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WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY


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GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12

WORKSHOP WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY Faculty of Architecture TU Delft May 2011

Ir. Robert Nottrot Ir. Jeroen Mensink Tosja Backer Romy Berntsen Wouter Keizer Ule Koopmans Ermal Kapedani Jan Loerakker Vincent Mak Elke Miedema Flip Nieuwpoort Carlos Seanz Jasper Tuinema 3


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AN EXPOSITION ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES OF ‘PERSONALIZING’ STANDARD ARCHITECTURE. 3248 PICTURES 406 DWELLINGS 20 BLOCKS 108 PERSONALIZED HOUSENUMBERS 208 BENCHES IN FRONT 11 STUDENTS 5 GARDEN GNOMES 1 FLIP & ONE WEEK OF CROPPING

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INDEX

index

07

preface

09

introduction

10

vincent mak

20

elke miedema

34

romy berntsen

35

tosja backer

48

jasper tuinema

49

ermal kapedani

58

flip nieuwpoort

74

ule koopmans

75

jan loerakker

86

wouter keizer

87

carlos seanz

96

epilogue

106

imprint

109

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WORKSHOP_GRATUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

PREFACE

This exhibition (and this booklet accompanying it) is meant to show a new perspective on the use of architecture. It shows different methods of ‘personalizing’ architecture. The pictures are zoomed in on different details showing specific isolated elements. It is an examination of a specific research method; the method of empirical observations through photography. How do inhabitants personalise their home, in particular outside? How do individuals manifest their personal preferences, towards the ‘community’, the outside world?

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INTRODUCTION

The Dutch ‘Vinex districts‘ are in the general discussion sometimes derided for their monotonous architecture. It is a persistent presumption, most of the time based on a generalized representation.

monotony. Though they are the first post-war districts with urban diversity in architecture. The problem may not lie within the architectural diversity, but within the “controlled freedom” the architectural design gives to the inhabitants.

In 1991, the Dutch government published the supplement to the fourth report on spatial planning, nowadays known as VINEX, short for ‘Vierde Nota Ruimtelijke Ordening Extra’. With this policy document hundreds of thousands of dwellings were built throughout the Netherlands on suburban locations in what we now know as VINEX districts.

The Vinex suburban districts are the first large scale experiments with community identities expressed in an architectural manner. It was the first time the market got involved in the development.

The Vinex districts are often associated with this architectural 10

With our title “weapons of mass originality” we aim at both the deliberate diversity incorporated in the different housing designs by the architect and the elements used by the residents to personalise their house.

The observations raise questions. Is the result a toolbox of controlled elements to visually express your identity? Are the visual effects to the passer-by monotonous, or diverse? How does the architectural design affect the ability and willingness of inhabitants to express their individuality within controlled patterns? We studied the phenomena described above in the specific case of Ypenburg, a large and diverse VINEX-location near The Hague, photographing and analyzing isolated architectural elements in twenty different housing blocks.


WORKSHOP_GRATUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

Ypenburg, The Hague 11


01_ PLESMANLAAN

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

LEGEND HOUSENUMBER FRONT DOOR UPPER WINDOW GF WINDOW FENCING GARDEN PAVEMENT GARDEN FURNITURE GARDEN DECORATION 13


01_ PLESMANLAAN PLESMANLAAN_ 1998_ DEELBLOCK 2_ 10 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE PROPERTY_ PARKING_ ZONE IN MIDDLE OF STREET

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

40% 10% 95% 65% 10% 70% 15% 10% 30%

(SPECIFIED) MODERN 50% ORNATED 50% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 100% CLOSED 65% HALF OPEN 20% OPEN 15% CLOSED 35% HALF OPEN 40% OPEN 25% HEDGE 0% FENCE 100% GREEN 93% PAVED 7% ORTHOGONAL 66% DECORATIVE 34%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 0% OTHER 0%

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02_ PLESMANLAAN

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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02_ PLESMANLAAN PLESMANLAAN_ 1998_ DEELBLOCK 2_ 27 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE PROPERTY_ PARKING_ ZONE IN MIDDLE OF STREET

