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ISSN 1568-2730 02

9 771568 273007

a city of evidence.

enna, Melun-Selart, Berlin and New York, but seeing only isolated and highly wrought monuments to their own ingenuity rise up out of the ground, the Generation uch of the architecture world hopes to have a chance to collectively shape a 200-acre site on the outskirts of Mexico’s second largest city. At a recent symposium (wh ated), they laid out their plans for an architecture that would extend their polycentric, ‘glocal’ (globally driven but locally sensitive), highly expressive and technologica g practices to the realm of making a complete urban – or semi-urban – environment. Their laboratory is the so-called JVC, or Jose Vergara Center. It is the brainch e’s naming the Center after his father), who runs a fast-growing empire of herbal supplement sellers that has spread from this industrial town all across the America mpany, Omnilife, will have its headquarters on the site, which Vergara now uses for giant ‘rallies’ in which he brings up to 20,000 of his distributors together to infuse ny spirit. The first building to be constructed on the site, Enrique Norten’s Convention Center, will act as a permanent home for these gatherings. The other Mexican rgara has assembled, veteran neo-brutalist Teodoro Gonzalez de León, will create a corporate meeting centre. In addition, Vergara foresees a hotel (designed by Z ng mall and entertainment district (Coop Himmelblau), a trade fair complex (Carme Pinós), a museum (Toyo Ito), a children’s museum (Philip Johnson), a cockayne) an amphitheatre (Todd Williams and Billie Tsien) and, eventually, a university designed by Daniel Libeskind. All of this will take place on a marshy fiel uadalajara’s outskirts and a nature preserve The list of architects was drawn up by Enrique Norten over two years ago and there have been some additions and

ARCHIS MINIPOSTER: GUADALAJARA STARCHITECTURE

tural amenities nearby that the developer hopes will become an attractor Manuel Castels posit as the points of intersection where operators of symb s thrown up by data sets. Vergara hopes to fund 80% of the project himself, ve location. Learning from Disney, he has bought up options on vast tracts an architects faced with making such a compound revel in the possibilitie

IS &

Archis c%%%%%%%%%%%% Architecture c%%%%%%%%%%%% City c%%%%%%%%%%%% Visual Culture c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% #2 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%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%%

TO BI D LL W IE IL TS LI IE AM N S

a sky of maybe,

Archis #2 2001

. . , . .. ,. .,. , . , ., . ., . ,.,, . , . . .. ,., . ., , , .. .. ... , . ., ., . , . .. . ,., . ... .. . . . .., . . ,. .. . .,. . ..., . .. . . . . .. . , . , . , , , .. ., , . ., . ., . . , .. . , ..,. ., .. . .. ,., .. ., .. ,,. . . . , , . . , .,, . . , . . . . . . ., , . . . , , . ., . . . . .., . . . . . . , , ., . ., . . ., .. . . , , .,., ., .. . . .. . , . . . . . , .. .. .,, , . . . , , . ., . . . , .. , ., . . . , ., .. . . . ., . . . . . .. , .. . , , . . , , . , ., . , .. . . , . . , . ., , . . , . , . , .., , . . , . , . . , .. . , . . .. .. , . , . , . , ,., ., . . .., . . . . . . . . . . . . , . , . , . , ,, . ., . , .. ,. . . . , . ., .. . , . .. . , , . .. , . , . . , . , . .. . . .. . , . , . , ., . . . . . . ., .., . .,.. ., .. , , .. , ., ,.. ... , . , . , ,, ,. . ,., . . ,, . . . , ... . .,. . . . . . , . . . . .. , . , ., . . . . .. , . , ,. . . , . . . . . . , . . . . . . , . , . , . ., ., . . . . . , . . , . , . , ., . . . . .,.,., ... ... . . . ..., . , . .. .. .,, . . , . .,. . . . . . . , , ,., . ,. . ., ,. . ., .. . . , ., .., . . .., . , . .. . . , , . . , ., ., . . , . .. . ,. . . , . . , .,., .. . . . . . ..., . , . . . , . . ., , . .,. . . . . . . , , ,., . ., . ., ,. . ... . , . . . . . , . . ., . . , , ., . ,, . , . . .,. .. .. .,. .. ,.., .,. , . .. . ,,. . .. . .. , , .. . . . . ., .. . . .. , . , . , . , ,. .. ., . . .,., . . , ... . .,. . . , .., . .,.. .., . , ,. . ,. . .. ,. . , .., . , . , . . , . , ., . . . . .. , . , , . . . ..,. .., . . . . .. , . , ., . . . . ..,

Komt uit: Archis 2/2001 — 87— Review — De kloof als ontmoetingsplaats


Counterfoil c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Archis c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Personal c%%%%%%%%%%%% Information c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Desktop c%%%%%%%%%%%% Ocean house c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% left c%%%%%%%%%%%% Hidden c%%%%%%%%%%%% commercial c%%%%%%%%%%%% message 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%%%%%%%%%%%%

Name

Address

Telephone

Mobile

E-mail

Business address

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

From: Archis 2/2001 — 1


Editors Ole Bouman (editor-in-chief) Phillip van den Bossche Lilet Breddels Arjen Oosterman Arthur Wortmann Robyn de Jong-Dalziel (English copy editor)

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Translators Donald Gardner Victor Joseph Andrew May Arthur Payman Wendy van Os Jane Zuyl-Moores

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Editorial consultants Alex Adriaansens (Rotterdam) Piet de Beer (Capetown) Xavier Costa (Barcelona) Thom Daniell (Kyoto) Cathérine David (Paris) Hilde Heynen (Liège) Bart Lootsma (Rotterdam) Luca Molinari (Milan) Michelle Provoost (Rotterdam) Michael Speaks (Los Angeles) Koen van Synghel (Ghent) Tan Kok Meng (Singapore) Maria Theodorou (Athens) Roemer van Toorn (Amsterdam) Ruth Verde Zein (Sao Paulo) Kai Voeckler (Berlin) Rob Wilson (London)

Publisher Artimo Foundation Gijs Stork Fokke Simonszstraat 8 1017 TG Amsterdam, The Netherlands t: +31.(0)20.330.2511 f: +31.(0)20.330.2512 artimo@lostboys.nl www.lostart.nl

Secretary Esther van der Schaaf

Mu Inc., New York, USA t: + 1.917.207.6091 e: davidrenard@hotmail.com Jan-Willem Poels, Albuquerque, USA t: +1.877.905.3480 f: +1.877.471.2521 Multi Arts, Taiwan t: + 886-2-2505-2288 f: + 886-2-2516-8366 Title rights Stichting Archis, Amsterdam Archis is published with financial support from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Welfare and produced in association with the Netherlands Architecture Institute and with the support of the Flemish Community. 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

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Published in: Archis 2/2001 — 2


Counterfoil c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Archis c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Contents c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Desktop c%%%%%%%%%%%% Space Dawn 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%%%%%%%%%%%%

Keywords 4

A.-Res. Research

A.-Inn. Innovation

Editorial 5

The not-so-humble new abode 9

Two houses in Amsterdam by Christian Rapp Arthur Wortmann 43

Living your own life in a runaway world Ulrich Beck 17

Manifesto Lucien Kroll 53

NU-style Living Angie Abbink 31

A.-Pol. Politics

A.-Rev. Review

A.-Dos. Dossier

Architecture is a matter for everyone Ole Bouman 59

A bicyle shed is a building Arjen Oosterman 77

Toyo Ito’s mediatheque in Sendai

Modern architecture in Bruges Koen van Synghel 61

Beyond the interdisciplinary Sven Sterken 81

Architecture for a paradoxical urban condition Tom Avermaete 106

Popular science Kees Christiaanse 65

Objectionable objects John Thackara 86

‘Virtual light’ and ‘heavy metal’ Thomas Daniell 117

Vulture, buzzard, chameleon Paul Vermeulen 67 First white, then black, then grey Arjen Oosterman 70

Gorillas in Guadalajara Aaron Betsky 91 Books 97

Global PS Wim Cuyvers 72

Empty space Over to you Tell us

Open debate Send comments SMS to: +31.(0)6.1104.6218

From: Archis 2/2001 — 3 — Contents


Absurdity 43 Absurdity, which lends life colour, is smuggled in through the back door. Architecture 65 Architecture has become a consumer product. Arena 59 Architecture has become an arena for the struggle for power. Black Madonna 70 State socialism and monument status. Centre 1 67 In the dispersed city that we now inhabit, the word ‘centre’ is preceded by an adjective – historic centre, shopping centre, sports centre, arts centre. Centre 2 67 The cult of the fringe validates the existence of the centre. Glocal 91 Globally driven but locally sensitive. Hero 17 The central character of our time: the choosing, deciding, shaping human being. Individual 17 Individuals become actors, builders, jugglers, stage-managers of their own biographies and identities, but also of their social links and networks. Individuality The ‘essence of individuality’ may therefore be understood as ‘radical non-identity’. Interface 67 The place where ... each of those provisional, part-time centres that we live with breaks out of its selfsatisfied smugness, ready for interaction, accessible, public.

Manifesto 53 Let us urgently help the G8 to transform itself into a gentle and contemporary urban body.

Mediatheque 117 Information technology makes the building itself all but irrelevant. NDD 31 New Dutch Dream: for the Dutch take on New Urbanism, see www.haverleij.nl and www.brandevoort.nl Nemawashi 91 The process by which groups in Japan develop the shared understanding without which nothing much gets done. New housing mentality 9 What is a house, and who wants to live there? Place polygamy 17 Globalization of the biography means that people are wedded to several places at once. Politics 70 Ambitious ideas end up being as a matter of who is serving which master in whose name. Public realm 17 The public realm no longer has anything to do with collective decisions. Rhetoric In New Urbanism, the rhetoric stops at the front door.

31

Serendipity 77 Not that anyone wants a totally designed world, rather a world in which there is room for serendipity, surprise, surplus. Space 1 59 In the end, politics is always about space. Space 2 106 Space is defined not by means of a particular surface or expanse, but rather as a ‘domain’ that needs reaccessing each time using one or other programme component. Styles Styles have to remain local.

53

TND 31 Traditional Neighborhood Design: for nostalgia and romanticism, visit www.newurbanism.com

From: Archis 2/2001 — 4 — Keywords


Counterfoil c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Editorial c%%%%%%%%%%%% The return of c%%%%%%%%%%%% politics c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Text c%%%%%%%%%%%% Ole Bouman 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%%%%%%%%%%%%

The return of politics Sometimes you have to make a bold prediction, and here’s mine: architecture is turning political again. Not in the same way as 30 years ago, as an illustration of the power of capital or – the opposite – as proof of ideological correctness. Nor like 15 years ago, as a lever for urban renewal operations or as an instrument of city hall socialism. The political in architecture today means the explicit awareness that architectural space is the primary domain in which conflicts of social outlook are made public, defined and ultimately fought out. Architecture has become an arena for the struggle for power, and people are becoming increasingly conscious of the fact – of architecture as politics. Now that architecture is no longer seen merely as the beauty of the individual building but as the spatial dimension of our existence, the time is ripe for the architectural debate to re-embrace the polarization appropriate to that dimension. More and people are getting involved and that is a sure-fire recipe for trouble. A quick example. Archis spent a while following the decision-making process for the renovation of the Ministries of Justice and the Interior in The Hague from the inside. It is a complicated project, full of interest from the point of view of programme, urban situation and architecture. A major state commission of this kind is effectively a litmus test of self-assured government. Within mere months, as it turned out, the project was bogged down in a political quagmire, no longer a matter of architectural quality but of power, nostalgia, social involvement, efficiency requirements, process control techniques and political interference at the highest level (see p. 70 of this issue). And there are dozens of similar instances of architecture in the broad sense turning into a platform for political fencing. The semi-privatization of the public realm, the claim laid on space by the modernization of transport infrastructure, the individualization of housing: you see it all around you. But the major social processes also throw up architectural questions: an aging population, multiculturalism and new safety demands are all trends that have consequences for the organization and shaping of space.

London’s Docklands: a model of redevelopment. F1/01/4447 MAR 2001.

What it comes down to is that architecture no longer figures as a marginal frill on a national culture policy, nor as a bee in some lone individual’s political bonnet, but it becomes the focus of the most energetic of political ambitions. Political struggles are no longer fought out over abstractions but over the space of here and now. It is little wonder therefore that we are bombarded with policy papers. Governments all around the world are busily promulgating architectural policies. It would be naive to think that all this attention was due to an increased interest in architecture as an artistic discipline. Architecture is no longer safe from political abuse – but, the question is, is that really such a bad thing? Ole Bouman

From: Archis 2/2001— 5 — Editorial


COLOUR FAX TO : THE EDITORS F 31.(0)20.320.3927

From: Archis 2/2001 — 6


A.–RES. Komt uit: Archis 2/2001 — 24— Onderzoek


Forward to: From: Date:

Join the housing hunt: Pass on:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 8 — Research

Room Wanted %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Saskia (21) is %%%%%%%%%%%%] looking for a place %%%%%%%%%%%%] to live. %%%%%%%%%%%%] I work play and %%%%%%%%%%%%] live in Amsterdam %%%%%%%%%%%%] but I’ve just lost my %%%%%%%%%%%%] current place. If %%%%%%%%%%%%] you have an empty %%%%%%%%%%%%] room give me a %%%%%%%%%%%%] call. I don’t mind %%%%%%%%%%%%] doing up a room, %%%%%%%%%%%%] attic or flat to make %%%%%%%%%%%%] it habitable. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] The %%%%%%%%%%%%] not-so-humble %%%%%%%%%%%%] new abode %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Project %%%%%%%%%%%%] Cornelis %%%%%%%%%%%%] Trooststraat, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Leeuwarden, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Karelse van der %%%%%%%%%%%%] Meer, 2000. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photo %%%%%%%%%%%%] Arthur Wortmann %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Layout %%%%%%%%%%%%] Candy %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

THE NOT-SO-HUMBLE NEW ABODE

... THE NOT-SO-HUMBLE NEW ABODE THE DUTCH HOUSING ACT has been in force for 100 years – a century of care for housing the public. The underlying philosophy – that everyone was entitled to a place of their own and a few basic amenities – was a lofty one. The government turned the creation of a private domain into a public affair, and so started out on an ambitious programme of civilization. But it was not only in the Netherlands that housing became an official business. Many countries with a strongly developed social democracy unveiled similar programmes for building. Publicly funded house-building was thus effectively a West-European phenomenon: a programme of emancipation. Under the communist regimes of the East, public housing was tantamount to mass housing. It was a process of the centrallycontrolled production of dwellings, not guided by any principle of elevating the populace. After all, the proletariat was already elevated, wasn’t it? The goal of housing was thus reduced to erecting barracks for the masses. In the West, housing remained primarily a personal responsibility, and many people would have preferred the government to keep its hands off altogether. In America, the public looked after its own housing needs, and if anyone failed to do so, well, it was their own fault. The country clad itself in suburbia, a patchwork quilt of detached houses, each a symbol of individual autonomy and success. So housing came to mirror the lifephilosophies and ideologies of the First and Second World. The Third World, by contrast, was invariably seen from the angle of a habitat problem – the question of accommodating the hundreds of

Who puts out the rubbish at your place?

millions of uprooted country dwellers who were crowding into the new megacities in search of a better life. THE FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD Worlds can no longer be reduced to this geographically organized picture of the world. Increasingly, people do not belong to camps but to networks. States, political parties, non-profit associations and other forms of collectivity hold themselves less and less responsible for how people live. Moreover, someone seeking a home nowadays does not want the same things as in the past. Seclusion, privacy, the family and security take on another meaning in a network society. What is a house, and who wants to live there? There have already been countless studies and competitions on the subject of the ‘New House’. This issue of Archis, however, scrutinizes the other side of the housebuilding task: the new housing mentality. ......................................................................... .........................................................................

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o I do o my permanent partner o my partner of the moment o the cleaner From: Archis 2/2001 — 9 — Research


LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR

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From: Archis 2/2001 — 10 — Research

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Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] The %%%%%%%%%%%%] not-so-humble %%%%%%%%%%%%] new abode %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Project %%%%%%%%%%%%] left %%%%%%%%%%%%] Cornelis %%%%%%%%%%%%] Trooststraat, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Leeuwarden, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Karelse van der %%%%%%%%%%%%] Meer, 2000. %%%%%%%%%%%%] right %%%%%%%%%%%%] Egelshoek, Heiloo, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Duinker van der %%%%%%%%%%%%] Torre, 2000. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photographs %%%%%%%%%%%%] left %%%%%%%%%%%%] Arthur Wortmann %%%%%%%%%%%%] right %%%%%%%%%%%%] Jan Derwig %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

LIVING IN A SEA OF GRASS

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Since I’ve been living here my house has been broken into:

o never o once o 2-4 times o 5-10 times

From: Archis 2/2001 — 11 — Research


LIVING ON THE EDGE

...

From: Archis 2/2001 — 12 — Research


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] The %%%%%%%%%%%%] not-so-humble %%%%%%%%%%%%] new abode %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Project %%%%%%%%%%%%] top left %%%%%%%%%%%%] Urban gardens, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Kop van Zuid, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Rotterdam, Kees %%%%%%%%%%%%] Christiaanse %%%%%%%%%%%%] Architecten en %%%%%%%%%%%%] Planners, 2000. %%%%%%%%%%%%] bottom left %%%%%%%%%%%%] Panama block, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Panamalaan, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Amsterdam, Frits %%%%%%%%%%%%] van Dongen, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Architekten Cie. %%%%%%%%%%%%] 2001. %%%%%%%%%%%%] right %%%%%%%%%%%%] De Veste, block 17, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Brandevoort, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Helmond, Rob Krier %%%%%%%%%%%%] (supervision), H. %%%%%%%%%%%%] Coppem, %%%%%%%%%%%%] R. Lanfermeyer, %%%%%%%%%%%%] H. van der Laan, %%%%%%%%%%%%] C. van der Ven %%%%%%%%%%%%] (architecture), 2000. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photographs %%%%%%%%%%%%] Arthur Wortmann %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

NU-STYLE LIVING

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I’m:

o crazy about antiques o mad about the periphery o a postmodernist o an actor From: Archis 2/2001 — 13 — Research


SEPARATE LIVES

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1

4

2

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3

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From: Archis 2/2001 — 14 — Research


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] The %%%%%%%%%%%%] not-so-humble %%%%%%%%%%%%] new abode %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Project %%%%%%%%%%%%] left %%%%%%%%%%%%] Keizerplan %%%%%%%%%%%%] owner-built plots, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Zoetermeer, 2000. %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1. D & T van %%%%%%%%%%%%] Maanen %%%%%%%%%%%%] 2. A. Berkenpas %%%%%%%%%%%%] 3. Bleeker. %%%%%%%%%%%%] 4. J.L. Roggeveen %%%%%%%%%%%%] 5. R. Winkel %%%%%%%%%%%%] 6. Molenaar & Van %%%%%%%%%%%%] Winden %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] right %%%%%%%%%%%%] Nieuw Terbregge %%%%%%%%%%%%] housing, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Rotterdam, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Mecanoo, 2000. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photographs %%%%%%%%%%%%] left %%%%%%%%%%%%] Arthur Wortmann %%%%%%%%%%%%] right %%%%%%%%%%%%] Christian Richters %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

DECK-SIDE LIVING

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I’ve left a spare key to my house with:

o the neighbours o my mother o my girl/boy friend o the police From: Archis 2/2001 — 15 — Research


FAX TO ULRICH BECK F +49(0)89.2180.2922

From: Archis 2/2001 — 16 — Research


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Living your own %%%%%%%%%%%%] life in a runaway %%%%%%%%%%%%] world %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Ulrich Beck %%%%%%%%%%%%] Image %%%%%%%%%%%%] Bertien van Manen %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Lay-out %%%%%%%%%%%%] Document %%%%%%%%%%%%] Desktop %%%%%%%%%%%%] 3rd Class %%%%%%%%%%%%] Notebook %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

Ulrich Beck

LivingYour Own Life in a RunawayWorld: Individualization, Globalization and Politics I flee from:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 17 — Research


Is it true?

From: Archis 2/2001 — 18— Research


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Living your own %%%%%%%%%%%%] life in a runaway %%%%%%%%%%%%] world %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Ulrich Beck %%%%%%%%%%%%] Image %%%%%%%%%%%%] Vibeke Tandberg %%%%%%%%%%%%] courtesy %%%%%%%%%%%%] Klosterfelde, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Berlin %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1. See: U. Beck, E. %%%%%%%%%%%%] Beck-Gernsheim, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Individualisation, %%%%%%%%%%%%] London (Sage) 2000. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

There is hardly a desire more widespread in the West today than to lead ‘a life of your own’. If a traveller in France, Finland, Poland, Switzerland, Britain, Germany, Hungary, the USA or Canada asks what really moves people there, what they strive and struggle to achieve, the answer may be money, work, power, love, God or whatever, but it would also be, more and more, the promise of ‘a life of your own’. Money means your own money, space means your own space, even in the elementary sense of a precondition for a life you can call your own. Love, marriage and parenthood are required to bind and hold together the individual’s own, centrifugal life-story. It would be only a slight exaggeration to say that the daily struggle for a life of your own has become the collective experience of the Western world. It expresses the remnant of our communal feeling. What drives people to reach for the stars in their lives? Why is this new direction emerging which, though seemingly meaningful only at the level of the individual, is really unfolding in accordance with a schematic pattern? What explains the zeal, the fear and enthusiasm, the cunning and determination, with which large numbers of people fret and fight for their ‘own lives’? For many, the answer obviously lies within the people themselves – in their individual wills, their inflated expectations, their insatiable hunger for new experience, their decreasing preparedness to obey commands, to get into lane, to make sacrifices. Such hasty explanations, however, throw up a new series of questions. How are we to explain the fact that people in many countries suddenly and simultaneously want to take control of their lives? Everything is acted out in the personalized costumes of the individual – independently, in the world’s most varied cultures, languages and cities. Is this a kind of epidemic of egoism, an ego fever, to be overcome through daily doses of ethics and references to the public good? Or are individuals, despite all the glitter of the campaign for their own lives, perhaps also in the vanguard of a deeper change? Do they point to new shores, towards a struggle for a new relationship between the individual and society, which still has to be invented? We live in an age in which the social order of the national state, class, ethnicity and the traditional family is in decline. The ethic of individual self-fulfilment and achievement is the most powerful current in modern society. The choosing, deciding, shaping human being who aspires to be the author of his or her own life, the creator of an individual identity, is the central character of our time. It is the fundamental cause behind changes in the family and the global gender revolution in relation to work and politics. Any attempt to create a new sense of social cohesion has to start from the recognition that individualism, diversity and scepticism are written into Western culture.1 The importance of a life of your own in a runaway world may be outlined in the following points.

One The compulsion to lead your own life, and the possibility of doing it, emerge when a society is highly differentiated. To the extent that society breaks down into separate functional spheres that are neither interchangeable nor graftable onto one another, people are integrated into society only in their partial aspects as tax payers, car drivers, students, consumers, voters, patients, producers, fathers, mothers, sisters, pedestrians, and so on. Constantly changing between different, partly incompatible logics of action, they are forced to take into their hands that which is in danger of breaking into pieces: their own lives. Modern society does not integrate them as whole persons into its functional systems; rather, it relies on the fact that individuals are not integrated but only partly and temporarily involved as they wander between different functional worlds. The social form of your own life is initially an empty space which an ever more differentiated society has opened up. It becomes filled with incompatibilities, the ruins of traditions, the junk of side-effects. The space left behind as once dominant certainties lose their power becomes a junkyard for the wreckage of people’s own lives. Many Westerners could say: ‘My life is not a continuum. It is not merely broken by day and night into black and white pieces. It is different versions of me which go to the station, sit in the office and make bookings, stalk through groves, write : I am the thinker-of-all-trades, of broken-up trades, who runs, smokes, kills, listens to the radio, says “Yes, sir” to the chief officer’. Such a person has been called ‘a tray full of sparkling snapshots’(Arno Schmidt, Aus dem Leben eines Fauns). Two Your own life is not a life peculiar to yourself. In fact the opposite is true; a standardized life is produced that combines both achievement and justice, and in which the interest of the individual and rationalized society are merged. The expansion of the nation-state produced and affirmed individualization, with doctrines of socialization and institutions of education to match. This is what I call the paradox of ‘institutional individualism’. The legal norms of the welfare state make individuals (not groups) the recipients of benefits, thereby enforcing the rule that people should organize more and more of their own lives. People used to be born into traditional societies, as they were into social classes or religions. Today even God himself has to be chosen. And the ubiquitous rule is that, in order to survive the rat-race, one has to become active, inventive and resourceful to develop ideas of one’s own, to be faster, nimbler and more creative – not just on one occasion, but constantly, day after day. Individuals become actors, builders, jugglers, stagemanagers of their own biographies and identities, but also of their social links and networks.

I experiment with:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 19 — Research


Is this me?

From: Archis 2/2001 — 20 — Research


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Three

Six

Your own life is thus completely dependent on institutions. In the place of binding traditions, institutional guidelines appear on the scene to organize your own life. The qualitative difference between traditional and modern life-stories is not, as many assume, that in older corporate and agrarian societies various suffocating controls and guidelines restricted the individual’s say in his or her own life to a minimum, whereas today hardly any such restrictions are left. It is, in fact, in the bureaucratic and institutional jungle of modernity that life is most securely bound into networks of guidelines and regulations. The crucial difference is that modern guidelines actually compel the self-organization and self-thematization of people’s biographies. In earlier times in Europe very precise rules governed wedding ceremonies, for example, so that in some regions and periods nearly half the population of marriageable age remained single. Today, by contrast, many sets of guidelines – in the educational system, the labour market, or the welfare state – involve demands that individuals should run their own lives, on pain of economic sanction.

Your own life – your own failure. Consequently, social crisis phenomena such as structural unemployment can be shifted as a burden of risk onto the shoulders of individuals. Social problems can be directly turned into psychological dispositions: into guilt feelings, anxieties, conflicts and neurosis. Paradoxically enough, a new immediacy develops in the relationship between the individual and society, an immediacy of disorder such that social crises appear as individual and are no longer – or are only very indirectly – perceived in their social dimension. This is even true of the darker side of still-integrated societies: the new collective positions of underclass and exclusion. These are collectively individualized. Here is certainly one of the sources, both present and future, for the outbreaks of violence for its own sake that are directed against shifting victims (‘foreigners’, the disabled, homosexuals, Jews). Researchers distinguish between ‘life-story’as a chain of actual events and ‘biography’ as the narrative form of events – which by no means necessarily coincide with each other. Thus, if biographies spoke only of ‘blows of fate’, ‘objective conditions’ and ‘outside forces’ that ‘overwhelmed’, ‘predetermined’, or ‘compelled’, that would refute the theory formulated above. For it has been argued that individuals have to perceive themselves as at least partly shaping themselves and the conditions of their lives, even or above all in the language of failure. A rough pragmatic indicator for the ‘living your own life’ theory is thus the presence of elements of an individualistic and active narrative form in people’s own biographies. Life’s events are ascribed not mainly to ‘alien’ causes, but to aspects of the individual (decisions, nondecisions, omissions, capacities, incapacities, achievements, compromises, defeats). This does not, of course, rule out the possibility of false consciousness.

Four Living your own life therefore means that standard biographies become elective biographies, ‘do-it-yourself biographies’, risk biographies, broken or broken-down biographies. Even behind facades of security and prosperity, the possibilities of biographical slippage and collapse are ever present. Hence the clinging and the fear, even in the externally wealthy middle layers of society. So there is a big difference to be made between individualization where there are institutional resources like human rights, education and the welfare state to cope with the contradiction of modern biographies and ‘atomization’ where there are not. The neo-liberal market ideology enforces atomization with all its political … Five Despite, or because of, the institutional guidelines and the often incalculable insecurity, your own life is condemned to activity. Even in failure, it is an active life in its structuring of demands. The other side of this obligation to be active is that failure becomes personal failure, no longer perceived as class experience in a ‘culture of poverty’. It goes hand in hand with forms of self-responsibility. Whereas illness, addiction, unemployment and other deviations from the norm used to count as blows of fate, the emphasis today is on individual blame and responsibility. Living your own life therefore entails taking responsibility for personal misfortunes and unanticipated events. Typically, this is not only an individual perception, but a culturally binding mode of attribution. It corresponds to an image of society in which individuals are not passive reflections of circumstances but active shapers of their own lives, within varying degrees of limitation.

Seven People struggle to live their own lives in a world that increasingly and more evidently escapes their grasp, one that is irrevocably and globally networked. Even the most natural action of all – the inhaling of clean air – ultimately presupposes a revolution in the industrial world order. This brings us to the concept of the globalization of biography. In the global age, one’s own life is no longer sedentary or tied to a particular place. It is a travelling life, both literally and metaphorically, a nomadic life, a life spent in cars, aeroplanes and trains, on the telephone or the Internet, supported by the mass media, a transnational life stretching across frontiers. The multilocal nationality of your own life is a further reason for the hollowing-out of national sovereignty and the obsolescence of nation-based sociology. The association of place and community or society is coming unstuck.2 Whether voluntarily or compulsorily or both, people spread their lives out across separate worlds. Globalization of biography means place polygamy; people are wedded to several places at once. Place-polygamous ways of living are

As you can see, work on this strip is in progress. Occasionally, strips will be empty. You can contribute to the content of these strips by sending an SMS:+31.(0)6.1104.6218. From: Archis 2/2001 — 21 — Research


This is it.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 22— Research


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My world is: Your world is: Beck’s world is:

Forward to: From: Date:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 23 — Research


I’m not here.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 24 — Research


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I do / don’t feel at home in: I do / don’t feel at home around:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 25 — Research


Something’s not right here.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 26— Research


My world is: Your world is: Beck’s world is:

Forward to: From: Date:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 27 — Research


From: Archis 2/2001 — 28 — Research


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translated biographics: they have to be constantly translated both for oneself and for others, so that they can continue as in-between lives. The transition from the first to the second modernity is also a transition from place monogamy to place polygamy. To understand the social figure of globalization as it applies to your own life, it is necessary to keep in view the different conflicting places across which that life is spread out. In this sense, not only global players but also Indian taxi-drivers in Chicago or Russian Jews in Israel live transnational lives. Globalization of biographies means a very complex, contradictory process that generates novel conflicts and forms of separation. Thus, the upsurge of local nationalisms and the new emphasis on local identity should be seen as an unmistakable consequence of globalization, and not – as they may first appear – as a phenomenon that contradicts it. This seventh thesis therefore implies that your own life is a global life. The framework of the national state has become too big and too small. What happens within your own life has a lot to do with world-wide influences, challenges and fashions, or with protection against them.

themselves off from what is happening; they collide with one another and end up in public competition and conflict, at both a global and a local level. Fundamentalism too, in its European and non-European variants, is in this sense a reaction to both individualization and globalization. The crucial point here is that the public realm no longer has anything to do with collective decisions. It is a question not of solidarity or obligation but of conflictual coexistence.

