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CHEPOS built environment magazine

52

November 2015


EDITORIAL

of human ingenuity. Composed of around two

villa, a failed modernist experiment, a hangar

and a half million stones, the pyramid of Cheops

renovation and changes in perspectives.

leaves a jaw-dropping impression even after only observing images, as I have yet to go there.

Change, vital when one goes beyond limits, has also gotten its grip on the Chepos. By now you

CHEPOS built environment magazine

The words you read at this very moment reach

Over four thousand years later we have a new

might have realized the magazine has departed

pyramid; the pyramid of the Louvre. This pyra-

from Dutch to English, congruent with the fully

mid is a modern feat of human ingenuity. Not

English program of the Department of the Built

constructed with heavy stones, but with glass.

Environment at the TU/e. I, as the new editor in

A natural material that has been developed by

chief, am also a factor of change. I have received

people into a product that gives us the possibility

the honor to fill this position in the editorial

to receive daylight, yet avoid freezing or getting

board of the Chepos and oversee the coming

wet; safeguarding one of the many collections of

about of new editions of the Chepos.

artistic interpretations of human civilization.

your eyes through the reflection of light particles

This issue caters to CHEOPS, a wonderful study

and if you are reading this in sunlight, these

In light of the 30th anniversary of CHEOPS,

association which for thirty years has provided

small light particles come from the sun. Light

Study Association of the Built Environment, and

all kinds of activities for students to excel on an

particles which have traveled a distance of 150

therefore her sixth lustrum, the editors have

intellectual, social and communicative level, yet

million kilometers and come from a sphere of

composed this Chepos bearing the lustrum

never forget to involve fun in doing so. I want to

energy with a radius of almost 670 thousand

theme ‘Beyond Limits’ in mind. The three File

congratulate the CHEOPS board members, and

kilometers, making it 109 times bigger than

themes are Small to Big, People to Product and

their predecessors, in doing so and wish them

Earth.

Visionary Ideas. Each of the File themes make up

the best of luck to continue this tradition.

ten pages which makes a total of thirty pages – The height of the pyramid of Cheops, which is

You get it? 30th anniversary – and deal with ‘Be-

And you, the reader, I wish a lot of fun in con-

280 cubits, fits exactly one billion times in the

yond Limits’ in relation to the built environment

suming this edition of the Chepos.

distance to the sun which is 280x10^9 cubits.

differently. This is illustrated by amongst others

Once the pyramids were a visionary idea, yet

humongous airports, an eclectic Los Angeles

Justin Agyin

now they are one of the oldest and biggest feats EDITORIAL


12 6 NOW EDITORIAL CHEPOST EDITORS ON TOUR CITY-TALK: BOTTOM-UP URBANISM INNOVATION? YOU MEAN CONTEMPLATION Column Adriaan Jurriëns BEYOND LIMITS CHEOPS turns 30 EXCHANGE DEAN

15 16 12 FILE: SMALL TO BIG

4 5 6 8 10

FROM SEAPLANE HANGAR TO MUSEUM 12 BIOMIMICRY 15 BIG, BIGGER, NOT BIG ENOUGH 16 SMALL TO BIG 18 A review on the Bjarke Ingels Group INNOVATE! CHANGE YOUR VIEW 20 Column Jacob Voorthuis

43

TOOLS AGENDA 4 | CHEPOS

44 INDEX


INDEX

28 30

34

26 FILE: PEOPLE TO PRODUCT

FILE: VISIONARY IDEAS

A ROUND IN THE WORKSHOP OPERATING PROCEDURE OF AN ARCHITECT BUILDING FAILURES DE BEVER ARCHITECTEN In conversation with Stefan de Bever 38 YEARS OF IMMORTALITY The legend behind the Winchester house

WHAT IS THE LIMIT TO INNOVATION? INFLUENCES OF UNBUILT ARCHITECTURE FROM LIMIT TO LIMIT On paradigm shifts in architecture DESIGNING SURINAME Ir. Peter Nagel THE LONDON PEDWAY

22 24 26 28 30

32 34 36 38 40

CHEPOS | 5


NOW

chePOST

Something on your mind you need to share? Send us an email on cheposredactie@cheops.cc, and your article will soon be published!

Name: Michiel Derikx Year: 2 Bachelor/master: Bachelor Field of Study: Architecture CHEOPS function: Most active member Subject: The practical experience you can not miss!

Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences is

there will always be a solution. Eventually, it is

half of the year we as a committee proved that

a practical study. Besides the necessary theory,

about having a great time and organizing fun

we could go on without active guidance of the

a lot of practical know-how is involved which

activities for others.

board, by organizing the Efteling-excursion.

can’t be taught in a lecture room. You have to

In my first year I was the chairman of the Ac-

Looking back, I can say that being an active

learn by doing. Eventually you will improve your

Cie. Together with my committee-members we

member of CHEOPS has taught me a many

skills like just doing things.

organized extra-curricular activities. We were

things. This year I started as emergency care

CHEOPS has given me the feeling to practice my

of course guided by the most helpful board of

respondent for the SkyBar! committee. Besides

practicality with loads of friends. Organizing ac-

CHEOPS, especially during the first half year.

keeping an eye on things, I actively partake in

tivities is a lot more work than you think at first,

This way you learn what the best approach is

making the SkyBar! Underground extra special

but with the help of fellow committee-members

to deal with certain situations. In the second

this year.

Initially I got in contact with CHEOPS during my

The way CHEOPS works, where an experienced

tion. Whenever something went wrong, there

first year at university. A foreign excursion to

member guides a committee and a group that

was of course some disappointment, yet on a

Frankfurt opened my eyes to the fact that study-

you enjoy yourself, motivates and stimulates

personal level this is the most educative. In such

ing was more than auditorium-learning. The trip

self-development.

way I learned not to be afraid of taking risks.

and the professional programming by students

Taking and giving responsibilities and exploring

Additional doors opened as I got to know more

themselves soon set an example. During the

your own qualities, makes you become more

fellow students and staff through a University

same year I co-organized a first year study trip,

self-conscious and assertive. During my board-

Council-membership, a foreign exchange, count-

the subsequent year excursions, lectures and

year I led committees and was responsible for

less networking possibilities and much more. I

a whole lot more. I have always been shy and

external relations. During this year I learned how

am convinced that I prepared myself for life after

cautious; via committee work I developed myself

to delegate, be assertive, taking on more respon-

university thanks to my work at CHEOPS, while

on a personal level and came out of my shell.

sibilities and (re)present myself and the associa-

in the meantime having loads of fun too.

Name: Christian Fredrix Graduated in September 2015 Work: De Bever Architecten, Eindhoven Field of Study: Architecture CHEOPS function: Member of 26th board Subject: What is CHEOPS for you?

6 | CHEPOS

CHEPOST


NOW

EDITORS ON TOUR Most of the time I am not very impressed by post-war architecture. However, this summer I went on holiday to Normandy (France) and visited the rebuilt city center of Le Havre and was really surprised by its beauty. Le Havre was bombed several times during World War II and not much of the center was left. Auguste Perret and his team made an idealistic design for the rebuilt, which was built in the period of 1945 to 1964. He preserved the historical street pattern and the few monumental buildings that were left after the war. The architecture of the rebuilt buildings forms a unity. The streets are wide, aligned with trees and the traffic is separated. The commercial ground floors of all the buildings are giving the street a lively and friendly feeling. Since 2005 the city center of Le Havre is on the World Heritage list of UNESCO. So if you are as sceptical about post-war architecture as I was, you should visit Le Havre and be surprised by its special beauty.

TEXT & IMAGE: JOLIJN VAN KEULEN

Le Havre

Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok. This year’s holiday I went to southeast Asia. Although Bangkok was impressive and Malaysia was beautiful, Singapore was truly amazing. This former part of Malaysia has faced major growth since it parted from Malaysia. Therefore a lot of prestigious projects were realized in a very short period of time. The best example is the downtown area Marina Bay. It is connected to the Bayfront by the structural tube-like Helix Bridge. The first buildings to encounter are the ArtScience Centre and the well-known Marina Bay Hotel, both by Moshe Safdie. But for me, the real beauties of this area were the Gardens by the Bay, hidden behind the hotel. It is a 101 hectare large area filled with plants and architectural highlights. Two giant biomes by Wilkinson Eyre Architects contain Mediterranean and tropical mountain climates. Outside these domes, Grant Associates designed 18 Supertrees. These vertical gardens are packed with sustainable technologies and create a stunning view during the day and

TEXT & IMAGE: RENÉE THIERIJ

Paris

at night when they are illuminated. The power of the area is that it is hidden behind the curtain of the Marina Bay Hotel, concluding that you should always look behind the facade!

Last summer I went to Paris with some fellow students. Together we discovered Paris in five intensive days. We stayed in an apartment above a real boulangerie and enjoyed our Parisian view every morning from our balcony. Apart from all the real touristy stuff like the Eiffel Tower and the Centre Pompidou we also enjoyed some less common known areas of Paris. Such as the ‘Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine’ where we ended up accidentally, but stayed all afternoon (and two of us even went back the following morning!). As you can imagine, it must have been an amazing architecture museum. They have got a really nice standard collection including a life-size apartment from Le Corbusier’s ‘Cité radieuse’. Besides spending afternoons in museums we also went to see some real architectural masterpieces, such as the Institute du Monde Arabe with its moving façade and the then nearly finished Philharmonie de Paris, both designed by Jean Nouvel.

EDITORS ON TOUR

TEXT & IMAGE: JIMMY HENDRICKX

Singapore CHEPOS | 7


CITY TALK:

The once firmly established practice of urbanism in the Netherlands is shaking on its foundations. Are zoning plans, spatial development strategies and the aesthetics committee becoming obsolete? The economic crisis has made the big project developers cautious and stimulated the development of new methods of city making. Citizens also want to participate more often in the creation of their own living environments and will no longer accept the standard solutions that a lot of big developments offer. That is why for the ‘City talk: BottomUp Urbanism’ 130 architects, urbanists, designers, public servants and

BOTTOM-UP

citizens involved in bottom-up urbanism practices and lots of eager

URBANISM

students gathered to exchange ideas and visions concerning this hot topic. This article provides the highlights of said city talk. TEXT: RICK ABELEN, JUSTIN AGYIN & BRAM NUIJTEN

Eleven former factory buildings form the base

initiative as a contact point for stakeholders for

value in this period and attract investors. The

of the NRE-terrain. A perfectly accessible area

instance. The process should be self-regulating,

iconic complex is located in the west of the city

at the end of the Eindhoven canal and on the

but municipalities have to safeguard the quality

and is easily accessible. At the Factory you can

edge of the city center. Nevertheless, this part of

of the project. Accordingly, a professional should

enjoy food and drinks, sports, music, art, culture

Eindhoven is unfamiliar territory for the ordinary

keep his or her status as such. The question that

and weekly events.

Eindhovenaar. Magdaleen Kroese, architect

we should ask however is; when can we still talk

at MAG Architecten and involved with the

of a bottom-up initiative?

The area is developed by architects who took

“Transform temporality into permanance”

the lead. There however was space for initiatives

development of the NRE-terrain, tells about the bottom-up initiatives at the NRE-terrain and the constraints, opportunities and threats. Kroese talks about the creation of the initiative. Since 2014 the municipality works with enthusiastic founders and future residents and users to transform the area. It has become a location

by other stakeholders, such as the beer brewers of Oersoep. It is essential to involve people and give them opportunities, accordingly to Bijl. Through involving people and by seeking for co-creation to promote development-concepts, it is possible to create a sound social urban development.

where the municipality has given people the

According to Arie Willem Bijl, the next speaker

opportunity to develop their own dreams, and

at the City talk, one thing we can be certain of is

It is important to respond to temporary entrepre-

where the rich history and industrial character of

that the conventional way of area development

neurship and create added value to projects.

the area is revaluated.

is definitely over. Municipalities should facilitate

Temporary entrepreneurship creates an attractive

initiatives of stakeholders. He introduces us to

effect on people, what results in social develop-

Magdaleen Kroese emphasizes trust between

the Honig Factory in Nijmegen as an example of

ment. Bijl states that, it is essential to transform

stakeholders to be crucial for such bottom-up

what he has been working on and how bottom-

the temporality into permanence. This is possible

developments. The intention is to create a proj-

up urbanism can be interpreted. The former

by making use of the positive energy that has

ect with social value. Therefore, the municipal-

Honig Factory is designated as the new hotspot

been created with this development.

ity should not steer the process, but coach the

in Nijmegen until 2022. The vision is to create From Nijmegen we move back to Eindhoven with Proeftuin040. With this platform Niek van de Klundert wants to break down the old stereotype of Eindhoven as an ugly concrete city, turn it into a city booming in urban farming and raise awareness amongst people about green spaces and the production in urban environments. The platform is a continuation of an urban camping Van de Klundert and his team set up during the Dutch Design Week of 2012, where they wanted to deal with urban wastelands in a creative way. The platform wants to contribute

8 | CHEPOS

CITY TALK: BOTTOM-UP URBANISM


NOW to citizens getting more control over the public domain. Citizens often have a lot of ideas for doing something with urban wastelands themselves, but do not always have the know-how to do so. Furthermore, a lot of their positive energy gets lost in the bureaucratic machine of rules and regulations. They feel like they are being sent from pillar to post. By initiating, monitoring and mapping urban farming initiatives and by providing opportunities for people to exchange ideas and information, Proeftuin040 tries to give citizens the possibility to contribute in making Eindhoven greener. By doing so, Proeftuin040 creates a network of urban farming initiatives to make sure

ment. “They handed me the keys and the build-

estate. Their goal was to create value in places

the popular term is backed up with practical ex-

ings were mine for the next five years.” They

where common top-down tactics were unable to

amples. By ensuring urban farming in Eindhoven

started the project off with strong branding of

do so. But bottom-up is often only a temporarily

gains enough critical mass, the platform can help

the area and used revenues from the completed

thing, so what will happen with the added value

urban farming go from hype to a structural part

projects to create more space for new projects.

afterwards?

arises, and also was asked by one of the audi-

“One of the most important factors of our plan

The Honig initiative already coped with that

ence members, is whether the platform will gain

was the central park”, explains Groot. This park

problem. The project developer will no longer al-

enough support to do so. Time will tell, but the

will become the central area of Coehoorn Cen-

low the continuation of the bottom-up initiative

prognosis seems positive, as is the energy of the

traal. At the time the location of the park was

started by Bijl as the problem is that the adjacent

people involved.

used by construction workers of Arnhem Central

living areas all increased in value due to the Ho-

of urban design and planning. The question that

Station to park their cars. To convince the local

nig initiative. The Coehoorn project and the NRE

Another ‘‘happy citizen” is Peter Groot who

government to clear out the area they made use

terrain both will suffer the same faith in a few

saw potential in the Coehoorn Area of Arnhem,

of the State Secretary coming to Arnhem, as an

years as well. “You need to start thinking about

which has been a troublesome part of the city

opportunity to offered her to plant the first tree.

the end of your term at an early stage in order

for the past twenty years. The area, located

This convinced the local government, which

to overcome these problems” states Groot.

between the Central Station of Arnhem and the

quickly cleared the area for the park. What is

city center, has known a high amount of vacancy

however the key to bottom-up development?

