly the publisher.

We are more than ever attaching ourselves, literally our bodies and our professions into the engines of the real world: for most this means the noisy allencompassing world economy. The XL book has proven an effective form of engagement with this world. Information can now be seen as bulk: threedimensional, sequential and linked to numerous points of reference. Bulk information is not just a result of the exponential increase in content, it is our new standard for dealing with the complexity of whatever it is we are talking about. One could blame the internet (endless information on demand) for raising the standard, after all it is the biggest book that could never be

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Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 37— Research — With or without rhetoric


essay, 'Getting Engaged' we see an inventory of 'background conditions' that determine in his words the 'ecology of his work'. The tension between the foreground (the work we produce) and the background (where that work comes from) is because the two often develop independently. His work is the thickness between these two worlds, the act of making them one. Yet it is possibly one of Life Style's few external contributors that captures best the role of design in this context; philosopher and long-time collaborator Sanford Kwinter writes, 'design is not about making things beautiful, but simply making them as they are...for us.' Producing life with style. And what is style, 'but a whole new way of doing things'.

printed. Or maybe it's the demise of the encyclopedia and with it the discrete object as the means to explain and document our world. As designers (I use this word instead of architects so as to be more inclusive) the effects of this on our work and how we view our work is only now being mapped.

Engaging the world Before opening the new book by Bruce Mau entitled Life Style many potential readers may state the obvious: that it resembles in more ways than one, S,M,L,XL. And upon closer inspection we see even structural similarities in its use of cinematic techniques, organizational systems and visual strategies. It has formal similarities in its 'bigness', its shape and materiality have both been highly considered, and its 'section' like S,M,L,XL is extreme in its stratification. Life Style measures at 626 pages. But this I would insist would be missing the point, as its strongest connection to S,M,L,XL is the way you read it, or more importantly the way you experience it. In the words of Bruce Mau in the preface, 'The book is conceived as an active field, not a classical object that follows a chronological linear model...It is a documentary portrait of the culture of design seen through the lens of one practice – our own – as we attempt an ongoing, problematic, and evolutionary engagement with the world.'

No beginnings no ends Life Style is part manifesto and part album of Bruce Mau’s best work. This sometimes conflictual dual role tempers and accelerates the experience of its own reading. But this book it must be said requires a new role for the reader to adopt. In many ways you watch this book the way you need to watch a JeanLuc Godard movie, mixed with a trailer to an urban thriller at the same time. It swims between genres within its own genre. And regardless of its claim to non-linearity and indeterminant growth models Life Style has a structure albeit with no beginning and no end. The structure of the book is broken up into a hidden but nonetheless apparent organizational system based on chapters with names such as 'Zone', 'Art Life', 'Identity', 'Research' and so on. Overlapped onto this is a matrix of three more categories: 'Life Theories', 'Life Projects' and 'Life Stories' where the chapters intersect when relevant. Essentially the book has three structuring devices: projects, theoretical observations and anecdotal stories all mixed together. They are

The role of design and the designer is once again being proposed as a rhetorical question. Life Style questions the traditional, or for that matter acceptable role, of the designer: to be concerned only with form and not with content. Bruce Mau's life-long project has been about, at least from the perspective of the graphic designer, the formal innovation of his work and the parallel development of its content. This position is more critical than we think. In his

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rarely connected to each other and a detectable structure remains, probably at the request of the author, for the most part hidden.

But then he openly admits to 'choosing' his clients; this comes off as a bit of self-serving commentary but at the same time a good piece of critical advice to all designers out there. Be aware of what you are delivering. It could very well be the calling card to the emergent and growing practice of the other 'e' business: ethics.

There are more hidden design strategies at work here, too numerous to mention but it can be summed up as: to each studio project its own impulsive presence in the grand scheme of the book at large. This provides its cinematic structure and its apparent nonlinearity, but moreover it provides an opportunity to show why Bruce Mau Design is Bruce Mau Design. Content aside, the structure of the book appears like a double dare to the studio: going public with the work, but not selling itself out as self-promotion. To its own credit an ambitious task for the studio but nonetheless an unsettling dilemma. It attempts somewhat heroically to teach the A,B,Cs of critical culture, but with a lot of style.

This work is above all his means of establishing a 'cloaking device'. According to Bruce Mau marketing and television are the two most dominant cloaking devices that have 'screwed up the twentieth century'. Both are in the business of deception but also in the steering wheels of control. 'Marketing asks the answer by stating the question' and 'television delivers the little piggies to market'. But here emerges one of many dilemmas for the critical designer within this bind: how do we then function? As a conscious member of the post '68 generation, the work of Bruce Mau is carefully straddling this very bind. He is not giving in, but he is also not giving up. His work comes off as being quite ethical in its ambitions, but it is also offbeat. It is activist without being self-righteous. It is experimental without being, well, silly. It reaffirms one thing, that design can be elevated to the level of science, thinking and life itself.

The image or the cloaking device Clearly Bruce Mau thinks about what he is doing. Although the primary occupation is clearly the role of the image in shaping our cultural condition, his work has expanded from book design to corporate and product identity, to artist collaborations and to film making. But this is not all, there are signage and environmental graphics for buildings by OMA and Frank Gehry, installations at Vitra, the design for a 322-acre park in Toronto with OMA, and of course Zone books. And further, re-inventing the identity of Switzerland and meeting John Cage in person.

A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down the pants The most frustrating part of Life Style is precisely the aforementioned dilemma of disproportionately mixing 15 years of extensively laid-out work with a scattered manifesto on design practice. Unfortunately the most powerful statements on Bruce Mau's design methodology sometimes get lost in the shuffle. For instance his approach on book design is hard to find, but it is there in small print as a side note on page 431, 'Our approach to book design is simply to respect the reader's ability to understand even the

Furthermore, a sense of humour, albeit a sophisticated sense of humour, is required when going through the book (read ‘An Incomplete Manifesto For Growth’). The humour is used not only as a technique but as a means to once again engage people more. Likewise the book represents the benefits of a good client base, an enviable if not luxurious point of departure.

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Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 39 — Research — With or without rhetoric


most demanding configurations. If we design a work that respects the reader's intellect, we contribute a small moment of dignity in a culture that too often panders to the lowest common denominator and in so doing, insults the intelligence of its citizens.'

Burton Hamfelt is an architect working at S333, studio for architecture and urbanism, Amsterdam.

But to detect all the 'hidden messages' and codes is still, at the end of the day, probably asking too much of the reader. The book is burdened somewhat with its own success. There is simply too much to absorb and to take in. And this, it must be said, confirms the problem of the XL book. Try re-finding something of interest that you would like to share with a fellow onlooker. But given that there is so much that can be said, what are our choices? Its power clearly is in its voluminous attack on antiquated notions of design practice and the myth of the discrete object. Its beauty in its delirious amounts of design production and saucy colourful layouts. Its message in its demand to see life and all its abundance as a sequence of events within an elegantly clothed hard cover. It would be an understatement to call Life Style merely 'deep' but it is nonetheless a studio mantra, to paraphrase a Mau aphorism, 'when you dive into a think tank, make sure it has a deep end'. In many ways Life Style, if a conclusion could be drawn, reminds (educates) the reader that everything, I mean everything, is living. It is living because it is part of something else, it comes from somewhere, it is organic. Every object is incorporated, integrated with a higher social/cultural/economic and political structure, demanding your attention, taking away your time, giving your money a purpose, keeping you engaged. Even the book, especially the book, is alive. You move through the work as the work tries to move you. This is what we get from Bruce Mau's work, he is keeping design alive.

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Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Zeitgeist, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Branding %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Editor: %%%%%%%%%%%%] Lilet Breddels %%%%%%%%%%%%] with %%%%%%%%%%%%] Harold Houdijk %%%%%%%%%%%%] Anna Klingmann %%%%%%%%%%%%] Ineke Schwartz %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Related concepts: %%%%%%%%%%%%] Identity Marketing %%%%%%%%%%%%] Legibility %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Earlier instalments %%%%%%%%%%%%] in this series: %%%%%%%%%%%%] Display (6/2000) %%%%%%%%%%%%] Hyperreality %%%%%%%%%%%%] (8/2000) %%%%%%%%%%%%] Do it yourself %%%%%%%%%%%%] (10/2000) %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

Zeitgeist Branding

Zeitgeist is a visual feature in Archis that takes an interdisciplinary look at recent innovations in materials, processes and techniques. Not presented for their own sake alone, such developments are examined in a broader context and trends are linked together. Zeitgeist collects, presents and draws connections without telling a linear story or explicitly judging or condemning. Each instalment of Zeitgeist focuses on a different theme. This time it is ‘Branding’. The ever more radical privatization of our physical, economic and cultural space has led to that space being appropriated by brands, all screaming for attention. The importance of branding is such that often it takes the place of the product. It is no longer the product that is sold but the brand or rather the life-style it seeks to represent. Often brands are developed and put onto the market long before a product gets attached to it. There is a burgeoning need among consumers to individualize and stand out from the crowd. There is, too, the fact that target groups are being defined ever more narrowly (niches). Yet with the increase in globalization, small target groups are reachable worldwide and thus together constitute a large group. Because the product itself is not that important anymore, it is of ever greater urgency to recognize the visual hallmarks of the hip, trendy life-feeling as quickly as possible and use them in branding. The interplay between the consumer who wants to stand out – but at the same time latches onto every trend that comes along – and the commercial world is forever on the rise. Artists and designers create brands, pass comment on brands, and are used by brands. As Peter de Bruijn remarked in the national daily NRC Handelsblad in his article on Naomi Klein's book No Logo which rails against the brandmania: it is so popular that it has itself almost become a brand. Suggestions, reactions or images welcome: lilet@archis.org From Colors

Inspires: Fails to consider: File under: Related to:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 41— Research — Zeitgeist


Design 75B.

Adidas Campus.

From Kavel & Huis.


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From Bruce Mau, Life Style.

Inspires: Fails to consider: File under: Related to:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 43 — Research — Zeitgeist


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Chernobyl. Photo: Cary Markerink

Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek, Oma’s.

Inspires: Fails to consider: File under: Related to:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 45 — Research — Zeitgeist


Space for the users of this copy of Archis to discuss the following issue:

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tercom, International, rmediate, Interleave, tercom, International, ermediate, Interleave tercom, International, rmediate, Interleave, tercom, International, rmediate, Interleave, tercom, International,

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The look of

Merger or troubleshooting?

Interact, Intervent, Intercom, International, Interdisciplinary, Intermediate, Interleave, Interact, Intervent, Intercom,

International, Interdisciplinary, Intermediate, Interleave Interact, Intervent, Intercom, International, Interdisciplinary, Intermediate,

Het werk van Maarten Van Severen

Interact or die

The name of designer Maarten Van Severen hardly ever occurs in isolation. It is invariably linked with some world famous furniture company or an international architecture operation. Consciously accepting the need for professional teamwork does not impair his personal integrity in the least. On the contrary, it gives his painstakingly detailed work a vital OLE BOUMAN hike of scale.

MILAAN • Interaction Ivrea is Olivetti’s jongste antwoord op de informatiemaatschappij. Waar eens schrijfmaBureaustoel 04. chines werden gemaakt worden nu communicatieprocessen onderzocht. De architecPete r Hoste,nemen Anthony Kleinepier and Sand tonische discipline kan een voorbeeld or Naus: 'Cutup Livin'; as flexible as your lifestyle'. Wide World van Inc.het , offers a global network of aan deze strategische verschuiving A leasing company, 'living environments', made required and a fixed price -to-measure living space, with for a fixed period. The firs facilities as aandachtsveld. t Dutch living righ t next door to Schiphol airp ort.

environment of Wide World Inc. , Green Valley,

Wie Ivrea zegt, zegt Olivetti. Gelegen in de Aostavallei, niet ver van Turijn, was het de hoofdstad van een imperium dat het tijdperk van de typemachine markeerde. Dankzij Olivetti lands the Nether werd Ivrea een sociaal experiment waarin stad, cultuur en industriële productie elkaar raakten. Talloze architecten bouwden in de loop der jaren elegante moderne gebouwen die opvielen door hun combinatie van functionaliteit en landschappelijkheid. Bekend werd met name Adriano Olivetti die in Ivrea een centrum voor sociale wetenschappen stichtte waarin een Het ‘Blauwe Huis’op de campus van Olivetti naoorlogse vorm van corporatisme werd onderzocht. Het verlichte Olivetti was spreekwoordelijk voor de poging de snelle industriële opbouwen, een modern huisvestingsbeleid, een vooruitgang te verbinden met sociale researchprogramma en een sociaal plan, maar vernieuwing. zodra de vraag naar de machines wegvalt is het En toen kwam de kennis-economie, de digitale gedaanSOS. met de voorspoed. De fout is: na een VUGHT • Intervent, Bureaustoel 04. InterChaise longue Intercom, economie, de Nieuwe Economie. Het is voor eeuw bedrijfsgroei ga je je identificeren met het national, Interdisciplinary, Intermediate, Olivetti een ramp gebleken. Het verhaal is snel product, niet met de vraag. Goede bedoelingen Interleave, Interact, Intervent, Intercom, verteld.—Olivetti bleef Van tikmachines maken terwi-to stranden op de Last economische wetten van de International, Maarten Severen seems credibility. year, Time Warner how can you make that Intermediate, clear to Interdisciplinary, jl de wereld massaal overstapte tekstverw- markt. lessigned is dat a je monster geen bedrijf moet Interleave have understood the op contempoandDe AOL deal, architects. OMA, as alert as ever, Interact, Intervent, Intercom, Intererkers.rary De manmoedige pogingen die werden opbouwen dat machines produceert, maar dat national, relevance of merging and Mercedes Benz swallowed was perhaps the firstIntermediate, to achieve an Interdisciplinary, ondernomen om het tij te keren waren too little genereert over took socialethe situaties waarin Interleave, franchising better than almost any- kennis Chrysler, BMW new Mini architectural merger – albeit a Interact, Intervent, Intercom, too late. En Intentionally wie nu zijn neus het venster hardware is. Je and moet the als bedrijf met International, one. oraan unintentionalundernodig its wing latestniet Tate retroactiveInterdisciplinary, one – with itsIntermediate, mitosis drukt van de verlopen, stoffige magazijnen blijven schuiven, maar ‘consumptietraly, he seems indeed to have die dozen franchise – the Tate Modern – beat into OMA, the architecture cell, Interleave, Interact, Intervent, Intercom, her endevised der over his de bedrijfsterreinen Ivrea jecten’ en begeleiden. Je moet niet own flexible van versions anyinitiëren potential reflection with its inand AMO, the conceptual research International, Interdisciplinary, vast als woning te permanen de met leven het De ruimtelijke organisatie van liggenof verspreid, loop goede kans hoog opgezozeer begrijpen waarasis vraagwordt naar maar waar een flexibel these processes. Merging and centrum your-face marketing. Theis, synergy cell. On theInterleave, other hand, the archiIntermediate, Interact, Intervent, n door ijk vervange geleidel en uitvalsb taste onverkochte voorraden te future. zien. Over verlangens geboren Economie franchising hold the Ordit verblijf ands-change ofworden. scale involved inkena tectural International, landscape Interdisciplinary, appears to have Intercom, oon. is itenpatr activite en oude maybe industrieparadijs, waar bedrijfstrots en het vermogen te vernieuwen. the present. And thingsenare nis merger or a franchise deliver been infested with ‘mergers of Intermediate, Interleave, Interact, Intervent, arbeidsproductiviteit hand in handbuys gingen, hangt – Voor Olivettiefficiency was het bijna fataal, maar ercritzijn Intercom, moving fast. Capital capital greater and a higher convenience’ in recent years, keepInternational, Interdisciplinary, een deken malaise. Entoo. als Olivetti niet net allerlei terreinen waar is precies Intermediate, andvan knowledge Even business icalmaatschappelijke mass. The only question ’em-happyInterleave, constructions or even Interact,–Intervent, op tijd allianties was aangegaan, dan zou deze hetzelfde gebeurt, zonder dat er een finale Intercom, International, Interdisciplinary, 1 familienaam waarschijnlijk al definitief tot het afrekening plaatsvindt. Wetenschappen, vakdis- Intermediate, Interleave, Interact, Intervent, culturele erfgoed zijn gaan behoren. ciplines, politieke bewegingen, kunststromin- Intercom, International, Interdisciplinary, Wat ontbeerde Olivetti, waardoor het bijna ten gen, winkels, onderwijsinstellingen, ze kunnen Intermediate, Interleave, Interact, Intervent, onder ging? Stel je maakt machines. Zolang er allemaal vastlopen in het geloof dat ze bestaan Intercom, International, Interdisciplinary, behoefte aan die machines is, verkoop je ze. Je omdat het moet. Omdat ze nu eenmaal bestaan. Intermediate, Interleave Interact, Intervent, kunt daaromheen een verlichte bedrijfscultuur Ondertussen kunnen tendensen opkomen die de Intercom, International, Interdisciplinary, Intermediate, Interleave, Interact, Intervent, Intercom, International, Interdisciplinary,

The look

Nederland. A.–INN.


Contents The look of the Netherlands Ton Verstegen Merger or troubleshooting? Peter Swinnen Interact or die Ole Bouman

Reminds me of: Stolen from: Use for: Obtainable from:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 48 — Innovation


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The look of

Peter Hoste, Anthony Kleinepi er and Sandor Naus: 'Cutup Livin'; as flexible as your Wide World Inc., offers a glob lifestyle'. A leasing company, al network of 'living environm ents', made-to-measure livi required and a fixed price ng space, with facilities as for a fixed period. The firs t Dutch living environment right next door to Schiphol of Wide World Inc., Green Vall airport. ey,

the Netherlands

The look

as fixed centre The spatial organization of life with the permanent house of sojourn and and base is steadily being replaced by a flexible pattern activity.

Netherlands. Reminds me of: Stolen from: Use for: Obtainable from:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 49 — Innovation — The look of the Netherlands


The look of the Netherlands The second Bouwfonds Award Ton Verstegen The Bouwfonds Award ‘Het aanzien van Nederland’ (‘The look of the Netherlands’) is sponsored by Bouwfonds, the largest Dutch housing development company which invites young designers aged up to 35 years to add their ideas on current issues to the nation’s spatial planning discourse. The theme posed for the second Bouwfonds Award, awarded to the winner of the competition, was one which the company says is its bread and butter: the residential development of the near future, with special attention to integrated land use and combinations of environments. Bouwfonds – a subsidiary company of the mammoth banking concern ABN/AMRO – is a company with a turnover of four thousand million guilders per annum whose main sphere of activity is developing, selling and letting homes, retail spaces and offices. With an output of 6000 dwellings annually, it is the largest developer of houses for the market sector, and has established a strong position for itself in the current VINEX housing programme. The company is also cautiously venturing into innovations, e.g. concepts such as the Personal Dwelling (the consumer as individual client), Red for Green (appropriate housing in rural areas) al and Sustainable Development. Its soci s fond Bouw of e shap concern takes the Fund Management, a kind of non-profit h banking facility for foundations whic , Fund ion orat Rest onal include the Nati the and ing Hous al the Fund for Soci Bouwfonds Culture Fund. The competition, whose first round produced five nominees, came to a climax in an evening-long TV broadcast on December 10th 2000 during which the e prizewinner was announced. The programm ive rmat info t shor with was interlaced and films on the five nominated entries of l pane a by with commentaries experts, and was moreover recorded amid the status-bolstering decor of the Netherlands Architecture Institute,

thereby suggesting that the event was one of practically national significance. The competition is actually a newcomer compared to established competitions such as Europan or the Prix de Rome, and it is not immediately clear what the Bouwfonds Award has to add to them. Europan’s trump card is that the winners, at least in the Netherlands, have a good chance of being commissioned for a project, because the participating municipalities are prepared to make an effort in this respect. The Prix de Rome has a dual goal: firstly to unearth individual talent, and secondly to make a statement about the current state of play in the designing profession. The Bouwfonds Award shares a little of both competitions. Its twophase structure resembles that of the Prix de Rome. The initial round selects a number of nominees who receive 10,000 guilders each to work out their ideas more fully, after which the final prizewinner is decided. In common with Europan, the competition is not oriented so much towards the designer and his profession as towards innovative ideas, for which young designers are presumed to have a special flair. Instead of a a commission, the prizewinner takes away a is This . cheque for 50,000 guilders tidy sum, but given the objectives of the competition the prize of a commisy sion would seem more logical, certainl s laim proc ite for a company whose webs and its distinction in ‘risk management’ l loca with ing its ‘aptitude for cooperat . ders ehol shar government’, the original Dutch mountains A separate question is whether the comwpetition has indeed succeeded in thro puth wort are ing up novel ideas that the ting into practice. Strikingly, all ze cali radi five nominated entries existing trends: market forces, the possibilities of the Internet or the and housing consumer’s need for comfort ial dent resi luxury. Housing and the surroundings have irrevocably turned into consumer commodities, so the nomi ng lizi mora use nees believe. It’s no about it - far more relevant is to devise tactics based on this trend which will benefit the look of the


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Marjan van Capelle, Jeroen Eulderink, Gerrit van Oosterom and Wouter Schik: 'Home is exploiting open and enclosed where the heart is'. Socially monofunctional collective faci lities that include a refuse dump and transformer houses.