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

33% 4% 15% 11% 26% 81% 19% 30% 11%

(SPECIFIED) MODERN 100% ORNATED 0% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 100% CLOSED 52% HALF OPEN 7% OPEN 41% CLOSED 41% HALF OPEN 37% OPEN 22% HEDGE 100% FENCE 0% GREEN 77% PAVED 23% ORTHO100% DECORATIVE 0% WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 82% OTHER 18%

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PERSONAL REFLECTIONS This page is reserved for my own personal reflections on the outcomes of the project. Personal reflections I think are the closest we can get to forming ‘conclusions’. Which is definitely unusual if this were a research project, as we intended it to be in the beginning. And I think many of the discussions we were having, were about being comfortable with a project result that did not in some way offer a simple, unambiguous recommendation or a short set of solid findings. In short: to abandon a research goal. Most of the work and time was spent in a single week in May. But we started several weeks before, thinking up what we were going to make of the compulsory workshop. Unfortunately, I did not keep record of the proceedings of that brainstorm session, but somehow we got to the subject of doing something with the 20

VINEX suburban developments. Architectural opinion has not been favourable to the VINEX. In part, by ignoring it. But what little we ‘know’ about them, is usually not worded in positive terms. So we figured it would be interesting at least to see how people cope with living in that kind of neighbourhood. We started formulating some obvious questions right then: What’s happening to the public space? What’s the routine of people during the day? How do they entertain themselves? How is community cohesion? At the same time, we realized we couldn’t test our assumptions of the VINEX without a somewhat objective approach. We found inspiration in some art projects, namely “Exactitudes” by Versluis and Uyttenbroek. For me, personally, there was also Branislav Kropilak. Both take photos of a

certain subject in a very consistent manner, making it series which are both revealing and pleasing to look at. We figured that if we took a sufficient amount of photographs in a similar, honest and consistent manner, we could profile them, categorize it, and say something about the functioning of the people inside a VINEX neighbourhood. We hoped to have enough time to do 2 or 3 different locations, to make sure the patterns repeat throughout multiple VINEX projects. A deterministic mindset was expressed in our working title: “VINEX Identified”. On the first day of the workshop week, we had each chosen a different detail to photograph: the door, the windows, the garden, etc. Pieces that people could use to express their identity. On May 23rd a group of 10 of us swarmed the streets of a beautifully sunny VINEX neighbourhood with our almost obsessive snapping. When too


WORKSHOP_GRATUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

many batteries had given up and too many people had to attend other obligations, we decided to halt, having already taken the specific details of 577 (?) homes into our cameras. The next few days would be spent cropping the photos, and organizing them so they would line up with each other. By this point it became rather clear that we had collected so much data which produced so many patterns, that any conclusive attempt would be contradicted by another pattern, and without exhaustive background statistics would indeed be quite worthless. Our discussion on Tuesday, with Jeroen Mensink, the Author of a five year project on the Dutch VINEXes, resulting in the publication of the “VINEX Atlas”, was enlightening in deciding where to go.

If we wanted this to be ‘research’, then we had to pick one or maybe 2 observed patterns, formulate a specific research question, and go back to collect all possible relevant data pertaining to that question. To make a subsequent conclusion even more rigorous, we’d probably also have to check the resulting thesis for consistency in other comparable locations. We realized that 1) we did not have the time for most of that and 2) we’d probably have to ditch most of the massive body of photographs that we had collected, because it would no longer be relevant to that research. It would be trading a massive photographic collection for a feeble research answer. And I think that realization eventually caused us to abandon the idea of this workshop as a research, and just present all these photos as an immense(ly) interesting series in

and of itself: It’s hard to know what to look at when you walk past the boards that we put the photos on. Over 3000 3x3 cm pictures with all kinds of personalized items on them, ways of usage, flowerpots, bushes, pavements... Each a token of the people living behind the house’s façade, which they left there for all to see, for whatever reasons. Taste, sentiment, personal histories and preferences, lifestyle: Things that make us who we are; or who we think we are; or who we would like to be: Unique; original. We were not ‘identifying’ the VINEX. We were attacked by “Weapons of Mass Originality”. Vincent Mak