Project developers should realize the benefits of

and neglect. Groot saw potential in this part of

“The most important factor is that you keep

bottom-up initiatives. Often a restart is within

Arnhem and went to the local government as a

adding value to your project,” according to

the realm of possibilities and it could benefit

“happy citizen”, and not as an architect in his

Groot.

the surrounding areas, which the developers

traditional role.

can manage themselves. Until now bottom-up

SO WHAT NOW?

initiatives remained short-term, but with a new

After engaging in a dialog with the local govern-

The different speakers have some common

mindset from developers and initiators, bottom-

ment, Groot received access to the buildings in

ground. They are all professionals in either the

up could have a more positive long term impact

the area which were owned by the local govern-

field of architectural or urban design, or in real

on society.

City Talk: Bottom-Up Urbanism was organized by Architectuurcentrum Eindhoven and took place on Monday September 14 in NatLab. Guests: Magdaleen Kroese (MAG Architecten), Arie Willem Bijl (TitaanNetwerk), Niek van de Klundert (Proeftuin040) and Peter Groot (Coehoorn Centraal). Moderation by Fulco Treffers.

IMAGES 2

1

3

1. Impression Honig Factory (source: Architectuurcetrum Eindhoven) 2. The speakers in conversation (photo: Justin Agyin) 3. Map of urban farming initiatives (source: Proeftuin040.nl)

CHEPOS | 9


NOW

“I wonder why we should applaud for yet another revolution.”

COLUMN: Adriaan Jurriëns Adriaan Jurriëns is alumnus and former writer of Chepos Magazine. In every edition he writes a column about his daily findings as self-employed architect.

Recently I took part in an atelier in which

the surrounding landscape. So there is no reason

to focus attention on this every once in a while.

the role of the designer was explored in

for change. Yet, they do concern themselves

Some healthy distrust regarding rooted patterns

a new way of dealing with the spatial

with the disappearance of their village school,

is justified for a profession that has to survive by

development of the Netherlands. Together

the youngsters moving out and they debate

distrusting the status quo.

with other designers I was guided by the

a lot about the price of milk. In there lies the

municipality of Weststellingwerf and we

challenge. You as a designer cannot change the

Years ago I bought a book with the meaningful

spoke with several residents who each had

price of milk. You can however offer economic

title ‘Whatever you think, think the opposite’

their own interests. In this municipality, a

perspectives, by for instance making spatial

by Paul Arden to remind myself of this. Just its

number of challenges both social as spa-

interventions linked to tourism or by making

cover is enough for a periodical contemplation

tial are at play. In just three days we spoke

the built surroundings more sustainable. As a

of one’s own thinking patterns.

with the local middle class, entrepreneurs,

designer you are able to provide a new perspec-

farmers and people from the surrounding

tive to the existing world. A designer never takes

As much as I value a critical base stance, I also

countryside.

things for granted, but always looks for new

wonder why we should applaud for yet another

possibilities and chances.

revolution. Sometimes it seems as if reinvention

TEXT: ADRIAAN JURRIËNS

itself has become a purpose, however it remains

“SOME HEALTHY DISTRUST

the question how much of it really is about reinvention. You can constantly read about new

The idea behind the atelier was that designers could create smart connections between different challenges regarding the spatial order. By not just thinking in flat solutions, one can sometimes achieve more in a sense of spatial quality, but also in solving cultural, social and economic issues. The pitfall for every designer in such ateliers lies

REGARDING ROOTED PATTERNS IS JUSTIFIED FOR A PROFESSION THAT HAS TO SURVIVE ON DISTRUSTING THE STATUS QUO“

in just that; coming up with flat solutions. It is

revolutionary ideas and concepts that change the world – as if it isn’t new wine in old bottles – and years later never hear about it them again. I cannot withdraw myself from the impression that this drive for renewal is a relic of modernism after the 1950s. An interesting discussion would be what all that design freedom of the past decades has resulted in, regarding the entire tradition of building.

rather tempting to directly try to solve acute

This applies to both small extensions and as

Was not it Vitruvius who, subtly, noticed that

problems indicated by local village interests, such

well as entire area visions. In that way designers

a design challenge is related to other fields of

as traffic problems. Often, however larger un-

always think ‘outside the box’. The idea behind

knowledge?

derlying problems are at work. Residents of small

‘Beyond Limits’ in this Chepos has more to do

village communities will, understandably, not

with the method that designers use to step out

Thinking anew is never wrong, however, looking

put their problems on the table like that. They

into the world. People have the natural ten-

back to what we already know from time to time

do not always see the need for change and are

dency to stick to their way of doing things and

could never hurt.

proud of their beautiful village, it is serenity and

architects form no exception to this. It is good

10 | CHEPOS

COLUMN: ADRIAAN JURRIËNS


BEYOND LIMITS As a student at the Department of the Built Environment at the Eindhoven University of

Herman Hertzberger. On November 17,

Technology, you are always trying to find the limits. Whether you are an architect, an

the Gaslab will be crowded with people

urbanist, a building engineer or a real estate manager, you are always in search for the

debating about our own future. Architec-

possible means to brighten the built environment around you. You are in charge of what

ture proved to overcome its limits over and

the world around you will look like in a few decades. You will be in charge of the quality

over again, so why would the future of an

of life of many people. This year, CHEOPS, Study Association of the Built Environment,

architect have limits? What will the profes-

turns 30. In the last thirty years, CHEOPS has always tried to find her limits. Right now

sion of architect look like in a few decades?

is the time to celebrate the sixth lustrum by transcending our limits. How does CHEOPS search for those limits and how will we go beyond them?

The day after the debate, you will be able to see how companies related to the building sector present their

TEXT: ALEX DONKERS

professions within the building November 9th was the opening of the

The editors of this very Lustrum Chepos

sector. At the Bouwkunde

6th lustrum of CHEOPS took place. Elphi

took the chance to do something extraor-

Bedrijvendagen a lot of

Nelissen cut through the green ribbon

dinary with this latest issue of the Chepos.

companies come to

and opened a month full of possibilities

With exciting File themes and touch-

Vertigo to present

to go beyond our limits. In a cozy atmo-

ing upon architects as Bjarke Ingels and

themselves.

sphere, all those possibilities have been

Stephan de Bever, the Chepos shows that

This year,

announced. Stated that CHEOPS caters to

students are able to work together and

CHEOPS

every student, they all will get the chance

bring out a magazine which is appreciated

will

to excel and find his or her limits. The 6th

in the building sector. With a festive release

lustrum will be in light of education, as well

on the 16th of November, the Chepos

as recreation. Students, academics and pro-

shows how students with a passion for

fessionals will be brought together to learn,

writing can transcend their limits.

debate, create, experience, travel, behold but most of all enjoy themselves.

Let us not forget to mention the exhilarating CHEOPSx-

The crème de la crème of joy must have

Gaslab. The first lecture

been the Lustrum Gala. After a festival-

and debate evening

like ticket sale at the CHEOPS bridge, blue

in this new format

letters with a silver written message started

went viral after

to spread through the faculty building. In

the confirma-

a fully packed Ketelhuis, the gentlemen

tion of,

wearing their tuxedos asked their ladies for

inter

a dance. The night was full of elegance and

alia,

so it was the perfect start of the month.

12 | CHEPOS

SUBJECT BEYONDARTICLE LIMITS


NOW

CHEOPS TURNS 30 have a stall, where companies and students

uncommon materials, to widen our stance

were young, and who will build the best

can come into contect with each other and

regarding building materials and methods.

structure and win the LEGO Challenge?

Not only do materials still hold a lot of

Not only do we still have limits to tran-

As future building engineers, searching for

secrets for us. Our department building,

scend, the rest of the world has them too.

boundaries means creating something by

Vertigo, has its secrets as well. In the night

The world’s population has been getting

being innovative and creative. Building ma-

of the November 24 Vertigo’s Secrets will

more and more mobile in the last few

terials and methods are evolving and huge

be revealed. A number of playful acts will

decades. Where it was impossible to visit

innovative processes are being undertaken.

take place throughout the building. The

another city once, the possibilities have

We need to find the limits of materials

night will be closed off by a spectacular

been extended a lot. The photographers of

closing act. The joy will continue with the

the Photohunt International Excursion will

Lustrum Drink in the SkyBar! Underground.

try to break through the limits of traveling

The entire bar will be turned upside down

and hunt as many buildings in Europe as

and it will be a drink like never before!

possible in only four days.

Going back to his or her roots a building

The grand finale of our lustrum will be

CHEOPS.

and building methods and widen our perspectives to transcend those limits. At the Workshop Day everyone gets the possibility to build an object with

engineer will only

Beyond Vertigo. We will make the impos-

think of one thing:

sible possible and rebuild our faculty build-

playing with LEGO.

ing to the location where everybody can

Mostly, LEGO is

celebrate the sixth lustrum for the last time

used to build small

and rethink the limits they transcended.

cities and castles. At the 2nd of December, we are going to test the opportunities LEGO has, by building extraordinary structures. What are the possibilities of the

When the peace is restored in Vertigo and the lustrum month is almost over, a group of raptors will be flying in circles around the faculty building. After a month of hunting, the Scavengers are coming back to CHEOPS to flaunt their preys. Who will

toys we played

be the absolute winner of the Scavenger

with when

Hunt and proves he truly found out that no one should be guided by limits?

we IMAGES

1. Lustrum Pyramid of CHEOPS, Alex Donkers, (original photo: Erin Nell & Sierra Neblina, www.galacticu.com)

1

CHEPOS | 13


The word big is in place if you talk about the Seaplane Hangar in Tallinn, Estonia. This

The Seaplane Harbor in Tallinn was built in

8000 m hangar was built in 1915 as a place to store and restore seaplanes. The three

commission of Russia as part of the Peter the

massive 35 by 35 meter domes were the first to be made entirely of reinforced concrete.

Great’s naval fortress. This fortress in Tallinn had

Heinrich Laul, professor of the University of Technology of Tallinn said in 1962; “The

to block the access by sea to Saint Petersburg,

theory of double-curved shells was worked out only after World War II, so 30 years after

at that time the capital of Russia. Tallinn was of

the shells designed for the mine harbor (seaplane hangar). It is therefore obvious that we

strategic importance because the Gulf of Finland

are facing a mystery here. How was it possible to calculate the shells back then?”

is most narrow between Porkkala (Finland) and

This mysterious building has a long and interesting history. It survived two World Wars

Tallinn.

2

and was almost beyond repair. It is now renovated and transformed into the beautiful Maritime Museum of Tallinn. KOKO architects were able to emphasize the uniqueness of

A competition was held to select the best

this building and won the Grand Prix for this renovation project.

engineers that could build the seaplane hangar. Instead of aesthetics, which is the most impor-

TEXT: JOLIJN VAN KEULEN

tant factor in architectural competitions, the


SMALL TO BIG FROM SEAPLANE HANGAR TO MUSEUM

focus of this competition laid on engineering. The

the supporting pillars to support the weight of

getting bigger and construction works stopped.

hangar had to be a large hall, without intermedi-

the concrete domes. Afterwards, the wooden

Following the peace treaty between Germany

ate supports, with entries on all sides. The Danish

scaffolding was placed to cast the domes. There

and Russia in 1918, the hangar fell in German

engineering company Christiani & Nielsen won the

were several problems during the casting that

hands. In order to use the hangar the Germans

competition with their innovative design featuring

were solved on the spot. The diameter of the

had to make some temporary constructions. The

three connected reinforced concrete domes.

metal rods for example, varied in every corner

walls were boarded with wood, a wooden floor

of the dome. On top of each dome they built a

was constructed and a pathway to the water (for

lantern to provide the hangar with light.

the seaplanes) was created. After the Armistice

The construction work started in July 1916 with the foundation and supporting pillars. Because the

(ending of World War 1) was signed in Novem-

hangar was of great military importance to Russia,

In September 1917, the scaffolding was re-

ber 1918, the newly formed Estonian Army took

the army helped to increase the workforce and

moved and the domes with a thickness of just

over the hangar and the seaplane harbor. Until

transported building materials by rail. Before build-

8 to 12 cm were finished. In the autumn of

1940 the hangar was used as a seaplane storage

ing the domes, a tension belt was wrapped around

1917 however, the threat of World War I was

and restoration place.


THE DILAPIDATION

status. Because of this status the domes had to

is inside, but that cannot be seen. To enter the

In 1940, the Seaplane Harbor came under Red

look ‘historical’ from the inside. To achieve this,

exhibition, visitors have to climb the stairs to

Army control. During the Soviet period the

the domes were covered with a dark pigment

the second level, where they are surprised by a

building was used for several purposes, ranging

that was washed off afterwards to create an

magnificent overview of the large hanger. The

from an anti-submarine net warehouse to a

authentic look. Furthermore, a small part of one

exhibition is designed according to the clever

torpedo base. In 1994, the Estonian Minister

of the domes was left untouched to retain the

concept of KOKO architects. They divided the

of Defense took ownership of the harbor from

original look.

space in three layers; the underwater level with

Russia. However, the building was illegally taken

a submarine and shipwreck, the water level with

over by some suspicious firms who constructed

Simultaneously to the renovation, the transfor-

all kinds of boats and the above water level

offices in the building. The building had not

mation plan was made. In order to find the best

with seaplanes. Without physically dividing the

been renovated since 1968 and was in bad

design to transform the former Seaplane Harbor

hanger in levels they managed to make them

condition. Even the heritage protection status

into a Maritime Museum, a competition was

visible by using lights and the pedestrian bridge.

the building received in 1996 did not make a dif-

held. KOKO architects won the competition with

ference in the peculiar parallel ownership. It took

a strong concept for the museum and a clear

The first ideas for the transformation of the

nine years in court before it was officially handed

attitude towards the building. The main problem

exterior of the building were quite radical. It

to the state in 2006. By then the seaplane han-

of transforming the building into a museum was

was suggested to paint the building in a bright

gar was in an even worse state. In the absence

the required insulation. In order to obtain an op-

color or to make a roof garden. However, during

of a roof, the reinforced steel had started to rust.

timal climate, the inside of the roof was covered

the design process KOKO architects found that

Instead of reinforcing the concrete dome, it was

with a 10 cm layer of insulation. Furthermore,

a building of this scale needs simplicity in its

demolished from the inside. The originally 8 to

a unique seawater heating system was added.

form and a modest finish. On the northern and

12 cm thick roof was reduced to a thickness of

Floor heating was installed instead of radiators in

western façade massive rising gates were placed,

just 5 cm. However, the mechanical qualities and

order to keep the hangar clear of visual clutter.

as originally planned in 1916. These gates give playfulness to the building as well as a military

the chemical composition were good enough to renovate the building.