The motorway spaghetti Thorissen: 'Uitwijk 500 m'. Frederique van Andel and Sven ent, framed in a lopm deve e d-us surrounded by mixe of sliproads exploited and e. pleated hilly landscap

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Netherlands. The influence of Koolhaas is clearly present in this stance. As with him, it is sometimes hard to judge whether the extrapolations and futuristic visions are meant as utopias or awful warnings. Matters are even more complicated in the case of the entry ‘Berg en Dal’. Here the designers unmistakably depict an idyll of the future. They have hills up to a hundred metres high which provide a way to combat the monotony of housing, to develop new forms and dwelling types, to create splendid panoramas and - surprisingly - to try out new techniques for building underground (!). But the impact of this vision on the jury was what futurolog effect’: gists call the ‘early warnin that differall no way! The plan is not eady mootalr are ent from ideas people emes to sch are ing. For example there dscape of lan t fla excavate lakes in the thereby and ion the East Groningen reg it is ch whi on create hills of spoil live. to ’ ant eas thought it will be ‘pl en Dal’ rg ‘Be of e The problem in the cas er riv the on, is its choice of locati ies. uar est ne Rhi lands of the Maas and by red nte cou is ng The monotony of dwelli a for ape dsc lan offering up a unique This is monotony of artificial hills. flattening of a ide just as absurd as the ilitate fac to ion the hilly Limburg reg g. agriculture and grazin change the The notion that designers can into an ity ess nec world of utility and d is han the of idyll by a mere wave p by a cli al ion mot epitomized in the pro a in ter rac bulky, sly-looking cha a scatterHawaiian shirt, who conjures lside hil a o ont ing of little villas designThe s. ger with a snap of his fin rather ing eth som do ers of ‘Uitwijk 500’ can ch whi ons similar, but in locati take advancount on more approval. They of motork wor net tage of the existing ld a bui to ion ways and an intersect es’. All hol y man ‘molehill with a great rse on cou dis t ren the issues in the cur e: flexher e hom a spatial planning find vertical the , use d ibility, multiple lan ecoloks, wor net , stacking of functions yle in est lif d axe rel gy, panoramas and a

a ‘golf’ house, ‘beach’ house or birdwatcher’s house. The designers of ‘Home is whe re the heart is’ waved their magic wand over a refuse dump. Under the motto ‘if it’s possible there, it can happen anywhere’, their proposal involves a con sortium gradually transforming the dum p (a stone’s throw from the city of Nijmegen) into an ‘intriguing combinati on of environments’. Another new hill, in other words. It seems impossible now adays to create an exciting new living situation or a new dwelling type withou t major earthmoving. Why are people actually demolishing all those blocks of flats on the city margins? Why don’t they use a create a little clever excavation to ? In the contemporary hilly landscape rt is’, case of ‘Home is where the hea view of a the hill moreover blocks the , which promising focus for the design for was inspired by the ‘impulse lings in Ibe s Han by bed cri des ideation’ booklet. The the competition’s programme stion of author observes that the que reasing ‘when we live’ is taking inc e’. precedence over ‘where we liv ction in fun a ger lon no is Habitation of time its own right but a disposal k of other which is woven into a networ spread activities and contacts often The designover considerable distances. s notion by ers align themselves with thi ng function making dwelling into a floati locks, so that dispenses with fences and ndings. helping to enliven the surrou situation Companies can profit from the s’. Industry by supplying ‘home requisite their zones could for example offer use. The exterior spaces for private into a comelectricity supplier evolves transformer fort provider, and even the work. houses become nodes in the net Lease your habitat iologist The Dutch, according to soc y happy Ruut Veenhoven, are reasonabl s pleasantly because they keep themselve and garden. occupied e.g. in the house e time They spend much of their fre similar hobdoing home alterations and in the bies in and around the home se activicheerful confidence that the


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ties will add to its value. Leasing is at odds with this picture because there would no longer be any point in doing home improvements, and the appreciation in value would disappear into someone else’s pocket. Yet leasing plays an important part in two of the five plans. ‘Het gras bij de buren’ (‘The grass on the other side’) stays closest to the picture of a contentedly do-ityourselfing, slightly anarchistic popu lace. A website provides a venue for matching the supply and demand for temporary living space. People used to have a spare attic room which they could rent to a student; but nowadays ts city-dwellers rent out their apartmen temporarily for fat sums so as to pay for a winter stay on the Costa Del Sol or to subsidize a world tour. Whether

for reasons of poverty or luxury, transactions like those can add to the vitality of a neighbourhood, particularly if the residents make special changes to their homes for the purpose. It is however naive to believe that the invisible hand of the website can run this whole process impeccably. It will engender a form of supervision and regulation which dwarfs that of the aesthetic control bodies and all the home owner associations combined. The prizewinning scheme ‘Cutup Livin’’ involves true leasing. You lease a dwelling environment in the same way

you would a Volvo Estate, including the status and comforts but without the burdens of ownership or maintenance. The well-paid nomad considers himself above the sordid business of property appreciation. He selects whatever resort suits him, in the location that suits him and for the period that suits him. Since habitation has become a consumer product, the designers conclude that designing and developing are prac the me assu tically identical. They identity of a leasing company, World Wide Inc., which has issued a brochure t for six living environments to be buil and 2030 een in the Netherlands betw 2049. Green Valley, located near the of Badhoevedorp intersection south-west a of form iled deta Amsterdam, takes the re cent the at ium canyon or a large stad of an immense enclosed garden into which all the dwelling spaces face. , This megastructure is not hidden away is ide outs Its as in other entries. also a building. The jury teetered between a utopia or a nightmare. anShouldn’t they condemn such extravag and dent deca g bein zas for the rich as ess reprehensible? But the scheme’s rawn to aled appe ty tali and lack of sentimen tup ‘"Cu d, note them. Besides, they livin’" could actually be built’. I know what I would do if I were Bouwfonds - take that company over, pronto.

the great river idential hills in 'Berg en Dal'. Res n: dma storage and Vel er on wat l Daj itiona Sala and and the need for add Tara Reitsma, Petra rising sea level, the to se pon res lowlands as a rural habitats.

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Merger or troubleshooting? The work of Maarten Van Severen

The name of designer Maarten Van Severen hardly ever occurs in isolation. It is invariably linked with some world famous furniture company or an international architecture operation. Consciously accepting the need for professional teamwork does not impair his personal integrity in the least. On the contrary, it gives his painstakingly detailed work a vital hike of scale.

‘04’ office chair.

‘04’ office chair.

‘SOS’ chaise longue.

— Maarten Van Severen seems to have understood the contemporary relevance of merging and franchising better than almost anyone. Intentionally or unintentionally, he seems indeed to have devised his own flexible versions of these processes. Merging and franchising hold the future. Or maybe the present. And things are moving fast. Capital buys capital – and knowledge too. Even business

credibility. Last year, Time Warner and AOL signed a monster deal, Mercedes Benz swallowed Chrysler, BMW took the new Mini under its wing and the latest Tate franchise – the Tate Modern – beat any potential reflection with its inyour-face marketing. The synergy and change of scale involved in a merger or a franchise deliver greater efficiency and a higher critical mass. The only question is

how can you make that clear to architects. OMA, as alert as ever, was perhaps the first to achieve an architectural merger – albeit a retroactive one – with its mitosis into OMA, the architecture cell, and AMO, the conceptual research cell. On the other hand, the architectural landscape appears to have been infested with ‘mergers of convenience’ in recent years, keep’em-happy constructions – or even

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Nîmes: Part of left bank. Model.

Nîmes: Part of right bank. Model.

Impression of water feature.

compulsory team-ups – which seem to be primarily defined by certain competition criteria. MVRDV, for example, doubled up with the Paris group Périphériques (‘... the Dutch guys came over to Paris and we realized we hated each other’s guts...’ ) for the purposes of the Musée des Arts et Civilisations competition. And I could mention countless other examples. Architectural practice, with its own market logic, seems to have instigated a true spin-off of the merger concept: the temporary ‘commodity merger’. Maarten Van Severen similarly has a number of such collaborative ventures on his

CV, and all of them have had a more or less satisfactory outcome. — The Ghent studio of Maarten Van Severen is a laboratory for research into new materials, new constructional techniques and new uses of existing materials. Van Severen is still primarily an inventor of mass-producible designs – chairs, tables, benches, light fittings, cupboards etc. The articles were manufactured in-house until a few years ago, but production has now been delegated to specialized furniture makers such as Edra, tm, Light, Culo and Vitra. The products always give the appearance of emerging from an uncom-

promising merger between the designer and the manufacturer. The most recent pieces are the CHL98, a chaise longue adaptation which literally ‘stands or falls’, and SOS (or ‘Short Office Sleep’), still really a prototype, a flat office bench which only takes shape at the moment of use. In parallel with the individual furniture items, Van Severen’s studio has designed a variety of fixed furnishings and total concepts for new and existing architectural settings. The most conspicuous products so far have been the pieces made for OMA’s Villa à Bordeaux, where Van Severen designed the lift, library,

Impression of right bank.

Overview of interventions at Pont du Gard in Nîmes, in association with Xaveer De Geyter.

Impression of left bank. 2


OMA’s library design for Seattle.

Sketch design of library furniture.

staircases, kitchen and bathroom as a highly integrated unit. Van Severen’s contribution becomes all the more interesting when one learns that there are plans afoot to bring his torn-out perspex washbasins into production, if perhaps in a modified form. This would capitalize on his intensive research and not merely canonize it in the context of a one-off project. — The first time Van Severen cooperated with OMA was on the

Concept sketch of bookshelves.

Study model of book shelving.

project for the Villa Dall’Ava in Paris. The project architect then in charge, Xaveer De Geyter, asked Van Severen’s studio to detail the furnishings and staircases. Unlike the Villa à Bordeaux, where Van Severen participated in the whole design process, the general design for the Paris house was already finished. But Van Severen’s aptitude for meticulous detailing more than compensated for his late entry onto the project. Now, ten

years later, Van Severen runs a ‘design cell’ within OMA. No less than four projects are in the pipeline with Van Severen as a designer: the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin, the concert hall in Porto, the library in Seattle and a luxury villa in the Bahamas. Apart from this luxury villa, Van Severen’s design actions concentrate time and again on devising systems and mass-reproducible items which impress us with their

Concept sketch of table.

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iron logic in spatial, tactile and budgetary respects. To be specific, he is currently designing all the partition walls for the Dutch embassy and 1500 theatre seats for the Porto concert hall. For the Seattle library, he is designing a system that incorporates no less than 36 kilometres of book shelving. His use of an extrusion technique should allow all 36 kilometres to be formed using a single die. Van Severen’s impact goes

beyond mere interior planning, especially in Seattle. The bookshelves were to be suspended freely from the ceiling using a threaded rod, thereby creating the visual effect of a space filled entirely with books. However, the weight of the books made it necessary to completely redesign the initial supporting structure and hence the building itself. — Besides his substantial collaboration with OMA – in effect a ‘mini-

merger’ – Van Severen maintains several other collaborative relationships. All too often, however, Van Severen plays the part of a troubleshooter, called in at the end to solve specific spatial shortcomings with his strategic interventions. Single-handedly, for example, he had to save the honour of the Museum for Contemporary Art in Ghent. He added an impressive black concrete ticket office, like a scaled-up, extruded version of a

Sketch design of library and reading room in Abel Cahen’s extension to the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven.

Sketch design of the bookshop in the Van Abbemuseum.

steel U-beam turned on its side. Van Severen’s other contributions (the cloakroom and library) were unfortunately too small in scale to make any impression amid the megalomanic museum architecture. A similar troubleshooting action was the project for the Van Abbemuseum by Abel Cahen. After completion of the general design, Van Severen was called in to plan the library interior. The result is a brilliant three-dimensional open-plan library/reading room for the museum. — But things don’t necessarily happen like that. Last year, Van Severen was approached by the French government to take part in

a limited call for tenders for the spatial design of the touristic site around Pont du Gard in Nîmes. It was to be a kind of oversized ‘air de repos’. Van Severen promptly reformulated the question and himself called in Xaveer De Geyter Architects because of the urban design aspects, a dimension which had escaped government notice. The total concept for the location is required to sluice 15,000 eager tourists daily from the car park to the Pont du Gard and back again without mishap. The first phase of the project was recently completed. The second phase involves designing the Gard’s overflow area, with double

use as the leitmotif. It seems a matter of indifference to Van Severen whether he is called in as a troubleshooter or blends into a perfect merger. Unexpected opportunities will keep turning up.

Text: Peter Swinnen 4


Space for the users of this copy of Archis to discuss the following issue:

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tendencies could take an axe to the roots of all these institutions. Much of their adaptive capacity, in as far as it still exists, is then directed at a last-hour attempt to incorporate the ‘new facts’. An ancillary discipline emerges, for example, or a political renewal committee is set up, a product range is expanded somewhat or an additional professor is appointed. But there is seldom any ability to turn the insurgent forces to advantage, and to start again from scratch. That can only happen once the pressure has become so great that a choice is unavoidable; for example when a company like Olivetti is on the verge of collapsing. What does a company like Olivetti do when things have reached that point? Why, it sets up a new research institute for interaction design, of course. It no longer develops products, but situations, interfaces and possibilities for communication. When products cannot withstand the Zeitgeist, you had better change the conditions for the Zeitgeist. Together with Telecom Italia, Olivetti put up 40 million Euros to found an independent centre that would apply itself exclusively to devising and testing theories about how people relate to digital technology and how they organize their communication. The institute’s education and research aims at understanding how communication takes place and how communication processes renew themselves, instead of at the technology to achieve it. Technology and cultural production are treated as one. Heavily sponsored as it is by business, the institute will naturally also consider the business models implicit in this new outlook. The bulk of the programme, headed by the former Professor of Computer Related Design at the Royal College of Art, Gillian Crampton Smith, will consist of areas like wearable computing, smart urbanism and hybrid knowledge environments on the cutting edge of physical and virtual reality. The starting capital, the founding principle, the lecturing staff, the curriculum, the technical equipment, the international network: all these things have been brought jointly to bear on the central issue of interaction as part of the design task. Ivrea resurgent! It is striking that at least two of the research themes relate to architecture. While it is growingly obvious that no early breakthrough in ‘smart spaces’is to be expected from the architectural design discipline, and that interesting developments in this area are more likely to

come from services technology or interior design, the institute’s programme continues to nurture the architectural and urban design component. The issue is not what the discipline is doing now, but what its future tasks will include. This means Interaction Ivrea is important to architecture for an even deeper reason: taking the discipline’s task as primary instead of its achievements, is bound to bring it to the same crossroads as Olivetti. Architecture, too, is often little more than ‘box shifting’, the disposition and marking of building volumes in which to accommodate programmed functions. It is increasingly clear however that the issue is moving from accommodation to the programme and how it is experienced, from an unequivocal style to flexible organization, from form-centred design to a psychology-driven process. That too is ‘space’and ‘context’, of course, but no longer in a physical sense. The architecture associated with this is not concerned with the demarcation of space but with the ‘in between’, the transitional zones, the facilitation of physical and programmatic mobility. The practice of architectural design which is in touch with this tendency, which does not focus on enclosure but on the moments of interaction between people, goods and information, holds the future. This is where the crux lies. It is precisely the decision to get immediately into interaction design and postpone the question of its material embodiment that gives architecture the scope to fulfil its new mandate. If it sticks with box shifting (or arranging, trimming, stretching, slicing, tilting or any other kind of volume-related action), architecture could easily – like Olivetti – find itself lost for answers in the face of its new task. With this in mind, the location chosen for the new institute is surprising. The Interaction Ivrea institute chose to settle into one of the finest industrial buildings on the Olivetti campus Edoardo Vittorio’s 1950s Blue House, which owes its name to the ceramic tiles adorning its exterior. The architecture does not give even the least hint that the building contains an ultramodern design institute. On the contrary, the renovation by Marco Zanini of Sottsass Associati makes it into more of a building than it already was: interface design housed within a bastion of architecture. This does not of course imply the impossibility of results. The specification is full of testing rooms, lounges, studios, research labs and so on.

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Debat, Het Rijksdebt, Debat, Rijksmuseum debat

Rijksmuseum debate

Dudok Extracts from a supervisor’s diary Kees Christiaanse

On the table are boxes of foam-rubber rolls bulging with steak tartare and Date: 03/02/2001 onions, chicken and pineapple or cheese and butter. And of course, croquettes. All present talk with their 1 mouths full, washing everything down with black coffee from a thermos flask. The supervisor is accompanied by a foreign assistant.

OLE BOUMAN For:

ARCHIS

AMSTERDAM • Text: Museumplein – a burgeonAnne Luijten spread discussion, and in the process a diversity Wim First Cuyvers, ing cultural centrepiece. of all there18 was02 2001 16.30 the extension to the Concertgebouw.Then the Van Gogh Museum received attention. After Centre forwasthe arts, arts for the centre that the great public square upgraded into a ‘Museum Park’.Now the remodelling of It seems me that all at once everyone in Belgium is preoc-Developer 1: ‘Would you like a crothe Stedelijk Museum is underto way,and,finalwith arts centres, Over or with one arts centre. A few months de voorgenomen wetswijziging quette, madam?’ ly, it is the turn ofcupied the Rijksmuseum.