Eight

Ten

The other side of globalization is detraditionalization. The life of your own life is also a detraditionalized life. This does not mean that tradition no longer plays any role – often the opposite is the case. But traditions must be chosen and often invented, and they have force only through the decisions and experience of individuals. The sources of industrial society (ethnic identity, class consciousness, faith in progress), whose life-styles and notions of security underpinned Western democracies and economics into the 1960s, here lose their mystique and break up, exhausted. Those who live in this postnational, global society are constantly engaged in discarding old classifications and formulating new ones. The hybrid identities and cultures that ensue are precisely the individuality which then determines social integration. In this way, identity emerges through intersection and combination, and thus through conflict with other identities. How does this differ from the historical and theoretical analyses of Georg Simmel, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber in the early part of this century? The main difference is that today people are not discharged from corporate religious-cosmological certainties into the world of industrial society, but are transplanted from the national industrial societies of the first modernity into the transnational turmoil of world-risk society.3 People are expected to live their lives with the most diverse and contradictory transnational and personal identities and risks. Individualization in this sense means detraditionalization, but also the opposite: a life lived in conflict between different cultures, the invention of hybrid traditions. It is hardly surprising that various idylls – grandma’s apple cake, forget-me-nots and communitarianism – are experiencing a boom. Even traditional (for example, religious) systems of interpretation cannot shut

Your own life is a reflexive life. Social reflexion – the processing of contradictory information, dialogue, negotiation, compromise – is almost synonymous with living your own life. Active management (and that does seem the right word) is necessary for the conduct of life in a context of conflicting demands and a pact of global uncertainty. Self-realization and self-determination are by no means merely individual goals; they are often also public stop-gaps, the reverse side of the problems that all partial systems unload onto citizens by suddenly deeming them ‘mature and responsible’. This compulsion to self-realization, this departure for the foreign continent of your own life, goes hand in hand with integration into world-wide contexts. Something like individual distinctiveness really appears for the first time through the combination of social crises in which individuals are forced to think, act and live. It becomes normal to test out a number of different mixes; several overlapping identities are discovered and a life is constructed out of their combination. The social structure of your own global life thus appears together with continual differentiation and individualization – or, to be more precise, with the individualization of classes, ethnic groups, nuclear families and normal female biographies. In this way, the nationally fixed social categories of industrial society are culturally dissolved or transformed. They become ‘zombie categories’, which have died yet live on. Even traditional conditions of life become dependent upon decisions; they have to be chosen, defended and justified against other options and lived out as a personal risk. Not only genetically modified food but also love and marriage, including the traditional housewife marriage, become a risk.

My world is: Your world is: Beck’s world is:

Nine If globalization, detraditionalization and individualization are analysed together, it becomes clear that your own life is an experimental life. Inherited recipes for living and role stereotypes fail to function. There are no historical models for the conduct of life. Individual and social life – in marriage and parenthood as well as in politics, public activity and paid work – have to be brought back into harmony with each other. The restlessness of the age, of the Zeitgeist, is also due to the fact that no one knows how or whether this can be achieved.

Forward to: From: Date:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 29 — Research


Eleven Living your own life is, in this sense, a late-modern form which enjoys high esteem. This has not always been so. In traditional, nationally closed societies, the individual remains a species concept: the smallest unit of an imagined whole. Only detraditionalization, global opening and a new multiplicity of functional logics give social space and meaning to the emphasis on the individual. The positive evaluation of the individual is thus a truly modern phenomenon, which at the same time continues to be vigorously combatted even today (as talk of the ‘me-first’ or ‘push-and-shove’ society shows). All through history, individualist behaviour has been equated with conduct that is deviant or even idiotic. When individuality features in the consciousness of a world picture, it is tainted with a flaw or defect. This was true in ancient Greece, or during the early Middle Ages in Europe, when individuality was mainly interpreted as deviant or sinful behaviour to be avoided. This deprecatory sense of individuality persisted in the sciences and ‘the bourgeois world, up to the epigraph of Sartre’s La nausée: “Ce type n’a aucune valeur pour la société, il n’est qu’un individu.” A mere individual – that is the most concise formula expressing the opposition to the early Romantic rehabilitation (and redefinition) of the essence of individuality.’4 Interestingly enough, this revaluation of individuality succeeded precisely because that which had for centuries been the reason for its low value now became the reason for its high value: namely that the individual cannot be derived from the general. The point now was that the general could only be surmised, and thus paled beside the verifiability and indeed immemoriality of the individual. The ‘essence of individuality’ may therefore be understood as ‘radical nonidentity’. Twelve Your own life, seen in this way, is a radically nonidentical life. While culture was previously defined by traditions, today it must be defined as an area of freedom which protects each group of individuals and has the capacity to produce and defend its own individualization. To be more specific, culture is the field in which we assert that we can live together, equal yet different.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 30 — Research

4. M. Frank, %%%%%%%%%%%%] ‘Einleitung in %%%%%%%%%%%%] Fragmente einer %%%%%%%%%%%%] Schlussdiskussion’, in: %%%%%%%%%%%%] M. Frank, P. %%%%%%%%%%%%] Haverkamp (eds), %%%%%%%%%%%%] Individulität, Poetik %%%%%%%%%%%%] und Hermeneutik, Vol. %%%%%%%%%%%%] 13, Munich (Peter %%%%%%%%%%%%] Haverkamp) 1988, p. %%%%%%%%%%%%] 611. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] * An earlier version of %%%%%%%%%%%%] this article appeared in: %%%%%%%%%%%%] Will Hutton, Anthony %%%%%%%%%%%%] Giddens, On the Edge, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Living with Global %%%%%%%%%%%%] Capitalism, London %%%%%%%%%%%%] (Jonathan Cape) 2000, %%%%%%%%%%%%] pp. %%%%%%%%%%%%] 164-174 %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Thanks to Bregtje %%%%%%%%%%%%] van der Haak. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] NU-style living %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

NU-STYLE LIVING

My web address is: Our street’s web address is: Our neighbourhood’s web address is:

Our city’s web address is: The estate agent’s web address is: The last web site I visited is:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 31 — Research


NU-STYLE LIVING

NU LIVING Riding on waves of longing for safety and security, the American New Urbanism movement (NU for short) focuses sharply on the issue of housing with text and image; that is to say, on the public and collective aspect of housing. Private and individual living figures as a mere facade in a tale that concentrates on the street as a public living room. Rhetoric stops at the front door. The image projected does not centre around individual living but around the community. Housing must once again become part of an ideology, part of a new dream. The physical environment inhabited by Americans has always been tightly bound up with the American Dream. A succession of ‘dream’ images featuring the American as pioneer, family man, entrepreneur, consumer and individualist have supposedly left their mark on architecture and urban development. Many people regard Suburbia, Sprawl and Edge City as physical embodiments of the dream-turned-nightmare that has landed Americans in an identity crisis and where ‘living’ has been reduced to the private accumulation of consumer goods. New Urbanism responds to this with principles based on the physical environment in a time when the Dream was still ‘healthy’. Its mission is to resuscitate collectivity, the lost sense of community, in the present individualistic society of the United States. More specifically, the basic principles of New Urbanism are pitched at turning the public living room into a healthy breeding ground for a sense of community. Its explicit emphasis on aesthetic facades, craft, sustainability, the human scale and plenty of greenery aims to encourage residents to be collectively more caring about their environment. The reintroduction of sidewalks and cycle paths in residential zones that are no more than a five-minute walk from public amenities, is intended to stimulate residents to explore their surroundings on foot. Pedestrians are ‘the catalyst which make the essential qualities of communities meaningful,’ according to Peter Calthorpe, a leading New Urbanist. The return of the porch and minimization of the distance between the sidewalk and the building line are thought to foster social integration and, moreover, safety. A wide variety of housing options built at relatively high density defines the walls of the public living room for a multicultural, heterogeneous community. The use of physical means to tackle social problems was long viewed with suspicion by government and the financial sector. Thanks to private initiatives, however, New Urbanism has gradually made headway, with developments like Seaside,1 Celebration,2 Windsor and Kentlands as its best-known results. The elitist approach of these projects has been an easy target for criticism, but many members of the American public have found the resulting development style to their liking. The rhetoric of New Urbanism has since been adopted by the media, who thereby act as a mouthpiece for the national longing for a new dream. The atmosphere in which New Urbanism has developed is illustrated by the mushrooming Internet presence of such organizations as ‘The Center for a New

From: Archis 2/2001 — 32 — Research


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] NU-style living %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Angie Abbink %%%%%%%%%%%%] Image %%%%%%%%%%%%] Suburbia %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%% Layout text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Curriculum Vitae %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Layout image %%%%%%%%%%%%] Chick %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

NU-STYLE LIVING

www.togetherness.nl www.nicebeinghere.nl www.wehaveitgood.nl www.concertedaction.nl

The domain name togetherness.nl still seems to be available (*). The domain name nicebeinghere.nl still seems to be available (*). The domain name wehaveitgood.nl still seems to be available (*). The domain name concertedaction.nl still seems to be available(*). From: Archis 2/2001 — 33 — Research


NU-STYLE LIVING

American Dream’ (www.newdream.org), which is specifically dedicated to changing American consumer behaviour, and ‘Preserve and Protect’, which aims to protect the historic legacy of America’s built environment. Compared with such single-issue organizations, the strength of the New Urbanism movement is that it incorporates a multitude of themes in its programme, and has managed to keep expanding its repertoire. This makes it possible for the movement to continually shift the focus of its rhetoric in the light of current trends, critiques and market developments. In this respect, the Internet is the ideal medium in which the changing guise of New Urbanism can unfold. The shifting emphasis is clear when one examines the pro-NU texts that have been published on the Net over recent years. The ideal of promoting walking as an alternative mode of travel in a country so deeply attached to the private car has gradually been replaced by slogans urging a balance between people and cars. One of the latest strategies used to promote walking appeals to American vanity by arguing that driving makes you fat.3 The aversion of potential home buyers to higher density housing has revived concern about the aspect of privacy, which used to have a low priority. The sharp criticisms which it has attracted have helped spawn numerous mutations of New Urbanism on the Internet, and the term now covers much more than a movement for urban development and revitalization. Still, the original version, which also goes under the name of Traditional Neighborhood Design or TND, remains the most popular one. That this is the most tangible form of a potential new dream may be read (where else?) on www.newurbanism.com. Visitors to the site can walk through carefully selected designs which wholeheartedly represent the main principles of New Urbanism without introducing too many new themes. New Urbanism is still purveyed here with the familiar images of historically sound architecture, accompanied by often poetical descriptions of the neighbourhoods and lyrical accounts from residents about their rediscovered sense of community. It is entirely consistent with the goal yet simultaneously in utter conflict with it that the public living room as presented in these images should be strikingly empty. Cars, bicycles and pedestrians – all street life, in other words – are often missing from the images with which TND promotes itself. By rights, one would have expected a bustling traffic scene with plenty of community representatives in evidence. But the aversion to higher density living and its consequences is apparently so ingrained, that the likely reality is deliberately obscured. The idea that the public realm ought to take priority over the private realm is still hard to sell to an individualistic population. Although the texts on this site endorse the key goals of New Urbanism, the images are still tailored to appeal to a consumer society in which urban living ends at the front door. The feature articles on this site, which are mainly pitched at policymakers, city officials, developers and designers, try to head off potential criticism by hastening to introduce the pitfalls and contradictions of TND and then priming the target readership with tactics and counter-arguments. For the bene-

From: Archis 2/2001 — 34 — Research


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] NU-style living %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Angie Abbink %%%%%%%%%%%%] Image %%%%%%%%%%%%] Traditional %%%%%%%%%%%%] Neighbourhood %%%%%%%%%%%% Design %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Layout text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Curriculum Vitae %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Layout image %%%%%%%%%%%%] Chick %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

NU-STYLE LIVING

123

Join in the design game at www.woonwerf.nl

From: Archis 2/2001 — 35 — Research


NU-STYLE LIVING fit of newcomers to the subject, the site explains the nature of TND, its origins, how it is applied and how it functions. TND, the populist facade of New Urbanism, makes avid use of nostalgia and romanticism to hawk its message. Direct references to the nostalgia for which New Urbanism has become known are not in evidence on the web site of the Congress for New Urbanism (www.cnu.org). The urban strategies New Urbanism espouses for improving the residential environment at different scales are described here in meticulous detail. The principles that apply at neighbourhood or district level are also transposed to a regional scale. The house, the neighbourhood and the public living room are approached in the same way as the city, its suburbs and the surrounding countryside, as a socially, economically and ecologically functioning entity. The role of the pedestrian is scaled up to a regional level through public transport. Despite the fact that the guidelines espoused by New Urbanism could easily be translated into a contemporary architecture and urban design, the image of New Urbanism remains inseparable from the historicist dream beloved of the media. A consequence of the popularity of New Urbanism is that government authorities, as the official guardians of the dream, have become convinced of the need for a new urban development policy which allows them to control physical and economic expansion, and have therefore availed themselves of the politically very saleable package of New Urbanism. New Urbanism has now been incorporated into Smart Growth, an umbrella concept and coalition concerned with all aspects of new development and urban renewal from small to large scale.4 The commercial success of TND has not gone unnoticed in the Netherlands, especially among property developers. The web sites for two new housing developments, Haverleij (www.haverleij.nl) and Brandevoort (www.brandevoort.nl), both in North Brabant, testify to an attempt to link housing to the past in the Netherlands as in America. Brandevoort does this in accordance with the principles of TND, for example by simulating picturesque architecture, but in Haverleij the aim is to effect a marriage between romantic imagery and contemporary design. Whether the stark contrast between these two will preclude a fruitful partnership remains to be seen. Oddly enough, these developments are widely regarded as marking the definitive arrival of New Urbanism in the Netherlands. Yet it is the Netherlands and its ‘great cities’ that Mr. NU himself, Andres Duany, cites as an example of wellorganized, historically sensitive policy and lawmaking.5 The basic concepts of New Urbanism have indeed long been an ingredient of the Dutch town planning legacy. Urban renewal, high densities, diversity, walkable distances, a mix of uses, local amenities – these are all concepts that are deeply rooted in Dutch urbanism. Since the advent of Vinex, this list has been lengthened by the addition of the concepts of local identity, image quality, sustainability and landscape qualities. The only factor fundamentally lacking so far is applied nostalgia. Could Haverleij and Brandevoort mark the start of a New Dutch Dream, a successor to the forlorn ideals of Betondorp and Nagele?

From: Archis 2/2001 — 36 — Research


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] NU-style living %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Angie Abbink %%%%%%%%%%%%] Image %%%%%%%%%%%%] top %%%%%%%%%%%%] Brandevoort %%%%%%%%%%%%] bottom %%%%%%%%%%%%] Haverleij %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Angie Abbink is an %%%%%%%%%%%%] architect based in %%%%%%%%%%%%] Amsterdam. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

NU-STYLE LIVING

11

New Dutch Dream: Old Dutch Dream: Fine Dutch Dream:

Forward to: From: Date:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 37 — Research


(circular)

local news

1. Tear this page out. 2. Write something in the blank space. 3. Stick it in your neighbour’s letter box.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 38— Research

Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Toolkit for your %%%%%%%%%%%%] neighbour %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Circular %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Toolkit for your %%%%%%%%%%%%] neighbour %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Letter %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

Dear neighbour(s), Let’s not greet one another in future. x

(letter)

1. Tear this page out. 2. Stick it in your neigbour’s letter box. 3. Don’t wait around for his or her reaction. 4. Stop greeting your neighbours. From: Archis 2/2001 — 39 — Research


(poster)

private property. keep out!

Do you occasionally watch your neighbour’s webcam on his homepage?

From: Archis 2/2001 — 40— Research

Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Toolkit for your %%%%%%%%%%%%] neighbour %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Poster %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]


Manifesto Archis #2

(manifesto)

MANIFESTO for the G8 meeting on March 2nd 20011 Eerste verdieping nummer 62.

tion of culture, created by authoritative and loaded mental images: he must internalize the ‘disorder’ of the people who make use of his creations. This will only be reached through warm community participation (even with a very small group). Or it will be through the objective study of the complexity of the users (nourished by ethnic respect) and by paying attention to the real inhabitants and not the abstraction which the architect would like them to be (which is what invariably happens). This would avoid reducing them to an insignificant average. Or the architect himself becomes a pluralist through an empathy which will anticipate forms compatible with whatever the spontaneous acts of inhabitants lead to.

Origins Middle Ages, homeopathic acts, The modern movement is born of the holistic vision of reality, evoludesires: the desire for abstraction, tion, the small scale of intervenfor newness, for rationality, for artition, an interest in an ethnic rather ficiality, for visible order, for techthan a technical culture, an antinical sex-appeal, for marvellousauthoritarian attitude, the urgent ness before human renewal, for need to help our present ‘decisionfaith in science and its brutality, for makers’ to understand the historic architectonic militarism, for definitimes in which we are living. tive works, for objects on the Subsidiarity of decisions. In matNo. 62 Scheepstimmermanstraat biggest scale possible and above all ters of planning the residential Design Rapp & Scheulen for a centralization of authority landscape, there are two forms of Job architect: Eireen Schreurs entrusted into the hands of politapproach that are diametrically icians, government officials and opposed. The first is centralized technicians. These are all intended and works from top to bottom: the to impose happiness on ‘the peosmallest details must obey the top. ple’, reducing to silence those who It has been created in the image of over thousands of years had been royalty, then inspired by 19th-cenaccustomed to deciding themtury universal suffrage, and foundselves about their own landscape. ed on technocracy and today’s The modern movement represents financial globalization. the refusal: of tradition, of emoThe present tendency is rather to tions, of chaos and disorder, of iruse a ramified approach, that of the rationality, of sentimentalism, of subsidiarity. The world spoke the subconscious and the unconmuch about subsidiarity in order to scious, of the darkness of the impose the treaty of Maastricht but Middle Ages, of the unadmitted not any more, now that it has been influence of the human body upon signed. There, the details do sponthe surrounding environment, of taneously agglomerate into groups the trust in decisions made by that are then embraced by more groups of laymen, of the capacity substantial entities and successiveof quiet self-management, etc. ly become part of large-scale deciThe contemporary attitude reconsions, depending on the weight of ciles us: This attitude expresses not the issues. This system is comparthe rational, but the relationship able to the psychological organizathrough intelligent thought and tion of groups. emotions of the heart, the safeThis second attitude represents the guarding of ethnic culture, a love of first’s most radical opposite and the creative intelligence of the unavoidably produces an equally Souterrain.

Begane grond.

inverse image. This is how the future will require all leaders to assume the role of the attentive servant rather than that of the deaf and brutal master. Subsidiarity of composition The new design of residential areas must be in the faithful image of its decisional system: a centralized decision produces an authoritarian and homogeneous image: every detail obeys the discipline of the whole. A decision that branches out into subsidiaries will offer a complex image, reflecting heterogeneity, evolutionism and co-operation of all successive planning scales. Thus it appears evident, that as long as architecture adheres to the rules of homogeneity and the repetition of identical elements, to the discipline of materials, to symmetry, to its self-inflicted inflexible and unchangeable character, and to the three unities of drama (action, time and place), it will remain militaristic and will not be able to express the values of a complex, creative, dynamic and democratic society. It cannot be, by definition, anything other than a totalitarian regime; this is the situation which characterizes our age. Motives The architect alone is not able to abandon his pre-formed concep-

Parallellisms In the case of developing residential landscapes, actions and declarations that are too demonstrative prevent common participation. Only gentle and patient approaches (even if these achieve revolutionary results) can calmly reach their target, though without forgetting or weakening the fundamental opposition to authoritarian attitudes. This evolution can find its parallels in the confrontation at Davos/ Porto-Alegre: the real difference lies in the willingness of each of the agents to view the confrontational strategy as a tool to reach an ecological equilibrium that managers are often incapable of deciding upon, or simply of understanding, due to their fear of inducing a disorder they could not control. Even if the fundamental reasons are the same, we are talking about a complementary aid to decisionmaking by ‘those ignorant of the art of construction’, instead of violent criticism. Indeed, what we are describing is a peaceful proceeding of slow efficiency. Prophets Let us ask the friendly co-operation of visionaries: for example, Ecologist, Attac, Monde Diplomatique, Friends of the Earth, syndicates, Greenpeace, the Small Peasant Confederations (José Bové), the NGOs of the speciality, for it is vital that we feel the expression of civil society in progress.

A.–INN. Eerste verdieping.

Komt uit: Archis 2/2001 — 50 — Onderzoek

Tweede verideping.


Forward to: From: Date:

Join the housing hunt: Pass on:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 42 — Innovation

Room Wanted %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Who will rent this %%%%%%%%%%%%] quiet, non-smoking %%%%%%%%%%%%] female medical %%%%%%%%%%%%] student (20) a room %%%%%%%%%%%%] (NLG 550 max.) %%%%%%%%%%%%] Phone: 06-27428351 %%%%%%%%%%%%] or e-mail: %%%%%%%%%%%%] laurien-d@hotmail.com %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Pink Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Innovation %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Two houses in %%%%%%%%%%%%] Amsterdam by %%%%%%%%%%%%] Christian Rapp %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Arthur Wortmann %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photography %%%%%%%%%%%%] Teo Krijgsman %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Layout %%%%%%%%%%%%] Domus %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

Two houses in Amsterdam by Christian Rapp

Arthur Wortmann Front elevation of no. 68

My house tot: was designed by: Inspireert Resembles: Ziet over het hoofd: Shortcomings: Valt onder: Hangt samen met:

INaam: want o no neighbours Datum: o no children Adres: Telefoon: From:uit: Archis 2/2001 —— 43 41— — Innovation Komt Archis 2/2001 Innovatie


Site plan of the two houses on Borneo Island in Amsterdam.

Scheepstimmermanstraat. Is it still a street or a street name, or has it become a household word? This unprepossessing, too narrow street on Borneo (a peninsula in the eastern docklands of Amsterdam), which you don't enter unless you have a reason to, which is too straight to hold any surprises and whose only function is residential, is cropping up with increasing frequency in discussions about architecture. The name has become synonymous with a certain vision of the city and a certain type of architecture. And this despite the fact that when people talk about Scheepstimmermanstraat they are actually referring to only one side of the street; the other side is not even part of it. The street owes its magic to an accumulation of qualities. It forms part of West 8’s urban design scheme for Borneo/Sporenburg, which represents a milestone in the experiments with high-density, low-rise housing development. Within that concept, the street, or rather the southern half of it, occupies a special place, because here, West 8’s original concept – a ‘sea’ of individual dwellings – has held up best, or rather has been accentuated. Whereas elsewhere on the two peninsulas a more large-scale, project-based approach was finally chosen for financial reasons, here each plot has become a separate building task with individual (private) clients, architects and contractors.

And what transpired? These private plots in a former dockland area that was destined to remain a building site for many years, attracted a new class of resident or answered a forgotten need. Welloff dual earners were willing to pay a high price in order to build wholly unassertive dwellings in this completely nondescript living environment. Because that is one of the other qualities which gives this street its magic: everything is hidden from view. The houses are large and stupendous, but from the outside all you can see is closed facades in a narrow street. Scheepstimmermanstraat is for residents who love the city, who don’t give a toss about outward show and who are in for an architectural experiment.1 It is a success that is by no means self-evident. In recent years, hasn’t the emphasis in the debate about private client preferences been on matters such as ‘wilde wonen’ (literally ‘wild living’, or deregulated housing construction)? As if residents have an irrepressible creativity that will develop fully once they are released from the bonds with which the government binds them and regain their ‘natural’ state. Here, however, residents are satisfied with a creativity that is necessarily confined to the interiors because of the limiting conditions dictated by the narrow, deep plots. There are, roughly speaking, two approaches: many dwellings are spatial puzzles

From: Archis 2/2001 — 44 — Innovation

in which a maximum floor area has been realized by ingenious means, while in others, by contrast, the excess space has been used to lend a sort of generosity to living by working with large, open spaces. A good example of the latter is the house by Heren 5 on plot number 110. It is organized around a stairwell that has acquired the character of an atrium. Enormous sliding doors connect the most important spaces with this atrium. On the street, and this is typical, this spatial explosion is nowhere in evidence: a closed facade with three rows of narrow windows. An Amsterdam building, that’s all. The two most fascinating houses in the street, however, are numbers 62 and 68, designed by Christian Rapp. Rapp’s presence on Borneo/Sporenburg is no surprise. Rapp began as assistant to Hans Kollhoff and ended up as coarchitect of the Piraeus building on KNSM island. He is one of the initiators of the architectural success of the redevelopment of the eastern docklands (Oostelijk Havengebied). Which is why the developer, New Deal, invited Rapp to design a dozen or so dwellings within West 8’s master plan at various locations on the peninsulas. This represents a less happy memory of the scheme. As already mentioned, the original idea to construct Borneo/Sporenburg out of a large number of small projects proved to be financially infeasible. Many of the architects involved at that stage were thanked for their efforts and saw their all-tooaudacious architectural concepts disappear into the wastepaper basket.2 Rapp’s designs suffered the same fate. However, thanks to two private clients, Rapp continued to work at this location. Rapp had done something unusual in his designs for New Deal: between the various dwellings he had created alleyways 90 centimetres wide (and, given the long plots with back-toback patio dwellings, some dozens of metres deep). These alleyways led to the entrances to the dwellings, which were thus not located in the front elevation. Not only did


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%%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Pink Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Innovation %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Two houses in %%%%%%%%%%%%] Amsterdam by %%%%%%%%%%%%] Christian Rapp %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Arthur Wortmann %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photography %%%%%%%%%%%%] Teo Krijgsman %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1. Most of the %%%%%%%%%%%%] dwellings are %%%%%%%%%%%%] documented in %%%%%%%%%%%%] Ton Jansen et al. %%%%%%%%%%%%] (eds), Bo 6,7. %%%%%%%%%%%%] Wonen in een huis %%%%%%%%%%%%] naar eigen ontwerp %%%%%%%%%%%%] op Borneo-eiland, %%%%%%%%%%%%] City of Amsterdam, %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1999. %%%%%%%%%%%%] Project Manage%%%%%%%%%%%%] ment Bureau/ %%%%%%%%%%%%] dienst Ruimtelijke %%%%%%%%%%%%] Ordening/ %%%%%%%%%%%%] Grondbedrijf van %%%%%%%%%%%%] de gemeente %%%%%%%%%%%%] Amsterdam, 1999. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 2. Several of the %%%%%%%%%%%%] projects from this %%%%%%%%%%%%] phase, including %%%%%%%%%%%%] fifteen dwellings by %%%%%%%%%%%%] Rapp, were pub%%%%%%%%%%%%] lished in Archis, no. %%%%%%%%%%%%] 2, 1995, pp. 46-51. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

Studio in no. 68.

mortgage paid off on: Inspireert tot: o date: Ziet over het hoofd: o age: Valt onder: Hangt samen met:

o Don’t have a house. Naam: o Can’t get a mortgage. Datum: o Live somewhere else. Adres: Telefoon: Archis 2/2001 — Innovation Komt uit:From: Archis 2/2001 — 43— —45 Onderzoek — Zeitgeist


Ground floor of no. 68.

No. 68 Scheepstimmermanstraat Design Rapp & Scheulen Job architect: Harrie van der Mejs

Basement.

Ground floor.

First floor.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 46 — Innovation

Second floor.

Roof.


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Cross section.

Longitudinal section.

Also look at: Use for: See house by:

Sets me dreaming: Have an aversion to: Soon forget:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 47 — Innovation


Front elevation of no. 68

From: Archis 2/2001 — 48 — Innovation


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%%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Pink Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Innovation %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Two houses in %%%%%%%%%%%%] Amsterdam by %%%%%%%%%%%%] Christian Rapp %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Arthur Wortmann %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photography %%%%%%%%%%%%] Teo Krijgsman %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 3. The decision to %%%%%%%%%%%%] incorporate a lift in %%%%%%%%%%%%] the house had to %%%%%%%%%%%%] do with the fact %%%%%%%%%%%%] that one of the two %%%%%%%%%%%%] original clients had %%%%%%%%%%%%] difficulty walking. %%%%%%%%%%%%] They finally decid%%%%%%%%%%%%] ed not to live there %%%%%%%%%%%%] and the house is %%%%%%%%%%%%] now occupied by %%%%%%%%%%%%] the family of one of %%%%%%%%%%%%] their children. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 4. Bernard %%%%%%%%%%%%] Colenbrander (ed.), %%%%%%%%%%%%] Christian Rapp, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Rotterdam, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Uitgeverij 010, %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1997, p. 19. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 5. Daan Bakker, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Christian Rapp, Het %%%%%%%%%%%%] kant-en-klaarhuis. %%%%%%%%%%%%] Standaard en %%%%%%%%%%%%] karakter in de won%%%%%%%%%%%%] ingcatalogus, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Rotterdam, NAi %%%%%%%%%%%%] Uitgevers, 1998. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 6. Rem Koolhaas, %%%%%%%%%%%%] ‘De wereld is rijp %%%%%%%%%%%%] voor de architect %%%%%%%%%%%%] als visionair’, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis, no. 8, 1986, %%%%%%%%%%%%] p. 47. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

this produce freestanding houses, it was also a positive intervention with regard to the penetration of daylight in the narrow, deep dwellings prescribed in the urban design scheme. Derivatives of this original idea can be found in the two houses on Scheepstimmermanstraat. The plot of number 68 is only 5.1 metres wide but Rapp nevertheless decided to design a detached house. On either side, between this house and the two neighbouring houses, he created a 20-centimetre-wide open strip. This one design decision subsequently determined virtually everything else. Not in the sense that all manner of spatial–architectural ideas followed from it, but rather in the sense that this decision sucked Rapp into a maelstrom of regulations and bureaucracy. For example, the fact that Rapp’s house did not adjoin the neighbouring houses meant that the walls of those houses had to be accessible for any necessary maintenance. A 20centimetre-wide slot is not, however, an ideal working space. The solution Rapp came up with is quite sensational: the two side elevations of Rapp’s house can be fully opened to give access to the exterior walls of the neighbouring houses. On the ground floor – containing the living areas – are storey-high glass sliding doors, through which, 20 centimetres further, you can see the metal corrugated sheets on the walls of the neighbouring houses. On the upper floor – containing two double height studios with skylight – the side elevations are composed of solid wooden panels in a steel skeleton. These wooden panels can be opened to give access to the walls of the neighbouring houses, while the panels in the front and rear elevations can also be opened to create additional fenestration. The alleyway also features in the house on plot number 62. This 5.7-metre-wide plot is bisected by a publicly accessible alleyway (although it will require some temerity to actually use it) which connects the street with the water

Dream house Inspireert tot: in o country: Ziet over het hoofd: o continent Valt onder: o targetsamen date met: Hangt

at the rear of the house. The entrance to the house is situated halfway along this alley. The house is thus cut in two. There are two half houses on the ground floor. On the first floor – containing the living areas – the two halves are reconnected, but on the second floor – containing the bedrooms – the alleyway returns in the form of an elongated roof terrace. Although vertical circulation is present in both ‘halves’ of the house – a stairway in one half, a lift in the other3 – it is clear that convenience was not a primary consideration in the organizational form chosen. For example, in order to reach the bathroom from two of the bedrooms, you either have to take a circuitous route through the house or go outside and cross over to the other half. The question, of course, is why Rapp chose these particular solutions. Did the clients request them? Are the residents of number 68 allergic to contact noise? Were the occupants of number 62 seeking a confrontation with the elements – something the modern city dweller all too often goes without? The answer to such questions is probably ‘no’. Anyone who looks at the designs Rapp has made to date sees an architect who takes no notice of the prevailing architectural practice and who has rediscovered architecture’s academic past. Given the current building practice in the Netherlands, in which an unrestrained formal frenzy often predominates, one is almost tempted to call this retrograde step innovatory. Rapp reminds us once again of a sort of archetypal purity of architecture. In the speech he gave on receiving the 1997 Maaskant Prize for young architects, Rapp borrowed the words of Paul Schmitthenner (1884-1972), a traditionalist who rejected modernism, in order to clarify his own position: ‘I’m not saying anything new, at most perhaps what has been forgotten’.4 However, this is only partly true. Rapp, who following a partnership with Stephan Höhne has now set up in practice with Birgit Scheulen, may take as his departure point a

quest for the ‘essential’ in architecture, but he also invariably adds a measure of contemporary recalcitrance or obstinacy. In Rapp, the logic of the academic acquires a suggestion of obsession. Traditional typologies are not employed because they solve all problems. On the contrary, they are adapted in such a way that they generate tension. The projects have a self-evidence which makes them conceptually right and which ensures that all interventions can be legitimized, while absurdity, which lends life colour, is smuggled in through the back door. It is an answer to that highly pressing question every architect asks him or herself: how do I create space so as, in addition to meeting the requirements specified in the brief and respecting the wishes of the client, to include an inviolable architectural essence in the design? A good example of the resultant working method are the readymade, ‘catalogue dwellings’ Rapp presented in the book Het kant-enklaarhuis that he produced in collaboration with Daan Bakker.5 Here, Rapp’s starting point was a number of basic types which were then extended and transformed in various ways in order to satisfy every possible demand. The series of design types this produces show the signs of an obsessive and compelling logic. Here, typology calls to mind its ugly half-sister, the caricature. Another example can be found in the book published to coincide with the presentation of the Maaskant Prize. It contains a selection of images of Rapp’s projects, namely photographs of models. All of the models have the same scale and all of the photographs have been taken from the same position, so that they too, as it were, have the same scale. Because there are only one or two large projects and numerous smaller ones, many of the pages consist of a big, white expanse in the centre of which is a minuscule photograph. One cannot suppress a certain doubt about the purpose of such a project when flicking through this book, but otherwise

2nd house in Naam: o city: Datum: o countryside: Adres: o seaside: Telefoon: Archis 2/2001 — Innovation Komt uit:From: Archis 2/2001 — 43— —49 Onderzoek — Zeitgeist


First floor no 62.