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04_ WRIGHTLAAN

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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04_ WRIGHTLAAN WRIGHTLAAN_ 2000_ DEELBLOCK 2_ 18 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RENTAL PROPERTY_ PARKING_ALONG THE STREET

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

17% 17% 0% 11% 94% 94% 94% 39% 61%

(SPECIFIED) MODERN 0% ORNATED 100% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 100% CLOSED 44% HALF OPEN 44% OPEN 12% CLOSED 61% HALF OPEN 22% OPEN 17% HEDGE 76% FENCE 24% GREEN 0% PAVED 100% ORTHOGONAL 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 43% PLASTIC 14% OTHER 43% FLOWERPOT 82% OTHER 18%

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06_ ANTHONY FOKKER SNGL

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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06_ ANTHONY FOKKER SNGL ANTHONY FOKKERSINGEL_ 2002_ DEELBLOK 2_ 16 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE PROPERTY_ PARKING_ COLLECTIVE GARAGE BACKSIDE

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

25% 0% 13% 13% 100% 100% 100% 69% 19%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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07_ KOOLHOVENLAAN

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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07_ KOOLHOVENLAAN KOOLHOVENLAAN_ 2001_ DEELBLOCK 3_ 32 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE PROPERTY_ PARKING_ ALONG STREET DOUBLE

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

22% 28% 9% 9% 100% 100% 100% 63% 50%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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PERSONAL REFLECTIONS I don’t know what I found more interesting; the detailed way we tried to look at the neighborhood and the houses or the result all aligned next to each other. While taking a quick look at all the data, the massive amount of photo’s, I could not focus. When thinking of the beginning of the workshop I was most intrigued by the house number and name plates. Would people use that to personalize their homes? In the streets we have photographed there a numerous amounts of number plates. Most of them still the original ones designed by the architect or the standard plate given by most houses. Some people replace this number plate by an own personalized one. It seems that in the streets where the

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numberplate is part of the design, like in the Stiemensvaart, people are not very likely to change the plate. The other patterns are not as clear. It seems to be that people are more likely to change their number when others in the same street will do so as well. This could also be the architectural frame which results to it. When there is no front yard the inhabitants live in the back yard and are less likely to change the front of their house. This could be, but further research is necessary to be able to conclude that. What I found most interesting about the number plates where the type of decoration on the number plates. Since the inhabitants live in modern houses that does not mean they actually like modern and clean

design. I was surprised by the amount of number plates with flowers. Elke Miedema


WORKSHOP_GRATUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

My own front garden I was 16 when my parents bought a home in Leidschenveen, a large urban extension area of the city of The Hague which lies next to the visited area Ypenburg. When they bought the house, a 12 in a dozen single family dwelling, it had yet to be build, together with 1700 other houses. Our house was one of the first ones to be completed in the subarea, which meant that even today, my parents still live on a semi construction site. It is a nice thing to see such an area in development. But you do not only see the houses pop out of the ground as if they were mushrooms, it’s also all the accompanying elements that make up a residential area; the roads, the sidewalks, the waterways, the

street lighting, the greenery, the playgrounds and all other things that are needed to create the right ambiance. One of these elements that caught my attention the most were the front gardens and that is the reason why I wanted to make these my object of study in this workshop. A front garden is par excellence a part of the house that is exceptionally suited to personify one’s own anonymous dwelling. Nevertheless it has always fascinated me that there are three different ways of doing so. The first one is obvious: people put a lot of effort into their front garden and they are proud of their own spread of land. The second way is another extreme in which people don’t do

anything with their garden. It is a nuisance which almost accidentally came with the house. The third way lies in between the first two. People try to make something nice of their garden, but find it impossible to keep it clear from toys which makes them lose interest very quickly. So what would you prefer to do with your front garden? Romy Bernsten