WELSTAND EN DE EEUWIGE ROEP OM VERANDERING NOTA BENE

ago the Flemish Theatre Institute published a collection of Foreign assistant: ‘Are zey good?’ pieces about arts centres in Vlaanderen (Alles is Rustig — All D1: ‘Do you know how to tell whether a At first sight these are all just a collection of instiis Quiet), Paul Vermeulen in Archis 9/2000 discussed culturalcroquette’s good or not?’ De awelstandszorg staat tutions arranged around large open space, but as weer ter discussie. Dit welstand parten speelt. Over een ding is centres in Vlaanderen (‘Cultural centres, a journey through the no?’hoe dan Fa: ‘Er, voorjaar zal deforum Tweede an entity they amount to a cultural for Kamer het voorstel tot iedereen het dan ook eens: het moet nebular city’) and now we have B*Sites, a new series of textsD1: ‘If it doesn’t run away, it’s wetswijziging behandelen dat door staatssewhich an integralreflecting strategy is needed. Or was ook anders. on an arts centre in Brussels. Remarkably, this still good!’ cretaris ruim een jaar geleden werd needed, rather. Thisthinking scene couldRemkes have been shaped about arts centres is being led by architects, circ-Everyone: ‘Ha ha ha...’ ingediend. Terwijl de over roep all om afschaffing in about long ago into a grand projet, integral plan Zou Nederland er fundamenteel anders uitzien ling likeanvultures those ideas such centres and Fa: ‘Hm, no thanks, bepaaldefor kringen steeds luider klinkt lijkt ercentres doing justice to thewaiting increasingly accepted ideaart that destined als er togeen De I am eating at the for those givewelstandsbeleid up thehome, I bestond? think.’ juist een steviger wettelijkeyou verankering in het view culture can no longer be dismissed asaa marginal uitkomst van dit gedachtenexperiment zal ghost. From distance get a better of the vultures Supervisor: ‘As agreed, we’ve produced verschiet te liggen. Dethey eenheid het beeld sector of society, but is an important booster afhangen van het belang dat iemand toekent wheeling than whenfor are van directly overhead. a pamphlet with illustrations of work een gered, de architectuur de dupe? the market, the city, the local and En architects ook die ideeën zijn It isbeetje no community accident that interest and beliefaan in welstandstoezicht. the arts centreby who we think would be society as a whole.coincides The Museumplein areathe couldend of 'the Belgian condition' weer afhankelijk van deright tijd waarin men leeft. with (the demise for our plans. They comply with the of individuality, widespread Het grappige aan welstandszorg is dat sinds adenationally have won its spursof for this by individual, a wide margin. Werd welstand ooit geacht schoonheid van the following criteria, bla bla appeal to the institute, the craving centre institutionalisering ervan, eind negentiende, Although a sum ofstate); 445 millionthe guilders has now stad en for landthe te bevorderen, hedentendage bla...’ (for and by project, theeeuw, arts) exponential of the endliever of what is Developer begin twintigste functioneren van die been earmarked for the renovation the hetis wordt gesproken van een bijdrage aanI see Kas 2: ‘Hey, instituties scale on whichBelgian. people speakterofdiscussie a New heeft gestaan. Kritiek beeldkwaliteit of ruimtelijke kwaliteit. Om I’ll dit agree on most Oosterhuis here, In planned arts centre studio is cheap; this is because lijktathat bij welstand te horen als Jut bij Jul.space Een geRijksmuseum suggests they still view it as an laatste te bereiken staan partijenbut verschillende things this I can’t vouch for comthe community hasflurdecided to turn menen some part of theter profit from zond, typisch Hollands verschijnsel, autonomous cultural institution. The intense middelen beschikking. Het begintOne, allemaal mercially. the risk’s too great economic intonuspace foralles culture. The space may perhaps sommigen. Wij schijnen eenmaal wat met ry of debate around the project, activity both public and een bestemmingsplan en I'd een like stedeand two, to feel a sense of for the artist, but it remains expensive for the compride walking through that wecheap direct weer te moeten relativeren. private, has done be little todoen help. This debate has bouwkundig ontwerp of metwhen een I'm opdrachtmunity. The community will van always require the artist to architect show estate my kids.’ Maar gemoederen tijd tot tijd gever been so widespread that it isdeimpossible to distil kunnen die een een with ontwerp laat 'gratitude' for the space and will demand compensation. The S: ‘I think that by engaging Kas aardig raken. Het verschijnsel welstand maken. Met al deze zaken heeft welstand niets any guiding principles out ofverhit it. However, it does artist will be forced to oblige by participating in a govern-Oosterhuis you will feel proud walking een gevoelige Al gauw gaat het om te maken. Het belang van welstand ligt dan ook throw light on a fewraakt aspects of this spearheadsnaar. of ment-specified number of exhibitions, producing a certain numthat estate. Houses like a zaken als 'inbreuk in persoonlijke vrijheid' ver- vooral in de rol ervan inthrough Dutch architecturalber policy. het bouwproces. of publications and being present at a number of crucial beehive, sloping roofs that appeal to sus 'publiek belang'. Oftewel: de aloude vraag The first thing that emerges is just how impasreceptions, so as to be able to continue to lay claim to bothour basic sense of what a home should naar de van overheidsingrijpen. sioned people are regarding thelegitimatie various proposed Deze rolofmoet nu, volgens het wetsvoorstel, space and resources. In other words, the effect a planned - they don't come courses of action.arts Thesecentre options range from dus transparanter en be controleerbaarder. De any cosier. What is always and a priori to standardize. more could you want?’ De rijksoverheid zelf overigens niet mee restoring Cuypers’ original design, as in thedoethere moet van tevoren weten met welke criStandardization works precisely as itbouwer does in the academic D2: ‘I think it’s ugly. I can’t vouch aan deze fundamentele Dat is ‘Ruijssenaars Plan’, to demolishing the museum en procedures hij te maken krijgt, wat veel world, in the number of discussie. publications, the teria number of citations, for it commercially.’ vreemd, de politieke kleurThe vangrim de veraltogether or stripping it down togezien its of shell.diplomas People ellende geld bij alle betrokken partijen kan the number etc. picture thatensprings to S: ‘I know for sure that those houses antwoordelijke Maar on methis dewaybesparen. seem to be blessedmind with absolute as to eenwill redelijk uitgangspunt, is of certainty the bewindsman. hastening artist to clockHet inlijkt with sell like hot cakes; you know voorstellen van Remkes wijziging whether the courtyards should or should not be atterhis hoewel de nadere uitwerking nogalproblem wat vragen the janitor snapping heels.van In de an organized, planned what the is, you arts centre areaangeboden expected to tricks: artist Woningwet najaar or 1999 aanperform de oproept. refurbished, whether cycle routes– artists should Zo an worden gemeenten zoals gezegd angling for a the grant is like a dit poodle begging for aeen lump of Tweede Kamer, naar voorjaar should not be preserved, and whether mainverwachting verplicht welstandsnota op te stellen, sugar. The society carefully up to and visie en zo objectief te behandelen door dewhich Kamerhas – lijkt welstand-saved shape of this Neo-Catholic monument may or waarin eenbuild heldere run anvehemence arts maar centre always verankerd impose sanctions on criteria the wasteful szorg alleen steviger may not be changed. Their stands inwill wettelijk mogelijke worden geformuleerd. Dat is planned arts centre can only to findklus neurotic, teextent worden. Zoa clear moet het welstandsbeleid voorexpect curious contrast toartist. the to A which proeen enorme waar niet iedere gemeente artists, souredprecies by their struggleom for and Niet sub-erg gepast van het Rijk het eerst in geschiedenis en duidelijk gramme has beendeprived formulated fordethe project. zit grants te springen. sidies. Neither artistic rage nor avant-gardism can evolve worden geformuleerd While seven architects are busy working on a in gemeentelijk beleid. om de gemeenten dergelijk vergaande verwithin a planned centre. structure becomes op directive, De Rijksbouwmeester dan ookThe in zijn on- plichtingen solution in a limited competition, the task toarts be stelt te leggen, vindt de Vereniging loses sight of its role as servant of the arts, becomes Welstand op een nieuwe leest, voort- van Nederlandse Gemeenten (VNG). De fulfilled remains as derzoek hazy as ever. autonomous, estranged from its original purpose. At the same P.J.H. Cuypers, Collectie Nederlands Arhitectuurinstituut bordurend op Berlages datRijksmuseum, architec- Amsterdam, The task has itself naturally been subject to wide- adagium Federatie prijsvraagontwerp Welstandstoezicht heeft inmiddels in time the structure and infrastructure will inevitably be obsotuur en stedebouw de kunst van de gemeen- samenwerking met de Rijksbouwmeester en lete prior to realization, having been thought up in advance of schap vormen, dat het publieke belang van de VNG een model-nota opgesteld, een its contents (in this case contemporary art). We all know those welstand buitenflooded kijf staat.with Het natural is zijns inziens van de the voorstellen in Welstand op 1980s museums light, uitwerking where nowadays het functioneren van welstand dat ter discussie een nieuwe leest. Handig, maar het gebiedsskylights have been taped over to allow videos to be shown. staat.in Het vooral hetcentre imagothat van gewijs is formuleren van waardebepalingen, It’s this is kind of arts everybody asking for achterkamertjes en arrogante betweterij dat architects beleidsambities en welstandsregime is een architects and architecture. Present-day and architecture are only too happy to take on the role of decorator. A centre and contemporary art are contradictory concepts: true contemporary art is centrifugal, shunning the centre, shunning power. The obvious spontaneously evolved arts centre is a city

WANDERING IN SEARCH OF THE GENIUS FLUVII THE FIFTH REPORT ON SPATIAL PLANNING

LUUK BOELENS

A.–POL.

Kunstencentrum, Centrumkunsten <wim.cuyvers@wanadoo.fr>


Contents Wandering in search of the genius fluvii Luuk Boelens Dudok Kees Christiaanse Aesthetic control and the eternal call for change Anne Luijten Rijksmuseum debate Ole Bouman Centre for the arts, arts for the centre Wim Cuyvers

Official info from: Inside information from: Send comments on to: Beware of:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 62 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Politics


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%]

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NOTA BENE

WANDERING IN SEARCH OF THE GENIUS FLUVII THE FIFTH REPORT ON SPATIAL PLANNING

LUUK BOELENS

Official info from: Inside information from: Send comments on to: Beware of:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone:

From: Archis 1/2001 — 63 — Politics — Wandering in search of the genius fluvii


1 OF 3 Europe and the Netherlands are changing, so the physical space is changing too. This constitutes the main justification for new national planning policies. The developments are rapid and affect all areas of social, cultural and business life, according to the long-awaited national planning policy report Vijfde Nota over de Ruimtelijke Ordening (the ‘Fifth Report on Spatial Planning’, subtitled ‘Making space, sharing space’) which appeared in late January this year. Internationalization continues making strong headway, yet the human scale is more and more appreciated. Sharper international competition and technological advances foster diffusion and the eradication of borders, but also encourage concentration on core activities. People are less tied to specific locations but those factors of settlement that do differ from place to place gain in importance. The Dutch population is ageing, but is increasingly multicultural and individualized. A network society is emerging in which citizens travel hither and thither over much larger distances, propelled by individual wishes and preferences. ‘Poverty’ and ‘unabashed wealth’ exist side-by-side more and more often, yet everything is becoming more homogeneous and uniform. The Dutch perceive their country as growing ever fuller, dirtier, more muddled and more monotonous, despite the considerable investments of recent years in policies to promote quality and differentiation. It is a familiar story, perhaps so familiar that we are no longer in the least surprised at this schizophrenic aspect of the network society and the network economy. Nonetheless, it remains a paradox. How can this tremendous extremity and diversity be possible while everything looks ever more the same? One of the best points of the Vijfde Nota is that it raises precisely these issues and takes them as a point of departure for national physical planning. The network society and network economy are impressive phrases which appear repeatedly in the text of the report. But, we may ask, in what sense are they used, how profoundly, and, above all, what is eventually done with them? The report starts well. Following an introduction and a historical review, it hauls its immediate predecessors (Vierde Nota, Vierde Nota Extra and the update to the latter) over the coals. This is understandable in the light of the above, but the critique is so crushing that you are left wondering whether all this can really have been written by the National Spatial Planning Agency itself. The Vijfde Nota identifies no less than ten shortcomings in the Vierde Nota. They range from too little attention to the everyday residential surroundings to deficient contrast preservation in town and country; from the failure of the metropolitan districts and the ‘BON regions’ which were defined to promote more effective administration at a regional level, to poor transport links to the economic core areas; from the low quality of the Vinex locations to clumsy treatment of the covenants established under the previous government; from a failed ‘A,B,C location policy’ (meant to ensure appropriate sites for commerce and industry) to the ‘four courses’ policy for rural areas (which was intended to create more regionally-adapted variety in the countryside but which has not made any headway whatsoever); and from a progressive and apparently unstoppable growth in mobility to the recognition that national planning experts actually have too few substantial resources at their disposal to conduct effective physical planning. What, we are left wondering, still survives of the old policy? And is this evaluation valid?

1. Also relevant in this connection, is the idea raised by Maurits Schaafsma in the context of the symposium marking the publication of the book Nederland Netwerkenland (‘Netherlands, Network Land’): ‘The fact that since completion of the texts for the book Nederland Netwerkenland, relations in the sphere of air transport alliances have completely changed once again, indicates that the dynamics of air transport and those of the airport are increasingly out of step with the dynamic of current spatial planning.’ (See also Luuk Boelens (ed.) Nederland Netwerkenland. Een inventarisatie van de nieuwe condities van planologie en stedebouw, NAI Publishers, Rotterdam, 2000.) 2. Luuk Boelens, ‘Randstad Holland. Multidimensional disarray and a new challenge’, Archis 1, 1996, pp. 66-80. 3. WRR, Ruimtelijke Ontwikkelingspolitiek, Report 53, SDU, The Hague, 1998. 4. Cf. ‘Middenkatern High Five’ in Stedebouw & Ruimtelijk Ordening no. 4, 1999. 5. Also Cf. the case argued by Florian Boer in ‘Middenkatern High Five’ (see note 4).


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2 OF 3 It is not explained, for example, what is actually wrong with the ‘four courses’ policy for rural areas, or what we could learn from the failed policies for the Green Heart and the BON regions. Is the only solution really to start all over again, to redraw the contours but even more of them, both green and red, and on an even larger scale? Fundamental reflection is called for, rather, on the possible effects and hence the strategy of national policy. Do we still really need a Vijfde Nota or the like in this era of dynamics and flux? Besides, now that I have allowed the whole historical overview of postwar spatial planning to sink in, just one conclusion stands out in my mind: spatial planning policy always runs one Report too late. The Second Report should have been written at the time of the First, the Third at the time of the Second and the Fourth at the time of the Third. This means that the published national planning policy does no more than register what has already taken place in the past, instead of setting conditions for future policy or pointing it in a new direction. And the same is true now with the Fifth Report. Had the Vijfde Nota taken the forces underlying the observed trends quite seriously, then it would have drawn the conclusion that a purely spatial planning report is pointless at the moment. It ought to have been at least a time-space report, in other words a motion report, both physical and virtual. Even as we live in a time marked by lack of space, we lose ourselves ever more in space. Although the network concept occupies a central place in the Vijfde Nota (as promoted by the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy ), we may ask ourselves whether the four main themes of the proposed future physical development policy, i.e. Europe, City/Country, Urban Networks and Water, are properly fleshed out here. Or are they merely paid lip service? How, after all, can we defend suddenly having to draw all kinds of obsolete ‘contours of town and country’ in a borderless Europe? The efforts to set new boundaries will inevitably dissipate amid the mobility and dynamics that typify a network society. And what exactly are we going to do with that good old ‘Europe’, seeing that well-intentioned initiatives get bogged down time after time in obdurate nationalism, and the significance of the Delta Megalopolis of the Randstad, Ruitstad and Roerstad really needs to be viewed in a global perspective? It has already been convincingly argued that the ‘urban networks’ concept, as now interpreted, is actually no more than a blown-up urban-district policy which is destined for the rubbish tip in a future Sixth Report. Urban networks cut across a variety of planning scales, regardless of town or countryside. Now for the ‘Water’ theme. This is presently so general in character, and relies so heavily on a putative future rewrite of the Planologische Kernbeslissing Rivierenland (planning decisions for the region around the lower Rhine and Maas) that these spearheads of national interest are not even clearly explained, let alone cogently argued. A more important weakness is that certain manifest issues and agenda items which are germane to the Vijfde Nota, are left unmentioned. They are as follows: • Are we or are we not going to implement a Europe-wide airport policy, gauged to the network of high speed rail routes currently under development?

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From: Archis 1/2001 — 65 — Politics — Wandering in search of the genius fluvii


3 OF 3 • Are we or are we not going to implement a borderless seaport policy, including an appropriate, flexible and multi-modal inland road and rail infrastructure? • What form can we give to the currently developing ICT GigaPort between Amsterdam, Enschede, Eindhoven and Delft – or should we decide that spatial planning has nothing to contribute in this area? • Do we still wish to work towards a merger of the Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris stock exchanges by providing facilities and by setting conditions for location policies; or do we decide that here, too, a politics of spatial development should keep its hands off those flows of capital? • Are we now going to set to work at last on transport interchange nodes, not only as money-spinning transfer machines but also as meeting places and cultural expressions of today’s network society – the city squares of tomorrow? • Are we now ready to take serious cognizance of the physical and mental effects the network society will have on our perception of our surroundings and the organization of our forms of transportation? We seek in vain for these and other ‘network’ issues in the Vijfde Nota. On the whole it is a report of the old stamp, which tries to tackle the network society by conventional spatial planning methods. When it comes down to it, things are not quite what they seem in this report. Despite networks being given a prominent place on the agenda, the whole report, with its policy themes and instruments, breathes an air of land and geography, not one of movement, flux, time and dynamics; not, in other words, of the 'space of flows'. The Vijfde Nota is in this respect a report of the genius loci, a report of the here and now, of the place, its cultural and historical value, its significance and specific morphological conditions. Not that there is all that much wrong with this focus in its own right. It is ingenuous, however, for despite the emphasis on networks and nodes, these are conceived and understood solely from a geographical viewpoint. What a pity. Not only are important issues ignored here but the policy proposed from the all too exclusively spatial mind-set is brittle and uncertain. The network society goes much deeper, in economic, social/cultural and especially political terms. Besides attention to the genius loci, much greater focus is needed on the genius fluvii in the network society. That is the spirit and atmosphere of movement, of dynamics, of changeability, at ever greater speeds, physical and virtual, mobile and motile (vigorous movement without changing place). And that is not a job for the aesthetics of mobility or a question of creating yet another node, as interpreted in the project for ‘Network City Amsterdam’. Our perception and reception of the environment acquire much deeper implications in the network society. How can we react sustainably to the immense changeability, temporariness, boundlessness, diffuseness and hence uniformity, other than by frantically clutching on to the spirit of the place? Unless these issues quickly figure in considerations at minimally national level, this Fifth Report will, like its forerunners, soon prove to be a waste of paper.


Development of the urban networks The six national and international urban networks with the main planning structure coloured in. Further network development here needs achieving in interaction with the local spatial quality. The boundaries as given of the networks (Deltametropool, Brabantstad, Groningen-Assen, Maastricht-Heerlen, Arnhem-Nijmegen and Twente) are only an

indication. The large and small urban centres (red-circled orange blobs) symbolize the necessary network formation in the shape of intensive administrative collaboration, urbanizing in clusters, and programmatic exchange and division of duties, including boundaryhopping where necessary. For the regional urban networks (linked orange blobs) the same obtains provided that this is the local

governmentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; responsibility. The six New Key Projects proceed from complementing and liaising with other centres in the urban network as a whole. Playing a major role here is the high-speed rail link (HSL) still in the making (orange arrows). The map also shows that the fast link with the north (dotted orange line) and the 'Randstad circuit' (dotted grey circle) require further study. Schiphol (white circle)

and the Port of Rotterdam (upended white triangle) are primarily earmarked for sustainable development. The intention is to transform the state buffer zones into 'regional parksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (green stars).

Cartography MUST (Amsterdam) Next-architects (Amsterdam) Bosch Slabbers (Arnhem/The Hague) Rijksplanologische Dienst VROM (The Hague)


PKB national planning policy The planning decisions for the lower RhineMaas region (Planologische Kernbeslissing) contain a summary of the starting points, policy aims and measures of national planning policy for the period 2001-2020. The map shows only those elements of the PKB that are geographically determined. The given positions of places and borders are indications only.