No. 62 Scheepstimmermanstraat Design Rapp & Scheulen Job architect: Eireen Schreurs

Basement.

Ground floor.

First floor.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 50 — Innovation

Second floor.


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you have to admit: it is possible, you can’t fault it. In the built houses we see what this attitude produces. Anyone who enters them is instantly aware: ‘this is architecture’. The typological clarity ensures an immediate understanding of the space, while the inbuilt irrationality evokes astonishment. One could call this combination of understanding and astonishment an architectural experience. When Rem Koolhaas won the same Maaskant Prize (albeit the ‘big’ prize rather than the one for ‘young’ architects), eleven years previously in 1986, he made an appeal which seems not to have been lost on Rapp. Koolhaas told his audience: ‘It is also in your interest that the time should return when the architect, like Rumpelstiltskin, with or without stamping his foot, can say: "I want it, because I want it!"’6 Rapp is unlikely to stamp his foot, but he is a Rumpelstiltskin. It is in our own interest.

Second floor.

Longitudinal section.

Inspireert tot: Ziet over het hoofd: Valt onder: Hangt samen met:

Naam: Datum: Adres: Telefoon: Archis 2/2001 — Innovation Komt uit:From: Archis 2/2001 — 43— —51 Onderzoek — Zeitgeist


...

unwritten letter

From: Archis 2/2001 — 52 — Innovation

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Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Pink Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Innovation %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Manifesto for the %%%%%%%%%%%%] G8 meeting on %%%%%%%%%%%%] March 2nd 2001 %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Lucien Kroll %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Layout %%%%%%%%%%%%] Newspaper %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] This manifesto was %%%%%%%%%%%%] written on the occa%%%%%%%%%%%%] sion of the ‘G8 %%%%%%%%%%%%] Urbano’ symposium %%%%%%%%%%%%] held in Padua, Italy %%%%%%%%%%%%] on 2 March 2001. %%%%%%%%%%%%] The symposium, on %%%%%%%%%%%%] the theme of ‘Urban %%%%%%%%%%%%] Sustainable %%%%%%%%%%%%] Requalification’, %%%%%%%%%%%%] coincided with the %%%%%%%%%%%%] official G8 gathering %%%%%%%%%%%%] at Trieste. It was %%%%%%%%%%%%] organized by the %%%%%%%%%%%%] architects Paola %%%%%%%%%%%%] Bassi and Lucien %%%%%%%%%%%%] Kroll under the aus%%%%%%%%%%%%] pices of the province %%%%%%%%%%%%] of Padua, the Veneto %%%%%%%%%%%%] region and the %%%%%%%%%%%%] Padua Fairgrounds %%%%%%%%%%%%] (Ente Fiera di Padua, %%%%%%%%%%%%] SEP) and at the %%%%%%%%%%%%] behest of the Italian %%%%%%%%%%%%] ministry of Foreign %%%%%%%%%%%%] Affairs in consulta%%%%%%%%%%%%] tion with the G8 sec%%%%%%%%%%%%] retariat and ministe%%%%%%%%%%%%] rial representatives %%%%%%%%%%%%] of the countries %%%%%%%%%%%%] involved. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

(manifesto)

Manifesto Archis #2

MANIFESTO for the G8 meeting on March 2nd 20011 tion of culture, created by authoritative and loaded mental images: he must internalize the ‘disorder’ of the people who make use of his creations. This will only be reached through warm community participation (even with a very small group). Or it will be through the objective study of the complexity of the users (nourished by ethnic respect) and by paying attention to the real inhabitants and not the abstraction which the architect would like them to be (which is what invariably happens). This would avoid reducing them to an insignificant average. Or the architect himself becomes a pluralist through an empathy which will anticipate forms compatible with whatever the spontaneous acts of inhabitants lead to.

Origins The modern movement is born of desires: the desire for abstraction, for newness, for rationality, for artificiality, for visible order, for technical sex-appeal, for marvellousness before human renewal, for faith in science and its brutality, for architectonic militarism, for definitive works, for objects on the biggest scale possible and above all for a centralization of authority entrusted into the hands of politicians, government officials and technicians. These are all intended to impose happiness on ‘the people’, reducing to silence those who over thousands of years had been accustomed to deciding themselves about their own landscape. The modern movement represents the refusal: of tradition, of emotions, of chaos and disorder, of irrationality, of sentimentalism, of the subconscious and the unconscious, of the darkness of the Middle Ages, of the unadmitted influence of the human body upon the surrounding environment, of the trust in decisions made by groups of laymen, of the capacity of quiet self-management, etc. The contemporary attitude reconciles us: This attitude expresses not the rational, but the relationship through intelligent thought and emotions of the heart, the safeguarding of ethnic culture, a love of the creative intelligence of the

This one istot: to keep for yourself. Inspireert Ziet over het hoofd: Valt onder: Hangt samen met:

Middle Ages, homeopathic acts, the holistic vision of reality, evolution, the small scale of intervention, an interest in an ethnic rather than a technical culture, an antiauthoritarian attitude, the urgent need to help our present ‘decisionmakers’ to understand the historic times in which we are living. Subsidiarity of decisions. In matters of planning the residential landscape, there are two forms of approach that are diametrically opposed. The first is centralized and works from top to bottom: the smallest details must obey the top. It has been created in the image of royalty, then inspired by 19th-century universal suffrage, and founded on technocracy and today’s financial globalization. The present tendency is rather to use a ramified approach, that of the subsidiarity. The world spoke much about subsidiarity in order to impose the treaty of Maastricht but not any more, now that it has been signed. There, the details do spontaneously agglomerate into groups that are then embraced by more substantial entities and successively become part of large-scale decisions, depending on the weight of the issues. This system is comparable to the psychological organization of groups. This second attitude represents the first’s most radical opposite and unavoidably produces an equally

inverse image. This is how the future will require all leaders to assume the role of the attentive servant rather than that of the deaf and brutal master. Subsidiarity of composition The new design of residential areas must be in the faithful image of its decisional system: a centralized decision produces an authoritarian and homogeneous image: every detail obeys the discipline of the whole. A decision that branches out into subsidiaries will offer a complex image, reflecting heterogeneity, evolutionism and co-operation of all successive planning scales. Thus it appears evident, that as long as architecture adheres to the rules of homogeneity and the repetition of identical elements, to the discipline of materials, to symmetry, to its self-inflicted inflexible and unchangeable character, and to the three unities of drama (action, time and place), it will remain militaristic and will not be able to express the values of a complex, creative, dynamic and democratic society. It cannot be, by definition, anything other than a totalitarian regime; this is the situation which characterizes our age. Motives The architect alone is not able to abandon his pre-formed concep-

Naam: Datum: Adres: Telefoon: Archis 2/2001 — Innovation Komt uit:From: Archis 2/2001 — 43— —53 Onderzoek — Zeitgeist

Parallellisms In the case of developing residential landscapes, actions and declarations that are too demonstrative prevent common participation. Only gentle and patient approaches (even if these achieve revolutionary results) can calmly reach their target, though without forgetting or weakening the fundamental opposition to authoritarian attitudes. This evolution can find its parallels in the confrontation at Davos/ Porto-Alegre: the real difference lies in the willingness of each of the agents to view the confrontational strategy as a tool to reach an ecological equilibrium that managers are often incapable of deciding upon, or simply of understanding, due to their fear of inducing a disorder they could not control. Even if the fundamental reasons are the same, we are talking about a complementary aid to decisionmaking by ‘those ignorant of the art of construction’, instead of violent criticism. Indeed, what we are describing is a peaceful proceeding of slow efficiency. Prophets Let us ask the friendly co-operation of visionaries: for example, Ecologist, Attac, Monde Diplomatique, Friends of the Earth, syndicates, Greenpeace, the Small Peasant Confederations (José Bové), the NGOs of the speciality, for it is vital that we feel the expression of civil society in progress.


(eco)

Manifesto Archis #2

MANIFESTO for the G8 meeting on March 2nd 2001 The result of recent urban landscape The modern housing ideology has reaped its monstrous rewards: ‘zonings of prefabricated housing’ have been established in every country. In the Eastern European countries alone, 170,000,000 people live (survive) in 70,000,000 prefabricated housing units ... and all these units are crumbling simultaneously (the Chernobyl of social housing). These habitats are unforgivable from every viewpoint: spiritual, cultural, environmental, technical, residential, economic, social, architectural, and from that of civilization. Means demolition: impossible, scandalous, inhumane and desperate. transformation: unaffordable, it would take a century to do so. inducing its evolution: reoccupying the initial objects by means of successive additions that ‘cover’ the old structure and grow over the years, thus affirming a contemporary ‘popular’ culture shared by a low-tech (adapted) multicultural majority (a mix of cultures, geographical entities and generations). The project will become decentralized, emotional, environmentally friendly (socially, psychologically and physically) when deprived of a nostalgia for a mythical past. A future landscape will be put in place, one able to actively motivate the coming generations, frustrated as these already are by the hideous quality of their heritage. Actions Reflection, diffusion, the study of prototypes in order to analyse and

correct, construction in small portions relating to context, smallscale intervention, direct participation by inhabitants, simultaneous use of the most refined and updated technical and organizational instruments. Deliverance from the ideology of the free market in order to allow for desires of recognition of the Other, universal equity ‘in progress’, material gains by the cessation of murderous conflicts (they are more expensive than food). If it is true that a style of architecture or town planning does not exist that is specifically suited to ecology (styles have to remain local) it is certain that some styles are pertinently incompatible with the concept of ecology. A humanized architecture can not express itself with the concepts of autocolonization and the ideologies of worldwide consumerism; it will, rather, be along a spiritual path that it may find new forms of expression. Unanimity The environmental impulse is always contagious: it often helps in the co-operation between heteroclitic partners: these become generous. We know that from experience. Corporate fatalities of the conceiving class To carry out projects, architects and planners are bound to obey their clients, public or private; without them, their profession would not exist. Some clients (not that many) show their truly heroic character by proving they can operate in the fashion of true democracy, without restricting

themselves to the ever-technocratic world of policies whether public, or private and invariably commercialized. Some experiments have demonstrated possibilities ‘outside the system’ for specific living communities: they end up breathless from the competition from institutions, from dangerous means of financing, from conflicts with administrations which harbour bad feelings about ‘powerless amateurs’ frequenting their hunting territory. In such cases the disillusioned souls are thrown back to dreaming on paper, describing ‘what could have been done’ and drawing frustrated Utopias. Should they take political power or become careerists? They find themselves redirected and useless. Reconciliation Evidently, ecology is the only way to reconcile the inhabitant with his habitat: the inhabitant has never liked modernity (he has even invented kitsch to exorcise it). To regain diversity and habitability, we have to ‘touch base’ again, let intuitive ‘de-domesticated’ laymen influence us and then, together with them, create a work of art. What will be the outcome? Only thoroughly gentle subversion will do, not harsh but persistent, unswerving and unavoidable... Let us urgently help the G8 to transform itself into a gentle and contemporary urban body. Lucien Kroll

Lucien Kroll is an architect and and an honorary member of INBAR, Istituto Nazionale de Bioarchitettura.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 54 — Innovation


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Pink Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Innovation %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Manifesto for the %%%%%%%%%%%%] G8 meeting on %%%%%%%%%%%%] March 2nd 2001 %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Lucien Kroll %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Layout %%%%%%%%%%%%] Newspaper %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] This manifesto was %%%%%%%%%%%%] written on the occa%%%%%%%%%%%%] sion of the ‘G8 %%%%%%%%%%%%] Urbano’ symposium %%%%%%%%%%%%] held in Padua, Italy %%%%%%%%%%%%] on 2 March 2001. %%%%%%%%%%%%] The symposium, on %%%%%%%%%%%%] the theme of ‘Urban %%%%%%%%%%%%] Sustainable %%%%%%%%%%%%] Requalification’, %%%%%%%%%%%%] coincided with the %%%%%%%%%%%%] official G8 gathering %%%%%%%%%%%%] at Trieste. It was %%%%%%%%%%%%] organized by the %%%%%%%%%%%%] architects Paola %%%%%%%%%%%%] Bassi and Lucien %%%%%%%%%%%%] Kroll under the aus%%%%%%%%%%%%] pices of the province %%%%%%%%%%%%] of Padua, the Veneto %%%%%%%%%%%%] region and the %%%%%%%%%%%%] Padua Fairgrounds %%%%%%%%%%%%] (Ente Fiera di Padua, %%%%%%%%%%%%] SEP) and at the %%%%%%%%%%%%] behest of the Italian %%%%%%%%%%%%] ministry of Foreign %%%%%%%%%%%%] Affairs in consulta%%%%%%%%%%%%] tion with the G8 sec%%%%%%%%%%%%] retariat and ministe%%%%%%%%%%%%] rial representatives %%%%%%%%%%%%] of the countries %%%%%%%%%%%%] involved. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

(manifesto)

Manifesto Archis #2

MANIFESTO for the G8 meeting on March 2nd 20011 tion of culture, created by authoritative and loaded mental images: he must internalize the ‘disorder’ of the people who make use of his creations. This will only be reached through warm community participation (even with a very small group). Or it will be through the objective study of the complexity of the users (nourished by ethnic respect) and by paying attention to the real inhabitants and not the abstraction which the architect would like them to be (which is what invariably happens). This would avoid reducing them to an insignificant average. Or the architect himself becomes a pluralist through an empathy which will anticipate forms compatible with whatever the spontaneous acts of inhabitants lead to.

Origins The modern movement is born of desires: the desire for abstraction, for newness, for rationality, for artificiality, for visible order, for technical sex-appeal, for marvellousness before human renewal, for faith in science and its brutality, for architectonic militarism, for definitive works, for objects on the biggest scale possible and above all for a centralization of authority entrusted into the hands of politicians, government officials and technicians. These are all intended to impose happiness on ‘the people’, reducing to silence those who over thousands of years had been accustomed to deciding themselves about their own landscape. The modern movement represents the refusal: of tradition, of emotions, of chaos and disorder, of irrationality, of sentimentalism, of the subconscious and the unconscious, of the darkness of the Middle Ages, of the unadmitted influence of the human body upon the surrounding environment, of the trust in decisions made by groups of laymen, of the capacity of quiet self-management, etc. The contemporary attitude reconciles us: This attitude expresses not the rational, but the relationship through intelligent thought and emotions of the heart, the safeguarding of ethnic culture, a love of the creative intelligence of the

Middle Ages, homeopathic acts, the holistic vision of reality, evolution, the small scale of intervention, an interest in an ethnic rather than a technical culture, an antiauthoritarian attitude, the urgent need to help our present ‘decisionmakers’ to understand the historic times in which we are living. Subsidiarity of decisions. In matters of planning the residential landscape, there are two forms of approach that are diametrically opposed. The first is centralized and works from top to bottom: the smallest details must obey the top. It has been created in the image of royalty, then inspired by 19th-century universal suffrage, and founded on technocracy and today’s financial globalization. The present tendency is rather to use a ramified approach, that of the subsidiarity. The world spoke much about subsidiarity in order to impose the treaty of Maastricht but not any more, now that it has been signed. There, the details do spontaneously agglomerate into groups that are then embraced by more substantial entities and successively become part of large-scale decisions, depending on the weight of the issues. This system is comparable to the psychological organization of groups. This second attitude represents the first’s most radical opposite and unavoidably produces an equally

Duplicate to tear out and give to someone else. Inspireert tot: Ziet over het hoofd: Valt onder: Hangt samen met:

inverse image. This is how the future will require all leaders to assume the role of the attentive servant rather than that of the deaf and brutal master. Subsidiarity of composition The new design of residential areas must be in the faithful image of its decisional system: a centralized decision produces an authoritarian and homogeneous image: every detail obeys the discipline of the whole. A decision that branches out into subsidiaries will offer a complex image, reflecting heterogeneity, evolutionism and co-operation of all successive planning scales. Thus it appears evident, that as long as architecture adheres to the rules of homogeneity and the repetition of identical elements, to the discipline of materials, to symmetry, to its self-inflicted inflexible and unchangeable character, and to the three unities of drama (action, time and place), it will remain militaristic and will not be able to express the values of a complex, creative, dynamic and democratic society. It cannot be, by definition, anything other than a totalitarian regime; this is the situation which characterizes our age. Motives The architect alone is not able to abandon his pre-formed concep-

Naam: Datum: Adres: Telefoon:

Archis 2/2001 — Innovation Komt uit:From: Archis 2/2001 — 43— —55 Onderzoek — Zeitgeist

Parallellisms In the case of developing residential landscapes, actions and declarations that are too demonstrative prevent common participation. Only gentle and patient approaches (even if these achieve revolutionary results) can calmly reach their target, though without forgetting or weakening the fundamental opposition to authoritarian attitudes. This evolution can find its parallels in the confrontation at Davos/ Porto-Alegre: the real difference lies in the willingness of each of the agents to view the confrontational strategy as a tool to reach an ecological equilibrium that managers are often incapable of deciding upon, or simply of understanding, due to their fear of inducing a disorder they could not control. Even if the fundamental reasons are the same, we are talking about a complementary aid to decisionmaking by ‘those ignorant of the art of construction’, instead of violent criticism. Indeed, what we are describing is a peaceful proceeding of slow efficiency. Prophets Let us ask the friendly co-operation of visionaries: for example, Ecologist, Attac, Monde Diplomatique, Friends of the Earth, syndicates, Greenpeace, the Small Peasant Confederations (José Bové), the NGOs of the speciality, for it is vital that we feel the expression of civil society in progress.


(eco)

Manifesto Archis #2

MANIFESTO for the G8 meeting on March 2nd 2001 The result of recent urban landscape The modern housing ideology has reaped its monstrous rewards: ‘zonings of prefabricated housing’ have been established in every country. In the Eastern European countries alone, 170,000,000 people live (survive) in 70,000,000 prefabricated housing units ... and all these units are crumbling simultaneously (the Chernobyl of social housing). These habitats are unforgivable from every viewpoint: spiritual, cultural, environmental, technical, residential, economic, social, architectural, and from that of civilization. Means demolition: impossible, scandalous, inhumane and desperate. transformation: unaffordable, it would take a century to do so. inducing its evolution: reoccupying the initial objects by means of successive additions that ‘cover’ the old structure and grow over the years, thus affirming a contemporary ‘popular’ culture shared by a low-tech (adapted) multicultural majority (a mix of cultures, geographical entities and generations). The project will become decentralized, emotional, environmentally friendly (socially, psychologically and physically) when deprived of a nostalgia for a mythical past. A future landscape will be put in place, one able to actively motivate the coming generations, frustrated as these already are by the hideous quality of their heritage. Actions Reflection, diffusion, the study of prototypes in order to analyse and

correct, construction in small portions relating to context, smallscale intervention, direct participation by inhabitants, simultaneous use of the most refined and updated technical and organizational instruments. Deliverance from the ideology of the free market in order to allow for desires of recognition of the Other, universal equity ‘in progress’, material gains by the cessation of murderous conflicts (they are more expensive than food). If it is true that a style of architecture or town planning does not exist that is specifically suited to ecology (styles have to remain local) it is certain that some styles are pertinently incompatible with the concept of ecology. A humanized architecture can not express itself with the concepts of autocolonization and the ideologies of worldwide consumerism; it will, rather, be along a spiritual path that it may find new forms of expression. Unanimity The environmental impulse is always contagious: it often helps in the co-operation between heteroclitic partners: these become generous. We know that from experience. Corporate fatalities of the conceiving class To carry out projects, architects and planners are bound to obey their clients, public or private; without them, their profession would not exist. Some clients (not that many) show their truly heroic character by proving they can operate in the fashion of true democracy, without restricting

themselves to the ever-technocratic world of policies whether public, or private and invariably commercialized. Some experiments have demonstrated possibilities ‘outside the system’ for specific living communities: they end up breathless from the competition from institutions, from dangerous means of financing, from conflicts with administrations which harbour bad feelings about ‘powerless amateurs’ frequenting their hunting territory. In such cases the disillusioned souls are thrown back to dreaming on paper, describing ‘what could have been done’ and drawing frustrated Utopias. Should they take political power or become careerists? They find themselves redirected and useless. Reconciliation Evidently, ecology is the only way to reconcile the inhabitant with his habitat: the inhabitant has never liked modernity (he has even invented kitsch to exorcise it). To regain diversity and habitability, we have to ‘touch base’ again, let intuitive ‘de-domesticated’ laymen influence us and then, together with them, create a work of art. What will be the outcome? Only thoroughly gentle subversion will do, not harsh but persistent, unswerving and unavoidable... Let us urgently help the G8 to transform itself into a gentle and contemporary urban body. Lucien Kroll

Lucien Kroll is an architect and and an honorary member of INBAR, Istituto Nazionale de Bioarchitettura.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 56 — Innovation


Popular science

cessfully combining with freedom at an individual level; e.g. in a grid city such as Mexico City, where buildings have been erected in all shapes and colours Kees Christiaanse within the strict structure of the urban block; or in As I have written on earlier occasions, architects are houseboat districts such as Sausalito; or the villa parks fond of resorting to Nietzsche’s ‘gay science’. They shelof Bilthoven and Velp or Het Zoute in Knokke. It goes ter behind either rational or artistic arguments as it suits without saying that such ‘grown’ structures possess them. This makes them slippery and impossible to certain qualities that no ‘designed’ scheme has so far prove wrong. Their ostensibly cast-iron position is howequalled. We have felt for some time that it must be ever also a flaw; the softness of their ideas gives them possible to achieve a high standard of urban design ToyoisIto’s Pavilion. Impression feet of clay. Aldo van Eyck’s remark interesting in this of interior. while working with uncertain factors and a kaleidocontext: ‘The leap from the scandalously known to the scope of building forms. If we assume that the user has original unknown is surely an aesthetic one.’ We are the right to largely determine the character of his own generally occupied with grasping the known as empiribuilding, then the urban plan and the public-space cally or methodically as possible, so that we can at least design are the only tools for obtaining a high level of partially assess the contours of the unknown. coherence. We are researching these borderlines In urban planning, too much takes place without the between the collective (i.e. what we communally agree benefit of science. It is a scandal that in this day and age Site plan of Pavilion on and can act on as designers) and the private (i.e. complex problems should be tackled with simple village what we can leave to be decided by someone else with visions, such as the historicizing tendencies in urban theARCHITECTURE use of suitable computerPOLICY programmes). THERAPY OR CITY planning, that are usually quite out HOCK of touch with reality. Dealing with complexity is open to a host of misunderTake the Wasserstadt Oberhavel design in Berlin, for standings. Solving complex problems is not so much a instance. Here, on the splendid banks of the Havel, a matter dazzling mathematical conjuring tricks as of an copy of Charlottenburg has sprung up to the dictates of intelligent analysis of mutually influencing processes Berlin’s neolithic city government, with the result that direction is the ‘Pavilion op de Burg’, built to a design by and the reduction of their interaction to the main much floor space has remained empty. Groundthe Japanese architect Toyo Ito. The local architecture assoparameters. This does notthenecessarily to simplificiation, Archipel, launched idea of buildinglead a temporary accessed dwellings, like those at A Borneo Sporenburg or new concert hall, two pedestrian footbridges, a tourist for a small number ofstandard parameters pavilion of a high architectural as a wayusually of open- domIJburg in Amsterdam, would havehotel been morepavilion suc- in the historic centrecation, andmuch a temporary of inate iningapeople’s complex the ofabove-mentioned eyes toprocess, the ‘sublimeas beauty’ contemporary cessful. Despite Thomas Sieverts’s assertion that – in Bruges: who still dares speak of Bruges la morte? Spurred studiesarchitecture. demonstrate. The choice of location may be viewed as an Germany at least – the purely by arithmetical ‘Bruges 2002, point Cultural has Capital of Europe’, the city is attempt at shock therapy, for the public square of DeinBurg Our office is presently working with the ETH Zurich to town with a succession been reached where more spacegoing hastobeen freed up by of provocative building is sited right in the historic heart of Bruges. Thisof wasinner-city the develop three-dimensional simulations the architecture restructuring than is required forprojects. futureCould building plans,of compromise be making original will location Sint-Donaaskerk, the pre-insight areas which helpofusthe gain very rapid spatial way for aitbelief in the future? the city develops in whatever direction pleases. Romanesque Carolingian church around which Bruges For scores of years, Bruges has cherished its historicinto her- the effect of applying various building-height reguThe book Fractal Cities by Michael Batty and Paul developed in the tenth century. The original church was The city’s enamourment with its heroic past waslations. so Potential high-rise volumes react to one another Longley holds that the growth itage. of cities is practically replaced by a cathedral, also named after Sint Donaas, in the great, and the romantic nineteenth-century conceptioninofthese models while respecting predefined requirelater Middle Ages, but this vanished beneath the pavement impervious to the influence of designers and politicians. history was so persistent there, that it became more ofments an for urban image, insolation, views out, daylight following the French Revolution. Marsili and Zhang, in their 1997 article ‘everyday‘Interacting unreality’ (to useindiUmberto Eco’s phrase) than an penetration, The wind initiatorsnuisance believe thatetc. the Taking medieval the Sint building Donaas regviduals leading to Zipf’s Law’, authentic demonstrate the relehistorical reality. The unreality component dates whosemanually foundations are present underground, ulationCathedral, developed forstill Wijnhaven, Rotterdam, vance of Zipf’s principle of leastback effort behavto the(Human nineteenth century, when a number of ‘modern’ in theproduced collective memory of the inhabitants in 1993,survives we have a simulation modelofwhich, toppled in favour of neo-Gothic iour and the principle of least classical effort, buildings 1949) were to urban Bruges even after over 200 years. But ever since the applied to the Hafen City in Hamburg, disapenables us substitutes, a stylehas supposedly the development. Klaus Humpert, from Freiburg, used amore in keeping withwhen pearance of the superstructure, the square has lacked a national tradition. To this day, new buildings in the cityto aregenerate three-dimensional visualizations of alternaprogramme for analysing satellite images to determine facade and consequently suffers from a kind of phantomLocation of Pavilion on site. erected in the so-called Bruges Style –tives an within a matter of minutes. how the length and irregularitystillofregularly the built-up zone limb pain. Moreover, the brick-built compromise architecanaemic architecture dressed up with neo-neo-Gothic In the ture Dutch increasing prosperity and the of thesuburbs, nearby Crown Plaza Hotel represents a scanboundary correlates with the urban surface area in large ingredients. ongoing privatization ofarea. decision-making have prodalous devaluation of the conurbations. Another interesting is bythe And so itstudy came about, the end of the twentieth centuduced a shift of emphasis rational the urbanism In his unique style, Toyofrom Ito has interwoven history of to vilHilth/Clark Urban Growth Predictive which has level of building activiry, thatModel, despite a not inconsiderable lage visions andhis from dwelling types to the place with quest forcollective fluid architecture. The design not successfully simulated the growth of the San Francisco ty during preceding hundred years, Bruges had not surprisingly consists an utterly post-functionalist con- popudetached houses. Thisofhas resulted in a ‘double’ forth any newexactly architecture of ‘historical signififrom 1850 onwards to reproducebrought the city almost struction. The programme is no more than a stately pleasure larization. The moralistic position under the influence cance’. The lost century of architecture, as it is in reality today. Edge Cities, a awareness book byof this Joel dome for the city-dweller of today. glass box of social-democratic politics – theAdiktat of with statea archiand dissatisfaction with the city being turned into someGarreau, depicts the inevitable formation of sub-centres. skeleton of metallic lacework contains row of way tecture,refined as Carel Weeber would have it – isamaking thing that between a museum and of an amusement park, promptMost of these studies demonstrate the growth reclining armchairs to tempt the passing stroller. The transed the municipal council to take a new political tack. for a parent populist man-made landscape. Adventurous cities is dominated by a limited number of factors, such pavilion poises above a circular pool. It is not only the Architecture must now have the chance to make use ofarchitecture curis being manoeuvred a has marginal fascinating play of luminous reflectionsinto that Ito in mind posias the presence of transport infrastructure and human rent social conditions, and to reflect them in form, intion an here in the same way as in the countries around here. The circular shape of the pool hints at the ground plan activity, access routes, the attractiveness of This the modestly situation authentic way. innovative architecture policy us. Thisof means the massHowever, of buildings is the originalthat Sint-Donaaskerk. it must beproduced borne from the point of view of geography or amenities, would probably have led toand little, had the city not succeedmind that mirror the sensuality of Ito’s pavilion relies in on the its past. a moreinrealistic of society, as it was the availability of land. The only places where ed in promoting itself asthese one of Europe’s cultural capitals. absolutearchitecture perfection. This presupposes thedesigned perfect execution The official was once by archipolitical project ‘Bruges principles do not hold are regionsThe with totalitarian forms2002, Cultural Capital of of thethe gossamer-thin steel in webpopular that supports it structurally. cohertects from elite, while architecture engenderedplanning a favourable climate for readjusting of administration (including theEurope’, centralistic The pavilion will moreover require faultless maintenance, ence the city’s customary design and building procedures from a arose automatically as a result of the one-sided regime of the Netherlands?). for the sublime beauty that is already evident in the sketchpopular culture and the limited technical resources perspective. Researches of this kind are pronecultural to elicit extreme reaces must be extremely vulnerable to dirt and to wear and tear. An architectural project that symbolizes this change of (brick and wood).ofNow we live as members a multiThe aesthetic Ito’s pavilion depends on a sublime of enigtions; either they must be false, or there is no longer any cultural society in ‘positive ghettos’ (the subject of an point in designing things, thus legitimizing total laissezinteresting debate initiated by Paul Scheffer in the NRC faire. However, it is important to investigate what can be Handelsblad) and technology offers us all the colours controlled and what can not. There is scope enough for of the rainbow. Architecture has become a consumer vision and for design; the studies make statements on a product, everyone is free to express themselves archilarge scale of analysis, but not about where or how tecturally and it is only the herd instinct that imposes things have to be designed, nor even less about qualiany coherence. tative or typological aspects. One of the first housing schemes where this way of As soon as the social and economic conditions permit in thinking influenced our design was the Vinex developa liberal society, intensified individualization, functional ment at Schuytgraaf where, instead of surrendering separation and suburbanization take place. There are the existing landscape to unbridled suburbanization, plenty of instances of control at a collective level sucwe sought to establish a balance between landscape

MODERN

ARCHITECTURE IN BRUGES

S

?