KOKO did add three bigger structures that

look. The gates are opening the hangar to the

they wanted to distinguish as clearly as possible

rest of the harbor, which is also part of the mu-

THE RENOVATION AND TRANSFORMATION

from the old structure. These structures exist

seum. Here a few museum ships that are open

of a platform that is used to exhibit artillery,

to visitors are anchored. A visit to the Maritime

Renovation started in 2010. It was an extremely

a pedestrian bridge flowing through the big

Museum of Tallinn is a true experience. The

complicated process because of the scale, the

hangar and a reception area. The reception area

interesting story the museum tells, the history

amount of damage that was done (cracks total-

is the transition space between the in- and the

of the harbor, but above all the impressive big

ing 3.6 km in length) and the heritage protection

outside. It makes one curious as to what else

hangar is making this museum worth a visit.

IMAGES 1

2 3 44

5

2 3

1. Interior Maritime Museum Tallinn (photo: Jolijn van Keulen) 2. Seaplane harbour in use (source: www.ne-mo.org) 3. Hangar befor renovation (source: www.ne-mo.org) 4. Bird view Maritime museum (source: www.koko.ee) 5. Axonometric drawing (source: www.koko.ee)

SOURCES 1. “Tallinn’s seaplane hangar - from plane shed to museum”, Maritime Museum Tallinn 2. ‘‘Seaplane harbour - A symbiosis of engineering and marine history’ Carl-Dag Lige, www.koko.ee

16 | CHEPOS

SEAPLANE HANGAR SUBJECT TALLINN ARTICLE


FILE: SMALL TO BIG

BIOMIMICRY How would nature solve it? As a student doubting between studying biology and architecture it is interesting to see how much we, students of the built environment, can learn from nature. Biomimicry is an approach which mimics nature’s patterns and strategies to seek sustainable solutions to human problems. This often happens by scaling the ideas of nature from small to big. In this article I would love to show you how others in the built environment have enhanced nature in their designs. TEXT: RENÉE THIERIJ

When thinking of sponges you would not expect

The pavilion in which they have applied these

Besides animals there are some systems in nature

them to be very stirdy or stiff, but there are defi-

findings is not only a good example of biomim-

too, that can improve our buildings. For example

nitely sponges which have amazing structures

icry but is also made with the newest robotic

the responsive capacity of materials that is not

we can apply to buildings. For example: the

winding techniques. If you want to learn more

based on any mechanical or electrical techniques

Euplectella glass sponge which builds its struc-

about this fascinating project, take a look at the

but incorporated in the material itself. If we

ture from strong microscopic fibers. These fibers

website of the Institute of Building Structures

mimic this we can create a façade that does not

exist of thin layers of glass which are laminated

and Structural Design (ITKE) of the University

need an external energy supply but can adjust

together for even more strength to make them

of Stuttgart, which develops a so called bionic

itself to the outdoor conditions. Architect Achim

very hard to break. Additionally, the grid in

pavilion every year.

Menges explored this novel mode of ‘responsive

which they are arranged is embedded into glass

architecture’ by designing a wooden structure

cement. This idea is mimicked in the design for a

that closes and opens according to humidity

zero waste textile factory. The roof will be made

levels in the air. Although this project is not

of a lightweight steel structure that integrates

designed as a complete building but as an object

solar power harvesting and allows natural light

in the Centre Pompidou in Paris, it is amazing to

to enter the building.

see how beautifully and fluently this ‘meteorosensitive morphology’ changes.

Not only the glass sponge has developed an intelligent structure, an animal such as the beetle can teach us a lot too. A team of biologists, paleontologists, architects and engineers in Stuttgart have carefully investigated this little animal and concluded that the ‘Elytron’, a protective

IMAGES 1 2 3 4

shell for beetles’ wings and abdomen, has an

1. Glass Sponge (source: USGS Multimedia Gallery) 2. Zero Waste Textile Factory by Exploration Architecture (source: inhabitat.com) 3. ICD/ITKE Bionic Pavilion 2013-14 (source: morfea.com) 4. HygroScope by Achim Menges (source: slash-paris.com)

extremely efficient construction. The geometric

SOURCES

morphology of a double layered system gives

1. “Deep Sea Sponges Are Master Builders in Glass” July 07, 2005, npr.org 2. “Exploration’s zero-waste textile factory is inspired by nature, designed by science” February 2015, inhabitat.com 3. “ICD-ITKE Research Pavilion 2013-14 / ICD-ITKE University of Stuttgart”, July 08 2014, archdaily.com 4. “Hygroscope”, 2012, achimmenges.net

this clever shell its strength. The double layered system consists of natural fiber composite which even makes it a light weight structure. BIOMIMICRY

CHEPOS | 17


Dubai International Airport is, since the

Centre in China has a bigger floor area, beating

and shopping center, the terminal is more than

beginning of 2014, the biggest Airport in

Terminal 3 with ‘only’ 47,000 square meters.

just an airport building. The airport however is

the world. It leaves the famous airports of

not only transporting passengers. It is one of the leading airports in shipping cargo, with the

ond, third and fourth place with its 18.4

FROM EINDHOVEN TO ROTTERDAM ON A CONVEYOR BELT

million passengers in the first quartile of

While these numbers are already quite impres-

ing them as sixth cargo-airport of the world, and

2014. In 2014, Dubai International Airfield

sive, these are not the only big features the

approximately 4.1 million tons in 2020.

handled 70.5 million passengers. Given

airport has to offer. When Terminal 3 was

their maximum capacity of 75 million,

completed, the capacity of the airport more

NOT BIG ENOUGH

expansion is needed.

than doubled, from 32 to 75 million passen-

In 2014 however, there was a small decrease in

gers a year. It offers a staggering 23 places for

cargo-flights, due to the newly built airport Al

Airbus A380’s, one of the biggest aircrafts for

Maktoum International Airport. This new airport,

London, Hong Kong and Paris on the sec-

TEXT: SVEN VAN DER HULST

incredible figure of 2.4 million tons in 2014, list-

human transport in the world. 85,000 passen-

40 kilometers from Dubai International Airport,

Right now, the airport focuses on enlarging the

gers pass through terminal 3 every day. And in

will be completed in 2027. Planning on trans-

capacity of existing terminals in order to increase

this terminal alone, 168 check-in counters are

porting 120 million people a year, and 12 million

the accommodation to 80 million. The airport

available, a car-park of 177,000 square meters,

tons of cargo, it will become the world’s biggest

already counts three terminals with sizes that are

157 elevators, 97 escalators and a four and five

flying destination instantly. The airport opened

Dubai-worthy. The total floor area of the three

star hotel with more than 250 rooms and suites

its doors in 2010. Starting with one runway and

terminals combined is just a few square meters

combined can be found. The total conveyor belt

only cargo shipments, in the first quartile of

short of two million. In comparison, that is over

is being able to handle more than 15,000 pieces

2014 it shipped 102,000 passengers, 180 times

275 football fields combined.

of luggage an hour and reaches a length of 90

less than Dubai International Airport. By 2027,

kilometers. A distance comparable with a flight

Al Maktoum will be bigger than the Airfield of

The biggest building of the airport is Terminal 3,

from Eindhoven to Rotterdam. Altogether, this

Dubai and therefore the biggest airport in the

with its 1.7 million square meters the building

is quite astonishing, but that ought to be for the

world. But who knows, there is still 12 years to

with the second largest footprint in the world.

price of 4.5 billion dollars. On the other side,

make a plan for an even bigger aerodrome in

Only the multifunctional New Century Global

with a Japanese garden, gastronomic kitchen

the middle of some desert.

BIG, BIGGER, NOT

18 | CHEPOS

BIG, BIGGER, NOT BIG ENOUGH


FILE: SMALL TO BIG

BIG ENOUGH Dubai International Airport is the biggest airport for at least the next twelve years. IMAGES 2 1

1. Dubai International Airport bird’s eye view (photo: Umair Shaikh) 2. Dubai International Airport in the length (source: icsana.com)

SOURCES 1. “T3 revealed”, 12 november 2008, arabianbusiness.com 2. “Dubai’s Terminal 3 opens”, 14 october 2008, businesstraveller.com 3.” Dubai Airport nu grootste vliegveld internationaal verkeer”, 28 april 2014, upinthesky.nl 4. “Year to date cargo traffic”, Date unknown, aci.aero 5. “GROOT, VERDER, DUURST: ‘S WERELD’S MEEST EXTREME VLIEGVELDEN”, 23 october 2013, blog.tix.nl 6. ” Six-figure passenger numbers for Dubai’s Al Maktoum airport at DWC in debut quarter”, 30 april 2014, thenational.ae

SUBJECT ARTICLE

CHEPOS | 19


small to BIG: a review on the Bjarke Ingels Group The Bjarke Ingels Group, known as BIG, is

For every house to build, we need to build two

Since 2005, BIG grew in several respects.

an international architectural firm that was

houses, separated by a layer of insulation and

Projects became leading, and the workforce

founded in 2005. In the past few years it

waterproofing. Ingels propose to take the con-

enlarged considerably. Ingels started to collabo-

has grown into a reputable agency with

sequence and build the two houses as separate

rate with several partners, who together lead

over 280 employees in various locations

projects: an inner house and an outer house,

the Bjarke Ingels Group. In 2008, Sheela Maini

around the world. What is the genesis

joined by an inhabitable in-between.

Søgaard joined the office. Søgaard’s focus lays

of BIG? What are the visions and goals

on the cash flow, formalizing contract policy and

of the agency? How has BIG become the

The real ‘breakthrough’ of Ingels, however,

working with the organizational structure, the

office that it is now? And what are the

came through the project “The Mountain”, a

latter of which has most notably resulted in a re-

prospects for the future of BIG? Ten years

residential project in Copenhagen. This project

alignment in the Business Development area at

after its establishment: a review on the

was commenced by PLOT architects. The project

BIG. In 2009, Søgaard became partner and CEO

Bjarke Ingels Group.

won several awards including a prize for the best

of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

housing on the World Architecture Festival in TEXT: RICK ABELEN

2008.

THE VISION Is the vision of BIG the key to success? The

THE GENESIS BIG was founded in 2005 by Bjarke Ingels. Bjarke Ingels (1974) is a Danish architect who studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, school of Architecture. Before he opened his office in Copenhagen in 2005, he was cofounder of PLOT architects and he worked for the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA),

heading on the website of the Bjarke Ingels

THE POTENTIAL OF

Group sounds at least promising, namely: ‘’BIG

ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS

Ideas’’. BIG is convinced that a design should

LIES IN THE TENSION BETWEEN

always starts a project with identifying key-

ANALYSES AND IMPLEMENTATION.

founded by Rem Koolhaas, Elia & Zoe Zenghe-

be design-driven. This means that the agency criteria: what is the biggest ‘problem’ and what is the greatest potential? Rather than arbitrary aesthetic or stylistic prejudice, all decisions are based on project specific information, therefore:

lis and Madelon Vriesendorp. Ingels acquired

design-driven.

recognition through a series of award-winning

During the project, the next question was

designs and projects which were considered as

crucial: What if the parking area became the

According to BIG, the potential of architects and

programmatic and technically innovative. An

foundation of the homes – like a concrete hillside

designers lies in the tension between analy-

example of a project is ‘‘Better and cheaper

covered by a thin layer of housing, cascading

ses and implementation. The influence of the

housing’’ from 2001.

from the 1st to the 11th floor?

architect is the translation of information into a

20 | CHEPOS

A REVIEW ON THE BJARKE INGELS GROUP


FILE: SMALL TO BIG material. In an attempt to increase the sphere of

According to Søgaard, young employees provide

THE FUTURE

influence on the built environment, they have

a different ‘approach’ at the office. The employ-

The question about how long the strong growth

established BIG IDEAS. BIG IDEAS is an internal

ees of BIG originate from different countries and

of BIG can continue is an important note. Is

technology driven special projects unit, expand-

regions in the world, namely: Thirty nationalities.

there a limit? And what if the ‘popularity’ of the

ing the traditional scope of the architect into the

The multicultural environment stems from the

office drastically reduces?

realm of information and material. BIG IDEAS

fact that BIG operates in different countries and

The agency is reserved with predictions, and

explores new intellectual territory in both the

regions in the world.

certainly with setting limits. The key point of the

digital and material realm through three specific areas, namely: technical simulation, product design and special projects.

THE GROWTH Thus, from 2005, BIG grew considerably. This was partially the result of “The Mountain” project, which has won several awards. In 2009, Søgaard became CEO of the company.

office is to investigate precise limits, and where

THE SUCCESS OF BIG IS

possible override them. According to BIG, this key point is the difference with other offices.

LARGELY DEVOTED TO THE

Where they see limits as constraints, the ideol-

FACT THAT THEY HAVE THE

and challenges.