Cartography MUST (Amsterdam) Next-architects (Amsterdam) Bosch Slabbers (Arnhem/The Hague) Rijksplanologische Dienst VROM (The Hague)


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Dudok Extracts from a supervisor’s diary Kees Christiaanse On the table are boxes of foam-rubber rolls bulging with steak tartare and onions, chicken and pineapple or cheese and butter. And of course, croquettes. All present talk with their mouths full, washing everything down with black coffee from a thermos flask. The supervisor is accompanied by a foreign assistant. Developer 1: ‘Would you like a croquette, madam?’ Foreign assistant: ‘Are zey good?’ D1: ‘Do you know how to tell whether a croquette’s good or not?’ Fa: ‘Er, no?’ D1: ‘If it doesn’t run away, it’s still good!’ Everyone: ‘Ha ha ha...’ Fa: ‘Hm, no thanks, I am eating at home, I think.’ Supervisor: ‘As agreed, we’ve produced a pamphlet with illustrations of work by architects who we think would be right for our plans. They comply with the following criteria, bla bla bla...’ Developer 2: ‘Hey, I see Kas Oosterhuis here, I’ll agree on most things but this I can’t vouch for commercially. One, the risk’s too great and two, I'd like to feel a sense of pride when I'm walking through that estate with my kids.’ S: ‘I think that by engaging Kas Oosterhuis you will feel proud walking through that estate. Houses like a beehive, sloping roofs that appeal to our basic sense of what a home should be - they don't come any cosier. What more could you want?’ D2: ‘I think it’s ugly. I can’t vouch for it commercially.’ S: ‘I know for sure that those houses will sell like hot cakes; you know what the problem is, you just don’t dare to take risks.’ D2: ‘You should leave the commercial side to the developers.’ S: ‘Okay, as long as the architectural side's left to me. It’s a fair exchange.’ D2: ‘No, I don't want this, well maybe I don’t dare.’ S: ‘Once when we told a developer from the Bouwfonds [the largest Dutch housing development company] he was scared, he said, "Me? scared? I’ll

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show you!" and building went ahead. Times have changed, that’s for sure.’ D2: ‘We try and adopt a positive attitude to the Bouwfonds.’ Developer 3: ‘Who’s this chap here, Bob van Wreath?’ S: ‘Bob van Reeth. He’s a reputable Flemish architect who’s very popular in Holland because he’s able to combine a sense of conceptual and programmatic purity with an architecture that’s tangible and easy to understand. He’s built a superb project in Utrecht for the Bouwf..oops... Pay him a call, I’m sure you’ll want to take him on.’ D3 (hand in front of his mouth): 'Teehee, Bob van Teeth, do you think he’ll bite if we offer him a contract? Heehee.’ The others: ‘There we go again.’ D3 (blushing): ‘Er... don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against the Bouwfonds.’ Municipal project manager: ‘I’d like to suggest a very promising firm, DP6 from Delft.’ D2: ‘Never heard of 'em.’ S: ‘He’s right, they really are good architects - they’re a breakaway group from Mecanoo.’ D2: ‘And does their work look like Mecanoo's?’ Mpm: ‘Er, yes, I suppose it does a bit.’ D2: ‘If it look like Mecanoo’s, I’ll veto it straight off, because we’ve already turned Mecanoo down.’ D1: ‘We’ve also downloaded some pics of a village by Rob Krier in England - Branbury I think the name is. We like the look of it, utterly different from all those other Vinex estates. See, cottages, romantic architecture.’ S: ‘That’s not by Rob Krier, it’s his brother Leon. I’ve not yet made up my mind which of them is worse. Rob designed Brandevoort in Helmond that you guys are so crazy about. So none of your utterly different, please.’ D3: ‘What do you really think of Brandevoort?’ S: ‘I think it’s awful. I wouldn’t want to have anything so petty bourgeois and uptight on my conscience.’ D1: ‘But can you say what it is that makes it so bad?’ S: ‘Sure, but I don’t know that there’s any point right now. I’m definitely not against historicizing architecture, style isn’t important as long as a project is consistent in

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 69 — Politics — Dudok


itself and sensitively detailed. If an architect wants to be authentic within his own approach, he has no business using those huge sheets of doubleglazing and then filling the cavity with glazing bars to suggest small panes - that’s too banal for words.’ D1: ‘And even then there’re not finished. They stick profiled wooden bars onto the glass both inside and out to make them authentic.’ S: ‘Okay then, let’s try and find a way out of this. I know it’s strictly forbidden to tell architects what they should do, because then we get the BNA, the Architects Institute, on our backs. Even so there really needs to be a list I can go along with, because they’re not yet allowed to force a supervisor to work with anyone.’ D3: 'The BNA? The Brotherhood for Neutralizing Architecture? Are they on our side?’ S: ‘Ha ha! Finally you’ve come up with a good joke! Unfortunately the BNA has a negative effect on beauty in Holland. See here, different ideas on architecture can peacefully coexist in this plan. I can’t live with just retro architecture, but I’m quite willing to work for a balance between different approaches. I’m not against romanticism either - Dudok, for instance, has built some beautiful garden cities.’ Mpm: ‘That’s it! The solution! Dudok!’ Everyone: 'Huh???' Mpm: 'Yes, Dudok is the key word for something we can all go along with.' D3: Dudok - isn’t that the stuff they fill mattresses with?’ D2 (scornfully): 'No silly, it’s a special pan for Indonesian fried rice.’ D1: ‘Get along with you, it’s a café in Amsterdam, the one the architects always take me to.’ S: ‘That café’s in Rotterdam - and it's in a building by Dudok.’ D1: ‘Ah, those cities in the west of the country all look alike. As it happens, I didn’t notice what sort of a building it was.’ D3: 'Sorry you guys, but I really don't know who Dudok is.’ D2: ‘He’s the fellow who built the Hilversum City Hall.’ D3: ‘That Cubist-looking thing?’ S: ‘Right! With the flat roofs.’ D3: ‘But really beautiful.’ S (surprised, to Mpm): 'You’re right, Dudok is the key!’ Mpm: ‘It’s important that we now agree

Dear Kees, Those ‘RudolfSteiner houses’ are mine, not Bjarne’s! Dick

PS: And Quadrat had nothing to do with them.

on what we mean by Dudok. And then we have a number of architects we can all live with, including the designers of Seaside.’ D2: ‘We can still agree to use the style of these architects and afterwards get a Dutch firm to make the design. Bureau Wissing for instance, they’re good at that sort of thing.’ S: ‘No, that wouldn’t work, you’d just get Lego Dudok-style, like at Helmond Dierdonk. As I said, I’m willing to work on it, with reservations of course, but it must be with the ones who thought it up.’ D1: ‘Okay, let’s turn it around. We’ll ask those architects of Rob Krier’s Seaside, and they’ll have to make Dudok for us.’ S: ‘Ha ha, that would be a brilliant experiment; that’s how Hans Kollhoff interpreted the Amsterdam School. I’d rather have the genuine New Urbanism than that Calvinist Baroque. Let’s ask DPZ.’ D2: ‘Hey, you don't fool me. Nuts DPZ! We’ve already rejected them.’ S: ‘Calm down, not DP6, DPZ; you know, Duany Plater-Zyberk.’ D3: ‘Great, a trip to Florida!' D1: ‘There goes our Emcee again.’ D2: ‘Okay then - but they have to make Dudok, and it must be romantic Dudok, because Dudok built in three different styles.’ S: ‘A little more respect, please. Dudok’s style evolved. He began working in the traditional style, then he found a signature of his own and after the war he upped the scale and got more angular. Shall we agree to the period round Hilversum City Hall as our reference point?’ All (in chorus): ‘Agreed!’ Supervisor (driving home, raising his eyes momentarily skyward): ‘O great Dudok, forgive me my sins!’


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For: Text:

ARCHIS

Date:

03/02/2001

Anne Luijten

AESTHETIC CONTROL AND THE ETERNAL CALL FOR CHANGE On proposed changes in the law Aesthetic control management is once again the focus of debate. This spring the Second Chamber addresses the proposal for changes in the law that Secretary of State Johan Remkes mooted more than a year ago. But the call for abolition – ever more loudly voiced in certain circles – is being countered by an increasingly robust entrenchment looming on the horizon. The unity of the picture may be secured somewhat, but is architecture left holding the baby? The strange thing about aesthetic control management in the Netherlands is that since its institutionalization in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century, the functioning of these institutions has been a perpetual source of debate. Criticism and aesthetic control go hand-in-hand, like an oddly assorted couple. A healthy, typically Dutch phenomenon, some might say. Nowadays it seems that everything we do has to be immediately put into perspective. But from time to time feelings run high and the aesthetic control phenomenon always touches a sensitive nerve; in a flash we're into 'infringement of personal freedom' versus 'public interest'. In other words the age-old question about the legitimacy of governmental intervention. The National Government itself, however, is not participating in this fundamental debate. Strange, given that the government minister responsible belongs to the Liberal Party which in principle is against such intervention. But Remkes's proposals to alter the Housing Act – submitted to the Second Chamber in autumn 1999 and expected to be discussed by the Chamber this spring – only seem to have made aesthetic control management even more legally entrenched. For instance, for the first time in history, aesthetic control policy had to be clearly and precisely set down in local administrative policy. And – building on Berlage's adage that architecture and urban planning are the art of the community – the

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Government Architect asserts in an advisory report titled Aesthetic control along new lines that the public importance of aesthetic control is beyond dispute. According to him, it is the way it functions that is being held up to scrutiny. It is particularly the image of back-room deals and smart operators that gives aesthetic control a bad name. But everyone agrees about one thing: it's got to change somehow. Would the Netherlands look fundamentally different if there was no aesthetic control policy? The answer to that question would hinge on how one views aesthetic control management. And this in turn would very much depend on the era in which it was asked. Where at one time aesthetic control was expected to advance the beauty of town and country, today we speak more in terms of ‘image quality’ or spatial quality. To achieve the latter the various parties can call on a variety of means, starting with a land-use plan and an urban scheme, or with a client who commissions an architect to make a design. But all this is outside aesthetic control's domain: its real importance lies in its role in the building process. According to the proposed bill, this role must henceforth be even more transparent and verifiable. The contractor must know in advance which criteria and procedures he is dealing with, thus saving all parties a great deal of misery and unnecessary expenditure. This seems a reasonable premiss, although how it would actually be put into practice raises a few questions. As has already been said, municipal councils would be obliged to draw up an aesthetic control report containing a clear vision and the most objective criteria. This is a Herculean task which most local councils will not exactly welcome with open arms. Indeed the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) thinks it quite inappropriate of the State to impose such far-reaching obligations on local councils. In the meantime the overarching Aesthetic Control Federation (Federatie

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From: Archis 1/2001 — 71 — Politics — Aesthetic control and the eternal call for change


Welstandstoezicht), in collaboration with the Government Architect and the VNG, has drawn up a model report, a fleshing-out of the proposals in Aesthetic control along new lines. This is useful, but framing evaluations, policy aims and an aesthetic control regime for each area is asking too much of the available manpower and expertise of many municipal councils. All the more so in view of the transition period that Remkes has imposed: the reports are to be ready this year. From existing local administrative frameworks for aesthetic control policy (such as that couched for The Hague in A well-groomed exterior) it would appear that here, too, aesthetic control is feeling the pinch from all the things it must necessarily encompass: appearance, quality – how on earth do you define these? Central government in The Hague categorizes according to style and, for each, dictates in detail what may be replaced and in what material. But is that the direction we want to go in? Moreover, while laying down guidelines can do much to encourage built development of value, it fails to provide a solution for new development, and whatever else, there will always be the need for experts to draw up the rules – and then interpret them. Another point of criticism (by the Federation and the VNG, among others) levelled at the proposed legal changes is the broadening of the category of buildings exempt from planning permission. Imposed by central government, this far-reaching measure would thoroughly frustrate the often laboriously assembled spatial city-image policy of the local councils, and thus produce 'cluttering' throughout the Netherlands. Quite apart from the fact that a measure of 'clutter' is precisely the quality that keeps cities and districts pleasant to live in, this highlights a fundamental point. After all, the advantage of aesthetic control lies mainly in tweaking and tuning individual architectural designs, which, as we know, is often a question of minor details. The Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA), on the other hand, would like to push things even further. It argues for more freedom for the builder and his architect and against the restraining role of aesthetic control organizations. This a reversal of history, because the original aesthetic committees arose from the ranks of architects and, in their fervent initial phase, were in fact defended and promoted by

architects' associations. At the time it was a bid to protect the architect from 'moonlighters', unqualified individuals and bodies who were muscling in on the burgeoning housing market. All in all the legal discussion and implementation of the new law will considerably fan the flames of the aesthetic control discourse. It is therefore vital to put the importance of aesthetic control in perspective. If it is held responsible for the spatial quality of the Netherlands, then perhaps it should have more means at its disposal, such as the possibility of appointing supervisors, aesthetic control agents who are involved with the urban design and with the choice of architects in development areas. If we consider the implementation of aesthetic control to be a government task, then the government must be equipped to fulfil this task to the utmost, and we must all resign ourselves to the fact that we cannot manage without the expertise of professionals. Not that this does anything to lessen the paradoxes. The very operation Remkes launched to reduce government involvement has, in his latest modified proposal, elicited a more detailed legislation. The intended freedom of the individual has – long live Dutch consensus – been brought back into balance with the coherence and unity in the architectural image many are arguing for (on each occasion deemed synonymous with ‘spatial and architectural quality’). As to the distinction between front and rear (approved and outlawed), both interests would seem to be served equally. Meanwhile the urban body is fragmenting through the introduction of a division into permit-free and more or less permit-obligatory areas and building categories. Regarding newbuild and conversions this way is perfectly plausible, providing that there are conditions created for it in urban planning. It can undoubtedly be done in new areas, but in existing areas there is simply no opening for it. The traditionally strong bond between architecture and planning in the Netherlands in a major portion of the existing building stock can not suddenly be made to evaporate to suit the desired economic and ideological freedom of the individual. The secretary of state’s genuflection to standard practice by reintroducing a distinction between the front and rear of a building once again raises questions about that building’s integrity. Architecture does not have a front and a rear.


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Rijksmuseum debate OLE BOUMAN AMSTERDAM • Museumplein – a burgeoning cultural centrepiece. First of all there was the extension to the Concertgebouw.Then the Van Gogh Museum received attention. After that the great public square was upgraded into a ‘Museum Park’.Now the remodelling of the Stedelijk Museum is under way,and,finally, it is the turn of the Rijksmuseum. At first sight these are all just a collection of institutions arranged around a large open space, but as an entity they amount to a cultural forum for which an integral strategy is needed. Or was needed, rather. This scene could have been shaped long ago into a grand projet, an integral plan doing justice to the increasingly accepted idea that culture can no longer be dismissed as a marginal sector of society, but is an important booster for the market, the city, the local community and society as a whole. The Museumplein area could have won its spurs for this by a wide margin. Although a sum of 445 million guilders has now been earmarked for the renovation project, the scale on which people speak of a New Rijksmuseum suggests that they still view it as an autonomous cultural institution. The intense flurry of debate around the project, both public and private, has done little to help. This debate has been so widespread that it is impossible to distil any guiding principles out of it. However, it does throw light on a few aspects of this spearhead of Dutch architectural policy. The first thing that emerges is just how impassioned people are regarding the various proposed courses of action. These options range from restoring Cuypers’ original design, as in the ‘Ruijssenaars Plan’, to demolishing the museum altogether or stripping it down to its shell. People seem to be blessed with absolute certainty as to whether the courtyards should or should not be refurbished, whether cycle routes should or should not be preserved, and whether the main shape of this Neo-Catholic monument may or may not be changed. Their vehemence stands in curious contrast to the extent to which a clear programme has been formulated for the project. While seven architects are busy working on a solution in a limited competition, the task to be fulfilled remains as hazy as ever. The task has itself naturally been subject to widespread discussion, and in the process a diversity of

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views have surfaced about the use and necessity of the museum. Should the museum exhibitions be object-centred, or should they concern themselves with the social contexts in which the art was made? Is painting enough, or should a range of other art forms be covered too? Is the history of the elite all that matters, or should the darker sides of the Dutch past receive an airing? Should the museum cater for art only, or for history too? Should the Rijksmuseum retain its old treasurehouse function, or should it become a peep-show, or a broom cupboard? Is it a national institution or an art institution? These are dilemmas that, for decades, have cropped up time and time again in connection with every project concerning the museum. But in their polarity, they fail to recognize that developments are taking place in cultural politics through which the relevance of these questions is rapidly disappearing. The investment required for this project exceeds the whole country’s annual budget for culture. It is an essential investment for the modernization of one of the Dutch tourist industry’s biggest attractions. While people from all echelons of culture speak as though a substantial sum has been budgeted for cultural purposes so that they are now free to fight over its application, the macroeconomic aspect tends to be ignored. There is an

impression that the cultural sector has failed to notice how the ‘culture’ dimension is currently making impressive advances within the social spectrum; how it increasingly occupies a key position in the knowledge economy and forms a crucial factor in decisions on enterprise location. The above-mentioned dilemmas have to be viewed in the light of an international trend in which culture is no longer the antithesis of business but has claimed a position at its very heart. Opportunities continue to be missed. It is evidently too late for the Museum Quarter as a whole, but not yet for the Rijksmuseum. The investment concerned is on a scale that warrants a more encompassing vision than a bicycle underpass (which incidentally does not link city districts as some would claim but terminates at a pond) or the social context of a Jan Steen domestic interior. The question at stake is how do you successfully pilot concepts like the ‘nation’ (the ‘Rijks’ in Rijksmuseum), ‘history’, ‘art’ and the ‘museum’ into an age of cultural/commercial theme parks. These are not matters that give and bend according to institutional or architectural parameters, but they are connected with the way we choose our values to be upheld, the way we draw cultural borderlines and the way we keep the past alive.