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08_ BIEREMALAAN

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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08_ BIEREMALAAN BIEREMALAAN_ 2001_ DEELBLOCK 3_ 14 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE AND RENTAL PROPERTY_ PARKING_ INNER COURTYARD

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

36% 21% 50% 7% 100% 100% 100% 43% 43%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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10_ HAGENSTRAAT

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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10_ HAGENSTRAAT HAGENSTRAAT_ DEELBLOCK 3_ 14 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE PROPERTY_ PARKING_ PRIVATE GARAGES

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

36% 7% 64% 7% 0% 36% 0% 57% 64%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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11_ VAN ESSENDIJK

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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11_ VAN ESSENDIJK VAN ESSENDIJK_ 2003_ DEELBLOCK 10_ 15 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE PROPERTY_ PARKING_ PRIVATE LOTS BEHIND HOUSE_

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

13% 7% 7% 7% 0% 60% 0% 53% 33%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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PERSONAL REFLECTIONS VINEX districts are planned districts. The layout of the urban plan, distribution of the functions and the architecture has all been carefully planned out with the past, present and future wishes of the user groups in mind. Having grown up in (and hence having developed a personal preference for) parts of cities that are old, grew spontaneously and have undergone many functional and architectural transformations over time, my main fascination with the VINEX districts is: does it work? Does careful urban planning enhance the quality or does it limit its uses? With our excursion and photo exhibition we drew no hard conclusions about the living quality of the districts. A certain amount

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of planning is needed to create a successful living environment and so is a certain amount of flexibility. At first glance, the VINEX dwellings appear to allow very little room for flexibility and personalization. But when one looks closer, this may not be the case. The architect deliberately left “free space” for personal enhancements: display windows, room for flower pots, benches and garden decorations, front- and backyards. This space was used extensively. What I found, however, was that there was little variation in the way the “free space” was used. This is not the “fault” of the design, but rather of the social mimicry of the inhabitants. To me, the personalized VINEX dwellings are a product of two

variables: the variations which the architect incorporates into the designs of the different dwellings and the various tools which the inhabitants can use to personalize their home. The result is a toolbox. Each dwelling is a combination of different tools. This is very human. We create things based on what we know. It is not that VINEX houses allow less room for creativity than other kinds of houses. The aspect which makes the result of these creative toolboxes so obvious in the VINEX dwellings is the fact that it happens so many times on such a small area. That turns it into almost a caricature. The photo series captures this caricature of standardization and displays all its soberness in a colorful way. Tosja Backer


WORKSHOP_GRATUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

The difference between the architect and the user is ultimately revealed in the Vinex district. Where the the feeling of suspicion and horror creeps the architect, the user imagines their little paradise of their dreams. This difference is caused by the origin definition of good versus bad; nice vs. dull, exciting vs. risky, specific vs. generic. Is the inhabitant that wrong? The houses have technical qualitative features, are easily accessibility, have local facilities, have outdoor space for children and parking, for a favorable price. The authenticity of the aesthetics is not a measurable one and plays no significant role. Especially in a anonymous sea of repetition of the Vinex, according to an artistic experience. The dwelling is developed as a framework, not

a fashion suit but coverall suit - for some too wide, for others too small, but enough zippers and pockets to fit comfortable and familiar. Their theme and form are static and finding their expression on the urban scare - probably a blind spot for the ordinary man. Inhabitants look from a more practical view and appreciate the wide windowsill, the nice kitchen window and gezellige front garden. Despite the uniformity of users, families with children and working parents, the meta-typical characteristics of the human being show up. Types like: the freedom activist with their customized nameplate, the family man with their picnic and plastic playgrounds, the homester with well maintained

geraniums and the Tokkie with overgrowned garden and closed curtains. In this world the role of the architect is no longer to create form along the human need, but to create a platform as a starting point. To raise a scenery that can taken over and live a meaning full life of its own. Probably the Vinex district becomes the architectural dream when serenity is beaten by coziness. Jasper Tuinema

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12_ NOORTDIJK

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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12_ NOORTDIJK NOORTDIJK_ 2007_ DEELBLOCK 10_ 20 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE PROPERTY_ PARKING_ PRIVATE LOTS IN FRONT HOUSE_