RIGHT PEOPLE IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

ogy of BIG is to see limits rather as opportunities

From an interview with Design Intelligence Council, Søgaard respond as follows on the

According to Søgaard, there is more behind the

questions above: ‘’We’re still very much in love

operation of the office than outsiders often con-

with what we do, so it’s really still about the

ceive. Remarkably, Søgaard speaks of a business

All these countries and regions have different

architecture for us, and about the projects, and

instead of an office or agency. Søgaard argues

cultures, aspirations, choices and considerations

it’s less about whether we are 500 people or

that the business tries to assign creativity to

that should be taken into account. In fact, the

whether we shrink back to 50 people. It’s about

where it actually contributes to the architecture.

agency is trying to respond to local data. This

being open and skilled enough to react on the

Few realize that an entire team is involved in

is where the information driven design turns

good opportunities that come by.’’

projects, they only see the ‘outside’ of the office,

back. In addition to respond to local data, BIG

according to Søgaard.

attempts to reason from the individual person. An example of this can be seen in the office. Em-

IMAGES 1 2

1. Sheela Maini Søgaard (source: graspmag.org) 2. Bjarke Ingels (source: arcspace.com) 3. The Mountain, Copenhagen (source: wordpress.com)

Søgaard speaks in several interviews about the

ployees in the office perform the tasks to which

‘’BIG culture’’. A culture within the company

they have the greatest potential. This may sound

that is driven by so-called youthfulness. BIG is a

cliché, but in practice it hardly occurs. In fact, it

relatively ‘young’ office, however, not only the

is a manner of efficient working. The success of

SOURCES

office is young: also its employees, partners and

BIG is largely devoted to the fact that they have

Bjarke Ingels himself.

the right people in the right place.

1. Bob Fisher. ‘’The Secret to BIG Success’’. 2015. di.net 2. Philip Kennicott ‘‘Exhibit highlights architecture as product of its environment’’. 2015. washingtonpost.com

3

CHEPOS | 21


INNOVATE! CHANGE YOUR VIEW. Architecture knows at least three paths

Spinoza strangely claims the world as it is right

can be measured. In order to make things more

to real innovation. Firstly, it can respond

now is perfect. How in heaven’s name can he

beautiful, we would have to score higher as

through design research to newly devel-

defend such a preposterous claim? Have we

designers with regard to the measure we are

oped techniques and materials. Secondly,

missed something? The world as I see it every

using. And in order to achieve a higher score

it can respond to new social realities. Both

day, hardly appears as perfect! To investigate this

we need to design in such a way that we are

can be described as real forms of inno-

claim I am going to focus on the subject of ugly

attentive to the measure we are taking as our

vation, transforming the appearance of

buildings rather than that of ugly people, simply

benchmark. The second possibility leaves the

buildings and their manner of functioning.

because it is a less sensitive subject.

product for what it is but changes the measure

There is a third way to innovate architec-

Don’t laugh, but I am something of a fan of

but not without noting that both are legitimate

ture: through the transformation of our

IKEA. IKEA is the direct heir to the Bauhaus

ways forward and, more importantly, neither

general view of the world and our view

ideals whereby products are conceived and

excludes the other. A standard or benchmark

of architecture in particular. Thus, it is our

designed through a carefully considered inter-

that has proven itself to work well is extremely

experience of a building that changes and

action of various factors such as usefulness,

valuable. At the same time it is also extremely

with it, our judgment. As a path to inno-

durability, attractiveness, as well as technical and

valuable to be able to adapt and change a

vation it is no less real than the other two.

economic considerations regarding production,

standard that does not work well, either because

use of materials, logistics and packaging. Above

it is not up to the task, or because the goalposts

all I just love putting things together. IKEA is

have changed. What we really want is to be able

LEGO for grown-ups. You can like having IKEA

to negotiate between the two possibilities.

itself. I shall concentrate on this one for a while,

TEXT: JACOB VOORTHUIS The road to this kind of innovation can start

furniture in your house or not. Personally I am

anywhere, really. It would be nice to start this

extremely selective and reserved in my judgment

A standard is, just like a building or a design, a

particular story with Umberto Eco’s controver-

regarding this, but that is not what this is about.

product of construction: we make them. In order

sial book On Ugliness (2011). Towards the end

What concerns me here is their new advertising

to function well, both standards and products

of the book he sticks up for ugly people. He

campaign in Holland with the slogan ‘Aandacht

we measure against them need to be evaluated

proposes we should feel a deep pity for ugly

maakt alles mooier’ which we could translate as

in the light of new demands and requirements.

people. The world is cruelly turned against them.

‘Attentiveness makes everything more beautiful’.

To pursue the analogy a little further, different

And that indeed appears to be the case. He is

That slogan might help us investigate Spinoza’s

products respond to different demands. You

not wrong. But there is another way of looking

strange claim. The slogan could be true on more

shouldn’t judge a church on the standards more

at the problem which I might suggest to be more

than one level.

appropriate to a house. Standards are intersub-

hopeful. You see, we are able to conquer the

jective constructions, requiring constant, or at

world by changing our view of it. This is a more

Here I offer two such levels: 1. Being attentive to

least regular maintenance and renegotiation.

peaceful way of conquering the world. Hence

design allows us to make things more beautiful

Even when they are cast in concrete, they must

we might even be able to save the supposedly

than they would otherwise be. 2. Attentiveness

be able to be recast when necessary. I don’t

ugly from our deeply ingrained cruelty against

allows us to find things beautiful that we usually

know whether this has ever happened to you,

anything that deviates from the norm. The way

dismiss as ‘ugly’. The first assume a benchmark

but it happens to me all too often. I am pre-

forward might be to confront Eco with Spinoza.

or standard against which the beauty of a thing

sented with a building to judge and it appears

22 | CHEPOS

COLUMN: JACOB SUBJECT VOORTHUIS ARTICLE


FILE: SMALL TO BIG

COLUMN: Jacob Voorthuis Jacob Voorthuis is a publicist, speaker and lecturer at the Eindhoven University of Technology. He professes enthusiastically about philosophy, art history and architecture. For this edition we asked him to write something concerning the arching theme ‘Beyond Limits’.

ugly to me. My judgment appears comfortably

too complex to dismiss or accept with a single

be found to contain beauty if I try. I know that

stuck in the standards that I consider important

judgment. A clear set of standards is needed

all people are capable of beautiful deeds and

to me at that moment. It is as if my criteria of

and valuable. But this standard needs to be

beautiful use. It is humanity, half submerged in

judgment have taken root and became one with

both adequate to the task and sophisticated and

the swamp of its small-mindedness that ought

the object. But then someone with a lot more

refined. It must not be allowed to reduce itself to

to be the subject of our pity and not its victims.

knowledge and wisdom than me wakes me up

some buzz word.

They are the heroes. It is humanity that makes

with their enthusiasm for the building and man-

the profound mistake of confusing its narrow-

ages to convince me that I was wrong to dismiss

minded standards with the perfection of the

the building off hand. I am often truly surprised at what other people manage to find beautiful. I am able to learn from other people’s taste. And by taking them seriously and questioning them, they extend or transform the criteria by which I am able to judge what I see before me. My initial opinion appears suddenly rather paltry and narrow, full of excess prejudice that has begun to obstruct the clarity of my thinking. With effort, I am capable of finding the ugly beautiful. In this way, the ugly transforms itself in the attentive reconstruction of my standard of beauty. Now, because such a standard is a serious thing not to be taken lightly, I counter accusations of fickleness and caprice by taking even greater care, as it behoves a professional aesthetician, in the attentive reconstruction of my opinions

“WITH

world at large. It is humanity that needs our pity and our attentive help to make things beautiful. Especially when people use their narrowminded-

EFFORT, I

ness to inflict harm upon themselves and their

AM CAPABLE

instruments to find it beautiful, when we judge

OF FINDING

judge such behaviour truly ugly.

THE UGLY

it is the result of careless and slovenly design

BEAUTIFUL”

environment. When we judge something to be ugly because we do not have the conceptual something ugly because we have found perverse pleasure in enjoying being hateful, we may

When we judge something to be ugly because without paying due attention to a properly constructed standard, we are right to judge such things ugly. Science and scholarship, art and philosophy have given us instruments to understand the role played by the things around

and the maintenance of my standards of beauty.

us. We have the tools to understand the world

Nevertheless the end result is that the repertoire

better than ever before. In understanding we

of ‘beautiful buildings’ is expanding steadily,

I understand Umberto Eco and his deeply felt

have the tools to construct and maintain more

allowing the strangest creatures to become a

sympathy for the ugly people of this world. At

sophisticated standards of beauty and goodness.

member of the club. Of course, there are build-

the same time I reject his approach. It is not the

Beauty, goodness, ugliness, and the bad are use-

ings that are easy to find beautiful. Others are

ugly of this world we should pity but the col-

ful container words that acquire meaning in our

extremely resistant to the idea of beauty. Just as

lective narrowmindedness of humanity at large.

daily use of them. They are instruments of judg-

importantly there are very good reasons to reject

In our hateful rejection of the ugly we show

ment to get a grip on our surroundings. Make

buildings or aspects of their design and classify

ourselves at our most brutal, cruel and narrow-

sure that your use of the word ugliness does not

them as ugly. A building tends to be much

minded. I have discovered that anything can

merely conceal your inability to see beauty.

SUBJECT ARTICLE

CHEPOS | 23


A ROUND IN THE WORKSHOP Gijs is working on the second master project

Royal library. When an unknown person comes

area. The main function of the square will be an

architecture together with Desley, Niels and

out of the station, he does not have any orienta-

‘outside lounge’, used by people who pass the

Martha. During a walk around the workshop, his

tion point. The structure is missing.

square and by visitors of the Royal library.

model stands out directly. It is big, abstract, and

When we look at the ‘normal’ way a student

plastic. Not worked out in detail, mostly existing

At the moment of interviewing him about his

works, just a few of them will be working on a

of volumes. When we interrupt him, he tells us

project, he and his fellow group members are

model in such an early stage of their project (the

about his model. The project, he said, is a hard

in the first ten weeks of the project: analyzing

project is only in week 5). But Gijs told us that

one, difficult and a little bit vague. The plan area

and looking at the possibilities of the plan area.

by making a model you will have a spatial view

is a messy area at the moment and has no clear

Their first idea is to split the area into two differ-

of the area, a spatial perception. Maybe it will

function in the city. Their assignment is of course

ent zones. Part one will be a transition area of

even help them to obtain new views, and maybe

to restructure the plan area.

the two zones in the plan area, the missing link

their entire first concept will change!

The project is about the station area of The

between the city center and the business district.

Hague. To be exact, between the station and the

Part two will be a compact square, central in the

TEXT: CHASTITY VERHOOFSTAD

PEOPLE TO PRODUCT


The art of architecture started as early as the Stone Age. Later on kings and landlords had their own ‘in-house’ architect to let buildings express their status. In the neoclassical time for example, the architect Gabriel designed the Place Louise XV in France, and he was named ‘Architect of the King’. His task was to design a building with significant grandeur and richness, to impress society. However, how does this work in contemporary society, and what are the tasks of the architect in the present and in the future? How far can we exceed existing limits of design?

Operating procedure of an architect

TEXT: MARTIJN CREEMERS

RECESSION

COMMISSION

Since 2008, the building industry has lost forty-

As an architect one is mostly shaping the public

make a design. The clients however did not have

three thousand jobs in the Netherlands alone.

realm as an organized urban whole. The Dutch

money to get new projects for the architects.

Architecture firms suffered extremely during this

for instance, are extremely controlling when it

Mostly governmental projects and wealthy

recession. The mid-range design offices have

comes to the organization of their public space.

companies could provide assignments for a small

suffered the most since then. New housing co-

Architecture from the past is used as an example

group of architects. With procurements the cli-

missions were also not given by the government.

for the future. Designing is not the only thing an

ent gives several firms the opportunity to get the

But in 2013 and 2014, the architecture firms

architect is doing nowadays. The architect more

assignment. The client provides a program, the

started to grow slowly again. Unemployed archi-

and more becomes a multitasker within a team.

location and the general ideas of the final user.

tects started their own firm or started working

Communication plays a major role in getting

Then the architect starts making the design and

for firms as self-employed. Keeping charges for

all aspects of building together, when work-

gathers a team together to check the possibilities

assignments at its lowest, profits were marginal

ing in a team. This team consist of a client, an

of the design. After the presentation and debate

and reserves were spent to keep the company

architectural draughtsman, building physicists,

in front of the council, a project design is chosen

propped up. The main focus for architects in the

construction engineers and city council. Besides

and the ‘lucky’ architect may start with further

Netherlands was on renovation and transforma-

that team, consultation can be acquired from the

designing the building. During the consecutive

tion of already constructed buildings. For an

contractors, subcontractors, installers, material

period the design will be discussed and evalu-

architect to differentiate the coming years, the

suppliers, soil experts and many other engineers.

ated, so that the design will suit the demands of

use of domotica and the use of BIM (Building

the client.

Information Model) are very important. This will

Before the crisis, a lot of assignments were

give the architect the directing role back and let

gained through acquisitions. This method was

Nowadays projects can also be commissioned

every party work optimally together.

used to gather assignments from clients and

through design competitions. After the contracts

26 | CHEPOS

OPERATING PROCEDURE OF AN ARCHITECT


FILE: PEOPLE TO PRODUCT

are signed by the client and the architect, the

online, in contrast to the printing and postal de-

detailing and materialization. When the realiza-

master builder can begin with a preliminairy

liveries before, to obtain a building permit. They

tion of the building starts, the architect will visit

design with his bureau. Later on the construction

will check if the building suits the zoning plans

the site frequently. To see the progress of the

and detailing will get shaped more specifically.

and the environment.

building and deliberate on mistakes during the

This will be done by the whole team, which

construction of the building. The architect needs

stimulates iteration on the design. With a good

Once the city council has granted the build-

to check that the planning, costs and quality

design the hardest task is however to keep the

ing permit, technical drawings are made, such

reach the desired level. When the project is built

monetary expenses from going through the roof.

as contract drawings, detailing and a specific

the architect needs to make a set of drawings

cost estimation by the several contractors and

with the final result. And then the job of the

REALIZATION

subcontractors. The client and architect will then

architect is done.

Transforming the first draft into a final design,

carefully choose the contractors. From this point

converges the concept from people to product.

on this group cosisting of client, architect and

CONCLUSION

The drawings will be sent to the city council

contractors will collaborate on the construction,

So then what is the future of architecture? It belongs to the unknown. With 3D programs, lasercutters and 3D printers, new ideas can be made

GETTING AN ADVANTAGE IN THE UPCOMING YEARS IS WORKING WITH BIM

and made into reality. Autodesk and Trimble (SketchUp) for instance, are currently collaborating with Microsoft Hololens. This will bring the 3D environment in real-time right in front of our eyes for us to design in and manage the constuction. Then we can also adapt and change design issues easier than on paper or monitor. Furthermore, with an internet connection, several people around the world can look at the

TOOLS

same model and part of the design, discuss the

As taught in our university, digital media and

V-Ray, Lumion, 3DMax or Photoshop are pro-

problem and give the best solution for it, with a

drawings getting more and more advanced.

grams to give more glamour to the product you

click of a button or a snap of our fingers.