P.J.H. Cuypers, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, competition entry. Coll. Netherlands Architecture Institute

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 73 — Politics — Rijksmuseum debate


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Wim Cuyvers, 18 02 2001 16.30

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Centre for the arts, arts for the centre It seems to me that all at once everyone in Belgium is preoccupied with arts centres, or with one arts centre. A few months ago the Flemish Theatre Institute published a collection of pieces about arts centres in Vlaanderen (Alles is Rustig — All is Quiet), Paul Vermeulen in Archis 9/2000 discussed cultural centres in Vlaanderen (‘Cultural centres, a journey through the nebular city’) and now we have B*Sites, a new series of texts reflecting on an arts centre in Brussels. Remarkably, this thinking about arts centres is being led by architects, circling like vultures over all those ideas about such centres and waiting for the art destined for those centres to give up the ghost. From a distance you get a better view of the vultures wheeling than when they are directly overhead. It is no accident that interest and belief in the arts centre coincides with the end of 'the Belgian condition' (the demise of the individual, of individuality, a nationally widespread state); the appeal to the institute, the craving for the centre (for and by the arts) is exponential of the end of what is Belgian. In a planned arts centre studio space is cheap; this is because the community has decided to turn some part of the profit from economic activity into space for culture. The space may perhaps be cheap for the artist, but it remains expensive for the community. The community will always require the artist to show 'gratitude' for the space and will demand compensation. The artist will be forced to oblige by participating in a government-specified number of exhibitions, producing a certain number of publications and being present at a number of crucial receptions, so as to be able to continue to lay claim to both space and resources. In other words, the effect of a planned arts centre is always and a priori to standardize. Standardization works here precisely as it does in the academic world, in the number of publications, the number of citations, the number of diplomas etc. The grim picture that springs to mind is of the hastening artist on his way to clock in with the janitor snapping at his heels. In an organized, planned arts centre artists are expected to perform tricks: an artist angling for a grant is like a poodle begging for a lump of sugar. The society which has carefully saved up to build and run an arts centre will always impose sanctions on the wasteful artist. A planned arts centre can only expect to find neurotic, deprived artists, soured by their struggle for grants and subsidies. Neither artistic rage nor avant-gardism can evolve within a planned arts centre. The structure becomes directive, loses sight of its role as servant of the arts, becomes autonomous, estranged from its original purpose. At the same time the structure and infrastructure will inevitably be obsolete prior to realization, having been thought up in advance of its contents (in this case contemporary art). We all know those 1980s museums flooded with natural light, where nowadays the skylights have been taped over to allow videos to be shown. It’s in this kind of arts centre that everybody is asking for architects and architecture. Present-day architects and architecture are only too happy to take on the role of decorator. A centre and contemporary art are contradictory concepts: true contemporary art is centrifugal, shunning the centre, shunning power. The obvious spontaneously evolved arts centre is a city

Centre for the arts, arts for the centre <w.cuyvers@xs4all.nl>

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From: Archis 1/2001 — 74 — Politics — Centre for the arts, arts for the centre

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Wim Cuyvers, 18 02 2001 16.30 in decline. Paris, and later New York, are two archetypal examples. Clearly places where the art of the day flourishes are not granted eternal life: they don't last for long and tend to move around. This is something we have to accept: we know that in such places artists will be succeeded by architects, designers and layouters, smoothing the way for real estate agents and speculators. It’s easy to find cheap studio space in a city in decline, because the economic pressure there is small. In times of economic decline there is a simultaneous reduction in pressure on the infrastructure, particularly on the built infrastructure, caused by a surplus of space. In a city that has fallen into neglect one is almost always able to find not just an excessive supply of space to shelter, but also an excessive supply of 'good' cafés (consider the superfluity of pubs in dilapidated English industrial towns). In an organized, streamlined city they are few and far between (try finding a decent 'café' in a Dutch city). In an organized, streamlined city the pressure on the average café is too great, so the café becomes a tea room with screen-printed table mats and three kinds of sugar to go with the coffee but where you can hardly think in any way. A café is a place where artists meet, projects are discussed, gossip is exchanged and the first critical impulses emerge. A café serves as a base of operations for looking at things, for getting more deeply involved in the world, for finding one's muse. Sometimes a café is a gallery, complementary to the studio. A studio is a place for introspection, a café for looking, or rather reviewing. Between the café and the studio is the world. A walk through the city, from the studio to the café and back, is a trip through the world outside, the world of a city in decline. A city in decline, with its dark buildings, crumbling facades and leaky cornices, guarantees fascinating confrontations with mortality and fatality. I know of no way of transforming, along populistic lines, an artist into the simplistic image of a café-goer. Like everyone else, the artist needs the mirrors on the café wall to be able to spy on the world (the preferred part of that world being the other café-goers). A café is the niche from which the artist can look out over the flow of the 'real', of the economic world; a place where he can process, interiorize and make his own the images encountered during his walk from the studio to the café. A neglected, decayed city, a city full of vacant property: today, in 2001, Brussels is well able to assume the role of a spontaneously evolved arts centre. Brussels as it really is, not the Brussels architects dream about, not a Brussels with a tidied-up Molenbeek, a cleaned-up Anderlecht and a polished-up Schaarbeek. It is a Brussels without the everlasting horror vacui of architecture. For in circumstances such as these architecture is a poor guide, a Trojan horse. I know of no case in the entire history of architecture where architecture has protected a city in decline, or rather protected the decline of the city, where architecture deliberately assisted in preserving the decline, became part of the cause of the decline. Architecture always wants to structure, to arrange. Architecture always wants to correct, to clean up. Architecture always wants to do good, with childish optimism. Make no mistake, even contemporary architecture, with its capriciously unfamiliar formal syntax, is no exception to the rule.

Centre for the arts, arts for the centre <w.cuyvers@xs4all.nl>

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Wim Cuyvers, 18 02 2001 16.30

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It is no accident that ideas about arts centres (the centralizing of art?) are for a large part supported by architects. Protect artists! Protect art! Just as contemporary art is centrifugal, shying away from the centre, so architecture (that is, as long as it keeps holding on like grim death to its own limited means, as long as it continues to be concerned only with what is socially accepted as good) is centripetal, searching for a centre. Architecture, as we know it, is the planned arts centre, but art that is capable of flourishing in such a centre is, a priori, settled, recuperated, not avant-gardist, not fundamental. Architecture and such art are in sympathy, they come together in the apotheosis of the facade. This piece can be read as a summons to architecture to get centrifugal, to follow in the wake of contemporary art. Architecture needs to transform the question of what to do about an arts centre into another: how can architecture help Brussels to remain in a state of decline?

Centre for the arts, arts for the centre <w.cuyvers@xs4all.nl>

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Pomona

THE CANYON AS GATHERING SPACE Morphosis’s Diamond Ranch School in Pomona TEXT AARON BETSKY PHOTOGRAPHY TIMOTHY HURSLEY

ments in this area date mainly from the 1960s and early 1970s and are neither as cheap nor as large as more recent communities. Only on the edges, where Pomona abuts Diamond Bar and other cities invented by developers, does its suburban nature and economy begin to arise.

ith a sense of grandeur we no longer expect from our institutions, the Diamond Ranch School unfolds the land to make a civic space. It lords it over a world marked by the sprawling concatenation of half-formed buildings and signs out of which meaning and value is leeched as quickly as possible in order to promote ever further and more rapacious real estate development. In contrast, the Diamond Ranch School digs into its place, reveals its own making, and posits space that is both clearly articulated and larger than the confines of everyday life. Diamond Ranch is an area on the outskirts of the mostly working class city of Pomona. Though the city is known as the home of one of California’s most elite collection of colleges (the Claremont Colleges and Harvey Mudd Institute), as well as of the California State Polytechnic University, it has one of the lowest income averages and highest crime rates in the Los Angeles basin. Not quite a bedroom community and not quite an industrial centre, it is a more traditional city that has dissolved into sprawl, leaving its urban core devoid of any controlling influence. The suburban develop-

W

Diamond Ranch was one of the last remaining tracts of open land in the Western part of the vast valley that stretches from here to the narrow pass that leads out to the Mojave and Joshua Tree deserts. As part of the complex land negotiations that allowed for the construction of several thousand new homes, the city purchased what was considered to be an unbuildable site adjacent to a freeway from the adjacent City of Industry, which owned it on a speculative basis. For $1, the School District received the right to create a civic amenity on a steep slope subject to frequent landslides. It was here that they chose to locate one of the manner of massive high schools particular to American suburbs. Serving over 2000 students between the ages of twelve and eighteen, these behemoths mirror the change in economic functions of productive facilities in such areas: just as factories have given way to warehouses and clerical facilities spread out in bedroom communities dotted with massive recreational attractors such

A.–REV. 1


Contents The canyon as gathering space Aaron Betsky Ik zou een museum willen maken waar de dingen elkaar overlappen Nice! Over nieuw engagement in de beeldende kunst L’Histoire de l’architecture en France Émergence d’une discipline (1863-1914) 'De doorsnee is mij niet genoeg' Nelly van Doesburg 1899-1975 New York 1880 Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age John Lautner, Architect The Architecture of John Lautner Observations For Young Architects

My opinion: Resembles: Also discussed in: Keep this for:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 78 — Review


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Pomona

THE CANYON AS GATHERING SPACE Morphosis’s Diamond Ranch School in Pomona TEXT AARON BETSKY PHOTOGRAPHY TIMOTHY HURSLEY

ments in this area date mainly from the 1960s and early 1970s and are neither as cheap nor as large as more recent communities. Only on the edges, where Pomona abuts Diamond Bar and other cities invented by developers, does its suburban nature and economy begin to arise.

ith a sense of grandeur we no longer expect from our institutions, the Diamond Ranch School unfolds the land to make a civic space. It lords it over a world marked by the sprawling concatenation of half-formed buildings and signs out of which meaning and value is leeched as quickly as possible in order to promote ever further and more rapacious real estate development. In contrast, the Diamond Ranch School digs into its place, reveals its own making, and posits space that is both clearly articulated and larger than the confines of everyday life. Diamond Ranch is an area on the outskirts of the mostly working class city of Pomona. Though the city is known as the home of one of California’s most elite collection of colleges (the Claremont Colleges and Harvey Mudd Institute), as well as of the California State Polytechnic University, it has one of the lowest income averages and highest crime rates in the Los Angeles basin. Not quite a bedroom community and not quite an industrial centre, it is a more traditional city that has dissolved into sprawl, leaving its urban core devoid of any controlling influence. The suburban develop-

W

Diamond Ranch was one of the last remaining tracts of open land in the Western part of the vast valley that stretches from here to the narrow pass that leads out to the Mojave and Joshua Tree deserts. As part of the complex land negotiations that allowed for the construction of several thousand new homes, the city purchased what was considered to be an unbuildable site adjacent to a freeway from the adjacent City of Industry, which owned it on a speculative basis. For $1, the School District received the right to create a civic amenity on a steep slope subject to frequent landslides. It was here that they chose to locate one of the manner of massive high schools particular to American suburbs. Serving over 2000 students between the ages of twelve and eighteen, these behemoths mirror the change in economic functions of productive facilities in such areas: just as factories have given way to warehouses and clerical facilities spread out in bedroom communities dotted with massive recreational attractors such as shopping malls and sport stadia, so such schools are not so much factories of learning as they are holding pens for potentially dangerous youth. They are often modular, windowless containers whose largest features are dining halls and sports facilities. It was up to Thom Mayne, who won the commission in a limited competition by collaborating with a local school design specialist, Thomas Bluerock and Associates, to find meaning in such a situation. He drew both on his architectural experiments in the previous three decades and his own experience with two teenage sons in high school. Trained both as an architect (at USC) and an urban designer (at Harvard), Mayne has long been interested in the 1

My opinion: Resembles: Also discussed in: Keep this for:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 79 — Review — The canyon as gathering space


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out of these geometries in skins of metal, glass and only occasionally stucco, concrete or wood. It was this image that led glib commentators such as James Steele and even more thoughtful global analysts such as Charles Jencks (and this author as well) to categorize him as a ‘heavy metal’ or ‘L.A. School’ architect. This was true only to the extent that in the structures Mayne designed the buildings’ materials were always meant to reflect and respond to their conditions. In L.A., that landscape is filled with cars, telephone poles and air handling equipment, rather than with just the abstract grids or the sorts of articulated walls common in the East Coast or Europe. These designs also preserved the modernist sense of the building as an artificial environment whose rules generated a form that was by its very nature abstracted from the accumulation of shapes, layered up and honed down over time, around them.

Site plan

development of formal systems that encompass structural and functional relations as well as urban patterns. This has led him to pursue dense collage and complex geometric patterns as organizing principles, and it was the overlap of these two strategies in the work he did with Michael Rotondi that marked many of the buildings – such as the Cedar-Sinai Cancer Center (1986), Kate Mantelini Restaurant (1987) and the Bergren (1988) and Crawford Houses (1991) that made him famous in the 1980s. The resulting structures were dense with information about all aspects of the building, but also helped to implode urban scales and images onto domestic applications and materials. Mayne also developed an interest in technology as something that we actually use in daily life, as opposed to an alien, large-scale and meticulously expensive device. As a result, his buildings appear

ayne won the competition eight years ago, and had time to refine it as the School District went through political and financial hurdles. In this period, his work began to change. ‘I finally feel as if I have what the Germans call "fingerspitzengefuehl",’ Mayne comments, ‘But I also realize that I have become more interested in working between formal decisions and what is felt, what you do intuitively. You set up a system, and then you break that order, let accidents happen.’ This openness to the contingent has always been part of Mayne’s work, but here in Diamond Bar he has elevated it into an integrated response to a complex programme through the use of multiple ordering devices and materials whose very complications become a third level system thrown over the whole programme.

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In Diamond Ranch, however, that third order – the others being the formal and intuitive orders – of ‘controlled accidents’, as Mayne puts it, has a face, or facade (which he says ‘works to compose a system into representation’ rather than ordering it). It is actually more of a cloak, and is a direct response to the site: Mayne and his principal collaborator, John Enright, took the topographical abstraction of the site as their organizing device, folding it as if it were a piece of origami to form not only the roof, but the school’s principal masses and voids. The way the school appears is a direct translation of this initial move in and of the land. This strategy came out of a simple reality: the 2:1 slope had to be manipulated to house not only the 15,000 square metre programme, but also the extensive playing fields that in the end take up most of the site, as well as parking for 770 cars. ‘The playing fields drove everything,’ Mayne admits. Rather than ignoring this strange imbalance inherent in the American educational system, the architect used this need as his starting point. In addition, agreements with local nature preservation groups mandated that no material could leave or could be added to the site. ‘We wound up moving five million cubic feet of earth around on a site that has a forty metre elevation drop. By the time you figure out access and drainage, you have the basic shape,’ Mayne comments. His solution was to envision the whole project by creating a computer model of the existing topography and then manipulating the image into cuts and folds terracing down the slope. These topographic manipulations had the effect of abstracting the site, both in terms of the making of straight lines out of the fractal complexity of natural contours and in the creation of much clearer forms and spaces. The building became an artificial representation of the site whose very man-made quality revealed our, by its very necessity, interpretative attitude to the natural world around us: like a work of modern art, this building reveals not nature itself, but our distance from reality. On a more immediate level, the largest of these folds created large, flat fields for athletic activities above and below the actual school. The ground rises up out of the upper field as a set of bleachers, becoming the school’s roof. The roof undulates over most of the programme before it finally gives out to the South, leaving a string of classrooms to cantilever out over the cliff and the lower playing fields. All of Diamond Ranch’s interior functions shelter underneath this metal cowl. Public spaces occur as cuts and voids where Mayne has eliminated the roof or its steep forms give out because of the logic of gravity. The largest of these gathering areas is the school’s central spine. It is a meandering canyon that opens up between the Northern

and Southern wings of classrooms. Twisting and turning, it extends all the way from the entrance, where the roof rises up to contain the flanking honorific pavilions of the gymnasium and the library, to the rear, where the school administration has left ‘temporary’ trailers to house overflow students. Underneath this roofscape of jagged forms, another sort of architecture appears. It is one that is more clearly based on orthogonal principles. This is not necessarily a new division: as Vincent Scully first pointed out almost half a century ago, American domestic architecture has long been marked by the appearance of low, spreading roofs that connected the building to the land and a flexible, highly articulated labyrinth of geometrically disposed forms sheltering underneath this covering to house the ever more complex and continually changing functions of the technologically driven American home. Mayne has shown his interest in the further elaboration of this ‘Shingle Style’ tradition in several houses (as have fellow Angelenos like Frank Gehry and Frank Israel), and here he transfers its logic to a civic scale. he functional parameters driving this second level of geometry come from the school’s educational and administrative goals. Superintendent Patrick Leier is an advocate of non-traditional school structures, emphasizing that a high school of this size should be an educational ‘village’ rather than a monolith of learning. Instead of the traditional division between different disciplines or the making of modular clusters that can be expanded, contracted or used in any number of ways, he here worked with Mayne to divide the school up into separate structures for each of the four years the students would be on the campus.

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Students spend the first two years of their career at Diamond Ranch in one of the four South wings. These isolated, thin and light-filled prows have a strong visual connection to the surrounding communities, and serve as a bridge to the outside world. Students find themselves in open, smallscale environments that break down the often alienating experience of high school into a more manageable set of spatial sequences. Housing no more than 240 students, these wings each have a strong identity guaranteed both by the quirks of their architecture (the result of the different ways in which the topography meets the underlying structure) and their relationship to the surrounding landscape. After two years, the students move across the canyon to less identifiable, but still defined, clusters on the building’s North side. Here they shelter underneath the shadow of the terrace and the roof’s larger sweeps. Identity is created by small 7

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interior courts, which also serve as communal spaces for the school’s faculty. This more introspective and concentrated environment serves to deepen the student’s involvement with the school and its academic programmes.

centre, L-shaped, layered composition of window walls that marks the building as an heir to the Southern California wing of the modernist movement defined by such masters as Rudolf Schindler and Richard Neutra.

While the students gather in the canyon, a real sense of communal place comes from the school’s ‘head’ or entrance area. Upon first seeing and entering Diamond Ranch, every student, faculty or staff member funnels into one area where a monumental scale and shared spaces serve to set a common tone. Here Mayne is building on the standard typology of American high schools, where grand, often columned fronts contain a central gathering space and open up to shared facilities such as an auditorium, a library, school administration areas and a gymnasium.

ayne denies any conscious attempt to introduce a sort of romantic or scenographic design. Instead, he argues that the plays of forms are the result of what he calls ‘a discursive system’. By this he means that he believes in an architecture that is a continual archaeology of the system out of which the architect has constituted its basic elements. Any system, even the simplest set of geometries or functional distributions, will have internal contradictions. In addition, any abstract system has to be applied in architecture to a site, a programme and material, and out of this confrontation more disjunctions appear. Such contradictions will, if left unchecked, fundamentally alter the original landscape out of which the organization grew. As noted above, Mayne prefers to expose those disjunctions and in fact use them as points of entry or revelation. He calls them ‘initiated accidents’ that come out of, for instance, the contradiction between the landscape and its occupation.

Mayne has followed the recipe, but given it his own particular flavour. Rather than establishing their own order, the two halves of this honorific front seem like fragments pulled away from each other to let the entrance slither in-between their masses. Their innards stand out in compositions of glass, stucco and steel. Instead of posing an abstract classical or modernist truth, Mayne lets the building reveal itself. It is here also that the scale of these public spaces necessitates a certain amount of structural gymnastics, which becomes most evident in the off-centre trusses devised by Ove Arup and Partners for the gymnasium.

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Beyond this entrance, Diamond Ranch’s formal qualities depart from the sweeping generalizations of ground and cellular modulation. Instead, there is a continual play between what seems to be a deliberate attempt to choreograph a picturesque journey, both through the building along the central spine or paseo, and through such isolated elements as the courtyards or down the Southern classroom wings, and a delight in the off-

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Mayne also believes that his method of working has profound political implications. ‘We live in a heterogeneous society, ever more so,’ he points out, citing the fact that the Pomona School District has a minority Anglo population and is subject to conflicting party as well as economic politics; ‘What I try to do is not to resolve the pressures that come from such a system, but to build them.’ Diamond Ranch is both a metaphor for a complex society and a built affirmation of such a social situation. In its organization, relation to the land, and details, it affirms our ability to create a difficult whole out of compromises with place, social groupings and economic realities (the whole building was built for 1400 Euros per square metre, an extraordinarily low figure for construction in


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Southern California). It is hopeful in its belief that the results of such negotiations can be not only stable, but also productive in terms of creating a real community. It seems to be working. A year after the first students moved in, there is no graffiti in evidence, and Diamond Ranch exudes a real sense of being a place in which students and faculty take pride. Visitors from neighbouring school districts wander around with notebooks in hand and, in the final mark of aesthetic, if not social, affirmation, film crews set up shop there on a regular basis. What matters most to Mayne, however, is that this is the sort of school he believes in: ‘This is a didactic building, and it should be more so. It is about educating our kids in how our land works, how our political system works. It’s also about educating myself in how these structures work.’

a highly personal and romantic struggle with material, site and space. Unlike most of his colleagues, that personal search for form here is political, immediate and effective. Diamond Ranch is a place that could and should be a laboratory for the spatial transformation of the central public institutions of American society.

The built fact of Diamond Ranch, in other words, constructs an alternate, exploratory, experimental and complex reality as a staging ground for a future civic space – future both in terms of the students’ lives and of the country. Like most American architects, for Mayne the making of architecture is

Cutaway perspective with gymnasium (foreground).

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Ik zou een museum willen maken waar de dingen elkaar overlappen

Ik zou een museum willen maken waar de dingen elkaar overlappen Chris Dercon Rotterdam, NAi Publishers, 2000 160 pp., Nlg. 34.50 ISBN 90 5662 149 1

Nice!