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

15% 10% 0% 10% 20% 100% 100% 10% 35%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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14_ SANDERSDIJK

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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14_ SANDERSDIJK SANDERSDIJK_ 2003_ DEELBLOCK 10_ 15 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE AND RENTAL PROPERTY_ PARKING_ ALONG THE STREET BEHIND THE HOUSES_

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

0% 13% 0% 0% 0% 27% 0% 20% 7%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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PERSONAL REFLECTIONS The workshop started with the premise that VINEX locations are monotone, boring, repetitive places with a severe lack of identity and pervasive uniformity. Through the use of photographic montage we aimed at finding out if it was possible for VINEX dweller to express their identity in uniform architecture and the working title of the workshop was “Vinex Identified”. The technique was simple: breaking up the façade into elements, such as windows, door, house number, garden furniture, etc. and then systematically photograph each element of every house in the street. This way we expected to see if a specific element was modified from the standard for that house design. By the end of the first day of

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shooting it became clear that the question was not whether the residents attempted to express their identity but how. The further step of arranging photos also made clear that so many of the homes were personalized in so many different ways that it was very difficult to come to any specific conclusions without deeper investigation on what went on behind the façade (typology, size, property value, ownership status, target group etc.). While no solid conclusions could be reached, one thing could be said with relative certainty: The way that the architects treated the elements of the façade (and front yard) greatly affects the way in which residents personalize their homes. Architectural elements

such as windows, doors, the manner in which the building touches the ground, proportions of front garden, transition between street (public) and home (private), and even the nature of public space in front of the house, can discourage or give space for opportunities for inhabitation, openness, modification, expression, and as a result personalization. These elements also directly influence the specific tools used by the residents to personalize, such as sculptures, curtains, ornamented number plates, flowers, garden furniture, garden toys etc. This led to the adoption of a new title for the workshop: “Weapons of Mass Originality”. A good example is a comparison between houses on Plesmanlaan with large extruding windows and


WORKSHOP_GRATUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

1m wide front gardens with no separation from sidewalk and with parking in front; and Koolhavnlaan where houses have large but nondescript windows, and a large front garden which is separated from the narrow street by a line of trees. The residents in Plesmanlaan chose to put little effort on the front garden, usually with only a few flower pots, and instead they filled the upper windows, designed as display cases, with all sorts of sculptures, unique objects, children’s toys. The residents of Koolhovenlaan instead did nothing on the upper window but lavished attention on the front garden with furniture, green hedges, flowers, paving, garden sculptures etc. Ermal Kapedani

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15_ VAN DER VOORTVAART

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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15_ VAN DER VOORTVAART VAN DER VOORTVAART_ STUDIO HERMAN HERTZBERGER_ 2004_ DEELBlOK 10_ 15 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE AND RENTAL PROPERTY_ PARKING_AROUND THE COURTYARDS WATER_AROUND THE COURTYARDS

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

7% 0% 0% 7% 40% 40% 80% 60% 53%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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16_ STIEMENSVAART

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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16_ STIEMENSVAART STIEMENSVAART_ MVRDV_ 1998-2003_ DEELBOK 11_ 24 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE PROPERTY_ PARKING_IN FRONT OF THE HOUSES WATER_IN A CANAL AROUND THE PLAN

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

12% 0% 0% 0% 92% 92% 80% 36% 12%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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17_ JOHANNINKWATER

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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17_ JOHANNINKWATER JOHANNINKWATER_ CLAUS&KAAN ARCHITECTEN_ 1998-2000_ DEELBOK 10_ 12 PHOTOGRAPHEDHOUSES_ RESALE AND RENTAL PROPERTY_ PARKING_ON INDIVIDUAL LOTS BEHIND THE HOUSES WATER_IN STRIPS BETWEEN THE ROWS OF HOUSES

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

8% 0% 0% 0% 92% 13% 88% 13% 25%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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18_ VAN DIJKWATER