Koen van Synghel

A.–POL.


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From: Archis 2 / 2001 — 58 — Politics

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Ole Bouman Architecture is a matter for everyone. And for everywhere always…

Deltastad, April 2010 It was back in 2001 that Dutch architecture policy embarked on the process of total socialization. By then, people were no longer thinking about architecture in terms of buildings, and architecture became space in the broad sense of the word. Any policy concerning itself with the organization and embellishment of that space was an architecture policy. Ten years of self-confident government involvement with what people used to call the Mother of Arts has produced an impressive palette of policy instruments: a large national institute, a well-filled fund for stimulating innovative work, and much, much else. A grandiose cultural infrastructure was decked out in order to bring architecture into the focus of public attention. At first, this was done by hammering away at the quality of buildings. They were judged for their cultural value, use value and future value. The First Memorandum, ‘Space for Architecture’, went hand in hand with an integral concept of architecture in which quality amounted to more than external cosmetics. But the memorandum was not sufficient to transform this artistic discipline into the crowbar required for any real impact on the living environment. That is why things were taken a step further: not only could a building be termed architecture, but so could a city – and so could the landscape, and infrastructure. These things were all equally architecture, just on a rather bigger scale. It was this that started off the interference by all sorts of bodies concerned with this large scale of operations. The middle management of society came face to face with architecture. Government departments, property developers, building contractors, transport organizations – all of them now had something to say about their architectural ambitions. That was all summed up in the Second Memorandum, ‘The Architecture of Space’. The question was, what good did these memoranda do? Too little, many people thought. So an operation was set in train to tackle everything in a much grander fashion. The public at large had to be involved. Spearhead projects had to be organized. Effort was required to involve different echelons of society more fully, starting with the remaining ministerial portfolios which had not yet been stormed by the architecture policy. That is how they put it in the Third Memorandum: ‘Designing the Netherlands’. It was a policy paper about architecture as everyone’s business. This could be taken literally as an attempt to foster public participation. But it could also be understood figuratively as the ‘public dimension’of architecture – i.e. the public realm, the zone left over between what we used to class as architecture, namely the buildings. Attention was also given to private clientage, which was so essential to architectural quality. Architecture hence turned into a direct embodiment of the timehonoured tug of war between the collective and the private sectors. The Third Memorandum would have expired in a mass of abstractions had people not been working simultaneously on a concrete action plan in parallel with the awareness-raising policy. The ‘Designing the Netherlands’paper launched no fewer than nine projects over which the government confidently held its hand on the helm. They were schemes so large that they were almost impossible

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From: Archis 2/2001 — 59 — Politics


Ole Bouman De voltooiing van het architectuurbeleid

to tackle as projects, but labelling them as such at least gave them a place on the public agenda. Among these plans were the transformation of the Randstad into the even larger conurbation we now know as the Delta Metropolis, the construction of an ultra high speed hovertrain link between Amsterdam and Groningen, the serious and coherent development of an aesthetics of mobility, the historically correct modernization of colossal monuments like the Hollandse Waterlinie (Water Defence Line), the revitalization of the sand regions, the social integration of private patronage, and the vitality of public space. And two of the projects were actually old-fashioned schemes concerning the construction of two public institutions: the renovation and extension of the Rijksmuseum, and a joint accommodation for the State Department for the Preservation of Historic Buildings and Sites and the State Service for Archeological Investigations in the Netherlands. Even more surprising than their designation as projects, was the naming of government ministers charged with responsibility for them and the announcement of regular parliamentary monitoring of progress. But was all this really an architecture policy? And where would the upscaling ever end – at world design? It was only a matter of time before the first international architectural charters appeared. Many European countries took a leaf out of Holland’s ambitious book in those years. They too devised architecture policies, set up institutes and gave design a central part to play in major regional developments. So why not consider the whole continent as architectural space? Mobility aesthetics for high-speed train routes? Water management? Urbanization trends? These could all become architectural tasks. It was not long before the first European Commissioner for Architecture was sworn in. A question rose around the same time as to whether Space was really an adequate concept to cover all these ambitions. People began wondering whether it really was a matter of architecture, i.e. of anything like a single discipline. Wasn’t what mattered, rather, a debate about the quality of our society? The architecture policy set out in the Third Memorandum had become the last bastion of faith in government intervention, a precious relic of the primacy of politics, a remnant of utopia. Was it indeed a remnant or the start of something new? Now, of course, we already know how things turned out. Architecture became the banner around which all the forces for change gathered. It became the benchmark for political exercises that bore all the hallmarks of National Programmes. Whatever still remained of governmental self-confidence was combined and focused on architecture. It was the ideal domain in which social renewal could be formulated as a question of beauty, utility and necessity. The Architecture of Space was the magic formula people had been waiting for, which would repel the out-of-hand forces of modernization and internationalization, and which would act as a guideline for everyone from eco-activists to neo-liberals. Even though the national budget was by now in thrall to big business or subordinate to international treaties, even though agriculture, industry and services were now totally globalized, even though the lion’s share of administrative competence was now in the hands of the EU and the WTO, and even though the monopoly of violence had now been delegated to rapid intervention forces, the fact was that the space of the Netherlands remained Dutch – just as the space of France remained French. It was no wonder then that all pressures for social improvement became concentrated in this space. We witnessed the revival of a virtually antique piece of wisdom: in the end, politics is always about space. The space of the Netherlands is the only level at which the country can still view itself as a sovereign state. To do the things that are necessary in this zone, an appropriate polity is thus required. Since that is nowadays only possible at a continental scale, the Fourth Memorandum on Architecture will merely be a programme for a European polity.

From: Archis 2 / 2001 — 60 — Politics


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Toyo Ito’s Pavilion. Impression of interior.

MODERN

ARCHITECTURE IN BRUGES

Site plan of Pavilion

SHOCK THERAPY OR CITY ARCHITECTURE POLICY? Koen van Synghel A new concert hall, two pedestrian footbridges, a tourist hotel and a temporary pavilion in the historic centre of Bruges: who still dares speak of Bruges la morte? Spurred by ‘Bruges 2002, Cultural Capital of Europe’, the city is going to town with a succession of provocative building projects. Could the architecture of compromise be making way for a belief in the future? For scores of years, Bruges has cherished its historic heritage. The city’s enamourment with its heroic past was so great, and the romantic nineteenth-century conception of history was so persistent there, that it became more of an ‘everyday unreality’ (to use Umberto Eco’s phrase) than an authentic historical reality. The unreality component dates back to the nineteenth century, when a number of ‘modern’ classical buildings were toppled in favour of neo-Gothic substitutes, a style supposedly more in keeping with the national tradition. To this day, new buildings in the city are still regularly erected in the so-called Bruges Style – an anaemic architecture dressed up with neo-neoGothic ingredients. And so it came about, by the end of the twentieth century, that despite a not inconsiderable level of building activity during the preceding hundred years, Bruges had not brought forth any new architecture of ‘historical significance’. The awareness of this lost century of

Forward shock to: Put into perspective by: Forget interests of:

architecture, and dissatisfaction with the city being turned into something between a museum and an amusement park, prompted the municipal council to take a new political tack. Architecture must now have the chance to make use of current social conditions, and to reflect them in form, in an authentic way. This modestly innovative architecture policy would probably have led to little, had the city not succeeded in promoting itself as one of Europe’s cultural capitals. The political project ‘Bruges 2002, Cultural Capital of Europe’, engendered a favourable climate for readjusting the city’s customary design and building procedures from a cultural perspective. An architectural project that symbolizes this change of direction is the ‘Pavilion op de Burg’, built to a design by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito. The local architecture association, Archipel, launched the idea of building a temporary pavilion of a high architectural standard as a way of opening people’s eyes to the ‘sublime beauty’ of contemporary architecture. The choice of location may be viewed as an attempt at shock therapy, for the public square of De Burg is sited right in the historic heart of Bruges. This was the original location of the Sint-Donaaskerk, the pre-Romanesque Carolingian church around which Bruges developed in the tenth century. The original church was replaced by a cathedral, also named after Sint Donaas, in the later Middle Ages, but

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From: Archis 2/2001 — 61 — Politics

Location of Pavilion on site.


this vanished beneath the pavement following the French Revolution. The initiators believe that the medieval Sint Donaas Cathedral, whose foundations are still present underground, survives in the collective memory of the inhabitants of Bruges even after over 200 years. But ever since the disappearance of the superstructure, the square has lacked a facade and consequently suffers from a kind of phantomlimb pain. Moreover, the brick-built compromise architecture of the nearby Crown Plaza Hotel represents a scandalous devaluation of the area. In his unique style, Toyo Ito has interwoven the history of the place with his quest for fluid architecture. The design not surprisingly consists of an utterly post-functionalist construction. The programme is no more than a stately pleasure dome for the citydweller of today. A glass box with a refined skeleton of metallic lacework contains a row of reclining armchairs to tempt the passing stroller. The transparent pavilion poises above a circular pool. It is not only the fascinating play of luminous reflections that Ito has in mind here. The circular shape of the pool hints at the ground plan of the original Sint-Donaaskerk. However, it must be borne in mind that the sensuality of Ito’s pavilion relies on its absolute perfection. This presupposes the perfect execution of the gossamer-thin steel web that supports it structurally. The pavilion will moreover require faultless maintenance, for the sublime beauty that is already evident in the sketches must be extremely vulnerable to dirt and to wear and tear. The aesthetic of Ito’s pavilion depends on a sublime enigma, a quasiPlatonic beauty, which would be anything but improved by a patina of time. That is why this pavilion can enter history and the collective memory intact only if it is a temporary structure. Just as the pavilion was included in the cultural programme of Bruges 2002 on the initiative of Archipel, external partners were also involved in the other projects – as though to demonstrate the broad social basis of the new architecture policy. The concert hall/congress centre by Robbrecht & Daem, now under construction, is a joint project with the Province of West Flanders and the Flemish Community. The Waterways and Maritime Affairs Department of the Flemish Community took the initiative for the construction of a pedestrian bridge over the Coupure canal. Consequently the city also had backing for this project from the Chief Architect of Flanders, who suggested engaging the famous Swiss engineer Jürg Conzett. The Coupure bridge is intended to form the long-awaited final link in a pedes-

Concept.

Glass.

Aluminium sheet.

Aluminium honeycomb.

Aluminium sheet.

Glass bridge.

Pool.

Foundations of medieval church.

trian and cycle route around the city, and this gives the bridge an extra symbolic weight. The city itself initiated the redesign of Kanaaleiland as an ‘urban foyer’and a reception/services facility for coach tourists. This project is to be executed in cooperation with – once again – the Flemish Community. The designs for the Kanaaleiland pedestrian bridge and services building have been prepared by a temporary alliance of West 8, Poponcini & Lotens, and Lapere.

From: Archis 2 / 2001 — 62 — Politics

Going Dutch We can do a provisional evaluation of the architectural policies of Bruges and Bruges 2002 by drawing a comparison between the latter two projects, in particular between the footbridge design by Conzett and that of West 8. This operation shows up the policy’s Achilles heel. The two projects have very similar briefs and very similar working conditions, yet the two designs articulate totally opposing attitudes towards the city and the


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Bridge by Jörg Conzett. Owing to the lifting mechanism employed, only the relatively light footpath need be raised and lowered, leaving the heavier main construction in place.

Bridge by West 8.

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from: Archis 2/2001 — 63 — Politics


specific location. Perhaps the sharpest contrast, however, is that between the ways the two designers position themselves in relation to history. Conzett, trained in the sound, no-nonsense Swiss tradition, has designed a bridge whose materials and colours merge seamlessly into the palette of the city. Conzett has nonetheless succeeded in making the most out of the archetypal challenge to an engineer, which is to design a bridge using the minimum possible material and energy. The result is a work suffused with poetry and humour. The poetry lies in the taut rhythm of the constructional elements – the steel girders, the cables, the wooden planking – and also in the surprising approach Conzett uses in the supporting structure. The deck, which consists of super-lightweight steel girders and wooden planks, is suspended by two sets of 18 cables from a pair of steel cylinders. These cylinders span the Coupure in a straight line. The poetry meets the humour in the lifting system. The cylinders prove to be supported on stone abutments which contain two electric motors. The cylinders wind up the cables which support the deck, raising the bridge somewhat like a yoyo. It is a bridge that has a good chance of trouncing the Minnebrug in popularity. Even if no poet takes inspiration from this ingenious game of steel, wood and limestone, the bridge will surely provide a poetry of its own.

The bright red steel truss construction of the bridge designed by West 8 is a quite different kettle of fish. The bridge provides access to Kanaaleiland from the direction of the city centre. Compared to the timeless quality of Conzett, Adriaan Geuze thrusts over the historic city canals a bridge with the voluptuousness of a pair of hotpants. The truss structure of the bridge moreover slings itself farther over the island in the form of a huge canopy. Cheerful, brazen, not to say vulgar – Bruges gains a bridge/ gateway/ canopy which turns the city into an amusement park. While Conzett has designed a bridge that evokes surprise and recognition like the first sunshine of spring, West 8 charges into the city with a shameless Iron Maiden on its arm. The reception/services building added by the architects Poponici & Lootens makes the bridge seem even more frivolous. The architects have opted for an ultra-clinical architecture: the reception and services building is clad in large panels of bathroom-white faience. This minimalist, sanitary box, paired up with the wildly gesticulating steel structure of the canopy and bridge, produces an unmitigatedly hybrid overall design. This critique of the West 8/Poponcini & Lootens/Lapere project should not be seen either as evidence of the failure of the city’s fledgling architecture policy, or as a plea for a more reticent architecture. Ito’s pavilion

West 8’s bridge to Kanaaleiland

From: Archis 2 / 2001 — 64 — Politics

gives Brugge an architecture that is based on contemporary culture and technology. Conzett represents a new functionalism with a good dose of poetry in it. The concert hall by Robbrecht & Daem is likely to create an unforgettable urban locale, if only because the worlds of architecture and the arts meet here in something like a Wagnerian total happening.1 A single blunder does not make contemporary architecture responsible for opening Pandora’s Box. Indeed, the time may be ripe to draw up a list not of monuments to be preserved but of buildings to be demolished. What matters is for the inner city to give some real breathing space to the architecture of today.

1. See Steven Jacobs, Werk in Architectuur. Paul Robbrecht & Hilde Daem, Ludion, 2000, p. 6; Koen Van Synghel, ‘Goings-on in Bruges. Robbrecht & Daem win competition for concert hall’ in Archis no. 4, 1999, pp. 8-13.


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Popular science Kees Christiaanse As I have written on earlier occasions, architects are fond of resorting to Nietzsche’s ‘gay science’. They shelter behind either rational or artistic arguments as it suits them. This makes them slippery and impossible to prove wrong. Their ostensibly cast-iron position is however also a flaw; the softness of their ideas gives them feet of clay. Aldo van Eyck’s remark is interesting in this context: ‘The leap from the scandalously known to the original unknown is surely an aesthetic one.’ We are generally occupied with grasping the known as empirically or methodically as possible, so that we can at least partially assess the contours of the unknown. In urban planning, too much takes place without the benefit of science. It is a scandal that in this day and age complex problems should be tackled with simple village visions, such as the historicizing tendencies in urban planning, that are usually quite out of touch with reality. Take the Wasserstadt Oberhavel design in Berlin, for instance. Here, on the splendid banks of the Havel, a copy of Charlottenburg has sprung up to the dictates of Berlin’s neolithic city government, with the result that much floor space has remained empty. Ground-accessed dwellings, like those at Borneo Sporenburg or IJburg in Amsterdam, would have been much more successful. Despite Thomas Sieverts’s assertion that – in Germany at least – the purely arithmetical point has been reached where more space has been freed up by restructuring than is required for future building plans, the city develops in whatever direction it pleases. The book Fractal Cities by Michael Batty and Paul Longley holds that the growth of cities is practically impervious to the influence of designers and politicians. Marsili and Zhang, in their 1997 article ‘Interacting individuals leading to Zipf’s Law’, demonstrate the relevance of Zipf’s principle of least effort (Human behaviour and the principle of least effort, 1949) to urban development. Klaus Humpert, from Freiburg, has used a programme for analysing satellite images to determine how the length and irregularity of the built-up zone boundary correlates with the urban surface area in large conurbations. Another interesting study is the Hilth/Clark Urban Growth Predictive Model, which has successfully simulated the growth of San Francisco from 1850 onwards to reproduce the city almost exactly as it is in reality today. Edge Cities, a book by Joel Garreau, depicts the inevitable formation of sub-centres. Most of these studies demonstrate that the growth of cities is dominated by a limited number of fac-

Empty space Over to you Tell us

tors, such as the presence of transport infrastructure and human activity, access routes, the attractiveness of the situation from the point of view of geography or amenities, and the availability of land. The only places where these principles do not hold are regions with totalitarian forms of administration (including the centralistic planning regime of the Netherlands?). Researches of this kind are prone to elicit extreme reactions; either they must be false, or there is no longer any point in designing things, thus legitimizing total laissez-faire. However, it is important to investigate what can be controlled and what can not. There is scope enough for vision and for design; the studies make statements on a large scale of analysis, but not about where or how things have to be designed, nor even less about qualitative or typological aspects. As soon as the social and economic conditions permit in a liberal society, intensified individualization, functional separation and suburbanization take place. There are plenty of instances of control at a collective level successfully combining with freedom at an individual level; e.g. in a grid city such as Mexico City, where buildings have been erected in all shapes and colours within the strict structure of the urban block; or in houseboat districts such as Sausalito; or the villa parks of Bilthoven and Velp or Het Zoute in Knokke. It goes without saying that such ‘grown’ structures possess certain qualities that no ‘designed’ scheme has so far equalled. We have felt for some time that it must be possible to achieve a high standard of urban design while working with uncertain factors and a kaleidoscope of building forms. If we assume that the user has the right to largely determine the character of his own building, then the urban plan and the public-space design are the only tools for obtaining a high level of coherence. We are researching these borderlines between the collective (i.e. what we communally agree on and can act on as designers) and the private (i.e. what we can leave to be decided by someone else with the use of suitable computer programmes). Dealing with complexity is open to a host of misunderstandings. Solving complex problems is not so much a matter dazzling mathematical conjuring tricks as of an intelligent analysis of mutually influencing processes and the reduction of their interaction to the main parameters. This does not necessarily lead to simplification, for a small number of parameters usually dominate in a complex process, as the above-mentioned studies demonstrate.

Open debate Send comments SMS to: +31.(0)6.1104.6218

From: Archis 2/2001 — 65 — Politics


Our office is presently working with the ETH in Zurich to develop three-dimensional simulations of inner-city areas which will help us gain very rapid spatial insight into the effect of applying various building-height regulations. Potential high-rise volumes react to one another in these models while respecting predefined requirements for urban image, insolation, views out, daylight penetration, wind nuisance etc. Taking the building regulation developed manually for Wijnhaven, Rotterdam, in 1993, we have produced a simulation model which, when applied to the Hafen City in Hamburg, enables us to generate three-dimensional visualizations of alternatives within a matter of minutes. In the Dutch suburbs, increasing prosperity and the ongoing privatization of decision-making have produced a shift of emphasis from rational urbanism to village visions and from collective dwelling types to detached houses. This has resulted in a ‘double’ popularization. The moralistic position under the influence of social-democratic politics – the diktat of state architecture, as Carel Weeber would have it – is making way for a populist man-made landscape. Adventurous architecture is being manoeuvred into a marginal position here in the same way as in the countries around us. This means that the mass of buildings produced is a more realistic mirror of society, as it was in the past. The official architecture was once designed by architects from the elite, while in popular architecture coherence arose automatically as a result of the one-sided popular culture and the limited technical resources (brick and wood). Now we live as members of a multicultural society in ‘positive ghettos’ (the subject of an interesting debate initiated by Paul Scheffer in the NRC Handelsblad) and technology offers us all the colours of the rainbow. Architecture has become a consumer product, everyone is free to express themselves architecturally and it is only the herd instinct that imposes any coherence. One of the first housing schemes where this way of thinking influenced our design was the Vinex development at Schuytgraaf where, instead of surrendering the existing landscape to unbridled suburbanization, we sought to establish a balance between landscape and development. We are presently working on a study, commissioned by the National Spatial Planning Agency (RPD), of the use of computer programs to design free-form parcelling plans. It should be possible to combine interactive contributions from residents, profitable land utilization, programmatic indicators and landscape qualities. What is more, it seems feasible to achieve a high quality of urban planning independently of the architecture: the par-

celling plans generated by the computer closely resemble those of Bilthoven. In this way we have developed a garden village typology where the main structure is imposed from the top down and within which the actual building shapes can develop more or less freely. More interestingly, however, we have generated parcelling studies in which the individual house, as a programmatic unit, constitutes the basic building block, from which the urban plan can be generated from the bottom up. These studies can be fed with both subjective and numerical parameters, such as a park, preferences for edge locations, rules for fences between plots etc. A park could be entered either as a pre-designed datum, or as a larger than normal plot within the cocktail that is allowed to occur a given number of times per hectare. Interactive participation by residents becomes possible when the database is linked up to terminals located in estate agent’s offices; the site layout then grows step-by-step as each house buyer enters his preferences. The shape of the plot, the type of house, its position on the plot and its orientation could be chosen and priced in advance. An appealing illustration of the relation between housing wishes, plot size and plot position is provided by a project undertaken by one of my students. The residents are assigned the properties of four ‘standard people’ in varying percentages: the ‘Audi fan’ who wants a plot with room for two garages along a main access route; the ‘liverwurst gourmet’ who would like a big house with an open kitchen; the ‘garden gnome’ who prefers an ample garden adjoining an area of greenery; and the ‘hunter’ who wants a tall house overlooking green fields from where he can peer at passing fauna through his binoculars. A housing programme compiled on this basis automatically distributes itself over parts of the development site which are best matched to the preferences concerned. Kaisersrot, a company in the process of setting itself up, carries out commissions for city governments, property developers and design firms. Projects are accepted solely by e-mail and on the provision of a credit card number, and the product is delivered by email only. Despite the high hourly rate our company charges, the rapidity of our work makes the product less expensive than similar work commissioned from conventional urban planning offices. This is all the more so because we can quickly generate alternative designs on the basis of changing inputs. Look for us soon at www.kaisersrot.com.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 66 — Politics


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Paul Vermeulen,Vulture, buzzard, chameleon – a letter to Wim Cuyvers. Dear friend, Initially I had wanted to ask you to redress an insult directed at me that I came across in your Archis article ‘Centre for the arts, arts for the centre’. You described architects who have set their minds to thinking about art centres in Belgium as vultures, and among the architects who have recently been concerned with this you mentioned one in particular: me. I will grant that the insult was implicit, but I find it hard to believe that someone who is so familiar with the art of rhetoric as your honourable self could have failed to notice that implication. Then I started to question whether I should in fact be insulted. Your Manichean world view does not sit comfortably with me, and I wondered whether vultures are in fact not such a bad thing, perhaps even good. In ecological terms they are useful beasts. They pick carcasses clean, preventing putrefaction and the spread of sickness. But in human moral terms they are cowards, because they leave the slaughter of their prey to another. I decided to take offence. It would not be difficult to exculpate myself on procedural grounds. My article ‘Cultural centre. A journey through the nebular city’ was not, the last paragraph excepted, about art centres at all, but rather about cultural centres, and the article made it quite clear that they are not the same thing in legal, sociological, typological and historic terms. Precision has its virtues. In fact I was being dragged by my hair into an indictment that is patently hypothetical. A set-up, what is known as a ‘frame-up’ in paranoid thrillers. You assert that ‘all at once everyone in Belgium is preoccupied with arts centres’. All well and good, that may be true – but then you state: ‘Remarkably enough all this thing about arts centres is being led by architects.’ Highly suspect! What is going on behind the scenes? I can to some extent understand your finding the idea of Belgian architects actually thinking suspicious – but let us stick to the business in hand. Of the three exhibits that you present as evidence, one – my article – is not relevant and in the second, the booklet Alles is rustig (All is quiet), published by the Flemish Theatre Institute, only two architects take the stage amidst a throng of theatre producers and programmers. You are one of those two architects. Determined to make a case in spite of the dearth of suspects, you end up putting yourself next to me in the dock. I have nothing to do with it, the indictment is farcical, but the action you wish to pursue may indeed be worthy of further consideration. Now that you have made me a party to this, against my better judgement, allow me my right to reply concerning the grounds for the case. We have already discussed this. Your article in Archis runs parallel with what you wrote for Alles is rustig. There you predicted that arts centres, which were established in the 1980s thanks to the spontaneous organization of artists and their supporters, are doomed to certain death now that they have development plans and make common cause with architects. Similarly, in Archis you write that the imminent arrival of architects is a portent for the death of art. Construction is indicative of social success, and success is often followed by consolidation, stagnation and institutionalization. I recognize the potential link between construction and institutionalization. The examples that warn of this danger are legion. In Alles is rustig the fear of institutionalization, of complacent decay, is something like a leitmotif. It returns in practically every contribution by the theatre producers and programmers. To quote your own words: ‘The entrance of architecture on the scene signals the end of the experiment, the architecture wants only to monumentalize the experiment. However, we ought not to forget that the monument is only erected after the hero has died.’ Against your mistrust of architecture, however, I would like to adduce examples of arts centres that were born in a building and even owe their names to those buildings: the Singel in Antwerp and the Vooruit in Ghent. Neither of these is a neutral container or elementary shelter. On the contrary, they are both solid, ingenious pedestals for the arts, to put it bluntly, monuments, where young heroes have come to dance on the graves of the heroes of yesteryear. The glowing embers within their walls have been stirred by new life. They cast an interesting light on the triangular relationship between architecture, institute and art. Institutes established for the arts erect buildings. Then, as those institutes lose their credibility they are

Wim Cuyvers, ‘Centre for the Arts, Arts for the Centre’, Archis #1

Printed for Paul Vermeulen <hdspv@pandora.be> by Archis <info@archis.org>

Arts centre will be built: Arts centre will not be built: Thanks to: All because of:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 2/2001 — 67 — Politics

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Paul Vermeulen,Vulture, buzzard, chameleon – a letter to Wim Cuyvers. abandoned by the arts, but the building remains. The vacant space is squatted by new artists, whereupon the new appropriation is given form in a new organization. The enduring nature of the building has assisted art through a cycle of prosperity and decay, or, to put it another way, brought the building back to life. I wish to demolish the radical dismissals in your Archis article with similar objections, at the risk of giving the impression that I am in favour of the bureaucratization of art. We all have an aversion to bureaucratic art, but if art-to-order were a priori of no importance we would have long forgotten Michelangelo instead of the dukes and popes who paid him. Shostakovich wrote universal music under the censorious eye of Josef Stalin, etcetera. You write that the government that offers the artist an arts centre demands his gratitude. Rather I believe that the government, or the society that it represents, demands the right to indifference in exchange. That is the very reason why no avant-garde can develop today. There is simply no longer any way of scandalizing the pen-pushing civil servants who work their way through stacks of subsidy applications, nor the man in the street who has delegated the job to them. A provocative move by an artist is immediately followed by an invitation to appear on a talk show, and thus a technique that has served art well for a whole century is now past its sell-by date. Furthermore, you sketch the city in decay as the ideal biotope for the arts. I will not contradict this romantic idea, to which I am sympathetic, with counter-examples, nor will I take issue with the conclusion that you draw from this: ‘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.’ I do, however, strongly object to your challenge to point to an architecture that helps a city remain in a state of decline. This challenge utterly contradicts your conclusion that ‘places where the art of the day flourishes are not granted eternal life’. You suggest endowing them with the gift of eternal life by perpetuating their state of decline. I see how you can stop decline, and I see how you can bring about decline, but I do not see how you can perpetuate decline. Decline is a downward line, which ends in death. Do you want to put the decrepit city on an infusion in order to delay its inevitable death just a little longer? Do you want to hasten its death in a bloody apotheosis? But if it is dead then it is no longer in decline. Then it is simply dead. You once wrote that architecture is ‘post-war’. I found your description of Sarajevo spine-chilling, and I am prepared to call your experience of the bullet-riddled buildings architectural, but I am sure you will agree that this is something that ‘happens’ to a city, not something that you plan. No, your challenge is absurd. Cities, like gardens or like human existence itself, are subject to cycles of life and death. Prosperity and decline follow each other and coexist. While one neighbourhood experiences a revival, the other goes into decline. You have sketched the process accurately: first the artists, then the architects, designers and estate agents. It is a process that urban planners, the city’s gardeners, sometimes even pursue deliberately. You might call this cynical, but it is the cynicism of life that even in the face of all this death it does not cease. Architects often look decay straight in the eye. They are expected to prevent premature decay and they must decide, or offer their advice on what should be left standing, what should be repaired, what must be permanently demolished. Contact with transience disposes to humility. I have previously argued for a weak architecture, against a strong architecture that is forever hollering ‘Everything new!’ – for an architecture that accepts the ugly, the shabby and the precarious as it is and is able to recognize the seeds of the new in the old, for an architecture that neither hushes up nor shouts down the seriousness of life, but makes it resonate. In the anthology of this that I shall never write I would reserve a place for your work. Perhaps I have misunderstood you and what you mean by ‘perpetuating the state of decline’ is more or less what I mean by ‘weak architecture’, but considering that you also write: ‘I know of no case in the entire history of architecture ... where architecture deliberately assisted in preserving the decline, became part of the cause of the decline’, I do not think that to be the case. From your paradox of the perpetuated decline I deduce that you prefer the merits and values of the artist above those of the architect. As an architect, working with limited means in the longer term, you offer to plan perpetual decline for the artist.