The Dutch-language paperback series entitled 'Fascinaties' (fascinations) issued by NAi Publishers offers a platform for offbeat and challenging theories presented either as a full-length essay (Adri Duivesteijn on 'the city as a conscious creation'), a series of interviews (‘Greetings from Zoetermeer’, discussions on architecture and urbanity) or a pictorial essay (‘The off-the-peg house’ by Christian Rapp and Daan Bakker). Now that NAi Publishers also includes publishers' lists from museums of contemporary art in its package, the series too has turned to art. In the eighth volume in the series, whose title translates as ‘I’d like to build a museum where the exhibits overlap’, Chris Dercon, the director of the Boijmans-Van Beuningen Museum, seeks to air his ideas about 'the ideal museum'. In the ninth volume the critic Rutger Pontzen gives his views on developments in contemporary art over the past decade.

Dercon chooses to present his thoughts on 'the museum' in the form of an anthology of interviews done in the past 15 years with artists like Jeff Wall, Bruce Nauman, Dan Graham and Daniel Buren, theorists such as Thierry de Duve and Serge Danay and with the architect Rem Koolhaas. Dercon brings together eleven discourses which have honed his own thinking and so ultimately contributed to shaping his ideas on museums. Rather than presenting a coherent vision on the nature, purpose and essence of the museum, he delivers scraps of text which we ourselves can then turn to our advantage. Dercon prefers a kaleidoscopic view permitting more than one conclusion (and thus space for discussion and the continuous enrichment of opinion of which he is so fond) to a linear train of thought. His exhibitions show his desire to draw on a wide range of experiences and presentational techniques, partly derived from art but more particularly from film, literature, art criticism and the performing arts. In fact the collection of interviews in the NAi book is a deconstructivist way of advancing an opinion: we have to read between the lines of the interviews to discover what it is. And Dercon enjoys throwing dust in the reader's eyes to avoid over-rapid conclusions. It is of course about museums and exhibiting, but the interviewees talk mainly about their own work, their own theories and their own enthusiasms regarding museums – a discourse-within-a-discourse if you like. So it hardly ever presents a straightforward picture of 'the ideal museum' even though this, according to a statement on the book's cover, is what Dercon does seem to be after.

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Nice! Over nieuw engagement in de beeldende kunst Rutger Pontzen Rotterdam, NAi Publishers, 2000 96 pp., Nlg. 29.50 ISBN 90 5662 161 0

Ik zou een museum willen maken waar de dingen elkaar overlappen

Nice!

Thierry de Duve gets the opportunity to talk about the way art was received in past centuries (and so to some extent about the role played by museums in this reception). Rem Koolhaas holds forth on the unexpected and how it affects the way we experience a museum. Bruce Nauman describes his relationship with the medium of video. Daniel Buren fulminates against excessively directive exhibition designers. Finally Dercon takes a turn himself, in an epilogue of sorts, an interview about Documenta X. Here again we get no more than a veiled glimpse of his philosophy on 'the ideal museum'. However, when taken together with the short introductory pieces he has written for each interview, a vision does emerge, one predicated on a dialectic, intuitive approach in which the thought patterns of other disciplines resonate with ever increasing emphasis. All the interviews in Dercon’s NAi publication are compelling in themselves (particularly the discussions with Nauman and Wall). Regrettably, though, Dercon seems only to find men interesting, and most discussions took place roughly between 1984 and 1987. So in a book published in 2000 we find ourselves reading about opinions that are 13 to 15 years old, which suggests that Dercon's views stem from the 80s with little interesting new baggage taken on in the 90s. The most recent discussion is with Wall. Dating from 1995, it all at once turns to the way film and photography are treated in the arts (for example Wall refers to his own photography as a mimesis of film) and what 'presentational' qualities they have. In this discussion, one of the last in the series, the book finally

comes to life, dealing with subjects which are highly contemporary even today. Oddly enough, Rutger Pontzen, in his argument in Nice!, the ninth 'fascination' in the NAi series, deals only indirectly with the attitude of contemporary artists towards photography, film and video. Pontzen has adopted another focal point with which to position contemporary art. He takes as his guiding principle those artists whose work is strongly participative. Artists who go out into the world, get involved in the commonplace (having first closed the museum door behind them) so that they can make their statements in consultation with the public: artists like Alicia Framis, Hans van Houwelingen, Renée Kool, Voebe de Gruyter and Suchan Kinoshita. The work they do is 'social', in which the artist's direct interaction with the viewing public is essential to the artwork, whether by talking, travelling, dancing or sleeping. In short, as Pontzen elaborately explains, art is no longer a collectively shared experience in an exhibition but an individually perceived performance in the viewer's own domain, whether this be the street or their home. Pontzen takes as his starting point the display 'Chambres d'Amis', in which Jan Hoet first called upon that personal environment of the spectator. Pontzen calls this the 'Ghent model'. To lend strength to his argument his book takes us on a round trip through exhibitions which generated a direct participative attitude on the part of the public in the last five to ten years. For Pontzen it is perfectly clear that there is a new commitment in art. Not the dogmatic, starry-eyed idealism of the 1970s (or even of the early mod-

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Ik zou een museum willen maken waar de dingen elkaar overlappen

erns), but commitment to the everyday personal life of man today. Happily however he himself states in his closing words that this commitment has a very limited impact. What the artists are after is a momentary perception, and whatever pleasant memories that perception may leave behind. In the end Pontzen makes many more concrete statements about 'the ideal museum' than Dercon. Pontzen is full of praise for the 'Ghent model' with its opportunities for extramural projects. Indeed, he blames the traditional exhibition centres for not giving enough space to the type of art he describes. This is a rather odd thing to do, in view of the long list of exhibitions that he takes as the leitmotif for his book. The danger with these 'fascination' books is that the author wants to put forward his case so convincingly that he (so far no women have enrolled as authors) spends all his time arguing for it, and other developments which have coloured the practice of art and the exhibition of art just as much are left out of consideration. Thus in the end Pontzen makes the significance of the interactive art he describes, greater than it actually is. For example, we are now seeing more and more artists for whom narrative, anecdote and fantasy (preferably not too heavyweight) have an important part to play. As do the exhibitions that go with them. Robbert Roos

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L’Histoire de l’architecture en France

L’Histoire de l’architecture en France

L’Histoire de l’architecture en France Émergence d’une discipline (1863-1914) Simona Talenti Paris, Picard, 2000 289 pp. ISBN: 2 7084 0585 3 The idea that history is an essential part of an architect's training goes back to Vitruvius, who maintained that architects should be able to explain the derivation and significance of ornament. If, for instance, an architect wished to use a caryatid he should be aware that these figures symbolized the victory of the Greeks over the Caryatides. The humiliation of the women of Caryae, who were reduced to slaves, was exhibited in public buildings for all to see: their marble images were condemned to support the architrave for ever. However architectural history as we understand it today did not exist in Vitruvius's day; it was not until the nineteenth century that the study of historical buildings became a discipline in its own right, with specialist reference books and a permanent place on the curriculum of the academies and other schools of architecture. In the course of the twentieth century the subject was incorporated into art history and thus also the humanities. The nineteenth century's fascination with architectural history contrasts starkly with our own historiographic interest in this period. The number of monographs – the most recent being David Watkin's The Rise of Architectural History of 1980 – devoted to the history of architectural history can be counted on the fingers of one hand, which 01

L’Histoire de l’architecture en France

makes Simona Talenti's study L'Histoire de l'architecture en France an important attempt to fill a void, the more so because Watkin's survey focuses principally on England. She makes it clear in her introduction that Watkin's biographical approach is not for her. Instead of focusing on a select number of architectural historians, Talenti has sought to write a history of ideas, drawing on nineteenthcentury teaching programmes and particularly on the countless reference books on architectural history. She aspires to offer an insight into the aims of teachers and writers, into their research methods and the organizing principles they used to theme and classify the architecture of the past. To this end she has researched not only the texts, but also the various iconographic strategies of the images used during lectures, and as illustrations or even as autonomous pictorial narratives in the reference books. Talenti's in-depth study has thrown up an impressive quantity of material. In her search for teaching programmes, nineteenth-century library catalogues and collections of illustrations, she has delved into the archives of some twenty teaching institutions. Alongside researching wellknown architectural and engineering schools such as the Ecole Polytechnique, the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, she has also unearthed many lesser-known schools and their teachers. We learn that in 1887 a course of study entitled 'L'Architecture. Le passé, le présent' was launched by the Trocadero Museum of Comparative Sculpture under the guidance of Anatole de Baudot (1843-1915), director of the Gazette des architectes and the Encyclopédie d'architecture. The course was

established as a result of architects engaged in restoration work protesting about the lack of a thorough course in the history of French Gothic at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Charles Garnier, whom the Ministry had charged with investigating the situation at the Ecole, could see no reason whatever to adapt the existing teaching, let alone set up a separate chair, because the Gothic was already being taught along with the other historical periods. So the architects responsible for restoring the Gothic heritage for the diocese and the French Heritage Department turned to Baudot to set up a course of their own. These differences of opinion graphically illustrate that architectural history was being taught in a variety of ways, not simply because of the diverse theoretical-historical ideas, but also because different aims engender different teaching methods. Restoration architects needed detailed knowledge of historical building techniques, use of materials and the application of sculpture. At the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, however, Albert Lenoir (1801-1891) taught history more as an aesthetic theory of form, with history providing an extensive repertoire of details and compositions of facades, exemplifying both the beautiful and the ugly, from which contemporary architecture could learn. Although Talenti's aim is to write a history of ideas, her analyses of the various different historical concepts remain superficial, partly due to the book's unfortunate layout and arrangement. Part one presents an ambitiously comprehensive overview of all the major architectural institutions and relevant figures, but as a result the descriptions are inevitably brief. The historical concepts contained in the

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L’Histoire de l’architecture en France

L’Histoire de l’architecture en France

reference books, the subject of part two, are analysed according to three themes – 'historical approaches', 'methods' and 'iconographic strategies' – but these are far too closely related, with the upshot that the same story is told three times. Worse in my opinion, however, is the disparaging tone in which the different approaches are described, because Talenti only considers Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879) and like-minded architects such as Lucien Magne (1849-1916) and François-Auguste Choisy (1841-1909) to be 'véritable historiens'. The period under examination begins with the year 1863, and refers to the alleged reform – rooted in a proposal by Viollet-le-Duc – of history teaching at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The close relationship between architectural-historical method and that of general political and literary history, which divided up the past into periods of growth and decline, was to cede to an 'autonomous' architectural history that would examine historical building techniques and structural engineering and the correlation between the various architectural elements. A key model for this new method was the way in which the naturalist Cuvier classified the forms of organs on the basis of their relative position in the organism. The quality of a historical building was to be found in the intelligence of the construction and not in the level of civilization of the culture that had spawned it. According to Talenti, Viollet-le-Duc's autonomous architectural history made it possible to study each period objectively. However, no explanation is given as to why a method based on natural history is more independent than

one derived from general history. It would appear to disturb Talenti that Viollet-le-Duc's actual teaching at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1864 consisted of a study of the influence of religious ideas on Indian and Greek architecture, and of the relationship between ancient art forms, myths and religion. But she is comforted by the fact that the first part of his Entretiens of 1863 does show him to be of progressive mind. Talenti's stance for an architectural history that is independent of cultural history leaves little room for other views about the past. And where Viollet-le-Duc is depicted in an uncritical, almost caricatural way as a prophetic seer, Talenti is in the main scornful of such architectural historians as Hippolyte Taine, Albert Lenoir and Daniel Ramée. Her choice is surprising because she opens her study with the observation that reflection on architectural history is an important and topically relevant theme. The museological approach to historical architecture, appreciation of cultural heritage, the role of history in architectural teaching: these are all phenomena that engender debate on the significance of history for our own time. If 'autonomous' architectural historians who have dissociated themselves from cultural history are the only ones to have a voice, then this debate is reduced to little more than a monologue intérieur.

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‘De doorsnee is mij niet genoeg’

Petra Brouwer

‘De doorsnee is mij niet genoeg’

The biography Wies van Moorsel has devoted to her aunt, Nelly van Doesburg, is an act of piety. As a young art historian, she once visited the aunt who was estranged from her family. They became friends and Van Moorsel managed to persuade her to bequeath Theo van Doesburg’s estate to the nation. She also arranged for Theo van Doesburg’s house, which Nelly had had built for him, to be restored and retained as a temporary residence for artists. Her book is an appropriate, arresting climax to this life work. The title, which translates as ‘The ordinary isn’t enough for me’ – a quote from Nelly van Doesburg’s American memoirs – is a perfect choice. Nelly applied this motto to her own life, first at Van Doesburg’s side, and after his death alone, but with many others – old and new friends and lovers. She is one of those women who constantly crops up in the margins of the history of modern art and whose role is often underestimated or, at all events, underplayed. Nelly van Doesburg knew most people in the art world. She had a very close relationship with the extravagant Peggy Guggenheim and was one of the first to advise her on compiling her collection. Wies van Moorsel adheres closely to her subject. ‘I describe that life [Nelly van Doesburg’s] as much as pos-

sible through Nelly’s personal experiences, which can be found in her unpublished memoirs in my possession and in the letters which are in various archives.’ However, she tapped many other sources to reconstruct Nelly’s life. Her account resembles a chronicle. It contains few observations and comments, which is sometimes a pity. But the factual record is in itself certainly impressive enough. After introducing herself to Theo van Doesburg after a lecture in The Hague in 1920, she not only took care of him throughout his life but also encouraged and defended him. She was not a background figure. A talented pianist herself, she performed at lectures and readings by Van Doesburg and his friends. Although Van Doesburg was of the opinion that women were only capable of being performing artists, Nelly began painting herself and participated in various group exhibitions under the pseudonym ‘Cupera’. Little changed in that respect after his death in 1931, however sorely he was missed. Wies van Moorsel heads the chapter focusing on the period after Van Doesburg’s death ‘Going on alone’. It is apparent from the biography that Nelly had always ‘gone it alone’. She continued to defend Theo van Doesburg against friend and foe, and claim a place for him in the history of modern art, not only as a theoretician and De Stijl man but also as an artist. The latter was no simple task. But for Nelly it was clearly not only a matter of art but of life itself. Which caused Wies van Moorsel to make the following, down-to-earth observation: ‘Such diverging contacts demonstrate that the divisions which apply in art history often do not apply in everyday life.’

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‘De doorsnee is mij niet genoeg’ Nelly van Doesburg 1899-1975 Wies van Moorsel Nijmegen, Sun, 2000, 300 pp. Nlg. 44.50 ISBN 90 6168 966 X

My opinion: Resembles: Also discussed in: Keep this for:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 91 — Review


‘De doorsnee is mij niet genoeg’

New York 1880

Nelly’s life after Van Doesburg’s death can hardly be called ‘everyday’. She literally threw herself into life. The quote from which the book’s title is derived typifies her. It is a reaction to a more or less official visit to Harlem during one of her stays in New York. She noted: ‘I want to go into their apartments, talk to them, eat with them and go on the town with them. I want to really get to know this community, with its establishment, its intellectuals and its proletariat. The ordinary isn’t enough for me.’ Thankful though we are for this low-pitched account of her life, it does whet our appetite for more. Geert Bekaert

New York 1880 Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age Robert A.M. Stern, Thomas Mellins and David Fishman New York, The Monacelli Press, 1999 1164 pp., Nlg. 227.40 ISBN 1 58093 027 1 This book is part one of Stern, Mellins and Fishman's five-volume epic on the architecture of New York. Three volumes have already been published, New York 1900 in 1983, New York 1930 in 1987 and New York 1960 in 1995. Work is now in progress on the last part, New York 2000. Five volumes then, whose format, thickness and quantity of facts remind one of an 18th-century encyclopaedia, together containing more than four thousand pages and over ten thousand illustrations – a scale certainly befitting New York. Just as with the previous volumes, the year in the title serves to indicate a period. In this case it spans the palmy days which dawned after the end of the American Civil War (1865) and the lean years of the 1870s, which are described through until about 1890. This was the period during which parts of the city were radically changed through the agency of the nouveau riche, who used the stash of easy money yielded by the 'Bonanza economy' to attain to an appropriate cultural position, for example by investing in real estate and architecture. This was also the time when historical landmarks, reminders of the original Dutch New York, disappeared, and when the church towers on the city's skyline made

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New York 1880

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New York 1880

way for tall commercial buildings. In the introduction the authors give a summary of the infrastructural innovations which accompanied, and to some extent made possible, the transformation of the city during these decades. These innovations included facilities for the supply and drainage of water, new means of communication (telephone and telegraph), and most of all new modes of transport, the omnibus, the elevated highway, the spectacular elevated railway (the ‘El’) and the ferry services to the commuter areas. Nor should one forget the subway, which like all other forms of transport prompted the most specific architectural and urbanistic inventions and innovations in the urban environment. One example was the Arcade Railway, a combination of an underground shopping centre and a subway station, a proposal dating from 1866. This was one of many ideas which, like the 'pneumatic underground railway' (trains moved along by air pressure), were never put into practice. There were however other proposals which might in the initial conceptual stage have seemed no less Utopian, but did in fact make it and would help determine the future development of New York. Examples include the laying out of Central Park (in the 1860s) and the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge (1869-1883). The bridge literally opened the way to new space, an expansion that would thereafter prove to be unlimited. The treatment of these subjects takes up a hundred pages or so – and this is only the introduction. The following chapters are about architecture. The first, ‘Representative Places’, starts with government build-

ings, educational institutions, schools, club buildings, hospitals, museums, churches and major monuments, in particular the colossal Statue of Liberty (1875-1886). This is followed by ‘Workplaces’, dealing with the arrival of large office buildings and the emergence of skyscrapers and office blocks, and the development of banks, exchanges and warehouses. ‘Places Called Home’ deals with the tenements, those warehouses for humans that in the Berlin of those days were called Mietskasernen, and then the hotels, apartment buildings and – at great length – the residences of the rich and super rich, including William H. Vanderbilt's 'Triple Palace' on Fifth Avenue, which was built by an army of six to seven hundred workmen. The chapter ‘Amusements’ presents the theatres and opera houses. In this city of superlatives the Metropolitan Opera (1882) was the biggest opera house in the world, with a capacity of 3000 (Garnier's Opera in Paris seated 2150). The last three chapters are devoted to developments in the areas on the periphery and outside the city. West Side, Harlem, Morningside Heights, Washington Heights and other areas then still rural became the new suburbs, inhabited by commuters who were able to bridge a relatively large distance between their homes and places of work thanks to the new means of transport and communication. In those decades the village of Brooklyn was another place touched by the expanding metropolis and so transformed for all time. Westchester County, Long Island, Staten Island and New Jersey all suffered the same fate. In 1878 the New York Times

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New York 1880

New York 1880

wrote that every day some 300,000 commuters were shuttling back and forth between New York and the suburbs, 'so that the continuous region from twenty to thirty miles is little else than a vast dormitory of New York'. The arrangement of this volume is essentially the same as that of its predecessors. The title promises architecture and urbanism but the emphasis is very much on architecture, and when it does deal with the development of the city it does so from the point of view of its architecture. The architecture itself is grouped according to typological and functional criteria, but floor plans and other visual material which could have shed light on the typology and function are few and far between. In this volume too, architecture is in a sense reduced to the visual qualities of the facades and the representative interiors. It is a logical consequence of the chosen approach that the development of New York, a city that in the 1880s became a metropolis of the first rank, is here described not from the perspective of public administration but rather is presented as the activity of a great number of individuals, of architects and their clients, all concerned exclusively with their own personal ambitions and interests. The public administration and the legal framework which facilitated or restricted this architecture are given less space in the book than the introduction of the telephone and the telegraph. Perhaps the authors are right, and the significance of the city government was marginal. Or has the omission of 'difficult' plans and 'dull' regulations and government reports more to do with the book's ambition to reach a wide

audience? And I suspect that such an audience will indeed be found. Like the previous volumes, this book is a treasure-house of information and a feast for the eyes. What it lacks is amply compensated for by what it has, and the image of New York, here created so eloquently and magnificently, does the rest. New York, the world capital, has something for everyone.