But every design begins with a line, a sketch or

want to sell to the client. Tip: visit CHEOPSxGaslab to further discuss this subject.

a diagram on paper. It is the quickest way to get your ideas and visions visualized. For the

Some helpful sites which give more inside of

more accurate drawings AutoCad is used mostly

programs and bring some new ideas:

IMAGES

as a 2D program. Were Sketchup, Revit and ArchiCad are also drawn in 2D, but generates

• Lynda.com (video tutorial website also on

a model in 3D with the given input data. Add-

youtube.com)

ons like Dynamo, Rhino and Grasshopper give

• VisualizingArchitecture.com (embellish your

information by programming of the software.

drawings)

For rendering and editing of pictures or drawings

• Vyonyx.com (tutorial for Photoshop)

several plugins or programs can be used.

• Color.adobe.com (Making color schemes)

SUBJECT ARTICLE

2

1. Tire swing (source: design.dunster.nl)

11 3

SOURCES

1. Buijs, M. “Visie op de sector”. 2014. insights.abnamro.nl 2. Buro Sipma, “Werkwijze”. 2014. www.burosipma.nl 3. Microsoft. “Microsoft Hololens”. 2015. www.microsoft.com 4. Rory Stott. “Architecture Software Tutorials”. 2015. www. archdaily.com

CHEPOS | 27


WITH GREAT BUILDINGS Some great buildings, often designed by equally great architects, were the outcome of progressive architectural thinking. This progressiveness however was not always met in the detailing. And although making mistakes is human, sometimes these mistakes could have been avoided quite easily. These next examples show where limits were pushed, but unfortunately led to architectural failures. TEXT: ILKE BROERS

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT – FALLING WATER (1938)

who did not recommend to proceed with the house. Wright was not too happy about this, but

RAFAEL VIÑOLY - WALKIE TALKIE TOWER (2014)

To start off with one of the most famous build-

agreed on increasing the amount and diameter

It might not be one of the most famous build-

ings in modern architecture. Falling Water was

of steel in the structure. This clearly was not a

ings or architects, but this story was picked up

a milestone for Frank Lloyd Wright, a turning

superfluous luxury as we now know.

by many news stations late 2013. This London

point in his career. Although being honored as one of the greatest architects of all time,

skyscraper does not have any major known

“A DOCTOR CAN BURY HIS MISTAKES, BUT AN ARCHITECT CAN ONLY ADVISE HIS CLIENTS TO PLANT VINES”

structural flaws, but was placed very unfortu-

of tensioned cables was devised to stabilize the

Frank Lloyd Wright is also known for making

This was not even Viñoly’s first ‘death ray’

house.

some famous quotes, especially when talking

building. The curved Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas

about the flaws in his buildings. “Move the

also channels a beam of sun rays onto a nearby

This could possibly have been avoided if Wright

table” was once Wright’s response to a client

area. This problem was noticed forehand and a

spent more time on the design. The improbable,

who phoned him to complain of rain leaking

film was placed on the south façade glass panels

but by many confirmed, story tells how Wright

through the roof of the house onto the dining

which scatters more than 70 percent of reflected

procrastinated for nine months before draw-

table. Perhaps the most infamous was: “A doc-

rays. This is still not enough however, tales of

ing the whole design in two hours. The client

tor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can

scorched hair and a twenty degrees increase of

had these drawings checked by an engineer,

only advise his clients to plant vines”.

ground temperatures are known.

Wright’s career was filled with buildings that had structural flaws, leaking roofs and cracking foundations. Falling Water was one of them. Although it had many problems, the main problem was the lack of proper support in the cantilevers. The impressive balcony of the second floor master bedroom has an overhang of around 1.8 meters. By using ferro-concrete (reinforced concrete) this revolutionary idea became possible. Unfortunately, this was not enough support and soon after the balcony floors were poured, cracks began to show. By the turning of the millennium, some of the cantilevers had sagged

natly. Due to its distinct curvy glass design, the south façade channeled the sun’s rays into a beam that was hot enough to melt car parts and scorch store fronts. Frying an egg on the pavement was even possible. Viñoly did design horizontal sun louvres, but these were cut due to the high costs. He claims he did not have the appropriate tools and software to further investigate the effect and thought the temperature would be around 36 degrees Celsius, yet it comes closer to 72 degrees.

almost 18 cm. To avoid a total collapse, a system

28 | CHEPOS

BUILDING SUBJECTFAILURES ARTICLE


FILE: PEOPLE TO PRODUCT

COME GREAT FAILURES ERICK VAN EGERAAT – METZO COLLEGE DOETINCHEM (2006)

To solve the heat problem, the school installed

issues are fairly minor,” Gehry says, “M.I.T. is

a ‘tornado roof’; a construction of PVC coated

after our insurance.” He adds: “The chances of

Architectural failures can also be found closer to

polyester fabric to keep the sun out of the

it ever getting done without something colliding

home. The Metzo College in Doetichem has an

courtyard. On the east, south and west façade

or some misstep are small.”

innovative design that even won the Scho-

sun proof foil was applied which lowers the

lenbouwprijs of 2006 for the best new school

temperature by two to three degrees.

building. Yet, the pyramid-like structure has

Within months of opening, Gehry was asked to revise the design but he declined. The poor

multiple flaws. The main problem is the heat; the

Meanwhile, the ‘disappeared’ report was found

drainage led to considerable masonry cracking,

temperature rises so much in the summer that it

by a consulting firm. It says: “no clear glass”.

and the costs of repair were more than $1.5 mil-

is impossible to teach in some of the classrooms.

lion. Additional problems were also discovered,

FRANK GEHRY – RAY AND MARIA STATA CENTER (2004)

like sliding ice and snow from the building’s

ing the floor; the synthetic resin would not set. Eventually the floor was laid at night.

To close off, another ‘starchitect’ named Frank.

emergency exits and damaged other building el-

Known for his incredibly progressive take on

ements. Gehry responded by saying this was the

The problem is mainly caused by the use of clear

architecture, Frank Gehry designed some of the

fault of ‘value engineering’. “There are things

glass in the façade. This in combination with no

world’s most famous buildings, like the Guggen-

that were left out of the design,” he said. “The

cooling and no shades or screens, a major heat

heim museum (Bilbao), Dancing House (Prague)

client chose not to put certain devices on the

problem is imminent. Main contractor Schutte

and the Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles).

roofs, to save money.” After this back and forth

Workers already experienced this heat when lay-

already foresaw this problem and tried to warn

bickering, the lawsuit was settled in 2010 with

the project leader (an architect working for Van

As with more progressive architecture, unusual

Egeraat), but he casted these warnings aside.

forms can cause some major detailing problems.

In the building plan there was a reference to a

This is evident in Frank Gehry’s Stata Center

technical report regarding the glass used in the

for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

façade, and Schutte asked the architect multiple

(M.I.T). The $300 million building is what Gehry

times about this, but it never surfaced. While

describes as “a party of drunken robots who

choosing the glass, the project leader chose the

got together to celebrate”. In 2007 however,

clear glass. Alkondor, the façade builder, also

M.I.T. sued Gehry and the involved construc-

placed critical notes with this choice. They later

tion companies claiming they provided deficient

stated: “maybe the architect was busier with

design and construction services resulting in

aesthetics than technics”.

leaks, cracks and drainage problems. “I think the

SUBJECT ARTICLE

window boxes and slanted areas, which blocked

most of the issues being resolved. IMAGES

1 22

3 4

1. Falling Water (source: Wright House) 2. Walkie Talkie Tower (source: Huffingpost) 3. Metzo College (source: Alkondor Hengelo) 4. Ray and Maria Stata Center (photo: Philip Greenspun)

SOURCES 1. Wiebe, C. “Frank Lloyd Wright, Falling Water.”. Khanacademy.org 2. Dezeen. “‘We made a lot of mistakes with this building,’ says Walkie Scorchie architect Vinoly”. September 6, 2013. Dezeen. com 3. De Gelderlander. “Bouwers wisten dat Metzo een oven werd”. November 16, 2007. Gelderlander.nl 4. Pogrebin, R. & Zezima, K. “M.I.T. sues Frank Gehry, citing flaws in Center he designed”. November 7, 2007

CHEPOS | 29


“AN ARCHITECT SHOULD KEEP TRACK OF TRENDS, HOWEVER AN ARCHITECT SHOULD NOT BUILD TRENDY BUILDINGS” In conversation with Stefan de Bever, the youngest generation of De Bever Architecten De Bever Architecten have been designing the cityscape of Eindhoven over the past 120 years. They are responsible for many landmarks in the City of Eindhoven. The designers of Philipsdorp, the Hermes Drukkerij, the Evoluon and both the original design and renovation of the Catharina Ziekenhuis are all related. I spoke with the youngest generation of architects, Stefan de Bever, about his heritage, the bureau and his most famous product, Eindhoven Airport. TEXT: JEROEN POSPIECH

BEFORE THE BUREAU

and more general things. But she has some proj-

CHARACTERIZING THE BUREAU

“I might be a descendant of generations of

ects too. She is a true designer after all, which is

Often I am asked: “What characterizes bureau

architects, but eventually I did not plan on

great because we can constantly feedback each

De Bever?” But these four generations actually

working for De Bever Architecten. Instead, I

other.

differ from each other quite a lot. My great-

wanted to work for the architects who were

grandfather has designed seven listed monu-

being published, the big names. Those architects

MANAGING THE BUREAU

ments; he was a prominent architect already.

were not situated in Eindhoven, but in the west

De Bever Architecten only employs architects, in

Starting as a carpenter, he came to Eindhoven

of the country, or abroad. While I studied at

contrast to the major bureaus which have many

to realize there were no architects there. So he

the TU Delft I had already worked for Ben van

layers. Therefore our architects should be very

started his own bureau and was involved with

Berkel, after graduating I started at Herman

all-round. They should have knowledge of the

the rapid expansion of the city of Eindhoven,

Hertzberger’s bureau. Those were the appealing,

built environment, architectural drawings and

and a great deal of city planning in its wake. My

trendy bureaus. After working for Hertzberger, I

designing, basically they should be able to run

grandfather, Kees de Bever, on the other hand,

moved to New York City with my wife, Heleen

their own company. Primarily, my wife and I are

worked a lot for the church. He applied many

van Heel, and worked there for two more years.

the architects for everything, but on secondary

pure forms. The whole of Brabant is filled with

Only then, it started to dawn upon me that I

level, the project leaders are responsible. Tertiary

his churches. His son, my father Leo de Bever,

should take the chance to return to Eindhoven.

are the assistants who support the project

studied in America. He was very ambitious; he

There are large differences between The Neth-

leaders. They are architects too though; if they

had an international perception of architecture.

erlands and America. In America, the architec-

show entrepreneurship, smart solutions and

He made many concrete buildings such as Felle-

tural society is far more traditional, one really

understanding, they will become project leaders

noord, the Catharina Hospital and the Rabobank

has to prove his skill, only later in life there are

too. But we remain in charge; we are responsible

complex, with quite some concrete awards as a

opportunities. Contrary, here in The Netherlands

for the final image and try to guard a certain

result.

a young architect has a lot more possibilities

continuity and quality. An architect should keep

through competitions and selections.

track of trends, however an architect should not

We often work in a context. Because the setting

build trendy buildings. Over the past twenty

is already there, projects are often about restruc-

OWNING THE BUREAU

years as an architect, something that underlies

turing, expanding buildings or implementing a

Entrepreneurship is something which is supposed

my projects starts to show.

new structure in existing surroundings. It is very

to come natural, I always knew I wanted to create buildings on my own. Other architects choose to work in service of a bureau all their life. Formally, I took over the bureau in 2000, together with my cousin. But the cooperation was not great. So when the crisis hit in 2007, we separated and I continued with my wife. I have been doing the finances from then onwards. I am mainly responsible for the projects and administration, whereas she handles the personnel 30 | CHEPOS


FILE: PEOPLE TO PRODUCT difficult to give signature to a building when it also has to fit in, because everything has a different context. I like to work with a strict netting, however I find it important to keep a certain dynamic in my designs. Irregularities in designs often make a building more intriguing.

DESIGNING THE AIRPORT In 1999 I have designed the masterplan for the airport. We have been developing on that plan since then. We have destructed all the buildings my father built, which were not sufficient for the growth. After that we built the terminal, that was phase one. Phase two was the further expansion of the terminal, as well as the hotel. In the future there will be phase three, four, and probably many more. As I have been involved

only licensed taxis are allowed. The business

not see this happen. I think the airport should

in each phase, gradually the masterplan takes

model of Eindhoven Airport is not based on fly-

keep expanding, Eindhoven keeps growing and

shape. The netting was already there in 2005.

ing. Airports are profitable, because people have

so does its Brainport, the airport should grow

We have been developing this netting, this back-

to wait in an attractive area, they will consum-

according to this.

bone, without being too rigid.

mate, thus the airport will earn money.

ENVISIONING THE FUTURE

“WE HAVE DESTRUCTED ALL THE BUILDINGS MY FATHER BUILT”

The growth of Eindhoven Airport should always remain within certain boundaries. We will advise against expansion if this does not seem like a smart decision. After all, an architect is also responsible for his buildings; he should not only

DESIGNING THE TERMINAL

In the future, there will also be a new access

be in it to produce. If we design a building which

The terminal has been built up piece by piece,

route. The routing will come straight from

is out of place, we will lose credibility and the

each with the same profile. These pieces are

the east starting at the A2 and possibly a new

building will lose quality. The phase we are going

connected in linear fashion, so the terminal can

railway station in the Northwest of Eindhoven,

to build now has been thought up fifteen years

be stretched either way. We purposely build all

across the new Brainport Innovation Campus,

ago, yet we are only building it now. And phases

new buildings perpendicular to the terminal.

lateral to the runway and the terminal. This new,

will follow afterwards, Eindhoven Airport will

Contrary to Schiphol, I wanted the airport’s

parallel approach will be with one-way traffic,

never be finished.”

buildings to stand square to the terminal; this

which circulates at the new building and then

leaves the option for all guests to look both

back eastwards again. The entire building has

ways, at the air- and landside, and the routing

been adapted to this circulation which will hap-

becomes much clearer too. The terminal is the

pen partially inside this building.

intersection of all the traffic which goes through

IMAGES 3

1

the airport; from there people can go to every

The city of Eindhoven favors the growth of

specific function they need. This results in a

Eindhoven Airport, so does the government

futuristic, dynamic appearance, yet with a clear

who would like to see Eindhoven and Lelystad

concept. An airport should not need signage;

take away some of the pressure from Schiphol.

one should come in, see an airplane and know

However, the surrounding villages would rather

2

4

1. ir. Stefan de Bever (source: Norbert van Onna) 2. Eindhoven Airport (source: archdaily.com) 3. Future of the Eindhoven Airport foreground (source: Stefan de Bever) 4. Future of the Eindhoven Airport masterplan (source: Stefan de Bever)

SOURCES

1. Conversation with ir. Stefan de Bever on the 8th of Oktober, 2015

where to go.