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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PERSONAL REFLECTIONS Quantifying VINEX Looking at the wall, we can see a beautiful overview of twenty streets in Ypenburg. However, the almost obsessive distribution of the houses and their properties in boxes of 3 by 3 cm contains more. By picturing every single house with it’s specifics and decompose it in different categories we can see different patterns occur. Some of the streets happened to be fully decorated where others streets seem to be abandoned. If we think about social housing or owner occupied dwellings, most of the time we can distinguish a clear difference in architecture. Without knowing this background

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information I had the feeling that this stereotype also counts for Ypenburg. Personally I was interested to what extend this difference was notable in the front gardens. Though there are more factors that determine how people decorate their front gardens some patterns appeared. For example the difference in streets with plastic furniture and streets with wooden furniture. The houses with plastic furniture seem to be social housing and the wooden furniture matched with the owner occupied dwellings. Though we can’t confirm this pattern because of a lack of analyses and background information it certainly is remarkable. The cropping, zooming and cutting made us look very closely to each

and every house. It are these actions that get us to know Ypenburg, it’s front gardens and maybe a little bit of it’s inhabitants. Flip Nieuwpoort


WORKSHOP_GRATUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

Pavement If one walks a whole day with only observing and photographing pavement, their perception of it changes. The awareness of the changing architecture disappears and is replaced with a focus on looking at texture, brick formation and colour. The amount of differences is overpowering. The observations start with searching and identifying the standard pavement, placed when the contractor finished the building. This is continued with a quest for personalities, complexity in brick formations, colour-pallets, minimalistic textures etcetera. This resulted in the ‘pavement bar’ in the exhibition. When looking at the completed work in the

exhibition, mechanisms appear and infinite observations can be made. It becomes obvious that it takes more than only a space in front of a dwelling to encourage its user to customize and personalize it. One of my observations is that the degree of customization is not depending on the size of the front garden but on the design of a house and neighbourhood in general. People only consider customizing the garden when it is large enough to function as an extension to their house/living space. With this I mean that a space has to be functional and complimentary to the dwelling as a whole. This is not only depending on the size of the front garden but also on the public space adjacent

to it. To encourage people in making customizations and with this livability in a whole street, the garden should be designed as if it was part of a house. The design of a dwelling should not begin behind a front door, but on the border between public and private. Ule Koopmans

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18_ VAN DIJKWATER VAN DIJKWATER_ MVRDV_ 1998-2005_ DEELBOK 11_ 12 PHOTOGRAPHEDHOUSES_ RESALE PROPERTY_ PARKING_ON THE STREET AROUND THE BLOCKS WATER_AROUND THE BLOCKS

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

7% 0% 0% 0% 0% 64% 93% 50% 64%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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19_ DERKSWATER

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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19_ DERKSWATER VAN DERKSWATER_ BOSCH ARCHITECTEN_ 2000-2002_ Deelblok 10_ 16 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RENTAL PROPERTY_ PARKING_OUTSIDE THE BLOCKS WATER_AROUND THE BLOCKS

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

19% 6% 0% 6% 0% 100% 88% 88% 75%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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22_ VISDIEPHOF

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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22_ VISDIEPHOF VISDIEFHOF_ RIJVOS VOORWINDE ARCHITECTEN_ 2002_ DEELBOK 6_ 10 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE PROPERTY_ PARKING_IN SMALL LOTS BETWEEN THE DWELLINGS

ABOVE_STREET COLLAGE MIDDLE_PUBLIC SPACE BELOW_WATER

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

5% 0% 5% 0% 100% 100% 100% 45% 50%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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PERSONAL REFLECTIONS To what extend does architecture matter? In the essence this might be the question behind our project. The general idea is that urban design – verkaveling, parking, public space - and the socioeconomic circumstances are the dominant elements in determining a neighborhood. The architectural façade would only serves as superficial decor. The market driven architectural design in Ypenburg tries to be different and has a strong appearance; at the same time all the houses in a row are the same, so within the repetitive architectural framework individual people try to personify their dwellings. In the photo-series we can see how this results in a differentiation on the scale of the dwelling, combined with the architectural diversity on

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the scale of the block. Hereby some architectural designs seem to prove more fertile ground for personification then others. Some blocks allow no personification at all, possibly through either ‘over-design’ or ‘sterilization’; others provoke an abundance of individual additions. Good examples are the “erkers” and the ‘marked freedom’ of pavement strips.