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The Architecture of John Lautner

Auke van der Woud

John Lautner, Architect

‘The most interesting architecture comes about when there is an intense mixing of cultures.’ Alvaro Siza’s observation suggests that the confrontation with different cultures can facilitate profound insight into one’s own background. The melting-pot of the relatively densely populated coastal regions of the United States illustrates this well. The East and West Coasts have each evolved a distinct culture which is, amongst other things, the outcome of the influences of the various immigrant cultures. It has also had consequences for American architecture. The architectural polemics of the 1970s between the Greys and the Whites constituted a moment in American architectural history when the contrasts were clearly etched. Broadly speaking, it is about a distinction between the intellectual and sensual approaches to architecture. The centres of these two ‘schools’ in American architecture, New York and Los Angeles, still cultivate these points of view in architecture today. John Lautner, the subject of the present monographs, is a precursor of the sensu-

al West Coast School, the chief protagonists of which today are Frank Gehry and Eric Owen Moss. Lautner is the architect of the LA lifestyle. His work is an invigorating expression of the city, with its coastlines, desert climate, openness and freeway culture. Lautner’s houses involve the city or the landscape in the process of living. The natural and artificial settings, with their endless potential, are part of his architecture. It is an architecture of movement. The term ‘Free Form Modernism’is a good way to describe Lautner’s work; it places him in the Oscar Niemeyer tradition. Lautner has in common with Niemeyer the fact that the projects primarily reveal their qualities in the interior. The exterior tends to be a ‘residue’ of this working method. The floor plan is irrelevant, because it is not the tool with which to appreciate the designs’ spatial qualities. Something more is always going on: sloping walls, unexpected views out and through, elements which interlock, structural peculiarities, and so on. The free form appears undisciplined, yet there are underlying principles in evidence. John Lautner, Architect, with Frank Escher as its editor, was designed mainly by the architect himself. The book begins and ends with a general thesis by the architect. An interview with Lautner is followed by a presentation of the major projects in photographs and floor plans. Save for a chronological summary of Lautner’s oeuvre, the book makes no attempt to place the work in a particular context. It is up to the reader to interpret it in his or her own way. The little information provided is not enough to provide a solid basis for that interpretation. Consequently, it is better not to attempt to discover particular periods in the work, or trace

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John Lautner,Architect Frank Escher (ed.) Basle Boston Berlin, Birkhäuser Verlag, 1998 296 pp., Nlg. 108.10 ISBN 3 7643 5863 7 The Architecture of John Lautner Alan Hess and Alan Weintraub (photography) London, Thames & Hudson, 1999 276 pp., Nlg. 166.40 ISBN 0 500 34175 3

My opinion: Resembles: Also discussed in: Keep this for:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 93 — Review


The Architecture of John Lautner

John Lautner, Architect

influences. Similarly, it is difficult to gauge the exact influence of the relationship between Lautner and his teacher Frank Lloyd Wright, with whom he worked for six years. Lautner’s frustration (the fact that architectural critics and historians ignore him completely) is also hard to assess. The book on Lautner that Alan Hess compiled together with the photographer Alan Weintraub goes further in presenting the projects and positioning the work. Not only are the projects better presented thanks to the excellent photography (though there are no drawings), Hess also sets Lautner’s work in its context and traces its evolution. Hess describes Lautner’s work as Gothic: ‘Lautner uses structure to cause architecture to appear lighter, to rise into space, and to flood a space with light’. (p. 16) He differentiates the work into three periods. There is a demonstrable difference between the first period in which Lautner was still influenced by Wright’s approach and geometrical floor plans, and later work. Moreover, that was the period in which Lautner was still building houses on tight budgets. But the differences between the periods are not worked out in detail and are consequently unclear. Weintraub’s photography successfully reflects the exceptional quality of Lautner’s work. It constitutes a visually overwhelming experience, in which detail, workmanship and even materials no longer play a decisive part. The initial impressions in this visual assault are of unusual spatial elements and effects: window surfaces, spatial interventions and structural systems. Lautner has been highly innovative in his use of concrete and glass. He does not seem primarily to be searching for an elegant and subtle way of connect-

ing up with the glass. Rather, the coarseness of the detail adds to the drama of the visual impact. Lautner must be one of the architects who have had a major influence on Rem Koolhaas’s work. Koolhaas’s use of glass facades and tree trunks for columns is something we can find in Lautner’s work. Lautner, like Koolhaas, has an aversion to ‘good taste’: some projects seem dreadfully naive and poorly designed, yet on completion have a profoundly intriguing spatial and material quality. The last two houses that Hess and Weintraub present, namely the Sheats/Goldstein House and the Pacific Coast House, are peaks in an impressive body of work. This book displays the remarkable qualities of both projects in all their glory. It is no longer a surprise to us that Lautner has never reached the canon of architectural history: his work is simply too elusive and too far removed from accepted standards.

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Marc Schoonderbeek


Design is a stroll on the beach. Architecture is a roller coaster

Utrecht City Hall according to Enric Miralles

Bjarne Mastenbroek

1. Miralles werkt als een chirurg. Met het ontwerp voor het stadhuis opereert hij weer op onnavolgbare wijze in het bestaande stedelijke weefsel. Hij verlengt niet alleen het leven van een aantal grachtenpanden en een totaal verstikt neoklassiek stadhuis, maar hij reanimeert ook de 'patiĂŤnt' uit de jaren dertig van de vorige eeuw die al opgegeven was. Toegegeven, de operatie is hier ingrijpender. Door amputatie en meerdere by-passes zal dit bouwdeel nooit meer het oude worden, maar het heeft een nieuwe toekomst gekregen.

2. Wellicht is de vergelijking met dokter Frankenstein nog sprekender. Diens creatie houdt het midden tussen een mens en een object, zoals bij Miralles de creaties het midden houden tussen een weefsel (organisme) en een gebouw waarvan de onderdelen niet geheel op elkaar passen, sterker nog, zonder 'plan' op elkaar lijken aan te sluiten. In tweede instantie word je een andere structuur gewaar, ontstaat een nieuwe orde.

3. Zelf stelt Miralles dat een architect met mensen werkt; niet in de zin van samenwerking tijdens het ontwerpproces, maar letterlijk, als (bouw)materiaal. Hij haalt daarmee een uitspraak aan van Elias Canetti over Nazi-architectuur. Volgens Canetti waren de Nazi's zo goed in het ontwerpen van een stadion of plein omdat ze begrepen hoe je een ruimte vult en weer leeg krijgt. Canetti maakt daarbij de vergelijking met een strand omdat dit volgens hem ook zo'n ideale openbare ruimte is die telkens weer ontelbaar veel mensen toelaat.1 Miralles' ontwerpen, kun je interpreteren als de sporen die mensen hebben achtergelaten in het zand. De maagdelijke vlakte is voor hem als een wasbord waarop bewegingen worden genoteerd. Vlak voor zonsondergang is de abstracte orde vervangen door een geheel andere orde, die van de mens.

A.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;DOS. 1


Contents Design is a stroll on the beach. Architecture is a roller coaster Bjarne Mastenbroek A glorious accident Arjen Oosterman

Aerial photograph of the remodelled city hall complex, with the welter of individual premises and phases of building clearly visible. The left-hand portion, recast as a neoclassical town palace, looks more regular from the street than it proves to be from the

Reached by: Financed by: Built by: Visit by arrangement with:

air. Below right, the remains of the 1930s Registry Office building in its role as appendix, its Z-shaped flat roof attached to Miralles’ billowing brick new-build portion with zinc roofs. Photo: Your Captain Luchtfotografie

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 1/2001 — 96 — Dossier


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Enric Miralles remodels City Hall in Utrecht

A glorious accident

Ambition is a remarkable fuel. In architecture you need an awful lot of it to achieve resounding results. Political ambition is not slow to see architecture as the ideal medium for making an impact either. Since architectural quality has become a political issue in the Netherlands, it is one of the more prominent themes for the realization of (political) ambitions. And anyone who considers the recast city hall in the centre of Utrecht is bound to conclude that architectural passion is nowhere as high as in this city. The following is about promotional policy, the architect’s input and the reality of Consensus Country. 01

Reached by: ten minutes walk from Utrecht Rail Station Address: Korte Minrebroederstraat 2, Utrecht Built by: EMTB Visit by arrangement with: ICU, 00 31 (0)30 2861043

Name: Date: Address: Telephone:

From: Archis 1/2001 — 97 — Dossier — A glorious accident


Utrecht City Hall Korte Minrebroederstr. 2 Utrecht 1997-2000 The partial demolition and new-build, renovation and restoration of the existing city hall complex to house the city council and the civic services, and restructuring of Korte Minrebroederstraat as an urban square. Competition design 1997: Architect: Enric Miralles y Benedetta Tagliabue Arquitectes Associats Contributing architect: de Architectengroep, Amsterdam (Bjarne Mastenbroek, Dick van Gameren) Collaborators/ assistants: Elena Rocchi Ricardo Flores Germán Zambrana Marc Forteza Parera Niels-Martin Larsen Nicolai Lund Overgaard Angelos Floros Marcos Carrión Anne Galmar Built 1999-2000: Model and cross section of the light shafts (‘light catchers’) in the preliminary design. Stabbing through the topmost level, it was to have flooded the council chamber and other rooms for the municipal executive with daylight.

Project architect for EMBT: Marc de Rooij Collaborators/ assistants: Constanza Chara, Christofer Hitz, Steven Becaus, Fergus McArdle, Francesca Tata Job architect: INBO, Woudenberg (Jan Slot) Project manager: DHV (B. Joziasse) Client: City of Utrecht Contractor: Bouwcombinatie Boele & van Eesteren / Bouwen Aannemingsmij. Woerden, Rijswijk

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l’impudeur, livre pionnier paru en 1989, m’avait pertubée. Cènes, que je viens de lire d’une traite me bouleverse.

Je tenais à vous le lire. Emilia Rives


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The restoration, renovation and extension of the Utrecht City Hall, a conglomeration of medieval buildings that has seen many alterations over the years, can be regarded as a political and architectural show of bravado. Of all the large local authorities in the Netherlands, Utrecht has stood on the sidelines the longest in the discourse on architecture and quality. No controversial municipal architectural memos, festivals or model projects for Utrecht. The Aorta architectural centre got off to a relatively late and laborious start. Within the narrow boundaries of its territory, the city stuck to its course of adding to the housing stock, and hit the national headlines mainly for the bickerings about its public transport system, border disputes with neighbouring local authorities, and the politically explosive plan to intensify the station zone as a metropolitan transport node. It was in the wake of this major urban heart operation, known as the Utrecht City Project, and the similarly large-scale Leidsche Rijn city expansion (30,000 residents) that transformation of the chaotic city hall complex took shape. In retrospect the pretensions of the building to house the city council are equalled by the self-awareness of a local authority engaged on projects of national and even international format, but that is not where those pretentions came from. The basic premiss was not even, as so often, an urgent shortage of space, that effective sledgehammer for forcing through ambitious plans. No, in this case the starting-point was a surplus of space. After the departure from the city hall of the Registry Office, until then housed in a wing dating from the 1930s, the question arose of possible other uses for that part of the building. Investigation of these possibilities began in 1991, and soon led to the conclusion that from a functional point of view demolition was inevitable. The several block models for replacement new-build that were developed went as far as to break with the existing building lines and heights (high-rise included). Planning arguments – how much

can the city accept on this site, how can the somewhat forlorn public square behind the city hall be improved, how and to what extent should the existing morphology and typology of the medieval city determine the transformation – may have weighed heavier in the evaluation than the desire to incorporate the city council and civic services in their entirety in the city hall complex. Eventually the European tendering of the design brief (1996) focused on new premises to replace the Registry Office building after demolition, provided that these came to form an integral spatial part of the complex as a whole. In the local authority's vision, the ground floor would be reserved for public functions, including the Municipal Information Centre (ICU, accommodated until then in the Vredenburg Music Centre), and to facilitate entry to the entire complex the main entrance would be moved to the side (Ganzenmarkt) or the rear (Korte Minrebroederstraat). The rooms for the political parties on the ground floor was all that was left of the original idea of 'party-shops' at street level, an attempt to bring city-dwellers into more immediate contact with their representatives. The idea of transferring the council chamber to the new premises was abandoned. At that moment only a few of those involved could have imagined any architectural solution other than an additive modernism, a confirmation and reinforcement of the existing morphology with modern architecture, although an all-out historical response could not be ruled out either. Maybe a delicate balance of modern and historicist, something like the housing project that Bob van Reeth was carrying out at the time on Mariaplaats, only different... When the client, challenged and encouraged to do so by members of the selection committee, eventually – after much hesitation – chose the Barcelona-based architect Enric Miralles, the decision must have been based on a combination of his persuasive personality and the cultural adventure of the approach he advocated. What

Reached by: ten minutes walk from Utrecht Rail Station Address: Korte Minrebroederstraat 2, Utrecht Built by: EMTB Visit by arrangement with: ICU, 00 31 (0)30 2861043

he was offering was not simply a solution to a spatial programme, but a vision. Choosing Miralles would mean not selecting a design but entering into a process, and getting not just a building but more importantly a piazza. The adventure would be a shared one, whisking off all those involved on a journey of discovery. But Miralles' way of thinking and speaking must also have introduced an incomparable way of looking at things that was felt to be rich and profound. In short, the temptation to make a challenging and significant choice which would also put Utrecht on the international architecture map was, at the end of the day, irresistible. The fact that Miralles was actually able to implement his radical proposals in the Dutch context should be ascribed not only to respect for the foreign artist (you don't contract someone like that to then torpedo his proposals), but also to the thorough preliminary work carried out by departments and committees. This prepared minds for decisions that would otherwise have been inconceivable and thus unacceptable. From addition to transformation In the Netherlands renovation briefs for monumental buildings are largely met with 'today's resources', that is, a more or less elegant modernism. Recent renovation work in Utrecht on, say, Centraal Museum (Beel Achtergael), Universiteitsmuseum (Koen van Velsen), and Museum Het Catharijneconvent (HubertJan Henket) all three a stone's throw from the city hall, shows this in different guises. The use of wood, steel and glass lets those materials be themselves, while the elements that are added primarily communicate their constructional logic. Sometimes there is an enigmatic play of veiling and unveiling, but that is as far as the communication goes. The respect shown for historic buildings is based on the deeply felt lack of an essential relationship with them. The dramatic division that exists in the Netherlands between restoration architects and 'new-build architects' shows

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this to perfection. A monument is condemned to unfold for all eternity the historical narrative that has been imposed on it – aesthetically as a design concept that has been spruced up and restored to its pristine state, or ethically by giving priority to the history of its construction and use – and thus to lead an illustrative and decorative existence. The present-day intervention, the design, becomes an insoluble tussle between alien worlds, in which the new can do little else except politely ignore the existing and posit itself. The relationship between Miralles, the site and what is already there is of a different kind. He takes what is there to be valuable, but no more valuable than the new. Neither is the opposite an a priori starting-

point. Everything is material, and has to be processed to a greater or lesser degree in order to work spatially. From objet trouvé to encroachment to demolition, every device is deployed in his spatial game. There is no shortage of examples in the completed city hall complex. For instance, during the renovation two metres-high walls of extremely broad oak planks appeared on the second floor of the neo-classical portion. They are so strong a feature that they have been elevated to space-supporting elements. A touch of varnish is all that is needed for what has become the hall (the 'square') of the municipal executive floor. The 'house-within-a-house' beneath it, that constitutes the core of this part, is not only set rigorously apart from the neoclassical envelope, but has been wilfully violated to boot: the white plaster has been removed at several points to lessen the threat of abstraction and allow the materiality to speak. Other rooms get bulging walls or windows that extend right through adjoining spaces into the corridors. The nature and extent of violation and distortion are more or less unpredictable, but on each occasion they are used to put the elements on equal footing, irrespective of their age or history. So the partial removal of plaster is not an ode to history, or exposed archaeological fragments – a device regularly used in the restoration of churches in Utrecht – but most of all an architectural intervention. Miralles does not confuse architectural history with architecture. There can be no doubting the primacy of the latter. The gigantic light shafts in the preliminary design, stabbing down through the existing structure (though left unrealized) further reinforce this idea. Delivering daylight in from above is a literal way of setting the spaces 'in a different light', energized and prized loose from their historical determinations to become part of the larger entity. Following the same logic, he has no qualms either about moving what he finds if it suits him better.


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Basement plan. The row of small canalside cellars fronting the main cellars of the individual houses and the 'chaotic' cellar structure below the neo-classical portion show clearly the medieval origins of the complex. 1. cycle shelter

Ground floor. 1. entrance 2. public stair to council chamber on first floor 3. main wedding room 4. small wedding room 5. main reception area (civic hall) 6. press room 7. messenger 8. rooms for political parties 9. office 10. small meeting room 11. restaurant

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Section through the premises along Oudegracht/Stadhuisbrug. 1. council chamber 2. small wedding room 3. main reception area 4. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;squareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 4 1 3 2

First floor. 1. route to council chamber 2. council chamber 3. antechamber 4. void 5. rooms for political parties 6. office

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The part added by Miralles including fragments of the demolished Registry Office building.

Second floor. 1. ‘square’: area for waiting/meeting 2. burgomaster’s chamber 3. councillor’s chamber 4. secretarial office 5. meeting room

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The addition with entrance pavilion.

The added stair at the juncture of new-build and existing row of premises.

Third floor. 1. attic / plant 2. meeting room 3. office

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Route to the council chamber.

Cut stone window frames from the demolished part of the building are mounted as spoils in a new wall that has no genuine historical function but primarily a spatial one. Three enormous stained glass windows from the 1930s, mounted behind the windows of the neoclassical front elevation, were to have 'hovered' in and around the council chamber as colourful light filters and spatial accents (the wooden frames were hung, but in the end the stained glass windows stayed put because of the expense). Old doors and doorframes are set as archways just clear of the walls in the corridors with rooms for the political parties, not from a sense of historical piety, but because of the rhythm of the corridor and to enable the corridor to be experienced as a concatenation of existing and non-aligned rooms (belonging as they do to different premises). It is a response in fragments, one

Wall detail of the route with translucent veneer panels.

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Council chamber.

that has made every spot in the building distinct, or at least individual. No space is like another, not even in the new wing, which in this respect is no different from the existing buildings. All-out fragmentation is warded off by working with specific themes and a recognizable signature that recurs throughout the building (such as the raised areas and pieces of parquet in the floors, the wall and ceiling lamps designed by Miralles, and the predilection for asymmetry and staggering in the rhythm of doors and woodwork).

Input and application But what really was Miralles' task, and what has he done? Air, light and space had to be introduced into the existing premises. Distinct circuits needed creating for the public area and the offices and work areas. There needed to be additional offices, assembly rooms, a canteen and a cycle shed for the public. And the square on the side of the new-build had to be restructured. Right from the start Miralles dedicated himself to stitching together city hall and urban space by hav-

Council chamber.