DESIGNING THE FUTURE We have the ambition to do something with the foreground of the airport. As of now, there is a large, unattractive parking space. In the future, we envision a hub with bus traffic, kiss + ride and exclusive parking, combined with some commercial space. Between the building and the terminal, a green corridor will be formed where IN CONVERSATION WITH STEFAN DE BEVER

CHEPOS | 31


38 YEARS OF IMMORTALITY The legend behind the Winchester House

with her spirits. The house itself only reinforced the legend. Rooms were built in many different styles, every five years or so a new style would be introduced. It became a complex structure with all kinds of ornamentation, towers and atriums in an American Victorian architecture. As word travels fast and with the strange house as evidence, neighbors could only speculate about Sarah Winchesters’ life.

THE MYTH A mansion exists in San Jose, California, containing over 160 rooms with 2,000 doors,

Mary Jo Ignoffo, historian and writer of Captive

47 fireplaces, 40 bedrooms, 40 staircases, 17 chimneys, 13 bathrooms, 6 kitchens, 3

of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to

elevators, 2 basements and 1 shower. For 38 years a few dozen workers worked day and

the Rifle Fortune, is convinced Sarah Winchester

night to complete the project until its owner’s death in 1922. The building was almost

was never delirious or haunted. Based on letters

completely self-sufficient, with a small farm, its own water tower, draining system, air

written by Sarah to her lawyer and family, she

heating system and gas manufacturing plant. Yet, the house did not become famous for

debunks the myths surrounding Sarah’s life and

its grandeur, craftsmanship or innovative design, but for the mystery surrounding it.

comes up with a different theory about the mansion. After Sarah Winchesters’ death in 1922,

TEXT: EVA PABON

the house was leased to John H. Brown, inventor and builder of one of the earliest rollercoast-

THE WIDOW

ers and many other amusement devices. The

In 1862 Sarah Pardee Lockwood married William

of hammers did not cease in the house or on

Winchester house was perfect as a ‘House of

Wirt Winchester, treasurer of the Winchester Re-

the grounds”, she would be immortal. And so

Mystery’ and so John Brown presented it as

peating Arms Company. In 1866 the couple had

she bought an old farm house to remodel. Each

such. Little adaptations were necessary to make

a daughter, Annie, who died shortly after she

month new rooms would rise and the workers

the house mysterious. According to Ignoffo, one

was born. Sarah’s father in law and owner of the

would build: 24 hours a day, for 38 subsequent

of the adaptations were the famous references

Winchester Repeating Arms Company, Oliver

years. The result: a labyrinth of rooms and

to the number 13. Carpenter James Perkins,

Winchester, died in 1880, followed by the death

connected buildings where, so the legend says,

once a worker on the house said: “The number

of her husband William a year later. Sarah was

the spirits could wander. Fourty bedrooms were

13 in chandeliers, the number of bathrooms,

left a grieving widow, with almost 50 percent

built, so Sarah could sleep in a different room

windows, ceiling panels and other things were

ownership of the company and a 20.5 million

every night to escape the ghosts that haunted

certainly put in after Mrs. Winchester died.”

dollar inheritance. Making 1,000 dollars a day,

her. Part of the mystery are particular segments

An empty room can easily be named a ‘séance

an equivalent of 23,000 American dollars nowa-

of the house: doors and windows leading to

room’ in tours and with the right journalists and

days, she moved to California and purchased the

nothing but walls, doors opening to a two-story

storytellers, the mystery surrounding the house

old farm house that would later be known as the

drop outside and stairs leading to closed ceilings.

and its former owner would grow easily.

Winchester Mystery House. The number 13 seems to be hidden everywhere,

Ignoffo challenges every part of the Winchester

THE LEGEND

but mostly in the so-called séance room, sup-

legend. She never found a medium by the name

According to legend, Sarah Winchester visited a

posedly meant to talk to the spirits in the house.

of Adam Koombs and suspects Sarah never

Boston medium by the name of Adam Koombs

Sarah would keep to herself and rarely com-

visited the medium, or at least did not build the

after her husband’s death. The man channeled

municated with others, besides her workers and

house for restless spirits or immortality. It was

William’s spirit, who told her she would always

servants. When she did go outside, she was cov-

not guilt for the money she made by selling

be haunted by the spirits that had been killed

ered in a veil and wore gloves to cover her body.

Winchester rifles that caused her never-ending

by Winchester rifles, the guns responsible for

As time went by, the house and its inhabitants

need to keep building. It would just have been a

Sarah’s sizable inheritance. She was ordered to

became more and more part of legend to the

good ghost story surrounding the famous ‘gun

build a house for these spirits to rest. As long as

outside world. Sarah would be depressed, mad,

that won the west’. Although the real story can

the workers kept building, or as the New York

psychotic and delirious, living in her labyrinth

never be told with certainty, Ignoffo presents us

Times wrote in 1911: “(…) so long as the sound

of never-ending rooms and hallways together

some alternatives to Sarah Winchesters’ story.

32 | CHEPOS

WINCHESTER HOUSE


FILE: PEOPLE TO PRODUCT

THE ARCHITECT Ignoffo describes Mrs. Winchester as financially

is unknown. The legend of Sarah living in this

1898 shows Sarah might also have been using

savvy and forward thinking, someone who loved

haunted house for the remainder of her life is

the never-ending building process as an excuse

building and experimenting. Her house was con-

utterly wrong.

to deny relatives a visit. In the letter she asks her

sidered innovative for having electricity, a central air heating system and water drainage system.

husband’s sister to keep away until the house Even so, for many years after the earthquake

was properly built and guests could feel com-

the workers kept working on the house, building

fortable. Obviously this would not have been for

Some parts considered mysterious may actually

new structures where others were destroyed.

a long while.

have had a very practical nature. Sarah was

The rooms do not seem to be built as eerie and

thought to have arthritis, causing her hands and

were often highly decorated. With architec-

Never stopping remodeling your house to avoid

feet to look deformed and making it difficult for

ture full of ornaments, stained glass windows,

house guests might be a bridge too far in the

her to walk the stairs. The many fireplaces and

expensive imported chandeliers, patterned

theory of Sarah’s motivation. More likely is to

heating system would ease her pain by heating

wallpaper and handcrafted woodwork, Sarah

say that Sarah Winchester thoroughly enjoyed

up the house and the gloves she wore would

Winchester was said to have an impeccable style

designing and building and had the means to

just have been to cover her arthritis. To make it

and she spared no expense. The stained glass

do so. In a way, she made being an architect a

easier for her to walk the stairs, she had special

windows are a particular example of her love for

lifestyle. She would probably not have liked the

staircases made with slanting and low steps,

design. The house is full of them, all in differ-

way it happened, but she did become immortal.

creating a ramp-like zig-zagging structure.

ent styles. Sarah possessed a large collection of

At least that part of the legend is true.

custom designed windows, some not even used, The stairs, windows and doors leading nowhere,

in all shapes and sizes. Was it this, an expensive

can be explained by the many adaptations that

hobby that led her to build such a structure?

were made to the house. The biggest made

IMAGES 1

after an earthquake in 1906. A large part of the

Ignoffo provides some additional theories. She

house was destroyed, with Sarah still trapped

might have started to expand the house to ac-

in one of the bedrooms. Although the legend

commodate relatives who moved to California.

says otherwise, Ignoffo uncovered Sarah hardly

Communications between Sarah and her sister

ever lived in the house after the earthquake, but

Isabelle Merriman showed the two were very

started living in other homes. Whether this was

close and Sarah’s niece, Marion “Daisy” Merri-

because of the earthquake or for other reasons

man, lived with her in the house. A letter from

2

1. Winchester House before the earthquake, ca. 1900 (source: Winchester Mystery House) 2. Winchester House, aerial view (source: Historum)

SOURCES 1. Mars, R. “Episode 162: Mystery House”. April 28, 2015. 99PercentInvisible.org 2. “Winchester’s Widow Dying”(New York Times, 1911) 3. Ignoffo, M.J. Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune (Missouri: University of Missouri, 2010)

CHEPOS | 33


What if the limit is reached? What if technology

A building with a height of thousands meters,

Let us be honest, do you want to live, work,

gives us the opportunity to build higher, but it is

why would anybody use that building? For the

shop or whatever, on a height of four kilometers

no longer necessary? Will buildings keep getting

view? After ten kilometers you will find the

in a building with a total area of 10,000 square

higher and larger for prestige? A building of

cloud cover, and after thirty kilometers you

kilometers?

thousands of square kilometers, why would we

cannot naturally breathe. Is that something to

want something like that? Will it operate like

aspire? Or is it a better purpose, to aspire ‘the

A visionary plan and practical example is the

a building? And is it possible to find a proper

ideal’ surrounding?

Sagrada Familia of Gaudi. The first drawings of

function for such a building, or will it be a total mess?

the basilica were made in 1875, and as of today, Burj Khalifa in Dubai has been the highest

the building is still not finished. Was it a ‘too

building since 2007. The tower reaches up to

visionary’ idea? And is it at this moment still?

In the society where people want and expect

828 meters and has 163 floors. But a significant

more and more, promises will be fulfilled, but do

amount of floors are occupied by installations

those promises have any value in the end?

and are not open for public.

TEXT: CHASTITY VERHOOFSTAD


Visionary ideas


Influences of unbuilt architecture HOW PROJECTS THAT HAVE NOT (YET) BEEN BUILT INFLUENCED URBANISM Every project starts with an idea. This idea is then elaborated upon into a design. After the design phase, the building plans are drawn and the project is being built. When the building has been completed, it is being used and later demolished, transformed or re-used. However, not all ideas become designs and even less designs are actually being built. Though less familiar in the real world than realized projects, some of these unbuilt designs have played an important role in architecture and urbanism, while others are just fascinating. TEXT: JIMMY HENDRICKX

THE PLUG-IN CITY

three years for a room capsule.

One that is both fascinating and known among

The plan for the Plug-in City tackled many prob-

architecture students is Plug-In City from

lems that gave the metropolitan city an unsus-

Archigram’s Peter Cook. The Plug-in City is not

tainable image. It offered answers to land use,

a building or a definitive plan, it is an idea for

traffic and population growth. This enormous

an ever evolving city. The city can be seen as a

rise of population in the 60s had already been a

big Meccano building set; parts could be added,

problem in the 20s, when Le Corbusier came up

replaced or removed all the time. This would all

with the city of three million inhabitants, better

be done by giant cranes, constantly busy moving

known as the Radiant city.

so called “capsules” from one place to another. Apart from taking the weatherproof tubes or the

THE RADIANT CITY

fast monorail to work, work could also come to

The Radiant City was imagined as a tabula rasa,

you.

or clean sheet. The intention was to create a water-tight formula for new urban planning.

Because of this constant coming and going of

The plan was a response on urban planning at

capsules, the city can also be seen as a me-

the time, which went into battle without an

tabolism. One that uses considerable amounts

objective, according to Le Corbusier. The tabula

of oil and power. However, no factories or oil

rasa did contain a river, but it was placed far

refineries were drawn in the plan. The Plug-in

away from the city. Le Corbusier thought of it

citizen was almost certainly a white-collar office

as a liquid railway which transported goods. He

worker. Also there were no technical details

compared it to servant’s stairs, which do not

drawn in the plan. Cook figured that this would

go through the drawing room even if the maid

be done by those who knew more of this high-

(boat) is charming.

tech discipline. Another way to look at the city as a metabolism was through the life expectancy

To solve the problem of the growing population,

of a structure. Cook calculated 40 years for a

Le Corbusier figured that an increased density

structural tube, 20 years for a hotel core and

in areas where business took place was the

36 | CHEPOS

INFLUENCES OF UNBUILT SUBJECT ARCHITECTURE ARTICLE


FILE: VISIONARY IDEAS solution with the advantage of smaller traveling distances. The skyscrapers in his plan would occupy 1200 inhabitants to the acre. Compared to Paris (213 inhabitants) and London (169 inhabitants) this was an extreme number at the time. However, this verticality also had an upside: there was more room for green space. A city that contained that many citizens needed a large lung capacity to keep the air fresh. The CIAM thought of light, air and space was thus applied here. Apart from the large green space contained in the city, a belt of protected forest, woods and sport facilities was planned outside the city. Though protected, the land was also reserved for the growth of the city as laid down by the municipalities. At the end of the green zone were the garden cities, which were supposed to house two million people. At the center of the city would be the station, since this is the only logical place and all other places wouldn’t make any sense according to Le Corbusier. The station would include all layers of transport. Three underground levels would house the tubes which connected the city to itself and the suburbs. On ground level would be the entrance and ticket boots. Floor 1 would be used for the arterial roads which ran from east to west and from north to south (also at floor 1). The top floor would then be occupied by an aerodrome where aero taxis could land. Already in 1924 they imagined vehicles flying around. Yet today the idea of flying vehicles is in designers’ heads. SOFT Blimp Bumper Busses are going

into ecological pathways which include soft

have been playing a large role in urbanism and

to scoop up passengers in 2028 if the plans,

cushion based vehicles. Those vehicles will

architecture. The ideas of the radiant city can

made by Mitchell Joachim’s Terreform One, are

actively take a part in the center of the city. The

be found partially in Brasilia’s Plano Piloto by

executed. These balloon-like vehicles travel at 24

center does not contain churches or offices, but

Costa and Niemeyer and the Centre Pompidou

km/h and the seats float only inches above the

exists of the infrastructure of the city.

by Rogers and Piano were inspired by Cook’s

ground.