Printed for Paul Vermeulen <hdspv@pandora.be> by Archis <info@archis.org>

From: Archis 2/2001 — 68 — Politics

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Paul Vermeulen,Vulture, buzzard, chameleon – a letter to Wim Cuyvers. Is the builder of memorials thus to partake of heroism? You have taken this rigid distinction between the values of art and those of architecture from the mentor whom you revile: Paul Robbrecht. ‘Architecture always wants to structure, to arrange. Architecture always wants to correct, to clean up. Architecture always wants to do good, with childish optimism,’ you write. It is a clear echo of a statement by Paul Robbrecht from 1989. ‘There is the moral axiom that precedes architecture, something that I accept almost cheerlessly. This means that it is aimed at the good. ...I cannot imagine that architecture assumes a negative attitude towards reality. ...Architecture is a positive act. Art can act negatively, it can create an anti-world. Architecture cannot do this. It is not subversive.’ Similarly, in an interview with Ole Bouman published in these columns, Rem Koolhaas once indicated that the architect was doomed to decency and advised his colleagues against whore-hopping. The difference between your statements and those of both these gentlemen is immediately obvious. They accept the axiom that precedes architecture – ‘cheerlessly’, to be sure – whereas you fight against it. You desire a subversive architecture. But the difference is only obvious at first glance. We know the extent to which Robbrecht seeks out that very point of friction with art in his architecture, how his positive world is reflected and redoubled in the anti-world of art, in the same way as the good Agent Cooper greets his own diabolic grimace in the shaving mirror at the end of Twin Peaks. And Rossi’s room with an abyss, from which you took your bearings on another occasion: hasn’t Koolhaas built this at Bordeaux in his panoramic house with the sinking floor? It seems to me that a decent person can do no more! To borrow the words of another of your former mentors, these are powerful examples of ‘complexity and contradiction in architecture’. Your determinedly Manichean perception of good and bad, which places architecture on the wrong side of good, leads to embarrassing paradoxes in which you recast a vulture as a buzzard. In the inconsistant world of Robbrecht or Koolhaas an architect has dozens of totems at the same time, and the architecture is ambiguous, subservient and offensive, distressing and joyful simultaneously. Allow me to reiterate this with the idea that was central to your text – and, curiously enough, to my own text that unintentionally pitched me into this exchange of words – the notion of ‘centre’. According to you, the architecture of the centre must be done away with. In your cult of the fringe, however, you validate the centre, or more accurately its existence, in the same way a Black Mass with inverted crucifixes still pays tribute to the original. The concepts ‘centre’ and ‘fringe’ assume that there is a common reference point, in relation to which most people want to remain close and a few want to distance themselves. Has the social condition not become too complex to still describe it satisfactorily with this model? In the dispersed city that we now inhabit, the word ‘centre’ is preceded by an adjective – historic centre, shopping centre, sports centre, arts centre – that at least makes it clear that these places are not a focal point for everyone or at every moment in time. The same applies to the multicultural society in which we, still ill at ease, find ourselves, a society in which cultures are subcultures, and norms and conventions are subject to negotiation. In this situation I would not call the place where the architect has to set to work the fringe, but rather the border, or more trendily, the interface: the watershed where each of those provisional, part-time centres that we live with breaks out of its selfsatisfied smugness, ready for interaction, accessible, public. So, at the last moment I have brought into the spotlight those who are so glaringly absent in your article about the arts centre: the public. The arts centre does not belong to the artist alone, but just as much to the public. The architect is not just the artist’s dogsbody, neither is he a servant of the patrons/patronizers who have hired the artist. He is responsible not only to them, but just as much to the public, who are the ones who will judge whether he has been visionary enough to break open this cenacle for them. Yours, Paul Vermeulen

Printed for Paul Vermeulen <hdspv@pandora.be> by Archis <info@archis.org>

Forward to minister: Forward to architect: Forward to curator: Forward to collector:

Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 2/2001 — 69 — Politics

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The rhizomatic progress of the government commission for the renovation and restructuring of the JuBi site in The Hague

First white, then black, then grey On his way to the design review committee in The Hague more than 15 years ago, Carel Weeber decided that his design for what would turn out to be the last social-realist residential complex in the Netherlands, should not be white, but black. Thus was born the ‘Black Madonna’ nickname by which the black-tiled residential block in the centre of The Hague is known.

Though the anecdote is probably apocryphal, it illustrates perfectly how happy those times must have been for the architect: there he was, realizing a structurally defining block within the contours of his own urban restructuring plan for the city centre. The architect in full control. Later, Weeber went on to add the Hotel Mercure in this area, thus fixing the spatial structure at the other end of the new city axis running from Central Station to Nieuwe Kerk. It was an era in which the rational, not to say rationalistic, logic of Weeber’s proposals was persuasive enough already to guarantee its being built. How different things are today for another architect, Jo Coenen, working in that same area. Having in the meantime been appointed government architect, and notwithstanding his international reputation and an impressive CV, he must try to stand his ground in an increasingly squelchy quagmire of little power games, in defence of what was referred to in a previous Archis as ‘one of the finest commissions in his life’.1 His initial involvement as architect in the renovation of the office towers of the Ministries of Justice and the Interior (dubbed ‘the JuBi site’ after the initials of their Dutch names), seemed to be a positive step towards the transformation of the administrative centre in The Hague. At street level the towers distance themselves somewhat from their surroundings and in that respect they do not really fit in with the 19th-century enclosed cityblock concept that has been widely applied in the city centre over the last 15 years. The necessary technical modernization of the office towers was seized by the Government Buildings Agency (Rijksgebouwen-

dienst, or RGD) in the person of the then government architect, Wytze Patijn, supported by the then city councillor, Peter Noordanus, as an opportunity to tailor the spatial integration of the site to suit the new situation (to ‘improve’ it) and to include a richer urban programme. In choosing Coenen as architect, and thus making architectural and spatial creativity central to the planning process, it seemed that it would be possible for the parties concerned (the city council, the two ministries, the RGD, and the property developer), who had all come to the negotiating table with very different agendas, to reach a consensus. It was an interesting experiment in the ‘process’ approach: an attempt to arrive, via the design, at a richer end result in terms of programme, urban planning and architecture than that thrown up by the actual brief. Many design rounds later, when it appeared that consensus had finally been reached on the plan to be executed, a financial shortfall that would have paid for a modest opera house was sufficient to scupper the whole project. In the end, the parties’ individual interpretations of goal and outcome proved to be too different. A government architecture policy geared to enlightened commissioning entails responsibilities, and the departments concerned were not necessarily prepared to pay the price. The attempts to find a solution took a remarkable turn when project architect Jo Coenen was appointed Government Architect. Suddenly he was sitting at the design and negotiating tables in two distinct, and usually separate, capacities. The government architect initiates, steers, advises and oversees the architectural design as a direct or

Weeber’s master plan for the area, 1979 version.

Black Nadonna at competion in 1982.

ARCHIS

From: Archis 2/2001 — 70 — Politics


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indirect client, whereas the architect who produces that design is effectively in the client’s employ. The situation was further complicated when the solution to the financial problem was sought in the expansion of the planning area to include the neighbouring Black Madonna residential complex in the restructuring scheme. Demolishing it to make space for a grand new ministry tower was seen as a practical solution to the impasse as well as a golden opportunity to bequeath the city a more attractive urban skyline and to round off that side of the urban axis, which had been decked out with much architectural bravura, with an equally exuberant gesture. Curiously enough, the Black Madonna had indeed been the starting point for the now almost completed spatial structure, but the subsequent architectural infill had reduced the block to a dissonant element. This too turned out to be a paradoxical aspect of Weeber’s plan. His philosophy of objective urban planning, which was set out in the pattern of the master plan and should have guaranteed a coherent organization and development of the city core, in practice disintegrated into an ad hoc composition of aesthetically devised fragments. Objectivity and neutrality are no match for the primacy of good taste and architectural expression. And thus the residential complex that Weeber himself has characterized as ‘state architecture’ is to be sacrificed to the state’s desire (entirely in keeping with current fashion for ‘state branding’) for an expressive state architecture. If, that is, the scenario envisaged by the JuBi site parties actually goes ahead. For where there are problems, there is room for intervention, in this case political intervention. True to form, the local Labour Party (PvdA) made a big song and dance about power, vision, and solidarity (with the threatened residents of the Black Madonna, that is, although there was precious little evidence of this when it came to a vote in council) and national politics, in the person of Adri Duivesteijn, stuck its oar in as well. It is absolutely fascinating how the coincidental presence of Richard Meier in the Netherlands, in connection with his promotional exhibition at the Netherlands Architecture Institute, led to the OR WONEN

prompt commissioning of an urban plan for the JuBi site, the Black Madonna included (i.e. the environs of ‘Meier’s’ city hall). The expression ‘stab in the back’ has been wielded for less. Apparently the brand-new, keen-as-mustard Government Architect was in urgent need of a rap over the knuckles. But at the same time, or so it seems, the last heroic deed of ex-alderman Noordanus, the demolition of the Black Madonna (i.e. the eradication of the final remnant of state socialism from the prestigious centre of The Hague) must be secured by way of architectural grandeur and international prestige. Meanwhile, the architect Jo Coenen continues to battle unflaggingly for his project – including in the newspapers.2 Coenen, Weeber, Meier, Duivesteijn, the local Labour Party are all in the spotlight, but the probable real puppeteers are for the moment hovering in the wings. Anyone who thought that the battle for the city belonged to our socio-political past, has been taught otherwise by these tortuous manoeuvrings. It will be interesting to see whether the might of the commission is sufficient to keep the architect in this game of chess as a player, or whether he will at best be allowed to appear on the chessboard in the role of sacrificial queen. It all began as an ambitious idea, an attempt to use government funds as leverage for urban restructuring, based on the awareness that the central government’s use of land and buildings could make a more positive contribution to the urban environment. It has ended up being a matter of who is serving which master in whose name. From plans to vested interests… It goes without saying that the public dimension of architecture is in the balance here: the transformation of government buildings and public space in the heart of the city has aroused a great deal of public interest. It couldn’t be more public, in fact. But is the ever more complex task also to be resolved now as a public matter? And even so – and this will strike a chord with experienced administrators – does a transparent public process necessarily result in a transparent urban outcome? Arjen Oosterman

TABK 8 | 82 ?

Seen by: Director-General, Government Buildings Agency Comments by: Government Architect, Ida Jager With thanks to: Ida Jager See also: www.archined.nl

Name: Date: Address: Telephone:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 71 — Politics


Global PS, Wim Cuyvers, yesterday Global PS Around the beginning of this year, I took part in a caving expedition in north-west Vietnam. It had been eight years since I was last there, and it was for the same reason. One is presumed to notice that everything has changed. Indeed, Hanoi has acquired a crop of new high-rise buildings, a growing throng of mopeds buzzes its streets, and they are erecting something at the airport with an aspiring resemblance to the places I went through during the stopovers at Frankfurt and Kuala Lumpur. Everything I can do and everything I know comes out of caves, out of the ground. I thought back to eight years ago and tried to figure out what had changed. In the area of caving techniques, there had been scarcely anything new, for it has not changed in over twenty years apart from an additional groove in the hard aluminium of the pulleys we use for ascending ropes. S., who lives in Lebanon and travelled to Belgium to join us on our flight, told us he had utilized the interval between flights to pick up some extra climbing gear. The car he rented for the purpose had a built-in GPS route finder which guided him unerringly through the maze that is Flanders. On returning the car to the rental firm, it struck him that he had absolutely no idea where he had been in the meanwhile. He was simply not conscious of the route he was travelling. Now, every time I look up during the flight, I find myself eye to eye with a small display screen built into the backrest of the seat in front of me. It indicates our exact location and height from moment to moment. We spent a whole day driving from Hanoi to the provincial capital Son La. There is no trace now of the Vietnam war. The bombed-out huts must have been overgrown by vegetation within a year. The architecture was not solid enough to sustain the marks of death and destruction, of the horror and the transience; not stony enough to monumentalize the war. Nature, marvellous nature, took over, and there is no architecture to hold on to the breach. In Son La, too, things have changed. The government is forcing people to abandon their mountain villages and move into the city. That evening, we wandered around the town. As we were about to turn back, C. took out a small yellow device which I first thought was a mobile phone. We didn’t have mobile phones with us eight years ago, but in the last few days they had offered diversion enough. ‘Yes, we’re in Kuala Lumpur. How’s the weather back there?’ And, ‘Yes, we’re in Hanoi, the signal’s still fine here. Great, huh?’ But the appliance turned out not to be a mobile phone after all. It was a GPS. The device appeals to the same pseudo-materiality as a mobile phone or a gear-lever knob. A little indigo-coloured line on the display pointed us in the right direction, and without talking, looking or thinking, we found our way without a hitch to the government building where we spent the night. A week later, we were at work in the extreme north-west of Vietnam. A long journey through pelting rain took us over steep paths that quickly turned into gushing rivers, past a magnificent, desolate Hmong village, further up and deep into the jungle, where, almost at the top of the ridge, we found a beautiful, deep shaft. We inspected the cave and made a full survey of its topography, but the entrance still had to be localized. In the past that was something you did with a compass. The entrance positions were localized in relation to surrounding mountain peaks whose grid reference could be found on a topographical map. The intersecting lines of direction identified the location of the cave.

Printed for Wim Cuyvers <wim.cuyvers@wanadoo.fr> by Archis <info@archis.org>

From: Archis 2/2001 — 72— Politics

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Global PS, Wim Cuyvers, yesterday That era has suddenly come to an end. You just push a button on your GPS receiver, and it quickly seeks three or four Navstar GPS satellites (property of the US Government) which orbit some 12,000 miles above the earth, establishes its orientation relative to them and then presents you with a position accurate to about three metres. You might think this rapid evolution was due to a technical breakthrough, but you would be wrong. It is all down to politics (and hence economics). On 1 May 2000, the Office of the Press Secretary of the White House released a ‘Statement by the President regarding the United States’ decision to stop degrading global positioning system accuracy’ (http://www.state.gov/global/oes/space/ 000501_clinton_gps.html. The press release tells us that President Clinton (not of course merely coincidentally advised by the Secretary of Defense together with the Departments of State, Transportation and Commerce, and by the Director of Central Intelligence) had abandoned the ‘Selective Availability’ (often abbreviated to SA) hitherto imposed by the Defense Department. SA was a limitation of the GPS system to a lower level of accuracy (about 50 to 100 metres) for nonmilitary applications. Hence, since the first of May 2000, the GPS system can be freely used for surveying, mapmaking, navigation, building and engineering work, keeping tabs on company vehicles and even for all kinds of precision measurements ranging from earth tremors to tides. GPS satellites, which are all equipped with highly accurate atomic clocks, transmit data indicating their precise location and the current time. By using several satellite signals as triangulation points, one can identify a position on the earth’s surface with tremendous accuracy (to the millimetre, if the receiver is itself exact enough). The difference between the old ways of establishing positions and GPS is vast and mind-boggling. The compass gave us an alignment with respect to a natural geophysical force and the sextant helped us orient ourselves by the stars. The GPS system allows us to locate ourselves relative to an American commercial network of satellites (there is also a Russian network of satellites, but it was totally sidelined by the decision of 1 May 2000 and the eagerness with which industry threw itself into exploiting the opportunities opened up). Interestingly, the satellites can be consulted round the clock and free of charge – for the next six years, at least. It’s the old drug dealer’s trick: first get them hooked, then rake in the dough. The errant soul has long been an anathema. It is either buried six feet below the ground and loaded down with the massive blocks of stone we call gravestones, or it is consumed by fire. But now the errant body is an outcast too. We may travel but we may not stray. To travel is to consume and consumption is certainty but wandering is haphazard. And we cannot possibly object to being continuously reachable, cannot possibly object to knowing where we are or what time it is. It is merely logical that we should want these things, and logic is economical and normal. GPS irrevocably robs every place of its infinite number of directions. The place has been convoked, made one-dimensional, levelled out and normalized. It has been annexed by the current. The place, which once stood a priori aloof from the current, has now been swallowed up by the current. Now there is only current and no longer any place; point location after point location is now known and has become part of the route. The demise of the hierarchy of places means the demise of the place. GPS is a system of total anthropocentric decontextualization. Only underground, in a cave, do the GPS and the mobile phone fail to work. For a sum of 200 dollars (and the price of the receiver is something that can only be expressed in dollars) you will always know where you are. GPS chips will no doubt soon be built into wristwatches and

Printed for Wim Cuyvers <wim.cuyvers@wanadoo.fr> by Archis <info@archis.org>

As you can see, work on this strip is in progress. Occasionally, strips will be empty. You can contribute to the content of these strips by sending an SMS:+31.(0)6.1104.6218. From: Archis 2/2001 — 73 — Politics

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Global PS, Wim Cuyvers, yesterday mobile phones, and if that isn’t enough they will be implanted under the skin. It will all be given away free: no craving, no nostalgia, no waiting. With every point known (GPS), everyone reachable (mobile phone) and every object possessible (VISA), everything will be under control and every longing annulled. Never before has a system been so totalitarian that it can give us the illusion of an absolute unity of time and place. How odd that exactly the same slogan has served to promote first the car, then the credit card, then the mobile phone and now the GPS: the car gives you your freedom, the credit card gives you your freedom, the mobile phone gives you your freedom and now the GPS gives you your freedom. Someone from the French police was on the radio this morning telling us about the soaring use of electronic anklets as an alternative to conventional jail sentences. In conclusion, he let slip that the possibilities of the GPS system have been far from fully exploited.

Printed for Wim Cuyvers <wim.cuyvers@wanadoo.fr> by Archis <info@archis.org>

From: Archis 2/2001 — 74 — Politics

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AARON BETSKY

Verwerpelijke voorwerpen: de mislukking van Workspheres

GORILLAS IN GUADALAJARA

If it is up to the avant-garde gorillas, Guadalajara, meeting centre. In addition, Vergara foresees a hotel Mexico will become the test case for the architecture of (designed by Zaha Hadid), a shopping mall and enterpost-planning. After decades of proposing grand urban tainment district (Coop Himmelblau), a trade fair comschemes for places like Vienna, Melun-Selart, Berlin plex (Carme Pinós), a museum (Toyo Ito), a children’s and New York, but seeing only isolated and highly museum (Philip Johnson), a cock-fighting ring (Thom wrought monuments to their own ingenuity rise up out Mayne) an amphitheatre (Todd Williams and Billie of the ground, the Generation of ‘68 that now rules Tsien) and, eventually, a university designed by Daniel much of the architecture world hopes to have a chance Libeskind. to collectively shape a 200-acre site on the outskirts of All of this will take place on a marshy field wedged Mexico’s second largest city. At a recent symposium between Guadalajara’s outskirts and a nature preserve. (which this author moderated), they laid out their plans The list of architects was drawn up by Enrique Norten for an architecture that would extend their polycentric, over two years ago, and there have been some addi‘glocal’ (globally driven but locally sensitive), highly tions and deletions, but most participants continue to fly LOT/EK architecture. Vrachtcontainer gebruikt voorand de technologically Hella Etenstoetsenbord, 2001. into Guadalajara regularly as the project inches through expressive drivenJongerius, form-making Inspiro-tainer, 2000. Work in progress. Foto: LOT/EK practices to thearchitecture. realm of making a complete urban – or the tortuous Mexican bureaucracy. The symposium in February marked the official ‘groundbreaking’ (the erecsemi-urban – environment. tion of the largest flag in Mexico, over a hundred metres high, at the centre of the site), and was a chance for the architects to publicly state their design intentions. \Like much of Mexican culture and economic development, the JVC will take its cue from the United States: it will be an office core at the periphery of the city, with easy access to transportation and with natural amenities nearby that the developer hopes will become an attractor in the monotonous landscape of sprawl. It will

Their laboratory is the so-called JVC, or Jose Vergara Center. It is the brainchild of Jorge Jennie Vergara (he’s naming the Center after Pineus, his father), who runs a fastgrowing empire of herbal supplement sellers that has spread from this industrial town all across the Americas and now Asia. The company, Omnilife, will have its headquarters on the site, which Vergara now uses for giant ‘rallies’ in which he brings up to 20,000 of his distributors together to infuse them with the company spirit. The first building to be constructed on the site, Enrique Norten’s Convention Center, will act as a permanent home for these gatherings. The other Mexican architect in the salon Vergara has assembled, veteran neo-brutalist Teodoro Gonzalez de León, will create a corporate

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1 Hotel (Hadid) 2 Conferentiecentrum (Norten) 3 Markt (Pinos) 4 Strijdperk (Mayne) 5 Museum (Johnson) 6 Winkelcentrum (Coop Himmelblau) 7 Kantoren (Nouvel) 8 Museum (Ito) 9 Conferentiecentrum (Gonzalez de Leon) 10 Universiteit (Libeskind) 11 Stadion (Williams/Tsien)

A.–REV.

Martí Guixé, Detail van H!BYE, 2000. Plastic tassen en andere benodigdheden samengeperst tot pilformaat. De gebruiker neemt een mobiel kantoor mee in de vorm van deze voedingssupplementen.

5


Forward to: From: Date:

Join the housing hunt: Pass on:

From: Archis 2/2001 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 76 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Review

Room Wanted %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Wanted: (urgently) %%%%%%%%%%%%] Home with 1 or 2 %%%%%%%%%%%%] rooms %%%%%%%%%%%%] Call me: 0341%%%%%%%%%%%%] 420740 %%%%%%%%%%%%] Irmgard %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Quiet female %%%%%%%%%%%%] student wants room %%%%%%%%%%%%] Tel:020 6732153 %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]


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Amsterdam

A BICYCLE SHED IS A BUILDING (Lincoln cathedral is a piece of architecture) TEXT ARJEN OOSTERMAN PHOTOGRAPHY FRANK KOK (SOLAR)

The bike is parked at: We’re going to eat in a restaurant: Time:

See you later! From: Date:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 77 — Review


A BICYCLE SHED IS A BUILDING msterdam, like so many other cities, does its utmost to develop its prized cityscape harmoniously. This is especially true for the city centre, where aesthetic demands and supervision are stringent, and geared primarily to existing monumental values. Yet despite all the good intentions and supervision, the cityscape cannot be kept entirely in check. Impermanence, often contrasting carelessly with the surroundings, is a permanent feature of one’s experience of the city. Pneumatic drills in the asphalt, dug-up tram rails, re-surfacing operations, hoardings, site offices and temporary depots – these are just as familiar elements of the cityscape as gables, yellow trams and the national monument on Dam Square. Only when you try to take photos of the familiar sights, do you discover how selectively your eyes work, and how distorted reality is. Much of the impermanence amounts to fairly ordinary nuisance, which at the most arouses one’s curiosity about things to come. But sometimes impermanence provides a fresh angle, a different experience of the familiar. Normally, the construction of a temporary bicycle shed in the water in front of Central Station would fall into the category of ‘don’t mind me, I don’t really belong here’ additions to the cityscape. Yet the architectural quality of the structure is such that it actually enhances one’s enjoyment of the city. The steel supporting structure, with its red ‘walkway’, makes absolutely no effort to blend into the surroundings. It is the product of its own logic: a simple, somewhat stylized, spiralling parking facility for bicycles made from prefabricated elements, which have been combined to form this ‘building’ for a period of five years. It meets the functional requirements of the surroundings, obstructing neither the quayside nor the waterway. Otherwise it is a ‘free agent’. It resembles a ship moored to the quay, contributing its own materials, colours and dimensions. Praise to the official (Ton Schaap) who realized this was more than a routine job, praise to the architect who made more with the available budget than an ordinary shed. What is more interesting than the object itself – the statement that architecture can transform the most unsightly construction into something fascinating – is the sudden apparition in the cityscape, the dynamizing effect of this temporary intervention on a bit of the city that is permanently out of balance. VMX’s bicycle shed confirms that Amsterdam should never become fixated on its own heritage image, that it should keep on accepting new incentives to prevent it becoming a museum. Contradiction and complexity – famous, by now hackneyed terms – but still true. In the same way as Renzo Piano’s Nemo science museum gave Amsterdam an architecturally robust, carefully stage-managed public space and vantage point, an ode to the old waterfront, the bicycle shed constitutes a temporary observation folly, quite distinct from the original

A

commission, an ‘accident’ offering a splendid view of the city. There was a time when impermanence – a parade, a city festival – was considered worthy of serious effort. These were architectural exercises, to which the best minds and talents devoted themselves. But at a time when the concept of permanence is greatly diminished and almost everything is felt to be temporary, hardly anyone considers a short-lived project to be of real value. Not that anyone wants a totally designed world, rather a world in which there is room for serendipity, surprise, surplus. And that is what has been briefly created here. As yet, no one knows for how long. In view of the uncertainties surrounding the projected new underground North–South line, the ‘temporariness’ may turn out to be shorter or twice as long. But there will be an end. A liberating prospect. It delivers the bike shed in advance from the burden of balanced urban composition, it allows just enough scope for that liberating radicalness. However, destruction would seem somewhat odd; the technical useful life is definitely longer than required.

CALL FOR ENTRIES o, an appeal to readers: come up with another use for the framework, once the ‘permanent’ bicycle shed beside Central Station has made this one redundant. Closing date for entries: Thursday 21 June 2001. The design drawings of the bicycle shed can be viewed at: www.vmxarchitects.nl. Participants run the risk of winning a year-long subscription to Archis or a parcel of Artimo publications, as well as having their entry published in Archis 4/2001.

S

Assignment De-mountable public bicycle shed for 2,500 bicycles, with the option of paid parking Architect VMX, Amsterdam Design team Don Murphy and Leon Teunissen, with Michael Kloos, Peter Kaufmann, Mona Farag, Skafte Aymo-Boot, Keren Engelman Design November 1998 Completion April 2001 Building costs approx. NLG 4,700,000 Principal City of Amsterdam, Department of Infrastructure, Traffic and Transport Construction Ingenieursgroep van Rossum, Anne van der Sluis, Amsterdam Building contractor Aannemerscombinatie K. Dekker / De Klerk, Warmenhuizen

From: Archis 2/2001 — 78 — Review


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Green Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Review %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] A bicyle shed is a %%%%%%%%%%%%] building %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Arjen Oosterman %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photography %%%%%%%%%%%%] Frank Kok (Solar) %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

A BICYCLE SHED IS A BUILDING

The car is parked at: We’re going to eat in a restaurant: Time:

See you later! From: Date:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 79 — Review


dear neighbours, I will shortly be moving house and we won’t be living next door to one another anymore.

(change of address notice)

1. Tear this page out. 2. Stick it in your neigbour’s letter box. 3. Don’t wait around for his or her reaction. 4. Move house! From: Archis 2/2001 — 80— Review

Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Yellow Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Research %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Toolkit for your %%%%%%%%%%%%] neighbour %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Change of %%%%%%%%%%%%] address notice %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Green Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Review %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Beyond the inter%%%%%%%%%%%%] disciplinary: %%%%%%%%%%%%] Iannis Xenakis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Sven Sterken %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Lay-out %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photoshop manual %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1991 %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Sven Sterken is %%%%%%%%%%%%] an engineer and %%%%%%%%%%%%] architect, current%%%%%%%%%%%%] ly working on a %%%%%%%%%%%%] doctoral thesis on %%%%%%%%%%%%] Xenakis’s archi%%%%%%%%%%%%] tecture at the %%%%%%%%%%%%] Department of %%%%%%%%%%%%] Architecture and %%%%%%%%%%%%] Urban Design at %%%%%%%%%%%%] the University of %%%%%%%%%%%%] Ghent. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

2 Beyond the interdisciplinary: Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) Engineer, architect, multimedia artist, composer, mathematician... Rarely has an artist been active in so many different fields as Iannis Xenakis. After completing his studies in architecture at Athens, Xenakis fled to Paris as a political refugee in 1947, working there till 1959 under Le Corbusier. As an engineer he was involved in the Unités d’Habitation at Marseilles and Nantes. Later on he played a signal role as architect in various projects, including the convent of La Tourette, the Philips Pavilion, the Firminy centre for youth and culture and the stadium in Baghdad, which was never finished. In the meantime he studied composition with Olivier Messiaen. After parting company with Le Corbusier, he was most active as a composer and it was as such that he attained international fame from the 1960s onwards. His book Musiques Formelles (1963) has gone through a number of editions and qualifies as one of the most influential texts on music theory of the past century. Despite the often exceptionally abstract character of his music, Xenakis is one of the most frequently performed contemporary composers. While the media Xenakis used may have been very different, his work displays great homogeneity; through his systematic and quantitative treatment of form he always managed to avoid the pitfalls of eclecticism. With his rigid engineer’s logic Xenakis reduced composition – both architecture and music – to an abstract process, by basing musical and spatial design on mathematical models. For instance, his composition ‘Métastasis’ (1954), the architecture for the Philips Pavilion (1958) and his ‘Ville Cosmique’, a utopian urbanist plan of 1963, are all composed of hyperbolic paraboloid shapes. This mathematical paradigm makes Xenakis’s work a supreme example of a modernist project. What he is concerned with then is not just the interdisciplinary in the sense of an exchange between different disciplines, but rather with a transdisciplinarity – that is, applying the same abstract paradigm in different disciplines. In this manner Xenakis’s eclectic background takes on a genuinely functional character. His ‘Polytopes’, a series of multimedia, site-specific installations of the 1970s, are a clear instance of this. They are the synthesis of the three poles round which Xenakis’s creative universe is composed – architecture, music and technology. 1

o I’d like to get in touch with people whose parents or grandparents saw the work of Iannis Xenakis at the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 81 — Review


2 BEYOND THE INTERDISCIPLINARY

Ill. 1: Polytope de Montréal, maquette of the hyperbolic cable structure, 1967.

Like the Philips Pavilion, with its Poème Electronique, where slides and film were projected on the walls and accompanied by coloured ‘environments’ and the spatialized music of Edgar Varèse, Xenakis’s intention with these Polytopes was to create a sort of total cybernetic experience. As their name suggests, these installations involved a confrontation between different spaces – sound, light, colour and architecture were independently superimposed.1 The viewer was situated at the intersection of all these layers. In this way the topos, the place itself, became a medium. Each of the Polytopes was conceived of as site-specific. In the five-storey-high central void of the French pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, for example, Xenakis used a cluster of steel cables to materialize five hyperbolic ruled surfaces, resulting in an ensemble of almost invisible spatial volumes. (illustration 1) Hundreds of white and coloured flashlights were attached to these cables, changing configuration every twenty-sixth part of a second. The spatial illusion of the hyperbolic surfaces combined with the slowness of the human eye2 meant that what the viewer saw here were virtual and dynamic light volumes. During the eight minutes of the spectacle, Xenakis’s polytope modulated the total visual and auditory space of the pavilion. The only thing to be seen outside was an unobtrusive wire sculpture in the style of Naum Gabo. In the Cluny Polytope (1973) the flash lights were attached to a metal structure, that in fact duplicated the arches of the Roman baths of the Musée de Cluny in Paris. In addition there were three laser beams broken by hundreds of tiny revolving mirrors. Sharp geometrical figures interfered in this way with the pointillist light-clouds produced by the flashes. The entire spectacle was computer-operated and repeated four times a day. Unlike the previous polytope, where visitors could roam freely around the sound and light sculpture, here they were completely surrounded by a mediated architecture of light and sound. For a full 25 minutes they were totally immersed in an abstract, cosmic trip. Unlike the projections in Le Corbusier’s Poème Electronique, that compressed the outside world into 480 seconds, Xenakis used light here as material to create the perfect, abstract forms that he presented in his electronic Platonic Cave, the polytope. Xenakis appropriated the total space–time of the viewer, something he was to take even further in subsequent works. In two of the

From: Archis 2/2001 — 82 — Review


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Green Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Review %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Beyond the inter%%%%%%%%%%%%] disciplinary: %%%%%%%%%%%%] Iannis Xenakis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Sven Sterken %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Lay-out %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photoshop manual %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1991 %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1. A ‘polytope’ is %%%%%%%%%%%%] in fact a mathe%%%%%%%%%%%%] matical entity, but %%%%%%%%%%%%] the concept is %%%%%%%%%%%%] used here in the %%%%%%%%%%%%] literal Greek %%%%%%%%%%%%] meaning of the %%%%%%%%%%%%] word; it can be %%%%%%%%%%%%] translated as a %%%%%%%%%%%%] ‘plurality of %%%%%%%%%%%%] places’ (poly = %%%%%%%%%%%%] ‘many’, topos = %%%%%%%%%%%%] ‘place’). %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 2. At a speed of %%%%%%%%%%%%] more than 26 %%%%%%%%%%%%] images a second, %%%%%%%%%%%%] the human eye %%%%%%%%%%%%] perceives a transi%%%%%%%%%%%%] tion as continuity. %%%%%%%%%%%%] This is the princi%%%%%%%%%%%%] ple on which %%%%%%%%%%%%] movies and car%%%%%%%%%%%%] toon films are %%%%%%%%%%%%] based. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

BEYOND THE INTERDISCIPLINARY

Ill. 2: the Diatope in front of the Centre Pompidou, 1977.