Why the close-up? We looked at these phenomena using a special method: the photographic closeup. And it showed that looking close – in my case to the front windows – sometimes tells you a lot. As long as you realize it’s only (super)visual information. It highlights the importance of every isolated architectural element and

it emphasizes the repetition - the sequence of elements as a film strip - underlining every little addition or adjustment. One of the most appealing things we saw was the ‘mimicking’. In our whole trip through Ypenburg we didn’t see a single rolluik accept in one street where we saw multiple. The same goes for series of benches or front-door decorations. Were the designs so different? Or was it social copy-behavior?

How to make sense of it all? And this proved maybe the most important contribution of this workshop-week. Not which conclusions could be drawn, but a fertile group discussion on which questions this visually attractive exposition should arise. Jan Loerakker


WORKSHOP_GRATUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

Workshop Starting this workshop I was curious to the Vinex district, in the general discussion they are predominantly negatively marked for their supposed monotony. Once there I noticed a concatenation of pleasant living conditions; a low density, sufficient green, generally good quality dwellings and, at first sight, versatile architecture. The district Ypenburg has a clear hierarchy, derived from the clear structure of an airport, and is well connected. The difficulty within Vinex districts in my eyes lies in the unilateral range of functions. The districts are meant as spillway basins for the city, situated outside the city as attachments and filled with dwellings, functions of other kind can after all be found in the city.

Though they are part of the city, they are neither city nor town; there is a scent of Ebenezer Howard’s description of his utopian garden city. The only problem is, after a first observation, that the districts do no work like a city; there is no significant binding factor, no social structure, no interwoven possibility of social facilitation. The urban structure and the dwellings themselves offer too little flexibility to let the districts revive and stand on their own, but maybe that was never the intention.

House number signs On the subject of house number signs I noticed when the architect deviates from the normal regulated signs and designs a ‘special’ representation of the house number, the future residents will replace the

sign less. In certain streets a large amount of residents changed the sign, where in other streets no one did. A link could be made with the (financial) value of the house, the two extremes seem to have no urge to put an effort in decorating the outside of their home. In the streets with social housing and with larger, more luxurious dwellings almost no one changed their sign, in contrary to some streets where sometimes half of the residents did. Wouter Keizer

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23_ ZILVERMEEUWLAAN

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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23_ ZILVERMEEUWLAAN ZILVERMEEUWLAAN_ 2002_ DEELBOK 6_ 22 PHOTOGRAPHED HOUSES_ RESALE AND RENTAL PROPERTY_ PARKING_ON THE STREET IN FRONT OF THE HOUSES

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

5% 0% 5% 0% 100% 100% 100% 45% 50%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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24_ SCHOLEKSTERSINGEL

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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24_ SCHOLEKSTERSINGEL SCHOLEKSTERSINGEL_ WEST 8_DE ZWARTE HOND_ ARCHITECTEN CIE_DIENER&DIENER_TOPOS 1998-2003_ DEELBOK 6_ 18 PHOTOGRAPHED DWELLINGS_ RESALE PROPERTY_ PARKING_IN FRONT WATER_IN STRIPS IN FRONT

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

0% 0% 0% 0% 100% 0% 50% 6% 0%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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PERSONAL REFLECTIONS We approached this workshop as a research documentary. Our first idea was to use photography and collage as tools. We end up making a documentary from a reflexive kind, which attempts to produce a truthful, objective impression of a particular subject, in this case a neighborhood. By depicting a certain aspect of reality, we aim to make the conventions of selfexpression more apparent and to challenge the impression of reality. Tough we started with no explicit intention there was a deliberate strategy. By zooming in the details we where spotting the nuances, in opposition to the impression we might get from a street view. We were also planning to process the gathered data and arrive to some