This major role for infrastructure in the city is

Plug-in City. That raises the question, what

an idea all of the above three projects have in

will the future do with Terreform One’s city of tomorrow?

TERREFORM ONE

common. Peter Cook’s Plug-in City mentioned

Terreform One also has projects that rethink

the moving of livable capsules across the city

the entire city. One of these is the city of the

as the main dynamics. Le Corbusier thought of

future: Urbaneering for tomorrow. This design

having two arterial axes of transport through the

for Brooklyn 2110 is supposed to provide all vital

city , the motto for these axes was that “A city

needs for the city, like food, water, air, energy,

made for speed is made for success”. And now

waste, mobility and shelter, within its accessible

Terreform One states that the city center of the

physical borders. The plan also includes vertical

future is its infrastructure.

agriculture, and housing merged with infrastructure. The former streets become livable space

Whether these ideas could have worked or

with renewable energy sources and productive

not we will never know, as none of them has

green rooms. These streets will be transformed

been built. The two historic examples however,

SUBJECT ARTICLE

IMAGES 1

5 2 3 4

6

1. Plug-In City (source: Archdaily.com) 2. Plan Ville Radieuse (source: Mediaarchitecture.at) 3. Model Ville Radieuse (source: Archdaily. com) 4. SOFT Blimp Bumper Busses (source: en.wikipedia.org) 5. 6. City of the future: Urbaneering for tomorrow (source: architizer.com)

SOURCES 1. Simon Sadler, `Architecture Without Architecture`, 2005, MIT Press 2. Le Corbusier, `The City Of Tomorrow And Its Planning`, 1929, Dover Publications, Inc. 3. Mitchell Joachim, `Terreform One`, consulted on the 4th of October, www.archinode.com

CHEPOS | 37


FROM LIMIT TO LIMIT On paradigm shifts in architecture

In celebration of Cheops’s 30th anniversary, this edition of Chepos is dedicated especially to the revolutionary players in our field of profession, going beyond the limits of today’s architecture. Architecture has the tendency to evolve in episodes rather than linearly. Each period in the history of architecture is defined by a paradigm that predominates the professional field. Revolutionary architects play a central role in shaping those paradigms. TEXT: RIK DE BONDT Architects are essentially puzzle-solvers. They or-

how to deal with the built environment.

normally well cooperating players in the field,

ganize the pieces of the program into a coherent

If we would constantly question the fundamen-

on the search for new methods. The organiza-

design proposal. We know which problems will

tals of the paradigm we work in, architecture

tion tumbles down and production is unstable.

be addressed, how we are going to approach

would be worse off.

At that moment, the fundamentals upon which

them and how to assess possible solutions.

architects make their designs are back on the

As architects, we can not constantly question

CRISIS

the arbitrary factors that influence our design

Sometimes a puzzle firmly resists solution.

decisions nor the conceptual boxes to force the

Because architects will tolerate quite some tem-

They gain special interest in philosophy and

world in when observing or doing research.

porary trouble without abandoning conventional

unusual experiments are carried out. To illustrate

table for discussion.

methods, they will first blame themselves for not

this mechanism, think of the early modernist

Through our systematic ways, we can be effi-

being able to apply them well enough. Anyhow

urbanists and architects around the beginning

cient puzzle-solvers, with an incredibly volumi-

architects don’t treat these constantly arising

of the twentieth century, who were trying to

nous production of architecture worldwide every

anomalies as refutations of conventional meth-

define and establish a new architecture through

year. Systematic methods also make us able to

ods; a paradigm does not break down easily. But

spectacular experiments, like Ebenezer Howard’s

focus on the tiny details of built environmental-

as problems keep arising all across the board, a

concept of Garden Cities, and Antonio Sant’Elia’s

related problems, like the perfect lighting condi-

critical mass builds up.

speculative design drawings.

of architects may seem insignificant, but it shows

A critical mass of unsolvable puzzles will put

By breaking down existing assumptions, room is

how we can really deepen our knowledge of

the field of profession in a crisis, dispersing the

created for a new conceptual framework.

tions of an office space. This detailed attention

38 | CHEPOS

SUBJECT PARADIGMS ARTICLE


FILE: VISIONARY IDEAS

“IDEAS NEED SOME PROTECTION, ELSE THEY COULD NEVER BE PROPERLY DEVELOPED.� REVOLUTION

a different language. The differences may be

tionary and normal architecture becomes clear;

Only by a strikingly successful achievement or

subtle, but surely pre-modernist architects were

balanced resistance of paradigms against rejec-

experiment, architects can be convinced of the

talking about something else than modernist

tion makes architecture productive and healthy.

potential of a new paradigm. Whatever this

architects when discussing, for instance, beauty.

If paradigms were constantly questioned, puzzles

achievement is, it must be a source of inspiration

Being in a paradigm, an architect can easily tell

could never be solved and knowledge of how

to others and suggest a way to investigate the

why his paradigm is better than others, but seen

to improve the built environment could never be

built environment and solve new design puzzles.

from above, it will seem as if the architects in

deepened. Ideas need some protection, else they

CIAM and the Weissenhof Estate, its built mani-

opposing paradigms are talking past each other.

could never be properly developed. However,

festation in Stuttgart, are strong examples of

The paradigms are actually incomparable worlds,

if paradigms were never questioned, and archi-

such achievements, as they have inarguably had

so discussing whether a shift in paradigms is

tecture were completely irresponsible to failures,

a big influence on architecture in the twentieth

rational or progressive is a complicated business.

conceptual advance would grind to a halt.

century.

A paradigm shift is thus not a leap over limits, but rather a leap to other limits.

1

Such a revolutionary achievement functions as the core of a new paradigm. The new paradigm

BALANCE

is based on different standards, a new out-

Architectural paradigms are social mechanisms

look on the world, and sets a new agenda. A

that can sustain cooperative work on one hand,

paradigm shift is like a gestalt switch. Architects

but also break down and reconstitute themselves

working in opposing paradigms seem to speak

in new paradigms. Now the role of both revolu-

SUBJECT ARTICLE

IMAGES 2

1. Exemplar of a paradigm? Weissenhof Estate, Stuttgart (source: www.studyblue.com) 2. Destruction of a paradigm? Destruction of Pruitt-Igoe, St. Louis, Missouri (source: wikimedia)

SOURCES 1. Peter Godfrey-Smith (2003) Theory and Reality: an introduction to the philosophy of science

CHEPOS | 39


DESIGNING SURINAME IR. PETER NAGEL My father was born in Suriname in 1951

Peter Jacobus Nagel studied Architecture at the

reunion on the island. For five years Nagel and

and lived there until 1969, when he left

University of Delft between 1938 and 1946.

his wife resided in Aruba, but when they learned

for university in the Netherlands. He used

During this period, he witnessed a razzia per-

Suriname was in desperate need of an archi-

to tell me how the Art Deco style architec-

formed by the German occupiers. The Germans

tect, they founded a new firm in Paramaribo.

ture from the Floridian beaches reminded

randomly selected 215 students during a lecture

They lived in Paramaribo until 1963 when they

him of the brilliant streamlined build-

that were sent to concentration camp Vught; the

returned to the Netherlands, but Nagel ac-

ings in Paramaribo. Soon I found out that

rest was allowed to leave. Nagel was in the latter

cepted Surinamese projects until 1969. His wife

most of these Surinamese buildings were

group and immediately went into hiding until

Marie compiled a book containing his life work

designed by one man, born in 1921 in the

the liberation in 1945. He graduated in 1946

after Peter Nagel died in 1997. All the images

Watergraafsmeer, Peter J. Nagel.

and traveled to Aruba to start an engineering

on these two pages originate from her collec-

firm with his brother Jan, leaving behind his

tion and give a stunning impression of Nagel’s

fiancée. They married straight away after their

architecture.

TEXT: LENNART ARPOTS

OGEM (1956)

Hollandsche Bank-Unie N.V. (1957)

My father recognized the architecture Peter Nagel introduced in Suriname

The design of the Hollandsche Bank-Unie might remind you of Dutch mod-

as 1930s styled, and that isn’t surprising. Nagel started studying Architec-

ernist architecture, mostly found in designs for expensive department stores

ture in Delft in the late 1930s until he was coarsely interrupted by the Ger-

from the 1950s. Nagel was a great admirer of Willem Marinus Dudok.

man occupation during World War II. Few construction projects were real-

Dudok designed many department stores in Dutch city centers, such as the

ized during the war. After graduating Nagel immediately left the country.

Bijenkorf in Rotterdam which was partially destroyed in World War II and

Therefore his vision became a snapshot in a time of pre-war architecture.

eventually demolished in the 1960s. Dudok was well-known for his artistic

From then on he was mainly influenced by tropical architecture in Aruba,

ability of carefully placing volumes to create striking compositions. Dudok’s

hence the reminiscence of southern Floridian architecture. Rounded corners

influence is clearly visible in many of Nagel’s designs. Nagel plastered most

and horizontal lines dominate the Art Deco district in Miami Beach, as well

of his buildings and used colorful natural stone for accents. In addition, he

as vertical blinds against direct sunlight. These elements can be spotted on

used traditional wooden siding on his design for the Hollandsche Bank-Unie

the prominent OGEM building that was completed in 1956.

to magnify the horizontality, in contrast to the vertical window bays.

40 | CHEPOS

DESIGNING SURINAME


FILE: VISIONARY IDEAS

De Surinaamsche Bank N.V. (1959)

Central Post Office (1960)

Peter Nagel designed many public buildings in Suriname, among which are

Modern architecture in Suriname only started to appear as late as 1940.

three banks. Nagel was very creative with his designs for publicly accessible

During the principal part of the 19th century, buildings were constructed

buildings and invited a number of artists to collaborate on his projects. De

following 18th century techniques and eclectic architecture was not present

Surinaamsche Bank (DSB, not to be mistaken with Dirk Scheringa Bank) for

until the late 1880s. In the same way, constructions from 1900 till 1940

instance, featured many artworks. Erwin de Vries designed six decorative

were more closely related to architecture from the 1800s than to their own

window grates made of wrought iron, which flank the main entrance. Cen-

century. The opening of the Central Post Office in 1960 definitively intro-

tered in these grates are six glass panels that portray important Surinamese

duced Suriname to the modern era. This -for Surinamese standards- bulky

economical activities such as the citrus culture, rice cultivation and bauxite

building housed many public functions and caused modern architecture to

extraction. In front of the building stands a sculpture designed by De Vries,

really integrate with the Surinamese cultue. Following the OGEM building

symbolizing the connection between DSB and its clients. In addition, Nic

and the Hollandsche Bank-Unie, the Central Post Office is the third building

Loning painted an impressionist mural near the main staircase.

adjacent to the Church Square designed by Peter Nagel.

CHM (1962)

Architectural legacy

Much like the Netherlands in the 1950s, Suriname experienced an enor-

When standing on the corner of the Church Square, one can really experi-

mous economical growth after World War II. For the Netherlands this

ence the influence Peter Nagel had on the nation. His buildings distinguish

growth has been continuous ever since. In contrast, after the Surinamese

themselves from traditional Surinamese construction by the use of modern

Independence in 1975 and the revolution started by Desi Bouterse in 1980,

materials such as plaster, steel and reinforced concrete. Nagel was the

the Surinamese economy declined. Therefore, the period of 1950 till 1970

first modernist of Suriname and he put his stamp on the city by pushing

has been extremely important for the appearance of Paramaribo, and Peter

Surinamese architecture beyond its boundaries. In fact, many of Nagel’s

Nagel echoed the economical growth in his architecture. In 1957, Nagel

buildings have actually been featured on Surinamese postage stamps. Nagel

travelled to New York to gain inspiration for a design for the Curaçaoan

worked in Suriname for twelve years and had to leave because of health is-

Trade Company (CHM). This resulted in probably the most striking of

sues caused by the tropical climate, but his legacy will continue to decorate

Nagel’s designs. The large canopy was realized using a so-called balance

Paramaribo for years to come.

construction, counterbalanced by the weight of the floor.

IMAGES All images related to this article originate from the book “Achteraf Bekeken, Architectuur in Suriname 1951 tot 1969: Bouwwerken ontworpen door ir. P.J. Nagel (1921-1997)” (2005) by Maria Nagel - de Groot. If you are yearning for more historic imagery or the personal account of Peter Nagel’s wife, you can look up the book in the TU Delft online repository, and costlessly download it in PDF format.

SOURCES 1. “Bouwkunst in Suriname: drie honderd jaren nationale architectuur” (Hilversum, 1966), J.L. Volders 2. ‘‘ir. Nagel, Peter Jacobus’’ October 10th 2015, nai.nl.

CHEPOS | 41


THE LONDON PEDWAY Looking up in the City of London, one might wonder what those bridges in the sky are. Are those bridges going anywhere and why do they seem unreachable? Those that are accessible however, allow you to wander in a London that could have been, but never really was.

TEXT: JUSTIN AGYIN

The elevated pedestrian walkway, or pedway

ally the vertical segregation of traffic flows was

the podium and the tower. From 1945 the dual

as the planners of the City of London called

inverted, as in Hilberseimer’s Hoghhausstadt

carriage ways were being built and these were

them, was an abstract planning concept that

where the pedestrian, instead of the car, was

lined by a sequence of towers that were placed

was commonly used in 1960s urban planning.

elevated. The two approaches differ in the sense

angularly to the carriage ways and connected to

The planners at the time were all architects and

whether the car or the pedestrian is elevated,

each other via elevated pedestrian walkways and

thought that people would follow architecture.

but what they do have in common is that they

podiums. These towers on the one hand looked

With that in mind, those architects had a utopian

got rid of the traditional street completely.

like those coming from the Bauhaus architects,

dream. They had a dream of a perfect walking

infused with the latest from New York. On the

environment, a pedestrian realm of vistas and

After the war, the architects in London were

other hand there were the architects working

comfort where you could easily get from one

still fairly conservative and wanted streets to

with concrete, inspired by Le Corbusier as master

place to another.

exist and buildings to look traditional. They

of the ‘béton-brut’. They used raw concrete and

however had to listen to the architects of the

made a fortress out of it, called the Barbican.

To understand the driving force behind this

City of London and these architects were young

These were two radically different camps and

grand plan, we have to go back further in time,

and radical and thought that the city had to do

they were both there, working on the City of

back to the Second World War. The blitz of

something more daring. So they came up with a

tomorrow.

1940 evaporated a third of the City of London

radical vision that was based on the principles of

and literally left London with a hole in its heart.