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ing them interpenetrate, which was why he refrained from opting for the atrium as an organizational model. That was the most obvious option: placing the additional programme in new-build along Korte Minrebroederstraat with corridors connecting it with the existing, generating a closed circuit, the whole to be accessed from an atrium between the new and the old, as was indeed suggested in the city's preliminary investigation. This atrium could then have functioned as a distribution point and symbolic square, and represented the public aspect of the city hall's functioning. At the same time, it is clear that such an approach would indeed have been merely symbolic. The atrium could not have yielded more than the semblance of a public space and would actually have cut the city hall off from the city. All the same, with the disappearance of the service-window functions, the public nature of the city hall was most certainly a theme. The political, civic response to this was to bring the Municipal Information Centre (ICU) within the walls of the city hall and to create a lively flow of citizens through the building by the inclusion of the 'party-shops', a feature that was ultimately abandoned. Miralles realized that an


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The spatial complexity of the entrance pavilion. View from hall.

architectural statement was called for too. His answer, accordingly, is a spatial one: by opening up the block at the rear and transferring the entrance to this side, all at once the city hall complex can be experienced as a totality. On the Oudegracht side the idyll is maintained of a neo-classical city hall, sturdy yet proportionally in harmony with the city, its stone walls set between brick merchant houses. Reality is met with on the other side: a conglomerate of houses gathered together to jointly accommodate the city hall. The game of attract and repel, of conceal and reveal, is played with verve to pull together city and city hall, square and building. The spatial separation of public and executive functions makes it relatively easy to create separate circuits. The public political game is concentrated in the part got up as a city hall (council chamber, municipal executive), which is also where the information centre (ICU), wedding rooms and representative reception rooms are situated. The rest of the complex is where the work gets carried out. Miralles organizes the two programmes – management and operation – along two routes. A system of passages leads behind the premises along Oudegracht to

the new staircase tucked in the corner, and on into the tip of his own new-build. The other skirts the reception hall before spiralling up to the council chamber. Moving the public stair to the council chamber (the zinc pavilion on stilts) outside creates a necessary accent to mark the entrance among the myriad building volumes. This obviates the need for a porch, a device still to be seen in the study models. Miralles' route, billowing beyond the envelope, also opens in a ‘slit' of sorts which makes it possible to enter the neoclassical block from this side. The pavilion and the route to the council chamber are his solution to the problem that the neo-classical block has no representative staircase. Entirely in accordance with its civic origin and the Dutch housing tradition, the two existing staircases are encased in the block beside the main entrances. The new architectural route slipping round and in along the (former) rear wall solves the problem of the lack of a formal entrance to the upper storey. In the preliminary design this route to the council chamber was strengthened further by a 'light-line' of hanging screens that continued into the council chamber. So the unusual disposition of the key public spaces of the

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city hall – the wedding rooms downstairs and the council chamber on the first floor, along the side elevation – is made representative after all. Movement or delight Whoever walks through and round the city hall would most probably conclude that interventions have been made here that can only be understood in relation to this very place, that only unique elements and forms have been conjured up by the creative genius of the artist cum architect. But there is much more to it than that. Leaf through Miralles' oeuvre and you will find precedents for most of the interventions. The entrance transferred from the front to the back, the capriciously shaped building parts that thrust deep into their surroundings, the exterior space drawn inside, a pavilion to take the access route outside, a certain roughness in the use of materials, the many interventions concerning lighting, the juggling with fragments found in situ, the numberless details and added elements – it has all been seen before, occurring in all manner of designs by Miralles and his firm, some implemented and some not. Of course, this does nothing to reduce the authenticity of this wrestling match with the design, any more than the project’s success can be read off from those precedents. What does this world of forms, as baroque as it is to Dutch eyes, yield, and how successful is the approach as a whole? First of all, the city has gained a compelling piazza that really is activated by the city hall development. If the planned street cafés are realized on the other side of the square, this will soon be a pleasant area to frequent. The sombre building masses and walls of the past have been replaced by a variegated whole that grips the attention. But here too it is becoming clear that not all of the design problems could be solved. The square leading up to the entrance has to rely on the use of benches and water to hide the inevitable backyard of skips and technical areas for which there was no room elsewhere, but

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it also creates a sunken residual area which convinces neither as public space nor as a private outdoor area for the ground floor of the new addition. The bench next to the entrance must therefore be considered more as a compositional and rhetorical element than as a functional and inviting item of city furniture, particularly as this is the north side. In this part of the northern hemisphere, after all, it is not shade but sun that people seek. In the interior the most successful interventions are the council chamber, the area around the reception hall and the system of passages behind the buildings alongside Oudegracht, although the deliberate primitivism in the constructional parts (new columns, beams, structural accessories) in confrontation with the spindly curves of the interior objects (cupboards, lamps, tables and chairs)

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will not be to everyone's taste. The new facades and doors are simply crude, though it is unclear whether this is the fault of the client, the architect or the subcontractor. This gives the impression that the elaboration and finishing are not that important, as if an area in a drawing can just as well be filled in with hatching as with meticulous colouring, as long as the general effect remains the same. True, Miralles' architecture is not restrained by an excessive predilection for elegance or reticence with regard to the client's taste. All the same, the fact that a certain refinement is largely absent is dissatisfying. The architect has worked with powerful effects, although at some points it is clear that he is a master of the piano as well as of the forte, and is even capable of a cantabile. This does not make it a pinnacle of architecture on a European scale.

But within the Dutch context it does present a strong and largely convincing demonstration of a dynamic response to design. At the end of the day, the basic set-up of Miralles' design is reasonably successful. For the real caprice of the design is not to be found in the fanciful form of the pavilion, the curving, cantilevering office wing, or the arbitrary cut into the Registry Office building. No, the bravado lies in the diagonal access to the neo-classical block, the indifference towards the main axis, and the promotion of cross direction to main direction. Miralles does not only swap front and rear; he rotates the internal orientation (the orientation as experienced) of this block through ninety degrees. Once again the incumbent body of the city hall has expressed its confidence in the enduring nature of that function on that site. A new episode has been added to the long history of the city administration in this complex. The results are by no stretch of the imagination market-driven, any more than were the previous interventions. Once again architecture is the medium seized upon to reconcile organization with representation. It may be an old-fashioned formula, but in the European context it is by no means played out.

A late reaction by Benedetta Tagliabue: The essay makes no mention of her contribution to the project, and the shortcomings in the detailing and execution are due to limited funding and the fact that EMBT were unable to direct the proceedings.


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Design is a stroll on the beach. Architecture is a roller coaster

Utrecht City Hall according to Enric Miralles

Bjarne Mastenbroek

1. Miralles operates like a surgeon. In the city hall design, he cuts in his inimitable way into the existing urban tissue. He not only prolongs the life of a number of canal houses and of a totally suffocated neoclassical town hall, but he reanimates the patient from the 1930s on behalf of whom hope had already been abandoned. Here, admittedly, the surgery is more radical. After amputation and several by-passes, this section of the building will never be the same again; but it will have a new lease of life.

2. A comparison with Doctor Frankenstein might be more attractive, for his creature was part person and part object. Miralles’ creations too are something between a tissue or organism, and a building whose component parts do not fit together perfectly. On the contrary, they seem to connect up without a ‘plan’. But soon you become aware of a different structure. A new order becomes apparent.

3. Miralles himself holds that an architect works with people – not in the sense of others collaborating in the design process, but literally, people as working material. He quotes a statement by Elias Canetti about Nazi architecture. Canetti thought the Nazis were so good at designing stadiums and public squares because they understood how to fill a space and how to empty it again. The beach is just such an ideal public space because it admits an endless number of people.1 You can interpret Miralles’ buildings, especially their ground plans, as traces left by people in the sand. Just before sunset, the abstract order is replaced by an entirely different one, that of the human being.

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4. He has shifted the main entrance of the city hall from the front to the back of the complex. Realizing that he had to leave the modestly-dimensioned canal profile at the front unimpaired, he succeeded in creating an incredible amount of working space for himself by this action. There was now room for a forecourt at the rear, and it became possible to take the greatest possible advantage and maximize the exposure of the transition between public space and the interior. The whole thing conjures up an image of open-heart surgery.

5. On entry, the first things to strike the eye are the familiar ‘projection planes’. The natural stone floor has parquet inserts marking passages into other spaces and window openings. They are ‘annotations’ to an exterior realm, heralding daylight or a neighbouring space.

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6. Equally striking is the condition of the floor. The wood looks as though it had been rescued from an old bar floor, and the stone makes a dull impression. The gaze next falls on the interior furnishing and finishing of the hall. Four years of consultation were clearly not enough to avoid nullifying many of Miralles’ design intentions by the simple act of putting the hall (as well as other parts of the building) into use. This typifies a more widespread problem in the Netherlands, one in which architects are not entirely free from blame. There is still a complete lack of consideration among building managers and users in their dealings with a carefully designed environment. The idea that a building has another value or function besides its pragmatic purpose goes by the board.


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Grey Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Dossier %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Design is a stroll %%%%%%%%%%%%] on the beach. %%%%%%%%%%%%] Architecture is a %%%%%%%%%%%%] roller coaster %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text: %%%%%%%%%%%%] Bjarne Mastenbroek %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photographs: %%%%%%%%%%%%] Bjarne Mastenbroek %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

7. It would of course make sense to reconsider the framework within which architects operate. People have gathered so many artificial aids around them during the last hundred years and have come to expect such a high degree of comfort, that a simple schedule of the required spaces with their structural and physical specifications is no longer adequate as the programme for a building project. The interior furnishings and the utilization of the building have too great an influence on the result. Against this, however, users are increasingly capable of making their own choices about the furnishing and application of their working or living environment. They do not accept the designer’s judgment unquestioningly and may indeed distrust it strongly. A highly specific response to the need is not appreciated. Budgets are generally too low to meet the space requirement, and the demand for a universal standard with a high level of flexibility grows all the greater.

8. The question remains: is a Miralles design apt to these times? What does the City of Utrecht hope to achieve by it? Following the broad initial selection, it was after all decided to go for a limited competition – a tworound competition, no less. With a little extra effort, plus of course the conviction and awareness that there would be some point to this effort, coherence could have been attained and hence a meticulous and meaningful total concept. With an architect like Miralles, the desired effect can not be reached unless the work is regarded and treated as a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’.

9. After reception in the hall, a tour of the building follows: ‘fasten your seatbelts!’ But this remark is not particularly appropriate to the bodily experience of viewing the building. Architecture is a cerebral sport rather than a physical one. Utrecht already had a fine challenge to the mind anyway; in the Educatorium, where the trained intellectual can lose himself in a daydream before OMA’s ‘fold’. Why do we architects continue to be amused by this kind of thing? It imposes a great financial burden on a plan and suspiciously resembles a piece of academic bravura. Or are these contemporary ornaments, welcome variations which make up for what the general public finds missing from most contemporary architecture?

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Reached by: ten minutes walk from Utrecht Rail Station Address: Korte Minrebroederstraat 2, Utrecht Built by: EMTB Visit by arrangement with: ICU, 00 31 (0)30 2861043

Name: Date: Address: Telephone:

From: Archis 1/2001 — 111 — Dossier — Design is a stroll on the beach. Architecture is a roller coaster


10. The space used to be the carrier and ornament used to be an appliqué (and it still occurs as such if in an impoverished form), but we can see these two dimensions meeting head-on in the city hall. This, in the end, is the strength of the design: Miralles the ‘spatial artist’ breaks through the walls between several buildings and conjugates them in virtuoso style. He maps the multiple historic layers of the buildings and adds a new layer of his own. His changes often alleviate the limitations of the old, fragmented structure, and the outcome is a fascinating one.

11. In the new structure with recycled parts of the 1930s building, he goes so far in this respect that it all looks rather far-fetched. The ‘effects’ are so explicit and so multi-layered that the result is on the oppressive side. As on a roller coaster, the loop-the-loops are a bit too much for some people. You can no longer hear or see anything, and the fun goes out of the ride.

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12. The functions special to a city hall are ranged around the central lobby, whose interior has been left more or less unchanged. The council chamber, the wedding rooms, the foyer/reception room and the municipal executive’s chambers are placed here. Instead of the planned break-through of the roof above the council chamber with plastic ‘light catchers’ (as in the provisional design), the entire overlying floor was removed. The floor joists were left in place. Together with a number of (apparently acoustic) ceilings and new, exposed laminated beams, these measures result in a spectacular space.


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13. The interiors of the small wedding room and the central gallery that acts as the main entrance were planned in consultation with and under the auspices of Utrecht’s Central Museum. The cordial contact between Miralles and Ida van Zijl from the museum, also a member of the selection committee, has clearly borne fruit here. The walls are adorned with work blithely plucked from the museum’s archives.

14. A piquant detail: one of the guests at the opening noticed that one of the paintings from the museum’s archives portrayed a notorious Utrecht murderer. The picture has since vanished back into the archives. The likeness of erstwhile burgomaster Vonhoff glares at you as you descend the staircase next to the main entrance. It all seems to be about people. In the hall, four figures are busy scrubbing the floor. Two of them are polishing an area of parquet, one of them is tending to the surrounding edge of stone and one is scraping up chewing gum. There is hope yet.

15. Architects make extensive use of the language of images. Metaphors and concepts are becoming more and more important. But Enric Miralles was unique in the way he interpreted these. It was not the beach that interested him as a space, an image or an abstraction, but the traces people leave on the beach. It is not the image or the concept of the roller coaster that intrigues him so much; the route of the roller coaster track is fixed, and for that reason alone is not particularly exciting.

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Reached by: ten minutes walk from Utrecht Rail Station Address: Korte Minrebroederstraat 2, Utrecht Built by: EMTB Visit by arrangement with: ICU, 00 31 (0)30 2861043

Name: Date: Address: Telephone:

From: Archis 1/2001 — 113 — Dossier — Design is a stroll on the beach. Architecture is a roller coaster


FAX THE DESIGNERS 00 31 (0)20 622 67 92

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From: Archis 1/2001 — 118 — Diary


And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And…

marres ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Gosbert Adler (D) Genomineerd voor . .. . . . Christophe . . . . . . Ballot . . . (F) . . .de.Vierde . . . .Werner . ... Jean . . . Kempenaers (B) Jan Mantz Prijs voor . . . .van . . der . . Salm . . . (NL) . . . .Fotografie ... ... ... Frank ... Paul Seawright (UK) ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Opening . .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

zaterdag 31 maart 17.00 uur in Marres

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Prijsuitreiking . .. ... ... ... . . . . . .28. april .. ... zaterdag . . . .uur . . in. . . . . . 15.00

www.carla-barbara-claire.nl

Een project van Maura Biava voor de Provincie Limburg en de Gemeente Maastricht in het kader van het tienjarig bestaan van het Verdrag van Maastricht: 3 maart - 14 april 2001.

Theater a/h Vrijthof.

marres postbus 275 6200 ag capucijnenstraat 98 maastricht nl t 31 (0)43 327 02 07 f 31 (0)43 327 02 08

PH:

Tentoonstelling ... ... mei.

. . .t/m . .13 . ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

... ... ... ... ...

... ... ... ... ...

... ... ... ... ... ...

A.–ADV.

marres@cobweb.nl www.marres.org open di tm zo van 13 — 18 uur


Contents Advertisement

From: Archis â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 120 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Advertisement


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Blue Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Advertisement %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] KOW %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Marres %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Kuiper %%%%%%%%%%%%] Compagnons %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]


marres ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Gosbert . . . . . .Adler . . .(D). . . . . .Genomineerd . . . . . . .voor . . de ... . . . Christophe . . . . . . Ballot . . . (F) . . .Vierde . . . Werner . . . .Mantz .. ... Jean . . . Kempenaers . . . . . . .(B) . . . . .Prijs . .voor . . .Fotografie . ... ... Jan . . . .van . . der . . Salm . . . (NL) . ... ... ... ... ... Frank ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Paul Seawright (UK) ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

... ... ... ... Opening . .. ... ... ... zaterdag . . . . . .31. maart .. ... . . . .uur . . in. Marres .. ... 17.00 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

... ... ... ... . . .Tentoonstelling ... ... ... . . .t/m . .13 . mei. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

... ... ... ... Prijsuitreiking . .. ... ... ... . . . . . .28. april .. ... zaterdag . . . .uur . . in. . . . . . 15.00 . . . . . a/h . . Vrijthof. .. ... Theater ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

... ... ... ... ... . . .De Stichting . . . .Werner . . .Mantz . . kent ... een .fotografiepri. . .om .de.drie . jaar ... .. ... . . .js toe. . .Aan . de . .prijs . is. een . . geld... som van 10.000 Euro, een publi... ... ... ... ... catie en een tentoonstelling ver... ... ... ... ... bonden. ... ... ... ... ...

marres postbus 275 6200 ag capucijnenstraat 98 maastricht nl t 31 (0)43 327 02 07 f 31 (0)43 327 02 08

... ... ... ... ... ... ...

marres@cobweb.nl www.marres.org open di tm zo van 13 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 18 uur


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Blue Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Advertisement %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Skor %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Maura Biava %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Elsevier %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

SKOR

Stichting Kunst en Openbare Ruimte

Rob inkijk Johannesma

Hewaldinkijk Jongenelis / inkijk Sylvie Zijlmans

inkijk (dvd, 2001) een werk in opdracht T/M

07 04

Inkijk is de presentatieruimte van SKOR

inkijk

Presentatie van een werk voor Revalidatiecentrum Breda (2001)

Van zonsondergang tot zonsopgang

inkijk

12 20 04 05

permanent te inkijk bezichtigen

Ruysdaelkade 2 (hoek Stadhouderskade) Amsterdam

www.skor.nl

inkijk

T/M

www.carla-barbara-claire.nl Een project van Maura Biava voor de Provincie Limburg en de Gemeente Maastricht in het kader van het tienjarig bestaan van het Verdrag van Maastricht: 3 maart - 14 april 2001.


Projekt+

Interviews

Company profiles

Produktnieuws

Case Studies

Advertotials

Interieurarchitectuur

oplage: 15.000

Projekt+ is het nieuwe kwartaalvakblad over projecten. De lezer wordt ge誰nformeerd over design en esthetica in projectinrichting / afwerking en interieur, dit in relatie tot architectuur.


Afwerking

Inrichting

Noviteiten

Beschouwingen

Fotoreportages

Actuele ontwikkelingen

Nieuw kwartaalblad over projecten, project-inrichting en design

projekt Onze media-adviseurs voorzien u graag van meer informatie.

Interessant redactioneel nieuws over projecten of producten?

Gijs Jansen: tel. 0314-349901 Miriam Vorderman: tel. 0314-349831 Fax: 0314-349323 E-mail: info.bouw@ebi.nl

Hoofdredacteur Gerrit Das: tel. 0314-349908 E-mail: projekt@ebi.nl

Elsevier bedrijfsinformatie bv, Postbus 4, 7000 BA Doetinchem


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And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… 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And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And… And…

PH: VIVIANE SASSEN AD: JOP VAN BENNEKOM

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www.nn.nl

260 ventilatiesystemen, één verzekeringspakket. André de Waard is installateur in luchttechniek. Op dit moment is hij

verzekeringen af. Hij heeft alles afgedekt in de ZekerheidsCombinatie

bezig met het installeren van een ventilatiesysteem in een kantoor-

Bouw- en Installatiebedrijven van Nationale-Nederlanden. Want André

gebouw. Secuur werk. Waarbij van alles fout kan gaan. Maar André is

houdt van praktische en efficiënte oplossingen. Er vallen 13 verzek-

goed verzekerd. Onder andere met een Installatie-/Montageverzekering

eringen onder deze combinatie. We spreken al van een Zekerheids-

en een Aansprakelijkheidsverzekering. Maar als zelfstandig ondernemer

Combinatie bij 3 verzekeringen. Vraag uw verzekeringsadviseur naar

ben je er dan nog niet. Daarom sloot André in totaal 8 verschillende

het voor u ideale verzekeringspakket.

Wat er ook gebeurt: de ZekerheidsCombinatie Bouw- en Installatiebedrijven.

Archis #1 2001  

the independent bimonthly magazine for architecture, the city and visual culture

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