I’m still working! Be home at: Don’t forget:

Forward to: From: Date:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 83— Review

3


4 BEYOND THE INTERDISCIPLINARY

polytopes – in Mycene and Persepolis – once described as ‘musical land art’, Xenakis involved hundreds of participants in the action that covered an entire archeological landscape. For his final polytope, on the occasion of the opening of the Centre Pompidou in 1977, Xenakis designed his own site – a portable pavilion of steel and textile, the Diatope.3 (illustration 2) The light and transparent character of the Diatope was actually already latent in the Philips Pavilion. In fact Le Corbusier had not wanted any architecture at all for his Poème Electronique, since it did not need anything more than a projection screen turned inside-out. In his search for a way of creating a perfectly free interior space Xenakis proposed making the entire construction self-supporting using the thinnest possible self-supporting paraboloid concrete shells. The thickness (5cm) was based on the minimum concrete covering required for reinforcement. It was as if Xenakis saw the necessary visual–acoustic opacity and the materiality of the concrete as an obstacle to the perfect realization of his idea. In the Diatope this materiality made way for a sensory density. Space was conceived of here as a collection of dilated pixels, each with its own series of coordinates of intensity, place, sound, colour and time. (illustration 3) With his media architecture, Xenakis acted on the visitors’ mental projections in order to create illusory, virtual spaces. In doing so he went even further than he had done in the Philips Pavilion – the virtual experience presented in the Diatope was no longer isolated from the outside world. On the contrary, the transparent red canvas allowed sound, cold air and light to penetrate, so that the outside world was constantly disturbing the cosmic illusion. In this way the viewer was continually being flung to and fro between the illusory and the real world. Unlike the ‘anti-architecture’ of the Philips Pavilion or the H20 pavilion by NOX architects, where a dark, neutralized cyberspace is used to rid the visitor of all contact with reality, the transparent canvas of the Diatope, like a high-tech variant on Laugier’s hut, served only to demarcate a spot. The space itself was defined by a concentrated polytopian clash of light, sound and colour. The virtual world here was thus an extension of reality and not a substitute for it. By superimposing its different, independent and abstract layers on existing reality, Xenakis was appealing to the active imagination of the viewer, instead of shutting him up in a conditioned confrontation with his own physicality. Perhaps this might suggest a way of achieving a genuine and intelligent interactivity.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 84 — Review


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Green Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Review %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Beyond the inter%%%%%%%%%%%%] disciplinary: %%%%%%%%%%%%] Iannis Xenakis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Sven Sterken %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Lay-out %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photoshop manual %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1991 %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 3. The intention %%%%%%%%%%%%] was for the %%%%%%%%%%%%] Diatope to travel %%%%%%%%%%%%] through Europe as %%%%%%%%%%%%] a sort of promo%%%%%%%%%%%%] tional ambassador %%%%%%%%%%%%] for the new Centre %%%%%%%%%%%%] Pompidou. After %%%%%%%%%%%%] Paris the installa%%%%%%%%%%%%] tion was also %%%%%%%%%%%%] exhibited in Bonn, %%%%%%%%%%%%] in the Spring of %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1979. Afterwards a %%%%%%%%%%%%] number of cities, %%%%%%%%%%%%] including Antwerp, %%%%%%%%%%%%] expressed an %%%%%%%%%%%%] interest in it, but %%%%%%%%%%%%] eventually with%%%%%%%%%%%%] drew from the %%%%%%%%%%%%] scheme, due to the %%%%%%%%%%%%] huge maintenance %%%%%%%%%%%%] costs of this piece %%%%%%%%%%%%] of high tech. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

BEYOND THE INTERDISCIPLINARY

Ill. 3: Diatope, interior.

I’m planning to organize a Xenakis-style experience session in my home.

Name: Address: Time: More information:

From: Archis 2/2001 — 85 — Review

5


s still time. at there are rkspheres is heres is fanspheres: see eres shows ys of doing all visitor orkspheresis there’s still n that there rkspheresis heres is fanspheres: see eres shows ys of doing all visitor orkspheresis there’s still n that there rkspheresis heres is fanspheres: see eres shows ys of doing all visitor orkspheresis there’s still n that there rkspheresis heres is fanspheres: see eres shows ys of doing all visitor orkspheresis there’s still n that there rkspheresis heres is fanspheres: see eres shows ys of doing all visitor orkspheresis there’s still n that there rkspheresis heres is fanspheres: see eres shows ys of doing all visitor orkspheresis there’s still n that there rkspheresis heres is fanspheres: see eres shows ys of doing all visitor orkspheresis there’s still n that there rkspheresis heres is fanspheres: see eres shows ys of doing all visitor orkspheresis there’s still n that there rkspheresis heres is fanspheres: see eres shows

time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis

tastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows

things. Workspheres is breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is

John Thackara

ObjectionableObjects: theFailureof Workspheres. Despite working as an adviser for the smash-hit MoMA exhibition, Workspheres, John Thackara cannot join the critics in their extravagant praise of the show. Are museums a menace? I have long thought most of them to be harmless, but boring – good places for tourists to escape from the rain, and for art persons to escape from the present. But, having recently attended the opening of Workspheres at MoMA in New York, I wonder now if I have been too complacent.1 Paola Antonelli’s show is a smash hit –’off the charts’ in the words of Chee Pearlman, a very Solomon (or should it be Solomona?) of what’s in, and hot, in the USofA. There were more people at the press opening than attend most public openings of big art shows; the private view proper, that evening, was simply packed – a heaving, black-clad throng containing everyone who is anyone in architecture and design. The next day Herbert Muschamp, the arch but hugely influential architecture critic of the New York Times, said Antonelli’s show ‘falls just short of greatness … modernity is back at the Modern, and Ms Antonelli’s got it’. If this is the new modernity, then I’m worried. I should explain that I was involved in the development of Workspheres as one of Paola Antonelli’s advisers. I admire her enormously as one of the great curators of our time, otherwise I would not have been seduced into taking part. So this piece is as much a self-criticism as anything. But I believe that this smash-hit show tells more or less the opposite story about the future design of work, to the one we developed during the planning phase for much of 2000. Paola, our host, was sympathetic to the storyline we collectively developed during that year – indeed, she led the way in looking for fresh and insightful

angles. Between those discussions, and the show itself, the storyline was turned upside down by the museum, and by the way it works.

brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheres is breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still

breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fan- yet again that there are other ways of doing tastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see things. Workspheres is breaking all visitor it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is yet again that there are other ways of doing brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still things. Workspheres is breaking all visitor time. Workspheres shows yet again that there records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantime.From: Workspheres yet — again Archisshows 2/2001 86that — there Reviewtastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fan- yet again that there are other ways of doing

Male sexual insecurity (again) Workspheres is a glittering collection of products for the workplace of the future – but it is all about tools. It says next to nothing about the content of the work we will do, and how we will do it. The show pushes design firmly back into the ghetto of pointless and narcissistic objectmaking from which thoughtful designers have been trying desperately to escape. The show is full of objects for isolated and inward-gazing individuals. Many of these objects are harmless, if banal: Hella Jongerius’s fur-covered bed, which appealed to the man at the Times, springs to mind. Other exhibits are downright insulting: the ponderous, gas-guzzling, permafrost-destroying Maxi-Mog Global Expedition Vehicle, by Bran Ferren and Thomas Ritter, would be a brilliant parody about the reification of male sexual insecurity – if it were not for real. Needless to say, it’s the hit of the show. The Workspheres catalogue is a metaphor of the twisted values of the museum system. The front section contains a series of essays (one of them is by me) about the changing nature of work – its collaborative nature, its paradoxical relationship with time, its attempt to engage with the incredibly complex world we have made. Then come the ‘plates’ – 140 pages of desks and chairs and mobile phones and accessories and gadgets. Hardly any people. No groups. No mess. No conflict. No fear. No confusion. No love. At the end of the book, six specially

commissioned projects are presented. Some of these are pretty interesting: Marti Guixe’s surreal but insightful ‘Hi Bye’ mood-altering food system; Ideo Japan’s ‘personal skies’ installation; John Maeda’s time-mapping machine; LOT/EK’s Inspiro-Trainer. But, although these special commissions look beyond the object in workspace design, they are lost in the book – and in the show, where all you see is desks and chairs. Object-centric Museums like MoMA are big, rich machines that produce, not understanding, nor meaning, but exhibitions and catalogues. They have hordes of staff to keep busy: researchers, people who buy things, conservators, cataloguers, display designers and catalogue editors constantly on the scrounge for beautiful pictures of – objects. Museums are like little galaxies – vast open spaces that their hordes of servants have to fill up with – things. And always, hordes of people queueing up outside waiting to escape from reality and be entertained. What museums do not have, as institutions, is the remotest interest in changing the way we understand design. This is why I conclude that museums are a menace. Workspheres is the biggest and most prominent design exhibition for years – and it has a great theme. But it takes us backwards. It reinforces an object-centric understanding of design that is hopelessly outdated. I was prompted to write this self-criticism by two experiences on my return from New York. My first was the opportunity to check out KLM’s new Operations Control Centre at Schiphol. I love this kind of thing: one hundred

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Objectionable Objects: the failure of Workspheres John Maeda and Joe Paradiso of MIT Laboratory, with Ari Benbasat, Elis Co, Mark Feldmeier and Ben Fry, Atmosphere, 2000.

workstations face towards an enormous map of the world. For the people who work there, the map seems to function as a shared mental and physical space that enables them to co-ordinate an amazingly complex operation: KLM’s aircraft cover nearly a million km a day, and just one long-haul 747 needs to be stocked up with 5,000 kg of catering equipment. While important, the design of the desks and the chairs and space in this room is a thousand times less interesting than the design of the communication flows among the people who sit in it – and between them and their computers and the planes and support vehicles buzzing about all over the world. The Nemawashi factor The second experience that hit me after Workspheres was a minor problem in our office. Eight of us work in two connected rooms; we have a great team that works really well together. What did not work well was a relationship with a writer working from home a few miles away. He is an excellent writer – a typical high-tech, powerbook-toting, mobilealways-on nomad of the kind celebrated in Workspheres. And we, of course, are excellent clients. But somehow, things between us did not ‘click’. For all the phone calls and e-mails and briefing sessions, we did not build up any momentum of understanding during a six-month editorial project. And the reason? He was not there, with us, in the office. That’s all.

brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheres is breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still

And the best desks and mobile devices in the world would not have made the slightest difference. Kayoko Ota, in one of the best of the introductory essays to the Worksheres catalogue, gave our strangely intractable local difficulty a name: nemawashi. Originally a horticultural word that means ‘to turn the roots’ prior to replanting – or, by implication, ‘laying the groundwork’ – nemawashi has come to mean the process by which groups in Japan develop the shared understanding without which nothing much gets done. Workspheres – or, to be precise MoMA, the institution which created it – suffers from a nemawashi-deficit. They are fixated on things, and disconnected from the flows of people and ideas in the world from which we can really learn. Museums are probably unreformable, too. They are bad news for design. Courtesy www.doorsofperception.com

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I don’t agree with John Thackara in Archis #2. Workspheres was very successful, and also very interesting. I just wanted to tell you this.

Komt uit:Archis Archis2/2001 2/2001——9078——Review Review From:

Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheres is breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things.Workspheres is breaking all visitor records. Workspheresisfantastic.Workspheresis brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things.Workspheres is breaking all visitor records. Workspheresisfantastic.Workspheresis brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things.Workspheres is breaking all visitor records. Workspheresisfantastic.Workspheresis brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things.Workspheres is breaking all visitor records. Workspheresisfantastic.Workspheresis brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things.Workspheres is breaking all visitor records. Workspheresisfantastic.Workspheresis brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things.Workspheres is breaking all visitor records. Workspheresisfantastic.Workspheresis brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things.Workspheres is breaking all visitor records. Workspheresisfantastic.Workspheresis brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things.Workspheres is breaking all visitor records. Workspheresisfantastic.Workspheresis brilliant. Workspheres: see it while there’s still time. Workspheres shows yet again that there are other ways of doing things. Workspheresis breaking all visitor records. Workspheres is fantastic. Workspheres is brilliant.Workspheres: see


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AARON BETSKY

GORILLAS IN GUADALAJARA If it is up to the avant-garde gorillas, Guadalajara, Mexico will become the test case for the architecture of post-planning. After decades of proposing grand urban schemes for places like Vienna, Melun-Selart, Berlin and New York, but seeing only isolated and highly wrought monuments to their own ingenuity rise up out of the ground, the Generation of ‘68 that now rules much of the architecture world hopes to have a chance to collectively shape a 200-acre site on the outskirts of Mexico’s second largest city. At a recent symposium (which this author moderated), they laid out their plans for an architecture that would extend their polycentric, ‘glocal’ (globally driven but locally sensitive), highly expressive and technologically driven form-making practices to the realm of making a complete urban – or semi-urban – environment.

Their laboratory is the so-called JVC, or Jose Vergara Center. It is the brainchild of Jorge Vergara (he’s naming the Center after his father), who runs a fastgrowing empire of herbal supplement sellers that has spread from this industrial town all across the Americas and now Asia. The company, Omnilife, will have its headquarters on the site, which Vergara now uses for giant ‘rallies’ in which he brings up to 20,000 of his distributors together to infuse them with the company spirit. The first building to be constructed on the site, Enrique Norten’s Convention Center, will act as a permanent home for these gatherings. The other Mexican architect in the salon Vergara has assembled, veteran neo-brutalist Teodoro Gonzalez de León, will create a corporate meeting centre. In addition, Vergara

I have been to Mexico

foresees a hotel (designed by Zaha Hadid), a shopping mall and entertainment district (Coop Himmelblau), a trade fair complex (Carme Pinós), a museum (Toyo Ito), a children’s museum (Philip Johnson), a cock-fighting ring (Thom Mayne) an amphitheatre (Todd Williams and Billie Tsien) and, eventually, a university designed by Daniel Libeskind. All of this will take place on a marshy field wedged between Guadalajara’s outskirts and a nature preserve. The list of architects was drawn up by Enrique Norten over two years ago, and there have been some additions and deletions, but most participants continue to fly into Guadalajara regularly as the project inches through the tortuous Mexican bureaucracy. The symposium in February marked the official ‘groundbreaking’ (the erection of the largest flag in Mexico, over a hundred metres high, at the centre of the site), and was a chance for the architects to publicly state their design intentions. \Like much of Mexican culture and economic development, the JVC will take its cue from the United States: it will be an office core at the periphery of the city, with easy access to transportation and with natural amenities nearby that the developer hopes will become an attractor in the monotonous landscape of sprawl. It will be what Joel Garreau described as an ‘Edge City’ and

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1 Hotel (Hadid) 2 Convention Center (Norten) 3 Trade fair complex (Pinós) 4 Cock-fighting arena (Mayne) 5 Children’s Museum (Johnson) 6 Entertainment Center (Coop Himmelblau) 7 Offices (Nouvel) 8 Museum (Ito) 9 Corporate meeting centre (Gonzalez de Léon) 10 University (Libeskind) 11 Amphitheatre (Williams/Tsien)

o once o twice o three times o more than three times. From: Archis 2/2001 — 91 — Review


ARCHIS MINIPOSTER: GUADALAJARA STARCHITECTURE

JO RG E

V ER G A RA

Center after his father), who runs a fast-growing empire of herbal supplement sellers that has spread from this industrial town all ac fe, will have its headquarters on the site, which Vergara now uses for giant ‘rallies’ in which he brings up to 20,000 of his distributors st building to be constructed on the site, Enrique Norten’s Convention Center, will act as a permanent home for these gatherings. Th mbled, veteran neo-brutalist Teodoro Gonzalez de León, will create a corporate meeting centre. In addition, Vergara foresees a hot tertainment district (Coop Himmelblau), a trade fair complex (Carme Pinós), a museum (Toyo Ito), a children’s museum (Philip J hitheatre (Todd Williams and Billie Tsien) and, eventually, a university designed by Daniel Libeskind. All of this will take place skirts and a nature preserve. The list of architects was drawn up by Enrique Norten over two years ago, and there have been som nue to fly into Guadalajara regularly as the project inches through the tortuous Mexican bureaucracy. The symposium in February e largest flag in Mexico over a hundred metres high at the centre of the site) and was a chance for the architects to publicly state


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er, decrying calls for more planning from this moderator and the audience by claiming that it was time to ‘Break open the city…and e world, to dying’. ‘Is it not possible,’ he asked, ‘to think that we might need to build for the post-human, and we need to break open te or house identity, maybe we should build for post-identity.’ To replace the planning for isolated buildings in open fields, he called of establishing a ground for activity. The problem all architects confronted was that there will have to be a modicum of planning to s wetlands site (which has led to the proposal for a large lake that will make the centre have faint echoes of the sorts of corporate k in the 1960s and 1970s) to the need to control access and provide parking. Whatever else the architects hope will mark this place, ad, isolated parking pads, and all the other hallmarks of suburban planning. To Wolf Prix, that is the point: he hopes to elevate such e infrastructure and neutral landscaping to the level of art. The model will be the theme park, not the Siedlung or Sitte: ‘We are going use that theme as a point of departure for city planning.’ The theme park, after all, gives identity to bland building blocks of consumer

TO BI D LL W IE IL TS LI IE AM N S

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GORILLAS IN GUADALAJARA

Ed Soja and Manuel Castels posit as the points of intersection where operators of symbolic logic come together to manipulate, make money off and surround themselves with the ephemeral projections thrown up by data sets. Vergara hopes to fund 80% of the project himself, and to attract the financing for the remaining pieces because the density of activity on the site will make it an attractive location. Learning from Disney, he has bought up options on vast tracts of land adjacent to the site, so that he can control (and profit from) future developments. The mainly European architects faced with making such a compound revel in the possibilities of this very economic phenomenon of dislocated place-making.

Purposefully eschewing strong planning principles (Rem Koolhaas was originally to have supplied a master plan, but left in disagreement with Vergara), they see this as a chance to counter sprawl not with New Urbanist or other

Toyo Ito claimed that life would come at the confluence of the virtual and the real and the global and the local, constructing a new form of identity that might be open to the breaking down into the bits and bytes of the electrosphere. In the combination of abstraction and a specific use of technology, and through the acceptance of projected images, the digital world is not only put on show but also turned into a spatial experience. He pointed out that the continuity of the modernist tradition in Mexico involved not just the erection of isolated monuments, but the creation of a carpet of the sort of steel, glass and stucco structures that make Mexico City’s core into a vast composition of abstract lines and planes. The current project, most participants agreed, would update and jump-start this process by creating an architecture that was mutually sympathetic in its various expressions and where, as Prix put it, each designer’s intentions would ‘complete themselves in the next project’.

neo-humanist techniques, but with the same methodologies of multiple reading, layering and polycentrism they have developed in their own work. JVC is, said Gonzalez de Léon, to be ‘a polycentric celebration of global culture applied locally’. Wolf Prix exulted in the death of planning, which he felt was ‘useless’, and claimed that it was through the patient negotiation between the designers, but also through the emergence of unexpected contrasts and incongruities, that the Center would gain its own life.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 94 — Review


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GORILLAS IN GUADALAJARA

Daniel Libeskind (as usual) went even further, decrying calls for more planning from this moderator and the audience by claiming that it was time to ‘Break open the city…and establish a new identity that is not fatalistically tied to the world, to dying’. ‘Is it not possible,’ he asked, ‘to think that we might need to build for the posthuman, and we need to break open the city to do so? Instead of worrying about how to create or house identity, maybe we should build for post-identity.’ To replace the planning for isolated buildings in open fields, he called for re-thinking the very nature of architecture as a way of establishing a ground for activity. The problem all architects confronted was that there will have to be a modicum of planning to make the project work, from the control of water on this wetlands site (which has led to the proposal for a large lake that will make the centre have faint echoes of the sorts of corporate office parks developed in the rural outskirts of New York in the 1960s and 1970s) to the need to control access and provide parking. Whatever else the architects hope will mark this place, the Center will be an isolated compound with a ring road, isolated parking pads, and all the other hallmarks of suburban planning. To Wolf Prix, that is the point: he hopes to elevate such seemingly banal assemblies of functional boxes, service infrastructure and neutral landscaping to the level of art. The

Empty space Over to you Tell us

model will be the theme park, not the Siedlung or Sitte: ‘We aregoingtomakethisabetterthemepark,’heclaimed,‘and then use that theme as a point of departure for city planning.’ The theme park, after all, gives identity to bland building blocks of consumer culture, transforming them into active participants in a landscape of spectacle. Certainly Prix and most of his compatriots hoped that their architecture would have the power to attract visitors from around the world to the controlled environment they were designing.

Open debate Send comments SMS to: +31.(0)6.1104.6218

From: Archis 2/2001 — 95 — Review


GORILLAS IN GUADALAJARA

But what will be the theme? According to both Pinós and Nouvel, local building traditions such as courtyards and shading devices will provide the basic building blocks that technology and design will transform into new forms. The result, all participants agreed, will be a theme park of architecture itself. This is fine with Vergara, who hopes that his team of famous architects will produce the sort of eye-catching designs that will bring people to the Center in the manner of Bilbao or the Getty Museum. Architecture, it turns out, will provide an alternative to the city through the strengths of its own formal expression. Unlike planning, the discipline of design does not compete with sporting events, museums, and movies.

sprawl mitigates against any attempts at control. The question then is whether this is still architecture, which always inherently proposes a set relation between built form, the world and the human body. Is this post-architecture, pure form, for the post-city, pure movement? And, finally: Architecture or revolution, anyone? Certainly, it seems, both can be avoided.

‘The cultural project has replaced the socialist one,’ Zaha Hadid pointed out. ‘We don’t propose a better world, we just make things go better through the making of better images (or Coke) or perhaps space.’ She envisions an organic organization of landscape that will ‘change our notions of urban and architectural space.’ Culture will act as the transformative, liberating, and rhetorical system that will pull the collage of different building projects together into a place that will have the power to make a society that is in some basic and experiential way new. Instead of leading the world to social justice, the JVC’s architects want to lead us to good space. It is in the very presence of design that reaches beyond the expected and the planned that they hope to posit an alternative to the same prisons of the city that once disgusted Marx and Engels. In Guadalajara, they will have a chance to build their theme park to architecture. Whether it will make a better place remains to be seen. There is, for instance, no housing on the site. There is room for some pretty attractive form-making, and for an attempt to make such forms out of the ways in which urban

From: Archis 2/2001 — 96 — Review


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Ernst Neufert. Normierte Baukultur

Ernst Neufert

The construction, production and representation of massproduced industrialized buildings always enjoyed a high place on last century’s architectural agenda. Concepts and conventions for the design and serial production of buildings were greatly needed. The German architect Ernst Neufert (1900-1986) played a pioneering role in the systematization of knowledge in this field and is mainly known as an author of reference books. His Bauentwurfslehre (Architects’Data, 1936), packed with knowledge derived from everyday experience is a reference work for professionals, clients, teachers and pupils. It is the world’s best-selling architectural reference book, and has found a place on millions of drawing

tables for more than half a century. The 35th edition appeared in 1998, and the third, thoroughly revised, Englishlanguage edition in 2000. The Bauentwurfslehre is concerned exclusively with the standardized, average-sized human being moving from cradle to grave in a domestic and working environment constructed using standardized units of measurement. The underlying Taylorian assumption was that it is possible to combine a minimization of the amount of space required with a maximum of comfort. Prigge’s book presents Neufert as the Taylor of space, matching the dimensions of buildings to those of human beings, to the advantage of both producer and consumer. Or, if you prefer, replacing unilateral exploitation by mutual exploitation. Neufert strove to achieve the universal by taking an apolitical and ahistorical approach, with the result that his views remain one-dimensional and technical. Yet there is no doubt that his work is dated and culturally determined. The illustrations in the Bauentwurfslehre lay down social norms, attitudes and role patterns; sensitive issues are avoided. The reader will look in vain for anything about prisons, brothels, synagogues or barracks. According to the editor of this volume, Walter Prigge, the Bauentwurfslehre is not a design guide but a guide to the spatial organization and dimensioning of buildings. It combines standardized know-how and culturally standardized behaviour and so never reaches the mystical heart of the architectural profession. Prigge pronounces this invocation to protect the artistic process of generating architectural forms and the architect’s individual style against rationalization. He notes that Neufert is conspicuously absent from

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Ernst Neufert. Normierte Baukultur Walter Prigge (ed.) Frankfurt/New York, Campus Verlag, 1999, 464 pp., DM 98 ISBN 3 593 36256 2

Ernst Neufert

Ernst Neufert

histories of twentieth-century modern architecture, largely because of a fixation on styles and stars. Prigge tries (in vain) to postpone moral judgments and negative stigmata, and so starts by recording Neufert’s merits as systematizer of the transition from theory to practice. He takes the view that Neufert should not be judged primarily on his creative production, because his contribution was in fact the collection, systematization and application of professional knowhow. In his person and work Neufert proved himself one of the key figures who brought together concepts relating to the industrialization of building (prefabrication and standardization), the rationalization of the architect’s daily work (rationalization and specialization) and the systematization of modern spatial theory (ergonomics and behavioural research). Prigge wants his book to be viewed in the light of the interaction between these heterogeneous fields: ‘In the development of architecture after the Bauhaus, Ernst Neufert is a representative of the Fordian-Taylorian strategy, with all its now manifest, still unsolved problems ranging from “spatial Existenzminimum” in social housing, through “Standard, Type, Norm” in architectural design all the way through to “Catalogue housing” in industrialized building.’ As he sees it, Neufert stands on the ‘normative’ side of the idea of achieving the avant-garde dream of unifying technology and culture with the help of industrial methods of production. Standards determine the size of building elements and so establish a homogenized, quantifiable basis for the state-guided discipline and control of architectural space. Not for nothing was this kind of system introduced during

the Thousand-Year Reich. Against this background Neufert has to accept yet another label, namely that of a fanatical systematizer, striving for the standardization of all building products and the organization of the building industry on totally industrial lines. The impression given is that Neufert’s Fordian-Taylorian system only works in disaster situations, where all building work is centrally controlled. Prigge digs up no fewer than 26 authors to discuss Neufert’s life and work, organizing their highly varied contributions into four chapters under the headings ‘Modernisierung der Architektur’(modernization of architecture), ‘Geometrisierung der Menschen’ (geometrization of human beings), ‘Architektonisierung des Genormten’ (architecturalization of standards) and ‘Normierung des Bauens’ (standardization of building). He includes an additional section containing photographic documentation of buildings designed by Neufert between 1930 in 1963. Many of the authors ignore Prigge’s programmatic framework and wander off into trivialities or their own favourite subjects. No further consideration will be given to them here. A good introduction to the history of the reception of Neufert’s work is provided by Wolfgang Voigt’s article, ‘Vitruv der Moderne: Ernst Neufert’ (a variation of which appeared in Archis no. 10, 1995), that still gives Neufert a place in the pantheon of twentieth-century stars. An excellent elaboration of Voigt’s themes can be found in Gernot Weckherlin’s contribution ‘B.au E.ntwurfs L.ehre. Zur Systematisierung des architektonischen Wissens’, in which the author emphasizes that architecture as a discipline assumes and defines a body of knowledge. In that connection

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Name: Date: Address: Telephone: From: Archis 2/2001 — 97 — Review


Ernst Neufert

Ernst Neufert

he asks himself why discussions on architectural history and theory mainly concentrate on aesthetic or biographical phenomena and on artefacts, buildings and their furnishings. To establish the influence of Neufert’s reference works, it is not possible to get round a theoretical discussion of its relationship to peripheral publications such as technical manuals and popular reference works. If the architectural theory is interpreted merely in terms of traditional ‘Geistes- und Ideengeschichte’, this leaves out of consideration the route followed by experimental architectural theory from concepts and methods to a building practice governed by conventions. This intermediate step of concepts and methods consists of a series of design decisions converting the chosen solution into practical rules. Weckherlin wonders why so many architects have a lovehate relationship with the Bauentwurfslehre. Why is the book to be found all over the world but at the same time never given a place of honour on the architect’s bookshelf? Why has this particular book been going strong for 60 years now, while all other reference books from the 1930s lie dormant? The reason must lie in the way in which Neufert’s systematization and classification changed the existing arrangement of specific design know-how. How was transfer of this kind of body of knowledge achieved? A study of this nature has to involve earlier and contemporary guidebooks on design, but also the educational methods used by those institutions which pass on knowledge about architecture, conditions affecting production within architects’ offices, and the range of statements made in publications by a variety of different authors. Each of these raises interesting

questions, but the author gives them no further consideration. Philipp Oswalt and Bettina Vissmann aim with the aid of excerpts from the history of office building in America and Germany to show that the principle of the flexible floor plan, with special reference to Koolhaas’s ‘typical plan’, has had more lasting importance than the dead-end formed by homogeneous design and dimensioning in the style of Neufert. Although there are still a vast number of technical standards and building regulations, they no longer constitute decisive factors for the building industry. These days Neufert’s Taylorism has become obsolete, since standardization plays a subordinate role in current market attitudes and production methods. What we have now are elastic standards, flexible parameters, capable of being adjusted to suit the time and place. At any rate, the authors base this statement on discussions with architects active in the sector. It raises the question of when precisely Neufert’s standardization became obsolete. As soon as the worst shortage of space of the 1950s had been assuaged? Are Neufert’s reference works typically products suited to rigid forms of state planning? Why, despite a number of stimulating contributions, does this book remain so unsatisfying? In the first place because it constantly raises interesting research issues on which no actual research has been done, even within the programmatic framework provided by Prigge. Moreover innovative research is discouraged by the old-fashioned presentation of the questions which still excite most of the book’s authors, the editor included. The political-ideological social analysis is still carried out using a conceptual framework and style of

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thinking derived from Michel Foucault. The analysis of the organization of capitalist production is based on Taylor’s principles of scientific management and its practical application in the Ford factories (‘Fordismus’). Subsequently an analogy is drawn between the production of cars and the production of housing and other mass-produced buildings. Neufert’s notion that the rationalization of the building firm can be taken so far that it becomes a ‘Hausbau-maschine’ (1943), a mobile factory, fed at one end with mortar and building elements and leaving behind a theoretically endless strip of concrete houses at the other, is of course fascinating. But anyone who visits a building site today can see with their own eyes that building cars is completely different from putting up buildings. It is precisely this that makes the crucial difference between movable and immovable property, the difference between current concerns and investing for all eternity. The transfer of the ahistorical Fordian metaphor of car manufacture to the production of housing is one of the most stubborn misconceptions of twentieth-century architectural history. The fixation on Foucault and the Bauhaus as the birthplace of the avant-garde has turned historical research in Germany into a toothless mammal. When will historians finally consign this theoretical panopticon to the funeral pyre? Koos Bosma

Proportion Science, Philosophy, Architecture Richard Padovan London/New York, E. & FN. Spon,1999, 388 pp., GBP 24.99, ISBN 0-419-22780-8

Richard Padovan starts his book with a personal confession: mathematics is not (and never was) his thing. During his architectural training he did however discover the beauty of numbers and geometrical constructions and became a fervent admirer of Le Corbusier’s ‘modulor’. But that belief in proportional systems disappeared again until he accidentally came across Dom Hans van der Laan’s ‘plastic number’ and fell deeply in love with it. He describes himself as a pupil of Van der Laan. His translation of Van der Laan’s Architectonic Space was published in 1983 and his biography Dom Hans van der Laan:

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Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Green Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Review %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Proportion %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Geert Bekaert %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Modernism %%%%%%%%%%%%] rediscovered %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Maartje van den %%%%%%%%%%%%] Heuvel %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

Proportion

Proportion

Modern Primitive, containing a chapter on Van der Laan’s proportional system, in 1994. This later work formed the springboard for the present book, in which the contrast between Le Corbusier’s ‘empathy’ and Van der Laan’s ‘abstraction’ is a main starting point and the actual core of the argument. Empathy relies on the conviction that, as Le Corbusier put it, ‘nature is ruled by mathematics, and artistic masterpieces express the laws of nature and even stem from those laws’. Abstraction on the other hand is concerned with proportional systems as empirical frameworks that we do not derive from nature but that we rather impose on nature. Padovan became converted to this latter view, and in his book he seeks to plead the rightness of his view in a comprehensive and often polemical review of historical proportional systems which have taken root in architectural practice, from the Parthenon, Vitruvius, the Gothic cathedrals, the Renaissance, all the way through to the present day. In this survey we come across every author who ever dealt with proportion. It is not really a history, rather a more or less chronologically arranged collection of arguments. Padovan’s passion does not prevent him from digressions which are generally worth reading but do not always contribute to the clarity of the argument. We would therefore do better to treat his book as an anthology rather than a reasoned argument. This was in fact his original idea: ‘to produce a reference book with a polemical slant’. A number of different threads run through the discussion of the philosophical core of the contrast between empathy and abstraction. One of them is the relationship between

architecture and mathematics. Starting from a statement made by Robin Evans in The Projective Cast that architects prefer a ‘dead geometry’ and have little or no interest in the progress of mathematics, he poses himself the question: ‘If there is no correlation between architectonic proportion and contemporary developments in mathematical theory, has our long Odyssey through almost three thousand years of history in search of the relationship between them been in vain?’The answer to the question is ‘not entirely’. For even if the relationship between architecture and mathematics is not based on mutual influence, ‘each is as much a way to construct the world as the other’. And this last thought forms another thread running through his argument: ‘Our world does not reveal itself to us like an open book. In order to understand it we have first to make it. ... Proportion systems in architecture were never dependent on developments in science, and did not become obsolete as a result of either the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century or the empiricist philosophy of the eighteenth. On the contrary: it is precisely because the ancient empathy with the natural world, conceived as a finite and mathematically ordered cosmos, has been undermined by those developments, precisely because nature has become an abstract human construction, that it is more than ever necessary to embody a mathematical order in our works of art, just as it is increasingly embodied in the methodology of science.’ This reasoning is strongly reminiscent of that of Perrault, who rejected the divine guarantee of the proportional system, but nevertheless postulated its necessity at the time.