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conclusions, however this was not necessary. Because we consider this workshop to be a documentary assignment, it is up to the viewer to complete the story. This story is being told not just by presenting information but also by arranging the data in a classified way, magnifying the subtle differences that you might experience from personal relations. Similarities in pattern emerge as you walk trough the different series. Every street has a narrative that the viewer can only assemble by spotting changes in behavior. Although there are no people in the pictures there is a very humane atmosphere in the whole patchwork. There is a more intimate

layer when you get closer and look at the tools of individual expression from a different angle. When looking at the streets suddenly a very conflicting element might appear. Then one can wonder if its presence is a good thing, to break the monotony at least, or showing that neatness and chaos can be evenly annoying. Carlos Saenz


WORKSHOP_GRATUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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26_ FELLOWSHIPLAAN

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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26_ FELLOWSHIPLAAN FELLOWSHIPLAAN_ 2010_ DEELBOK 17_ 28 PHOTOGRAPHED HOUSES_ RESALE AND RENTAL PROPERTY_ PARKING_ON THE STREET IN FRONT OF THE HOUSES

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

18% 0% 0% 4% 46% 61% 79% 75% 61%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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28_ FRIENDSHIPRING

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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28_ FRIENDSHIPRING FRIENDSHIPRING_ 2008_ DEELBOK 17_ 36 PHOTOGRAPHED HOUSES_ RESALE PROPERTY_ PARKING_IN PRIVATE GARAGES OR ON PRIVATE LOTS IN FRONT OF THE HOUSES

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WORKSHOP_GRADUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

% PERSONALIZED

6% 3% 0% 0% 0% 100% 100% 28% 78%

(SPECIFIED)

MODERN 75% ORNATED 25% PAINTED 0% ADDITION 0%

CLOSED 31% HALF OPEN 12% OPEN 57% CLOSED 94% HALF OPEN 0% OPEN 6% HEDGE 87% FENCE 13% GREEN 50% PAVED 50% ORTHO 100% DECORATIVE 0%

WOOD 100% PLASTIC 0% OTHER 0% FLOWERPOT 54% OTHER 46%

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EPILOGUE

The amount of material is overwhelming. It is a visual stimulus to raise even more questions. From afar, some patterns may seem obvious, closer, one may get lost into the subtle differences within a single photographed area. Within this collage, patterns become visible or invisible at different scales. One can explore the patterns within a single block of houses, which may reveal social mimicry; communal appropriation of public space; or on the contrary: separation from the public space through barriers. You learn to look at streets in different ways and from different angles. To be able to define patterns or draw solid conclusions about the important questions raised by the

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observations one needs to involve many more variables, particularly knowledge about what happens behind the façade and within the surroundings of the site. What we decided to do, instead of answering the questions in a conclusive manner, is to present all our observations in an as-is manner. We present a visual spectacle that may reveal, in itself, some interesting repetitions and choices that the inhabitants seem to (dis-)appreciate. After finding such patterns, the spectator may decide to look further into the architect’s choices and inhabitant’s statistics, to find underlying reasons and explanations, either to repeat or avoid such an effect in the future. We started this workshop intuitively

with a curiosity of how residents express their identity within a strictly designed and repetitive architectural framework. During the discussions we assumed and later discarded opinions. We am to present the collected material without a predefined bias.


WORKSHOP_GRATUATION STUDIO EXPLORELAB 12_WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY_YPENBURG_NL

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WEAPONS OF MASS ORIGINALITY 108


IMPRINT

VISITING CRITC Ir. Jeroen Mensink author ‘Vinex Atlas’ JAM* architecten STUDENTS Tosja Backer Romy Berntsen Wouter Keizer Ule Koopmans Ermal Kapedani Jan Loerakker Vincent Mak Elke Miedema Flip Nieuwpoort Carlos Saenz Jasper Tuinema WORKSHOP ExploreLab 12 Graduation Studio May 2011 booklet: 10.06.11 109


Booklet Weapons of Mass Originality