THE DOWNFALL

At first nothing happened, leaving it an urban

With the opening of the Barbican Arts Centre

wasteland. Planning did not exist until 1947, so

some cracks began to appear in the utopian vi-

the first who had something to say were the en-

sion that was being realized. When the Art Cen-

gineers. These engineers were striving for a new

tre opened, a lot of people had difficulty with

and modern London, and therefore introduced

finding their way on the walkways. People did

dual carriage ways for cars to whiz into the

not realize they had to climb stairs to get there

City without roads being crowded and without

and continuously had to ask for directions. The

hindrance. To achieve this, a solution had to be

Barbican at that time was almost an elevated

thought off for pedestrians crossing this dual

enclave in a city of normal ground movement.

carriage way at every intersection. At the same

More cracks in the dream of a new London

time they had to be protected from the dangers

started to form when Paternoster Square, at St.

of motorized vehicular traffic. So in 1947 a plan

Paul’s Cathedral, was completed. It was a square

was made by William Holford and Sir Charles

surrounded by characterless buildings where

Holden to elevate these dual carriage ways, simi-

functionalism was taken to its extreme. The

lar to the Ville Radieuse of Le Corbusier. Eventu-

planners however thought that they were doing

42 | CHEPOS

THE LONDON SUBJECT PEDWAY ARTICLE


FILE: VISIONARY IDEAS something picturesque with twists and turns

the podiums, and it turned out to be difficult to

plan, therefore offices were allowed to use the

and different heights of the elevated decks for

get bar and shop owners to leave the comfort

walkways as an interim extension of interior

pedestrians to ascend on. In contrast, they made

of the sidewalk and move to strange and largely

office space, that later could be converted back

something so grim and plain that the dissonance

deserted decks.

to a walkway again. These “temporary” of-

between planner’s ideals and the general public became painfully evident. It was Prince Charles in his speech at the annual dinner of the Corporation of London Planning and Communication Committee in 1987 who voiced these concerns: “…countless people are appalled by what has happened to their capital city, but feel totally powerless to do anything about it. Nowhere is the problem more acute than in that special area around St Paul’s Cathedral.” (…) “Did modern planners and architects in London ever use their eyes? Those planners swept away the lanes and alleys, hidden-away squares and courtyards

fice spaces are still recognizable by the glazed

“DID MODERN PLANNERS AND ARCHITECTS IN LONDON EVER USE THEIR EYES?”

which in most other European countries would

arcades in facades of office buildings from that time. In those same facades strange holes with balustrades can be observed. These strange anomalies in otherwise coherent building envelopes are actually dead bits of pedway, where someday a connection in the shape of a bridge should have come.

FINAL BLOW The final blow to this scheme of the elevated pedestrian walkway came from the conservationists in the 1980s. Together with the big architecture projects of that time, the pedway

have been lovingly rebuilt after the War.” (…)

Another major drawback was the positioning of

meant the destruction of a lot of historic build-

“You have, ladies and gentlemen, to give this

the buildings in relation to the wind. In contrast

ings. In response, conservationists massively

much to the Luftwaffe: when it knocked down

to the alleys of the old city, which protected

started to get listing orders on individual build-

our buildings, it didn’t replace them with any-

people from the wind, the pedways did not.

ings in a kind of patchwork. This meant that you

thing more offensive than rubble. We did that.”

Furthermore, there also was a maintenance

could no longer put bridges between buildings.

It must therefore have not come as a surprise

problem. The lighting of dark pedways was

At that same time urbanism became a study and

that only after twenty years of its rebuilding

problematic and their legal status was unclear.

the traditional street started to make a come-

it was decided to remodel Paternoster Square

Drains often got blocked and thus puddles of

back, putting an end to the development of the

which after a lengthy process was finished

water started to form on walkways that ironically

pedway system.

twenty years later.

were meant to provide a comfortable pedestrian environment shielded from rain.

The only place where the pedway still works is in the Barbican, but only because it has been well

The planners started to realize that a lot more needed to be done to get people elevated, as it

The biggest problem of them all however, was

executed. The rest of the pedway system how-

turned out that people do not follow architec-

that the pedway system in fact never really was

ever has mainly been reduced to another layer in

ture. Londoners were in fact very resourceful

conceived as a system. There was not one plan.

the relics of architectural and urban experiments

in staying at ground level, because the path of

Buildings were required to build a walkway, but

in London. The bits and pieces that are still left

least resistance hardly ever involves climbing up

how these fragments were going to be stitched

provide the City with remnants to something

flights of stairs, which had to be done to make

together was not always clear. Adding the bridg-

that was going to be the future; providing

use of the Pedway system. Therewithal it was

es to these buildings was also very expensive.

people an elevated walkway to float above the

fairly late that bars and shops were added on

In the eighties there still was no comprehensive

city in a perfect walking environment.

IMAGES 1

2

3

4

1. Pedway in the Barbican (photo: Jacek Barcikowski) 2. London Wall in the 60s (source: flickr) 3. 140 London Wall (photo: Robert Lamb) 4. Pedway bridge towards the Barbican (source: “The Pedway: Elevating London”)

SOURCES 1. “The Pedway: Elevating London” by Chris Bevan Lee (vimeo. com) 2. Clarence House. “Speeches”. 2015. Princeofwales.gov.uk.

CHEPOS | 43


STYLOS In every Chepos an article is published from the Pantheon// and vice versa. Pantheon// is the magazine of Stylos, Study Association of the Built Environment, Delft. This article is an interview of two deans; one foreign, one Dutch.

THE EXCHANGE TEXT: VEERLE ALKMADE

Dean

For this article, we have interviewed a Dutch

to work as an architect, where I also started

Can you name some differences in academics

dean working abroad, and a foreign dean

teaching. First at the University of Arts in Berlin,

between the Netherlands and India, Anne?

working in Delft, to learn about their views

later at the Institute of Building Production in

Anne: Practically, there are very few differ-

on education. We have interviewed the Dutch

Carlsburg, and after that in Aachen, where I also

ences. Our bachelor program is five years and

Anne Feenstra, graduate of Architecture at

became dean.

more students here continue to teach at CEPT,

Delft University of Technology and dean at

assisting one of the professors. We are quite a

CEPT University in Ahmedabad, India. We also

When I was approached as a possible successor

bit smaller than Delft, with only 1600 students in

interviewed the Canadian Peter Russell: gradu-

of Karin Laglas, the previous dean of the Delft

total. A lot of teachers are practicing architects,

ate of Environmental Design Studies at Dalhousi

faculty, last year, I realized that at this point in

so that is the same as in Delft. Every semester

University in Halifax, and current dean of the

my career, this could be an interesting change

we also have a lot of summer or winter schools,

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environ-

of pace and scope. There is only a certain scale

an intense, two week period, which is very at-

ment in Delft.

of things you can tackle or undertake as a chair,

tractive to (international) students and young

and you can do larger things in a group. There

professionals. Climatically and physically, it can

Anne, what brought you to India?

are some things in architecture I am interested

be a lot tougher than in Delft. With daytime

Anne: Mostly curiosity, My parents love to travel

in that need the size of a faculty to tackle. That

temperatures going up to 48 degrees in May

so I was exposed to different cultures from an

ability to be ambitious and tackle larger prob-

and June, one needs to be careful what to eat

early age onwards. After graduating from the

lems was what really interested me to apply for

and drink.

TU Delft in 1993, and a decade of working in

the job.

Europe, I had the chance to travel to Kabul in

Is there anything the Dutch can learn from the

2004. What an incredible place!

What are some of these larger issues?

Canadians?

I got inspired by the people there, and by the

Peter: Well, let us look at the refugee crisis, as an

Peter: I do think that there is a difference in

history and the amazing landscapes. I went back

example. If we take a look at what is going on,

the North American and European mindset.

there the same year and taught architecture pro

we see so many people who do not have access

In America, if something is not prohibited, it

bono for four and a half years at the University

to clean drinking water, to housing, to a job or

is allowed. So if there is a sign that says ‘no

of Kabul. I was inspired by the opportunity to

do not even have the prospect of one. Whereas

smoking’, you are allowed to do anything else,

contribute in an actual way to a country that

I do not think that a faculty of Architecture and

just not allowed to smoke. In Europe, however,

has suffered enormously. With my Afghan col-

the Built Environment can solve this problem,

you will see that if it’s not allowed, then it is

leagues, I wrote the forty-year-old curriculum. I

there are two things that we can do. One of

prohibited.

also met my wife, a journalist/writer from India

those is to be adamant about good governance.

People in North America ask: ‘Is anyone against

there in Kabul.

If you look at countries that have had good

doing this?’, and if no one is against it, it is fine.

governance over the last ten to twenty years,

It is the opposite of asking everyone: ‘Can I

I continued to work in South Asia as its complex

you see that the people there believe in the law

do this? Can I do that?’, by the time you have

and challenging cultures inspire me and force me

and that they are willing to invest in society and

finished getting all the approvals, it is too late or

to grow continuously as an architect, a teacher

invest in the infrastructure, which leads to a

someone else has already done it. It comes down

and a human being.

healthy middle class. What we as architects can

to something that I often say to people: it is a

do is make sure that the buildings and cities that

whole lot easier to ask for forgiveness, than to

What brought you to the Netherlands?

people invest in are in excellent shape so that

ask for permission. It takes a bit of courage, but

Peter: After I graduated in Halifax I got an offer

they retain their value. What we can do as one

I think that is what we need. We need people

to work for an office in Switzerland. I worked

of the leading faculties of Architecture in the

to say: ‘I don’t know if it is right, I don’t know

there for a year and a half, but after that my

world, in a network of other universities, is to

if everyone is going to approve, but this is what

visa would not be extended, because a recession

ensure that the way we train people here, could

we should do.’ If we can teach people about, it

was going on at the time. Thus, I went to Berlin

also take place in other countries.

would be a great thing.

STYLOS

CHEPOS | 45


TOOLS

CHEOPSxGaslab

17 NOV

After a great opening of the lustrum year through the gala, the CHEOPSxGaslab is the

Beyond Vertigo The 10th of December CHEOPS will end its VIth

next marvelous activity on the agenda. The theme of this evening will be

10 DEC

‘The future practice of architects’. The lecuture of Rory Hide, and that of

inside the building of the Faculty of the Built Environment, Vertigo! Have

Herman Hertzberger will leave your horizon broadened and your limits

you ever wanted to party inside a faculty building until the early hours?

exceeded.

This is the place to be! There will be three stages with three different kinds

Gaslab

of music.

lustrum with an incredible party. This party will be

Vertigo

Cultural evening

24 NOV

Christmas recess

During the night of Vertigo’s Secrets, Vertigo will be the stage of several different kinds of acts.

19 DEC - 4 JAN

During these weeks the TU/e will have the

Think of theater, music and comedy. This evening will be organized by

Christmas recess. The whole campus will be closed. CHEOPS will have its

CHEOPS in cooperation with Studium Generale.

final drink of the year on the 17th of December. Meet your friends here for

Vertigo

the last time, win one last round of pool and have the final ‘sandwich of the week’ in 2015! TU/e

Amsterdam Light Festival

28 NOV - 17 JAN

Company excursions Has the recently finished lightart event

5 - 6 JAN

CHEOPS kicks off the new year by organizing the company excursions for BAU. Freshmen

Glow not fulfilled your yearn for colorful light installations? Then head out

will be able to get in touch with companies of their preferred discipline. You

to our captial city Amsterdam! During the Amsterdam Light Festival several

have the possibility to choose several different excursions, so you can form

artictic light installations are set up throughout the city to brighten up the

a better opinion about what discipline to specialize in, during your Bachelor.

gloomy winter evenings to be visited on foot or by boat.

Eindhoven

Amsterdam

Photohunt International

4 - 7 DEC

On the 4th of December, the Photohunt International will take place! It will be an

Parents day

18 FEB

Are your parents interested in what is keeping you busy all day long as a freshman? Have you ever

amazing four day trip across Europe existing of hunting buildings with your

wanted to show them what you are working on daily? This is the oppor-

camera. Does your group have what it takes to beat the competition?

tunity to do so! There will be several student activities organized by the

Across Europe

P-Council to show your parents what it is like to be a student at the Faculty of the Built Environment! Vertigo

Agenda CHEOPS & Built Environment 46 | CHEPOS

AGENDA


COLOPHON CHEOPS, Study Association of the Built Environment Eindhoven University of Technology Groene loper 6, Vertigo 1.15 Mailbox 513 5600 MB Eindhoven T 040-2473140 info@cheops.cc www.cheops.cc Chepos, built environment magazine ISSN: 1873-183X cheposredactie@cheops.cc www.chepos.nl www.facebook.com/CheposPage www.issuu.com/chepos_cheops Chepos editorial board Rick Abelen, Justin Agyin (editor in chief), Lennart Arpots (chairman), Rik de Bondt, Ilke Broers, Martijn Creemers (final editor), Jimmy Hendrickx, Sven van der Hulst, Jolijn van Keulen, Pim Labee, Eva Pabon, Jeroen Pospiech, Renée Thierij, Chastity Verhoofstad Chepos is a publication of CHEOPS, Study Association of the Built Environment. Content may be used for research and study purposes, if credited properly. Exeptions include copyrighted imagery; these may not be reproduced or published without specific consent by the original author. Collaborations Study associations Stylos, Adriaan Jurriëns, Jacob Voorthuis and Alex Donkers Acknowledgements Stefan de Bever, Architectuurcentrum Eindhoven, Geordy van Bussel and Wouter Loomans

Images Cover: Louvre pyramid (2011), Pete Sloan Photography Editorial: Sun (2015), NASA Spread image page 12-13: photo by Jolijn van Keulen (2015) Spread image page 22-23: photo by Jen’s Viewfinder (2012) Spread image page 32-33: photo by Chastity Verhoofstad (2015) Colophon: Ancient Egypt, history.com Offset Drukkerij Snep BV, Eindhoven Circulation: 1200 Advertisements & exploitation Pim Labee: pr@cheops.cc Want to be an editor? Want to share your opinion? Contact the editorial board via cheposredactie@cheops.cc


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Chepos 52  

On Monday November 16 the Chepos 52 was released. This edition of the Chepos had all to do with the 6th lustrum of our Study Association CHE...

Chepos 52  

On Monday November 16 the Chepos 52 was released. This edition of the Chepos had all to do with the 6th lustrum of our Study Association CHE...

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