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Proportion

Modernism rediscovered

Padovan ends his book with a quote from Dom van der Laan: ‘For the first arithmetic lesson the teacher put an apple on his desk, then two, then three and finally five. After that they were divided into two groups: one of two and one of three apples, and we were supposed to conclude that these together made five apples. But in order then to teach us that 2+3 = 5, even without any apples, the apples were sliced up and divided among the boys... But all my life I have been unwilling tot forget those apples, and that is why I became an architect and not a mathematician.’

Modernism Rediscovered/ Die wiederentdeckte Moderne/ La redécouverte d’un modernisme Pierluigi Serraino, Julius Shulman Cologne, Taschen, 2000, 575 pp., GBP 19.99/US$ 40 ISBN 3-8228-6415-3

Geert Bekaert

If anyone has given American Modernism a face, it’s the architecture photographer Julius Shulman (New York, 1910). Between 1936 and 1986 he was commissioned to photograph some six thousands buildings, notably examples of California Modernism. His images not only give a wealth of information about the architecture, they also communicate the optimistic progressive thinking so characteristic of the modernist world view. Shulman’s famous photographs of Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House (1947) and Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House #22 (1960) have 04

Still working! Will be home at: Don’t forget:

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From: Archis 2/2001 — 99 — Review


Modernism rediscovered

Modernism rediscovered

become real icons of life in California after the war. These last two photographs can be found in Julius Shulman. Architecture and its Photography published by Taschen in 1998, a review of his work over six decades featuring well-known photos and texts by the photographer. Prompted no doubt by the recent revaluation of Modernism, in 2000 Taschen again published a book of Shulman’s work. The trilingual Modernism Rediscovered contains several hundred seldom or never published photographs from Shulman’s personal archive, for the most part of unknown modernist buildings. It completes the picture of the photographer’s oeuvre and that of modernist architecture in the United States. The book underlines, moreover, what Shulman had previously stressed in numerous writings and publications, namely the importance of photography for the way we see architecture. In his introduction, the architectural historian Pierluigi Serraino describes how a building becomes known. He distinguishes three factors: architecture photographers, the editorial policy of magazines and mass-media coverage. He shows how buildings can, undeservedly, be forgotten and how an archive such as Shulman’s can complement the collective visual memory. This is followed by a catalogue, in the order of the project numbers in Shulman’s archive, of some three hundred buildings, including many private houses. There are several photos of each building plus a description and further references taken by Serraino from various architectural–historical sources. In cases where no text was available there are only photographs. Shulman often chose a frontal viewpoint in his work,

thereby emphasizing the straight geometry in the design of the buildings. With the view camera he adjusted perspective distortion so that the lines in the building run exactly parallel with the picture frame – hence the precise look of his images. He often photographed buildings in bright sunlight, used red filters or captured the moment when the artificial light inside the building outshone the fading daylight. This theatrical highlighting of buildings and the fine detailing in his photographs earned him the name ‘glamour photographer of architecture’. Shulman strives to dissolve the great mass of the building, shadows and reflections producing a play of lines which directs attention away from the contours of the architecture. By lighting interiors and exteriors equally, he blurs the boundary between inside and out. The exhibition of Shulman’s work in the summer of 2000 in The Photographers’ Gallery in London not only signified a photo-historical recognition of his skills as a photographer and a renewed interest in Modernism in architecture, it also marked a reappraisal of the gaze inherent in Shulman’s photographs. The straight geometry, the transparency, the lightness and the wide views symbolize cheerful optimism. The buildings photographed seem to have rid themselves, with relief, of the weight of history and tradition. This was the spirit in which architects like Neutra, Killingsworth, Soriano and Koenig carried out their California Modern experiments before they were imitated wholesale, and long before people began to experience Modern Architecture as cold and anti-organic.

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Modernism rediscovered

Modernism rediscovered

For us today, this manner of photography, like the objects and clothes it depicts, has gone beyond the old-fashioned stage: we now experience a historical distance. This also applies to the way people are shown, with their curious ‘waxwork aura’ of respectability. If he is not relaxing or talking, the man of the house is invariably immersed in work or a magazine, while the woman, though in stilettos and elegant dress, is always captured performing chores in the kitchen or stationed behind the modernstyle bar. Serraino explains that Shulman’s literally complete and systematic archive is of great value as an additional historical source. The most important sources for architectural historians as a rule are the Avery Index, Architectural Index and Art Index. These databases draw their information from specialist magazines such as Architectural Forum, Progressive Architecture, House & Home and American Institute of Architects (AIA) Journal. Serraino makes the point that private houses in particular were certainly photographed, but that these photographs were seldom if ever published in magazines. House owners preferred to keep their property out of the public eye. Moreover, it was advantageous to architects to publish their designs in popular weeklies and lifestyle magazines such as Life, Look, Newsweek, American Home, Better Homes and Gardens and House & Garden. These magazines had a greater influence on the values and tastes of a more general public. Getting published in such periodicals brought the right exposure, which could result in new commissions. However, these magazines were not

indexed by the above-mentioned databases. Serraino uses individual examples to show how Julius Shulman’s archive can fill gaps in architectural history. Modernism Rediscovered is not as handsomely produced as Julius Shulman, Architecture and its Photography, published two years earlier. The paperback creases easily, the introduction and the catalogue under Shulman’s archive numbers are a touch scholastic and some of the black and white photographs in particular are a bit dingy. But the value of this expanded photographic statement lies elsewhere. Modernism Rediscovered contains a wealth of unknown photographs by Shulman and information about obscure Modernist buildings in the United States. This more than compensates for the book’s imperfections.

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Maartje van den Heuvel

From: Archis 2/2001 — 100 — Review


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Green Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Review %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Venturi Scott %%%%%%%%%%%%] Brown & %%%%%%%%%%%%] Associates 1986%%%%%%%%%%%%] 1998 %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Karin Theunissen %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1. Stanislaus von %%%%%%%%%%%%] Moos, Venturi, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Rauch & Scott %%%%%%%%%%%%] Brown. Buildings %%%%%%%%%%%%] and Projects, New %%%%%%%%%%%%] York, Rizzoli, 1987. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 2. Von Moos previ%%%%%%%%%%%%] ously presented the %%%%%%%%%%%%] essence of this %%%%%%%%%%%%] essay at the %%%%%%%%%%%%] Functionalism sym%%%%%%%%%%%%] posium, TU Delft, %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1998. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 3. Robert Venturi %%%%%%%%%%%%] discusses this in his %%%%%%%%%%%%] book Iconography %%%%%%%%%%%%] and Electronics, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Cambridge (Mass.) %%%%%%%%%%%%] / London, MIT Press, %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1996. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

Venturi Scott Brown & Associates 1986-1998

Venturi Scott Brown & Associates 1986-1998

Stanislaus von Moos has written a second monograph on Venturi Scott Brown & Associates (VSBA). His first one appeared in 1987,1 by when at least a handful of VSBA’s houses and the famous study Learning from Las Vegas were already well known in the Netherlands. Even then their work was considered something of an oddity. On the one hand this was due to a certain awkwardness in some of the works (such as the Guild House), and on the other because their work formed part of the canon of postmodernism. Appreciations of VSBA’s work invariably stressed its ‘linguistic’ quality, i.e. the symbolic

function of their architecture; something they themselves epitomized in the slogan ‘symbol in space before form in space’. This was why they tended to be considered – unjustly, in their own view – as the leading exponents of postmodernism. This is not a recommendation in the Netherlands, particularly now that after all the hype of postmodernism’s early years it seems to have been quietly buried as an aberration of modernism. So a second book about VSBA cannot bank on reaching a wide readership. No work by VSBA has been published in the Netherlands for years. The last time these architects hit the headlines in this country was when they presented a design for Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum extension (1992), their first and unfortunately ill-starred venture in the Netherlands. Still, VSBA’s work contains many themes which overlap with the ongoing debate, such as the generic, identity, style, banality, growth/movement, infrastructure and process urbanism. A reassessment of their work, in the wake of resurgent interest in the architecture of the postwar generation of Moderns such as the Smithsons and Van Eyck, therefore seems warranted. The monograph under review illustrates, firstly, the impressive catalogue of projects the firm has handled from 1986 to 1998, accompanied by annotations from the architects themselves. Despite the book’s relative impenetrability at a visual level due to the bombardment of photos and drawings in every conceivable shape and colour, it is most valuable as documentation. Surprisingly, there is no List of Works such as that included in the first monograph.

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Venturi Scott Brown & Associates 1986-1998 Stanislaus von Moos New York, The Monacelli Press, 1999, 367 pp., US$50, ISBN 1 58093 001 8

Venturi Scott Brown & Associates 1986-1998

Venturi Scott Brown & Associates 1986-1998

The introductory chapters by Von Moos are kaleidoscopic and absorbing. In particular, an essay bearing the intriguing title ‘Secret physiology’2 offers points of departure for a rereading of their work in the sense of the above. This essay discusses ‘the extension’ as an architectural task. Not only does this type of task comprise a considerable proportion of their oeuvre, but, as Von Moos convincingly demonstrates, it is precisely where the essence of their work lies. This I would like to summarize as insertion into pre-existing contexts and processes. Von Moos has found a perspective from which to consider both their conception of the city and their architecture. This is interesting because the firm’s urban design work has received hardly any attention so far, while that is precisely where the main relevance of their work is now localized. Van Moos connects the shape of the ground plans of their extensions (‘forms that mushroom sideways’) with their urban analyses (in the form of map diagrams), which he describes as ‘diagnostic perceptions’. The formal similarities (the fluid, dynamic maps and the amorphous, movement-dominated ground plans) are indeed striking, but Von Moos also identifies a thematic relation. Just as the analytical city maps aim mainly to depict the dynamics of the city, these ground plans convey above all a movement. He then introduces the concept of the city as ‘organization of procession’ (with reference to R. D. Martienssen, The Idea of Space in Greek Architecture, 1964, and to Philip Johnson); a conception which is also evident in Gianbattista Nolli’s maps of the baroque pil-

grimage city of Rome, and which was rediscovered and applied by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown in their 1972 study of Las Vegas. Incidentally, alongside this thematic continuity, it would be interesting to see whether shifts have also taken place in the themes to which VSBA’s city analyses relate. Just as the car was important in the Las Vegas study as a new element in the urban experience, growth (for example) now appears to be crucial (‘the issue of control’, p. 352). Another possible shift worth exploring is in the subject of their analyses, originally the anonymous mass, now perhaps the more differentiated group or individual experience (cf the ‘Map of Desire Lines of Internal Person Trips’ reproduced on p. 37). This conception of the city, with its focus on the movements of the urban resident or visitor, is paralleled in Van Moos’s opinion by VSBA’s fascination for ‘long, directional spaces’ in their buildings. These galleries or internal streets, which Van Moos traces along the edges of the buildings ‘in the no-man’s land between inside and outside, between private and public’, are a recurrent theme of their work. Van Moos describes the way VSBA works on a ground plan as more urban than architectural in nature. The ‘organization of procession’ refers to the dynamic aspect of a building or city; this, Von Moos explains, is underlain by the necessarily neutral permanent layer such as the grid or the ‘generic box’. In this respect Von Moos seems to see an analogy between the ordering principle of the generic box, which can support any kind of decorative

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From: Archis 2/2001 — 101 — Review


Venturi Scott Brown & Associates 1986-1998

Venturi Scott Brown & Associates 1986-1998

element (e.g. a LED display),3 and the grid as the neutral counterpart of the guided movement, the architectural route. The interview with Venturi and Scott Brown (by Von Moos and Mary McLeod) reproduced towards the end of the book includes much discussion on the genericness or otherwise of the generic box, and the symbolic, iconographic or decorative nature of the added elements. A question, which in my view is more interesting than this theoretical discussion, is how this ordering principle is instrumentalized in the work. In this concept of the ‘generic box with applied decorative elements’ (the familiar decorated shed), Venturi proffers a method by which the image can be manipulated. Venturi is not so much concerned with maximizing the available diversity of appearances (for which postmodernism was famous). The separation of the image from the content is connected on the one hand with the importance of the image, and in this respect offers an answer to the need for communication, symbolism and identity. On the other hand, it is also connected with the changed position of the architect in the building process, in which a very changeable and complex situation has become the order of the day. It is an approach that aims to relate to reality, as opposed to an architecture that tries to superimpose an abstract schema on the real world. Reacting in the same interview to what he calls the ‘oldfashioned Modernists’ (in this case the participants in Terence Riley’s Light Construction exhibition at the MoMA in 1995), Robert Venturi expressed himself pungently: ‘I think those people are abstraction fanatics’.

Venturi thus considers the ideas of these contemporaries as being in direct opposition to his own, where vitality in the sense of contact with everyday reality takes centre stage. Van Moos’s book is a splendid proof of this still most relevant vitality.

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Karin Theunissen

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From: Archis 2/2001 — 102 — Review


Library.

THOMAS DANIELL

‘Virtual light’and‘heavy metal’: BuildingToyo Ito’s Mediatheque in Sendai

Fifth floor.

‘The mechanical and the electronic, and most of what is anxiously denoted by these terms in present usage, are in fact expressions of two continuous, interdependent historical–ontological modalities: those of Matter (substance) and Intelligence (order, shape)… To speak of a mechanical paradigm of material qualities and perceptible functions and to oppose this to an electronic one of immaterial processes and pure intelligence is at once absurd and dangerous.’ Sanford Kwinter ‘... we 08 must remind ourselves that the two spaces in fact exist only in mixture: smooth space is constantly being translated, transversed into striated space; striated space is constantly being reversed, returned to a smooth space.’ Deleuze & Guattari There is an irony to the construction of the Sendai Mediatheque, one so obvious that Toyo Ito has not only commented on it repeatedly, but made it the theme of public presentations of the project: although a brilliant architectural metaphor for the intangible, abstract

flows of digital media, it is the result of building processes that ranged from artisan handcraft to primitive brute force. The 1999 ‘Blurring Architecture’ exhibition of the Mediatheque juxtaposed pristine, delicate computer-generated diagrams with photographs of the construction site in all its grimy, bulky materiality: virtual light versus heavy metal.

envelope) was a compromise - he would have preferred the space to be completely open to the city. With the building programme unclear and constantly mutating, design development focused on construction techniques, detail solutions and material choices that would enhance, or at least not detract from, the laconic clarity of that original diagram.

Simulation Only days after being faxed Ito’s image Inspiration Amongst the many extraordinary sketch, Mutsuro Sasaki (structural engiaspects to the story of the Mediatheque neer for some of the most innovative realization – the transparency of the Japanese architecture of recent years) competition process, the level of public had developed the essence of the final and specialist consultation throughout, solution: an entirely steel structure, the the multiple contraventions of the tubes as single-layer, three-dimensional Japanese building code – perhaps most hyperbolic-paraboloid trusses and the incredible is how similar the finished plates as honeycomb sandwich panels. product is to the stunningly implausible This proposal was then turned into a competition entry. Iconic, if not canon- computer simulation sufficiently preic, from the moment it was published, cise to allow fire and earthquake perthe proposal was a modified Corbusian formance analyses, and sufficiently ‘Dom-ino’ frame (the archetypal free- convincing to receive authorization plan structure): a series of flat, square from the Japanese Ministry of Construction. planes penetrated by undulating, From: Archis 2/2001 —trans112 — Dossier parent cylinders. Ito has said that even Sasaki provided the architects with the inclusion of ‘skin’ (the building parameters for the tube layout: limits for

A.–DOS.


From: Archis 2/2001 — 104 — Dossier


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Toyo Ito’s Mediatheque in Sendai

The mediafication of a mediatheque Toyo Ito’s Mediatheque in Sendai has featured in the international architecture press for some time now, firstly as a design, and now as a completed building. Hardly a single journal has ignored it. Neither money nor effort has been spared to present it in all its glory. That comes as no surprise, because the Mediatheque combines a number of exceptionally interesting features of present-day architecture – the fusion of physical and virtual space, interactivity and the mediafication of the built environment. But do these features also justify the hype? Archis subjects the building to a close reading and enquires what common ground there is between concept and the craft of architecture.

Toyo Ito: www.archinform.de/start.htm?page=/arch/1151.htm Internationale Architekturdatenbank 2589679 Besucher seit 18.3.98

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Sendai: www.city.sendai.jp/index-e.htm Your access is No. 0940154 (since Mar. 19, 1997)

From: Archis 2/2001 — 105 — Dossier


Architecture for a paradoxical urban condition Text Tom Avermaete Photography Satoru Mishima

South elevation

The library on the second floor.

From: Archis 2/2001 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 106 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Dossier


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Grey Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Dossier %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Architecture for a %%%%%%%%%%%%] paradoxical %%%%%%%%%%%%] urban condition %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Tom Avermaete %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photography %%%%%%%%%%%%] Satoru Mishima %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Layout %%%%%%%%%%%%] Domus %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1. This image has %%%%%%%%%%%%] been used to pres%%%%%%%%%%%%] ent the project on a %%%%%%%%%%%%] number of occa%%%%%%%%%%%%] sions, for instance at %%%%%%%%%%%%] the major Ito retro%%%%%%%%%%%%] spective Blurring %%%%%%%%%%%%] Architecture held in %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1999-2000 in the %%%%%%%%%%%%] Suermondt-Ludwig%%%%%%%%%%%%] Museum in Aachen %%%%%%%%%%%%] (Germany) and in %%%%%%%%%%%%] deSingel, Antwerp in %%%%%%%%%%%%] 2000. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 2. From an interview %%%%%%%%%%%%] with Toyo Ito by Tom %%%%%%%%%%%%] Avermaete and Kelly %%%%%%%%%%%%] Shannon (Verb), on %%%%%%%%%%%%] the occasion of the %%%%%%%%%%%%] opening of the exhi%%%%%%%%%%%%] bition in deSingel, 22 %%%%%%%%%%%%] February 2000. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] 3. See for instance %%%%%%%%%%%%] Saskia Sassen, The %%%%%%%%%%%%] Global City: New %%%%%%%%%%%%] York, London, Tokyo, %%%%%%%%%%%%] New York, Princeton %%%%%%%%%%%%] University Press, %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1991 and Manuel %%%%%%%%%%%%] Castells, The Rise of %%%%%%%%%%%%] the Network Society, %%%%%%%%%%%%] Oxford, Blackwell, %%%%%%%%%%%%] 1996. %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

Two images are probably emblematic of Toyo Ito’s mediatheque in Sendai - the computer simulation of the section, endlessly repeated horizontally and vertically,1 and the image of the vertical metal cages stabbing through the floor slabs. The two can be said to represent a well-defined polarity in the way we experience architectural reality today. Simulation illustrates the experiential world of information and technological developments that Ito generally describes in his texts as a ‘virtual body’. The metal tubes represent a universe defined by the physical reality of the material; this the architect terms ‘primitive body’. According to Ito, the repetitive virtual mediatheque was ‘a space that could be seen as continuous in both vertical and horizontal dimensions – open to the environment’. The completion of the metal cages drew from him the following: ‘During the past two years I have been struggling and fighting with the steel construction elements at the construction site in Sendai. It was a construction site where I was more then ever before confronted with steel and the fusing of steel; the merging of material.’2 Particularly the latter description of the struggle with the materiality of the building sounds somewhat strange coming from an architect who has attracted attention in the past with his research into the ephemeral character of contemporary architecture. Profoundly influenced by both historical Japanese and Western ideas about architecture (the Metabolists and Archigram respectively), Toyo Ito has for some time set himself the task of modelling architectural space as an ephemeral given. Seen in this light, pronouncements on the fascinating materiality of architecture come as something of a surprise. And yet there is nothing paradoxical about this in Ito’s work and ideas, rather it reflects his keen interest in the changing role and identity of architecture in a present-day urban environment. Indeed, the horizontally and vertically repeated section of the mediatheque should be seen as representing more than just the

ever-greater importance of technological advances in our experience and production of space. It can be understood as expressing Ito’s research into the contributions and aspirations of architecture within this process of change. With this enquiry into the architecture of the city, Ito places himself in a modern tradition that seeks to give form to urbanity through architecture, a tradition that extends from the Japanese Metabolists by way of Constant and Rossi to Rem Koolhaas. In Ito’s case this thinking on the city proceeds from the perception that architecture’s significance as representative of an ideal image of society, has been usurped by other media. The crux of many of his recent projects, then, is that, once freed of its representative role, architecture can become a fully-fledged component of the tensions and contradictions in today’s material culture. From this perspective, materiality is not passed by or made superfluous; rather it operates in a constant tug-of-war with the transient nature of media and technology. In the themes and metaphors of countless designs in the past Ito has investigated the implications of this for the production and experience of urban architecture. The meaning of urban nature (Tower of Winds, Yokohama), of the interiorization of the public domain (Urban Nomad Girl), of shelter and enclosure (Silver Hut, Tokyo) and of the invisible flows of energy and information (competition entry for ‘the Japanese house’) in a contemporary urban context - all are issues he has raised. Drawn up by the City of Sendai in 1995, the programme for the mediatheque gave him the opportunity to analyse various of these aspects simultaneously. The uncustomary combination of an art gallery and a library-cum-information centre equipped with the latest audiovisual technologies, made the task exceptionally wellsuited to an enquiry into the tensionality between the material and the ephemeral. It led him to a new concept for a cultural infrastructure - the mediatheque.

Comments: mailmaster@smt.city.sendai.jp

From: Archis 2/2001 — 107 — Dossier

The new urban condition. His departure point in devising the concept was to accept architecture as a valuable product of our material culture. This non-specific approach which equates architectural with material production, might bring back memories of the morphotypological response to urban architecture fashionable in 1970s discourse; the difference however is fundamental. Unlike the European structuralist vision which regards the historical development of everyday urban architecture as a gradually evolving phenomenon that every new design has to tune in to, the slow evolution of the city seems to be only one of many relevant aspects for Ito. Together with, say, the ephemeral developments of techniques and materials, it determines the layered urban reality that his architecture relates to. For Ito, material culture extends much further than the physical built environment, embracing also the ‘fleeting’ environments within which - as Manuel Castells and Saskia Sassen never tire of writing - traditional architectural categories such as place, hierarchy and centrality are relative concepts.3 Ito’s architecture seeks to identify with this new urban condition and proceed in concert with it. For this reason, the mediatheque is grounded not on an existing building type, but rather on three architectural elements that represent the tensions and conflicts of urban reality today. Ito calls them ‘plate’, ‘tube’ and ‘skin’. By plate the Japanese architect means the six similar floor slabs of some 2500 m2 each. Separated by varying distances, they determine the total height of the building. These together with a public plaza and two basement levels constitute the nine layers of the mediatheque. The plates express an essential aspect of our urban condition. They show how the site-specific quality of architecture has been largely erased by the omnipresence of technological networks. As a result, programmes and places are, increasingly, interchangeable. ‘The "invisible different city" demanded by "electronic modernism" is certainly less localized than the city demanded by "mechanistic modernism",’ states Ito.


The concept of plates in the mediatheque accords with this theory. Despite the strict Japanese legislation, it is not predicated on precisely defined, permanent ‘places’ for the different functions. It stems much more from the ability to rehouse each programme component at will. The plates are therefore constructed of self-supporting metal elements with in-built service runs for lighting, air-conditioning and so on. The upshot is large homogeneous floor slabs upon which programme and space can be defined and redefined. The programme is nomadic, so to speak. Architecture is reduced to degree zero, to a neutral ground. The architect’s role is restricted to naming the general function of each level and denoting the three categories of space that can be accommodated there. Besides spaces for evocation and appreciation (exhibition areas, plaza, galleries), Ito sets aside others for creation and collection (studios and meeting rooms) and for research and in-depth study (libraries and mediatheques). The result is ‘a framework that allows for flexible programming and numerous spatial configurations’.4 Ito stresses this feature by giving names to the various ways in which the plates may be organized. For instance, the ground floor - an exterior exhibition area where images, sounds and light created by the tubes intermingle - he designates as ‘Interferation’. The fourth floor is given the label ‘Permeation’, as there both adults and children penetrate the world of literature. ‘Sublimation’, the fifth level, is so called because of the technological and multimedia experiences on offer there. The plates are pierced by the second architectural element, namely the tubes. These thirteen shafts, each surrounded by a cage of metal rods, reveal a formal affinity with the monuments of the Russian Constructivists, while their hyperbolic-paraboloid form suggests the cooling towers of present-day power stations. Variable in section, these tubes are distributed through the building in a seemingly random fashion. They are an expression of the fusion of ephemeral and physical spaces characterizing the pres-

ent-day condition. In the first place they are structural elements that respond to the physical reality of seismic and other disturbances. They are at the same time shafts which, like the conical voids in Jean Nouvel’s design for the Lafayette department store in Berlin, skewer the various floor levels together. This connecting aspect however is not restricted to traditional spatial–architectural relationships, but is intensified by the fact that they also contain the vertical circulation (stairs and lifts), and above all the various ephemeral flows of energy (light, air, water, sound, etc) and information. The interior of the tubes is thus in direct contact with the plaza and roof levels of the building, making for natural lighting and ventilation. The heating and electronics runs in the floor slabs are in turn linked via the tubes with the technical areas in the basement and on the rooftop. This creates movements of natural and electronic elements in the homogeneous space defined by the plates. With his final defining element, the ‘skin’, Ito deals with the problematic category of architectural ‘demarcation’ in today’s urban condition. By skin the architect is referring first and foremost to the shell separating the interior of a building from its exterior. It means as much the facades as the technical levels at top and bottom. But the word skin also raises the question of the ‘wide-open’ spaces of which building and visitors inevitably form a part, logged as these both are into technological networks. As a physical boundary, the skin installs the tensionality between the building’s scale and that of the media and technological networks. Ito takes the utmost care in materializing this boundary: ‘In the mediatheque this demarcation was specifically designed to convey a space that could be seen as continuous. ... The specific materialization of the building, every plane has a different outlook, makes the cut visible between the building and the outside.’5 Each face gets its own treatment, so that the building would come across less as an autonomous entity and more as part of a broader urban continuum. For example, the roof is finished

From: Archis 2/2001 — 108 — Dossier

with a metal grid, the facade concealing the emergency stairs is done in steel and the south-facing front facade on the main street is a double-glazed curtain wall. The net result is that the cubic volume fragments and integrates into the context of broader urban networks. A topological approach to space and form By combining the three architectural elements, Ito is questioning the viability of the traditional categories of form and space in an urban context. The mediatheque undeniably has a clearly demarcated form and space; the complex is a cube. At the same time however it sidesteps both categories. By linking the ‘placelessness’ of new technological developments to the ‘nomadic’ programme components, in this building the notion of space is unhitched from the notion of surface. Space, in other words, is defined not by means of a particular surface or expanse, but rather as a ‘domain’ that needs reaccessing each time using one or other programme component. Ito’s response to space and form shows a kinship with that of topology, a branch of geometry belonging to the classical mathematical tradition of analysis situs. In topology there is no distinction made between a circle and any other closed curve, as it is ‘dimension’ that determines the essence of space. In this way form becomes a relative category that unfolds within the limits of a particular spatial dimension. In the mediatheque, architectural form is constantly being redefined in the tensionality between the material and ephemeral dimensions of the programme components. The programme evolves within the dimensions of the present-day urban condition defined by the ‘plates’, ‘tubes’ and ‘skin’. Ito’s approach is not restricted to the surface of his building but articulates an essential feature of our perception of form and space. For our experience of space extends far beyond the places architecture demarcates with its materiality. It includes the images and worlds defined by invisible flows of information and energy. The materiality


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Ground floor.

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From: Archis 2/2001 — 109 — Dossier


South and east elevations.


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Library.

Fifth floor.

08

From: Archis 2/2001 — 112 — Dossier


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of the metal tubes and the computer simulation of the section are two sides to one spatial reality. In both architectural and urban theory this two-sided condition is a subject that is reviewed and discussed with great frequency. It was in this context that Manuel Castells introduced the twin concepts of ‘space of places’ and ‘space of flows’. But the relevance of this theoretical debate for architectural practice remains often unclear. Toyo Ito’s major achievement with the Sendai Mediatheque has been to succeed convincingly in translating the tensions and contradictions of the urban condition into an architectural concept. So instead of being an autonomous given, the building articulates the inevitably paradoxical role of architecture in present-day urbanity: ‘The mediatheque in Sendai shares the situation of the paradox of the contemporary condition. It keeps on stressing the ‘placeness’ of the architecture. However, at the same time this architecture will also appeal to the virtual spatial image, which infinitely expands. ...The mediatheque in Sendai is doomed to live with such a paradox.’6

Top 10 search terms in march 2001: 1 cars 2 travel 3 sex

First floor.

4 shopping 5 games 6 hotmail 7 real estate From: Archis 2/2001 — 113 — Dossier

8 mp3 9 food 10 weather


The mediatheque on the 6th floor.

Lift in one of the tubes.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 114 — Dossier


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Level -2

Level +1

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1 Air conditioning plant 2 Book stacks 3 Exhibitions store

1 Offices 2 Children’s books

1 Reading room 2 Void

Level -1

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1 Car park

1 Reading room 2 Offices

1 Exhibition space 2 Foyer 3 Workshop

Level +5 1 Exhibition space

Ground floor

Level +6

1 Piazza 2 Shop 3 Cafeteria 4 Gallery 5 Delivery

1 Audiovisual room 2 Foyer 3 Office 4 Meeting room

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From: Archis 2/2001 — 115 — Dossier


West elevation.

Sections.

South elevation with entrance.

From: Archis 2/2001 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 116 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Dossier


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Grey Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Dossier %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] ‘Virtual light’ and %%%%%%%%%%%%] ‘heavy metal’: %%%%%%%%%%%%] building Toyo Ito’s %%%%%%%%%%%%] mediatheque in %%%%%%%%%%%%] Sendai %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Text %%%%%%%%%%%%] Thomas Daniell %%%%%%%%%%%%] Construction %%%%%%%%%%%%] Photographs %%%%%%%%%%%%] Sasaki Structural %%%%%%%%%%%%] Consultants %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Layout %%%%%%%%%%%%] Kunstforum %%%%%%%%%%%%] International %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]

THOMAS DANIELL

‘Virtual light’and‘heavy metal’: BuildingToyo Ito’s Mediatheque in Sendai

‘The mechanical and the electronic, and most of what is anxiously denoted by these terms in present usage, are in fact expressions of two continuous, interdependent historical–ontological modalities: those of Matter (substance) and Intelligence (order, shape)… To speak of a mechanical paradigm of material qualities and perceptible functions and to oppose this to an electronic one of immaterial processes and pure intelligence is at once absurd and dangerous.’ Sanford Kwinter ‘... we must remind ourselves that the two spaces in fact exist only in mixture: smooth space is constantly being translated, transversed into striated space; striated space is constantly being reversed, returned to a smooth space.’ Deleuze & Guattari There is an irony to the construction of the Sendai Mediatheque, one so obvious that Toyo Ito has not only commented on it repeatedly, but made it the theme of public presentations of the project: although a brilliant architectural metaphor for the intangible, abstract

flows of digital media, it is the result of building processes that ranged from artisan handcraft to primitive brute force. The 1999 ‘Blurring Architecture’ exhibition of the Mediatheque juxtaposed pristine, delicate computer-generated diagrams with photographs of the construction site in all its grimy, bulky materiality: virtual light versus heavy metal. Inspiration Amongst the many extraordinary aspects to the story of the Mediatheque realization – the transparency of the competition process, the level of public and specialist consultation throughout, the multiple contraventions of the Japanese building code – perhaps most incredible is how similar the finished product is to the stunningly implausible competition entry. Iconic, if not canonic, from the moment it was published, the proposal was a modified Corbusian ‘Dom-ino’ frame (the archetypal freeplan structure): a series of flat, square planes penetrated by undulating, transparent cylinders. Ito has said that even the inclusion of ‘skin’ (the building

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envelope) was a compromise - he would have preferred the space to be completely open to the city. With the building programme unclear and constantly mutating, design development focused on construction techniques, detail solutions and material choices that would enhance, or at least not detract from, the laconic clarity of that original diagram. Simulation Only days after being faxed Ito’s image sketch, Mutsuro Sasaki (structural engineer for some of the most innovative Japanese architecture of recent years) had developed the essence of the final solution: an entirely steel structure, the tubes as single-layer, three-dimensional hyperbolic-paraboloid trusses and the plates as honeycomb sandwich panels. This proposal was then turned into a computer simulation sufficiently precise to allow fire and earthquake performance analyses, and sufficiently convincing to receive authorization from the Japanese Ministry of Construction. Sasaki provided the architects with parameters for the tube layout: limits for

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From: Archis 2/2001 — 117 — Dossier


diameter and spacing, twisting and deflection. Although some of the initial decisions were Sasaki’s – maximum span between tubes of 20 meters and maximum plate cantilever of 4.5 metres, for example – Ito still had sufficient ‘play’ to develop the functional and sculptural properties of the architecture. The apparent randomness is constrained by a virtual web of interdependency. Altering any attribute (form, size, location) of any tube would trigger sympathetic change throughout the system. The actual design is a selection from a continuous array of potential configurations; to see it as an arbitrary freezeframe in a slow-motion ballet of swaying, protean tubes is almost literally true. The genius of the Mediatheque structure is not simply that it appears insufficient to support the building, but that it does not even appear to be structure at all. Precisely at the point where a building is expected to be at its most rigid, regular, opaque, the Mediatheque is free, random, transparent. Even the nonexpert eye can intuitively recognize the ‘correctness’ of structures that are more or less accurate diagrams of their own load paths, whether a pyramid or a suspension bridge, the Eiffel Tower or the

Sagrada Familia. Attempts by architects to escape gravity tend to be based on visual tricks, precarious tilts and cantilevers that only make the tyranny of gravity more obvious. The frozen moments of explosion or collapse of Deconstructivist architecture were predicated on an overt resistance to static forces; the Mediatheque serenely ignores their very existence, buoyant without ever seeming unstable. While nine of the thirteen tubes are bundles of parallel heavy-gauge, fire-resistant steel pipes carrying vertical (gravity) loads, the four large corner tubes are rigid woven lattices designed also to resist lateral (wind and earthquake) loads. They are all cantilevered from flexible cylindrical frames in the first basement level, which will absorb the majority of earthquake energy. Horizontal movement is attenuated underground by cast steel foundation pins and rubber stopper pads, and isolated from the visible structure by seismic joints at ground level. The twisted form of the tubes themselves will also help counter any lateral loading on the building frame. Sasaki had intended to use cast steel connections throughout the tubes, but

the resulting huge variety of shapes made it a prohibitively expensive solution. Instead, the crossing points of the pipes are all welded using hidden shimming plates, with mechanical fixings in cases where the angles were especially acute - the only visible bolts are at the inter-floor connections. The floor slabs are honeycomb panels, two horizontal sheets of steel separated by continuously welded upright steel ribs on an orthogonal grid, a technique far more common in ship or aircraft construction than in architecture. The steel plates are thicker and the grid denser along three horizontal bands that contain the tube penetrations, and the ribs are modified into a radial arrangement around the circular openings, where stresses are highest. A layer of lightweight concrete was poured on top of each plate, and the resulting sandwich panels act as enormous lightweight diaphragms, making structural walls or supporting beams unnecessary. Realization Despite the extreme precision of the computer simulations, dealing with the behavioural nuances of even a material as homogeneous and predictable as steel

Floor plate, first floor.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 118 — Dossier


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The principle of the tubes.

The large corner tubes.

relied on human fastidiousness and intuition at every stage of assembly. The structure was prefabricated, partially by shipbuilding yards, but its variety and complexity made standardizing or systematizing the process all but impossible; the pieces were mostly handmade, with minimal robot assistance. Groups of adjacent components were tested for fit then transported by truck to the building site, where they were welded in place. Up to fifty shipbuilders were on site at any one time, sweltering in protective suits in the humid Sendai summer. The plates were simply supported during welding, balanced over the tubes but not held in place (a technique more appropriate to furniture than architecture,

according to Sasaki). Allowing the plates horizontal freedom avoided the usual reactive stresses caused by welding heat, but it was that same lack of counter-force that led to problems with sliding and buckling. In almost every case, the tubes no longer lined up with the holes in the floor plates as they had during factory checks. Reforming the tubes on site required the empirical knowledge and experience of two elderly shipbuilders, who identified by eye the exact points to be manipulated and then choreographed small teams armed with weights, cables, acetylene torches and water hoses. Once completed, the frame was covered by its various ‘skins’. The main street facade is comprised of two glass screens

The earthquake-proof connections of the tubes.

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enclosing a one-metre thick insulating layer of air. This double skin is sealed either side but open at the base, and in hot weather the top may also be opened to cool the building. The brackets suspending the outer, patterned glass use only single fixing points where four adjacent panes of glass meet; visually, one dot instead of the usual clusters of four that characterize High Tech architecture. Inhabitation To walk through any one of the Mediatheque levels is to be simultaneously connected to all of them. The tubes are spatial tunnels that emerge from the underground parking level, burrow

Connections of tube elements.

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From: Archis 2/2001 — 119 — Dossier


Connections between tubes, floor plates and skin.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 120 — Dossier


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Detail of the glass plate fixings through the building volume and escape through the roof, transparent conduits for people, light, air and sound. They generate a soft, constant visual and aural background noise – footfalls and voices, elevator movement and air reticulation, reflection and shadow, rattle and hum. The holes in the floor plates create some surprising connections: staff are able to communicate between floors by mobile phone while gesturing at one another, and from the public library mezzanine there are views into the administration offices below. With the exception of the auditorium, there is no physical separation between the public functions; one does not ‘enter’ the bookstore or café but rather moves into their respective fields of influence, through spatial gradations of activity. The fully glazed facade and the yellow anti-slip stripes on the floor link the ground level to the street, and enclosed rooms and sections of tube are experienced as independent objects distributed across the floor planes. It is an environment that seems more an extension of the surrounding urban field than a spatial container, more city than building. Extrapolation Witnessing the Mediatheque materialized and inhabited accentuates the paradoxes of the programme. As a public multimedia archive and telematic node, it must embody the virtual, localize the global, freeze the ephemeral, turn the

solitary into the communal; a heavy conceptual burden for any physical structure. The Mediatheque is already a key reference in the discourse on the problematic relationship between architecture and technological change. As the traditional symbolic and communal roles of architecture are usurped by the new media, with a concomitant dispersal and disappearance of the public realm, the direct consequences for building design are largely metaphorical. While developments in the mechanical and material sciences have always enabled and demanded the invention of architectural typologies, information technology makes the building itself all but irrelevant; virtual reality may suggest new spaces, computer technology may facilitate new forms, but the Mediatheque could be just as efficiently contained in an underground bunker. If the industrial revolution hugely increased architecture potential, the electronic revolution has dramatically reduced its very necessity. The design of the Mediatheque may therefore be no more than an analogy for the relationship between the physical world and the digital world (and it will eventually look as quaintly retro-futuristic as 1950s science-fiction imagery does today), but the underlying metaphor of information technology is more than just a source of formal expression. The spatial permeability and absence of boundaries between the

As you can see, work on this strip is in progress. Occasionally, strips will be empty. You can contribute to the content of these strips by sending an SMS:+31.(0)6.1104.6218. From: Archis 2/2001 — 121 — Dossier

functions transform simple representation into new experiential and organizational effects, a shift from the narrative to the performative. Although in many ways the Mediatheque is a new paradigm for public architecture, since construction was completed Ito has admitted that his ambition for the building to become a prototype failed: ‘... as the architecture progressed I began to see that it wasn’t something that could be built just anywhere at any time; it was a “one time proposition” that could only be constructed here. That idea became stronger when I witnessed the enormous amount of welding work on the large steel tubes... Mediatheque is a space made by hand, so much so that there is almost no repetition in the use of materials.’1 Indeed, the experimental nature of the design necessitated the use of archaic, intuitive building methods in combination with cutting-edge technologies. In an era of increasingly standardized construction, the building of the Mediatheque has restored a degree of flexibility and freedom to matter, both in the animated, serpentine shapes and at a more profound level in the parametric mode of design. Structure has been changed from metrical to topological, shifted from fixed grid to flexible parameter, transubstantiated from support to image. God may or may not be in the details, but - as with all architecture - ideology undoubtedly is.


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Prefabrication in the factory.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 122 — Dossier

m


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As you can see, work on this strip is in progress. Occasionally, strips will be empty. You can contribute to the content of these strips by sending an SMS:+31.(0)6.1104.6218. From: Archis 2/2001 — 123 — Dossier


From: Archis 2/2001 — 124 — Dossier


Counterfoil c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Archis c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Diary c%%%%%%%%%%%% Appointments 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%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%%

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symposium Future Materials For Architecture NAI Rotterdam

opening Sonsbeek Locus/ Focus Arnhem, for info visit www.sonsbeek2001.nl

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o I’m not interested in superficialities o I don’t care about appearances o I live from day to day Cross out what does not apply From: Archis 2/2001 — 125 — Diary


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When shall we finally I’ve been wanting to make time for I’d really like to On it’s finally going to happen!

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Final Symposium: Breeze of Air/Hortus Conclusus Witte de With, Rotterdam

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From: Archis 2/2001 — 126 — Diary


Counterfoil c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Archis c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% Diary c%%%%%%%%%%%% Appointments 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%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%% c%%%%%%%%%%%%

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One of the nice things about Archis is that you can use it to organize your appointments. The only problem is that they haven’t allowed nearly enough space. From: Archis 2/2001 — 127 — Diary


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I would like to I don’t know what that is any more, I’m starting to enjoy this conversation, because Don’t forget:

Let’s talk about architecture one evening. The odds are it’ll soon be about something else altogether. For example Keep up to date, read Archis.

From: Archis 2/2001 — 128 — Diary


A.–ADV.


Forward to: From: Date:

Join the housing hunt: Pass on:

From: Archis 2/2001 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 130 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Advertisements

For You %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] April 30, 2001 %%%%%%%%%%%%] If you happen to %%%%%%%%%%%%] know about %%%%%%%%%%%%] a space for rent %%%%%%%%%%%%] Rotterdam %%%%%%%%%%%%] Number of rooms: 3 %%%%%%%%%%%%] Price: Max. NLG %%%%%%%%%%%%] 850,- a month. %%%%%%%%%%%%] Call %%%%%%%%%%%%] mobile %%%%%%%%%%%%] 06 24746593 %%%%%%%%%%%%] Reward NLG 500,%%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]


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Jan van Eyck Akademie International post-academic centre for research and production The objectives of researchers and advising researchers are of primary significance to the programme at the Jan van Eyck Akademie. Researchers are expected to establish the aims, methodologies and realisation of their projects as well as to be engaged in what is being produced by fellow researchers. The Jan van Eyck Akademie facilitates an advisory framework for individual and collaborative projects. Artists, designers, theorists are invited to submit their research proposals for a one or two year working period, starting January 2002. Information on the departments of Fine Art, Design and Theory, as well as details about conditions, grants and registration can be found at www.janvaneyck.nl Application forms can be downloaded. Applications/research proposals, in English, should be submitted before 1 June 2001 to Jan van Eyck Akademie, Academieplein 1 NL-6211 KM Maastricht / attention Leon Westenberg phone +31(0)43 350 37 24 fax +31(0)43 350 37 59 e-mail leon.westenberg@janvaneyck.nl

FONDS VOOR BEELDENDE KUNSTEN VORMGEVING EN BOUWKUNST

F UITZICHT INZICHT IN DE BUITENLAND ATELIERS VAN HET FONDS BKVB

Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada. 1 okt - 15 dec 2001 Het Banff Centre is een multidisciplinair kunstenaarscentrum midden in de spectaculaire omgeving van de Canadese Rocky Mountains. Een bijzondere, zeer afgelegen plek voor een periode van reflectie en concentratie (zie ook www.banffcentre.ab.ca/leighton_studios). Bij wijze van experiment biedt het Fonds BKVB de mogelijkheid aan beeldend kunstenaars, vormgevers, architecten, critici en beschouwers om zich in een van de Leighton Studios terug te trekken. In de vrijstaande studio kunnen zij zich geheel richten op bijv. de voorbereiding van een project, het schrijven van een artikel of boek of het doen van onderzoek. ISP, New York. 1 jan 2002 - 1 jan 2003 Het ISP is per april 2001 verhuisd naar midden Manhattan in een groot complex met ca. 80 ateliers. Een van die ateliers wordt beschikbaar gesteld door het Fonds BKVB. Het instituut streeft ernaar om internationale beeldend kunstenaars te introduceren in het New Yorkse kunstcircuit. Deelnemers van het ISP worden in contact gebracht met kunstenaars, curatoren en critici met wie zij tijdens atelierbezoeken van gedachten kunnen wisselen. Aanvraagformulieren Reis-, verblijf en materiaalkosten worden door het Fonds BKVB vergoed. Wie in aanmerking wil komen voor een verblijf in een van deze ateliers, kan bij het Fonds BKVB een aanvraagformulier opvragen: tel 020 5231523 of e-mail: post@fondsbkvb.nl Aanvraagformulieren dienen uiterlijk 29 juni 2001 bij het Fonds BKVB binnen te zijn. Voor specifieke informatie kunt u contact opnemen met Mayke Jongsma tel 020 5231640 of Tejo van der Wel, tel 020 5231540.

Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Blue Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Advertisements %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] left %%%%%%%%%%%%] Jan van Eyck %%%%%%%%%%%%] Akademie %%%%%%%%%%%%] Fonds BKVB %%%%%%%%%%%%] right %%%%%%%%%%%%] Artimo %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]


internationales

internationales

par/ by Philippe Terrier-Hermann

par/ by Philippe Terrier-Hermann avec/ with Barbara Visser, Thomas Bux贸

internationales Artimo

isbn 90-75380-34-8

avec/ with Barbara Visser, Thomas Bux贸


Counterfoil %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Archis %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] Blue Folder %%%%%%%%%%%%] Advertisement %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] left %%%%%%%%%%%%] Elsevier %%%%%%%%%%%%] right %%%%%%%%%%%%] Lost Boys %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] page 136-137 %%%%%%%%%%%%] gemeente Almere %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%] %%%%%%%%%%%%]


Vo r m g e v e n a a n de vijfde stad van Nederland ? Amsterdam

Rotterdam

Almere is hard op weg uit te groeien tot de vijfde stad van Nederland. Wonen er nu

Senior Stedenbouwkundige m/v

nog 150.000 mensen, in 2015 zullen dat er maar liefst 210.000 zijn. In sneltreinvaart

Of het nu gaat om structuur-, ontwikkelings-, verkavelings- of (her)inrichtingsplannen: de ontwikkeling en kwaliteitsbewaking vallen onder jouw verantwoordelijkheid. Je geeft leiding aan stedenbouwkundigen en landschapsarchitecten van één van de ateliers. Je plant en coördineert het werk en bent budgeten productieverantwoordelijk. Maar er is meer: je adviseert over uit te besteden werk, je bereidt opdrachten aan externe bureaus voor en je onderhoudt contacten met onder andere ontwikkelaars, woningbouwcorporaties en architecten. Je hebt een wetenschappelijke achtergrond in stedenbouw en minimaal vijf jaar ervaring in stedenbouwkundige planontwikkeling bij een gemeente of een bureau. Een inspirerende visie op het vak en een uitstekend beeldend vermogen zijn onmisbaar. Je hebt ruime ervaring in een coördinerende functie en weet complexe plannen helder en overtuigend te presenteren. Het salaris kent een maximum van ƒ 10.104,-- bruto per maand.

ontwikkelt zich een compleet voorzieningenpakket, de vijfde stad van Nederland waardig. Tel daar onze onverminderde aandacht voor ruimte, water en groen en de ideale werkomgeving is binnen handbereik. Met andere woorden: het kán in Almere. Dat vinden ook onze 1.250 medewerkers. Onze complete arbeidsvoorwaarden (tot bedrijfsfitness en telewerken aan toe) maken een baan in onze stad éxtra interessant.

Almere is één van de snelstgroeiende steden van Nederland en heeft een flinke groeiambitie. We kennen een hoge en gevarieerde bouwproductie en investeren flink in het (aantrekken van) bedrijvigheid en alle bijbehorende infrastructurele voorzieningen. Op de afdeling Stedenbouw en Landschap werken onze vakspecialisten nauw samen bij de ontwikkeling van de openbare ruimte. Hierbij ligt het accent vooral op de nieuwbouw met een grote diversiteit en een hoge ruimtelijke kwaliteit. Hiernaast neemt het beheer van de bestaande stad een steeds belangrijkere positie in. Momenteel zijn we op zoek naar ambitieuze professionals, die vorm willen geven aan de vijfde stad van Nederland.


Den Haag

Utrecht

Het kán in Almere Landschapsarchitecten en stedenbouwkundigen m/v Als moderne stad zijn we voor tdurend op zoek naar vernieuwing in de stedenbouw, architectuur en het landschap. We bedenken nieuwe en experimentele concepten voor wonen, werken, winkelen, sport en recreëren. We werken nauw samen met de meest gerenommeerde vakgenoten en bureaus in Nederland en daarbuiten, maar we maken ook veel plannen zelf. Als jij klaar bent voor deze unieke uitdaging, dan ben jij in Almere aan het juiste adres. Je hebt een stevige ondergrond in de stedenbouw of landschapsarchitectuur en ruime ervaring in planontwikkeling bij een gemeente of ontwerpbureau. Je hebt een inspirerende kijk op het vak en beschikt over een goed beeldend vermogen. Je weet complexe plannen helder en overtuigend te presenteren. Het salaris is afhankelijk van je opleiding en ervaring.

Meer weten of reageren? Je kunt je sollicitatiebrief richten aan de heer D. Lievense, directeur a.i. van de dienst Ruimtelijke Ordening, Volkshuisvesting en Milieu, Postbus 200, 1300 AE Almere. E-mailen kan ook: RVMsollicitatie@almere.nl. Wil je eerst meer weten over één van deze functies? Bel dan met Tom Jaski, hoofd van de afdeling Stedenbouw en Landschap, telefoon (036) 539 95 84.

Gemeente Almere


Barbara Visser courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam.


BREEZE OF AIR/Hortus Conclusus internationaal slotsymposium vrijdag 15 en zaterdag 16 juni 9.30 uur tot 17.30 uur

BREEZE OF AIR is op zoek naar vernieuwende ontwerpen voor de openbare stadstuin op het gebied van inrichting, beheer, onderhoud en gebruik, zodat deze beter de rol van groene oase in de stad kan vervullen. Voor negen locaties in Rotterdam hebben ontwerpers uit de westerse en niet-westerse tuintradities een ontwerpstudie gemaakt geïnspireerd op de omsloten tuin als typologie. Witte de With vroeg negen internationale kunstenaars voor een project geïnspireerd op de omsloten tuin als idee. Aandachtspunten

>>

Presentatie van de ontwerpstudies voor nieuwe openbare stadstuinen en een debat hierover tussen ontwerpers, kunstenaars, gebruikers, opdrachtgevers, beleidsmakers, beheerders, bestuurders en critici. Gedachtewisseling en meningsvorming over inrichting, beheer, onderhoud en gebruik van de openbare groene stedelijke ruimte. Verdieping, verbreding en actualisering van de typologie van de hortus conclusus.

>>

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Stichting Geertruida Gerharda Bolhuis, Groningen Aanvraag subsidie voor architectuurhistorisch onderzoek De stichting Geertruida Gerharda Bolhuis is een aan de Groningse Letteren Faculteit (leerstoel architectuur en stedenbouwgeschiedenis) verbonden instelling die zich ten doel stelt financieële ondersteuning te bieden aan onderzoek, publicaties en manifestaties op gebied van de geschiedenis van architectuur, stedenbouw en landschap. Daarbij wordt op de eerste plaats gedacht aan projecten van architectuur- en kunsthistorici, publicisten en non-profit instellingen. In principe komen architecten(bureau’s), overheidsorganisaties en instellingen op het gebied van projectontwikkeling niet in aanmerking. Individuele aanvragers kunnen ondersteuning aanvragen voor honoraria en binnenlandse reizen voor zover die voor het beoogde resultaat van onderzoek c.q. project onontbeerlijk zijn. Nonprofit organisaties komen uitsluitend in aanmerking voor subsidiering van een (deel van) het verwachte exploitatie tekort van voorgenomen manifestaties. Aanvragen voor subsidie dienen tenminste de volgende componenten te bevatten: een gedegen projectomschrijving, een uitgewerkte begroting met dekkingsplan, een uitgebreid CV van individuele aanvragers en/of een beknopt mission statement van organisaties en instellingen. Voorstellen dienen vòòr 15 augustus 2001 te worden ingediend bij de secretaris van de stichting. Mr. T.H.J.Waterbolk Faculteit der Letteren Postbus 716 9700 AS Groningen Telefonische inlichtingen kunnen worden ingewonnen bij de voorzitter van de stichting: prof.dr. E.R.M. Taverne tel. 050 – 363 6101 email e.r.m.taverne@let.rug.nl

s t r o o m MVRDV

BARBARA VISSER

KM 3/ PIG CITY

‘A DAY IN HOLLAND/ HOLLAND IN A DAY’

Moderatoren

over data en dichtheid en stapeling van vee

Bert van Meggelen, intendant R2001 en Eric Luiten, landschaparchitect

foto- en videowerken over werkelijkheid en representatie

31 maart tm 24 juni 2001

Ontwerpers

Kunstenaars

George Hargreaves (VS) Georges Descombes (CH) Charles Correa (IN) West 8 (NL) Gross.Max. (UK) Kamel Louafi (AR/D) Piet Oudolf (NL) Kazyuo Sejima/ Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA (JPN) Atelier Quadrat (NL)

Cildo Meireless (BRA) Cristina Iglesias (ES) Teresita Fernandez (VS) Elmgreen/Dragset (DK) Maura Biava (NL/I) Fiona Raby/Anthony Dunne (UK) Dennis Adams (VS) Zeger Reyers (NL)

en andere installaties

Visiting Critics Marc Treib (VS) Ken Worpole (UK) Turgut Cansever (TUR)

Locatie Off.Corso, Kruiskade 22, Rotterdam

Prijs inclusief lunch

vanaf 6 juli 2001 Spui 193-195, 4e etage, Den Haag open di tm za 12-17 uur

ƒ 50,- (1 dag), ƒ 75,- (2 dagen)

Reader NL/E ƒ 35,-

Organisatie stichting AIR t 010 - 280 97 00

Reserveren f 010 - 280 96 00 / e AIR@ArchiNed.nl

Tentoonstelling Witte de With t/m 1 juli

Voor meer informatie www.ArchiNed.nl/AIR

haags centrum voor beeldende kunst t 070 365 89 85 f 070 361 79 62 e info@stroom.nl www.stroom.nl

Spui 193-195, 4e etage, Den Haag open di tm za 12-17 uur


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Piet Zwart Institute, postgraduate studies and research > > > http://pzwart.wdka.hro.nl

ToveTommerberg, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Simple Pleasuresâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, Homegallery, Rotterdam graduation show Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy


FONDS VOOR BEELDENDE KUNSTEN VORMGEVING EN BOUWKUNST

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LAATSTE OPROEP DEELNAME STUDIEREIS NAAR INDIA Studiereis India Van 15 november tot 4 december 2001 organiseert het Fonds BKVB in samenwerking met het Nederlands Instituut voor Ruimtelijke Ordening en Volkshuisvesting (NIROV) een studiereis naar India. Het programma wordt samengesteld door architect Subash Taneja; landschapsarchitect Pieter den Boeft coördineert de reis ter plekke. Het reisprogramma bestaat uit het bezoeken en bestuderen van de hedendaagse Indiase architectuur en vormgeving en het cultureel erfgoed dat daaraan ten grondslag ligt. Verder wordt aandacht besteed aan zowel het modernisme in India (Louis Kahn en Le Corbusier), als de ‘wilde’ ongeplande stedenbouw en de recente ontwikkelingen op het gebied van de software-industrie (Bangalore’s Silicon Valley). Schaarste en overvloed Uitgangspunt van de reis is de Nederlandse situatie waarin enerzijds een tekort wordt geconstateerd aan ruimte en natuurlijke hulpmiddelen en anderzijds sprake is van materiële en technologische overvloed. Onderzocht wordt op welke wijze in India waarneembare, veronderstelde en voorspelde tekorten en beperkingen kunnen leiden tot oplossingen op stilistisch, programmatisch, technisch en organisatorisch gebied.

Voor architecten, stedenbouwkundigen, landschapsarchitecten en interieurarchitecten. Ook voor beschouwers, vormgevers en beeldend kunstenaars die in theorie of praktijk een bijdrage leveren aan de inrichting en openbare ruimte in Nederland. Dit in relatie tot o.a. ruimtegebruik, materiaaltoepassing, financiële mogelijkheden en in het perspectief van de volstrekt andere culturele, sociale, geografische, politieke en historische setting van India. Aanmelden voor deelname Belangstellenden voor deze reis kunnen bij het Fonds BKVB een reisbeurs aanvragen. Een adviescommissie van het Fonds BKVB selecteert de deelnemers. De studiereis staat open voor een groep van maximaal 20 deelnemers van wie voorafgaand, tijdens en na afloop van de reis grote inzet wordt verwacht. Zo dienen zij uitgebreid verslag te doen van hun ervaringen in publicaties, tijdens openbare debatten en op de internet-site www.fondsbkvb.nl/india

Aanvragen dienen uiterlijk 31 mei 2001 bij het Fonds BKVB binnen te zijn. Voor nadere informatie over de selectieprocedure, aanvraagformulieren voor een reisbeurs en een informatiepakket: Steven van Teeseling, tel: 020 5231522 e-mail: svteeseling@fondsbkvb.nl Zie ook: www.fondsbkvb.nl/india


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HIDDEN COMMERCIAL. LOGO TRACING. A NEW WAY OF ADVERTISING IN ARCHIS.


YOUR LOGO HERE. BUILDING FOR RENT. A NEW WAY OF ADVERTISING IN ARCHIS.

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Archis 2001 #2