Are there irresoluble problems? Could a
conjunction of factors be so intricate as to make an overall way of dealing with them impossible? Until what point are we forced to think that there is no solution by experience, and not by analysis?
Fire kills at least 11 at Amsterdam airport detention centre “She’s spent a number of days locked up even though she was visibly upset by the traumatic experience of the Schiphol ﬁre. She wanted to leave the Netherlands as quickly as possible to go back to Nigeria, but wasn’t allowed out of the detention centre. I wasn’t even allowed to give her money for a telephone card. It’s really grotesque what’s happening to illegal immigrants in the Netherlands.”
ACTIVE BOLLARD MATRIX IN DIFFERENT CONFIGURATIONS: FIG 4 CROSSING (WEEKEND TRAFFIC)
The Mr. Visserplein seems and irresoluble urban problem: heavy trafﬁc load with no easy redirectional possibilities, untouchable monuments with untouchable viewpoints, peripheric local and tourist pedestrian areas with no possible link. (FIG 1) When a problem seems unsolvable we try to keep it aside, so as to forget about it by not having it at view. But what if we have to deal with it because is a hurt in our city, in our society?
“For the sake of clarity, I’d like to point out that these are not criminals, but people who didn’t have the right papers to get them into the Netherlands.” In most cases, people refused entry to the country are sent back from whence they came on the very same plane they arrive on, but a number of them do end up at Schiphol’s detention centre. That usually happens if it’s not known where they came from or, for example, they do not have a passport.
FIG 5 ROUNDABOUT (DAILY TRAFFIC, PEAK HOURS)
Do we then retake the problem, and yet once more analyze its factors forgetting about experience and really embarking ourselves in a cold, analytical search for a solution? What if
we take the essences of its factors and instead of diminishing them, we make them even stronger?
When all this pumped-up factors (trafﬁc, views, pedestrian space continuity,… isolation, despair, enclosure, lack of hope) come back together
the problem is different, another one.
So lets make problems worst: We can
then imagine heavier trafﬁc loads, herds of tourists and local bikers, architectural icons yet more radicalized. We can also imagine closed frontiers, elimination of political asylum rights, kids deported to their motherland in war. We can imagine the differential factor of Amsterdam, its tolerance, its freedom as an attempt of the utopical past: Why give without getting in return? Why allow uncomfort when it is so easy to prohibit it?
The government pledged to “ﬁght against the inﬂow of immigrants” with strict border controls and by refusing incoming refugees without identiﬁcation the right to apply for asylum. Illegal residency was made a criminal offence, and a special police force was set up to seize and deport foreigners or rejected asylumseekers.
What if this new problem, with its empowered factors brought out of reality, opens our eyes to a empowered solution (FIG 3) which by force will not be realistic, not based on the real (or present) means? …What if this out-of-thisworld solution works also today?...
FIG 7 PERIMETRAL TRAFFIC (FOR EVENTS ON
FIG 9 > FLOORPLAN 1:500
FIG 1 EXISTING SITUATION
2010 FIG 2 SIDE VIEW OF PINART ARTIFACT - THREE DIMENSIONAL SYSTEM ON A TWO DIMENSIONAL GRID
FIG 6 LOOPS (PEDESTRIAN PRIORITY)
^ FIG 8 OUR AIM IS TO PROPOSE A SORT OF PUBLIC SPACE WHICH CAN BE CONFIGURED ACCORDING TO PEDESTRIAN AND TRAFFIC CHANGING NEEDS
In May 2002, the assassination of the rightwing populist politician Pim Fortuyn helped create the conditions for the electoral victory of the Christian Democrats, who, together with Fortuyn’s party and the People’s Party for Liberty and Democracy, scapegoated immigrants to divert attention from the mounting social crisis in the Netherlands.
So, how do we deal now with this new ‘Nightmare Mr Visserplein’?
ALL ALL FIG 3 NEW SITUATION
The intense trafﬁc would need an state-ofthe-art control system, based on time, lane width variation and crossing control (FIG 1012); a system so complex it would analyze the trafﬁc ﬂows real-time and give a response to them; a system that would be the grandson of existing highway trafﬁc systems.
> FIG 9 2005 HIGH CULTURE vs. LOCAL CULTURE v FIG 10-12 TRAFFIC CONCEPT: THE ACTIVE BOLLARD MATRIX ALLOWS AD HOC TRAFFIC CONFIGURATION
The crowds of tourists would want more than Old Amsterdam. They would want spaces, new
attractive spaces interconnected as the
attractions in an amusement park, without interruption. They would want to wander towards highly important religious centers and then attend a ﬁlm festival and then switch to a ‘traditional’ ﬂea market and then visit the new hype Dutch housing typologies and ﬁnish the day at the cirque du soleil in the middle of the city (FIG 16).
The locals would want to bike easily to their work, avoiding tourists. They would also want private streets where they can put their children to play ‘outside’ without the dangers of roaring trafﬁc, dangerous estrangers and climate roughness.
^ FI N TO C R BO M IN PO
> FIG 13 MR VISSER PLEIN TUNNEL WORKING PROPERLY FOR CAR TRAFFIC
> FIG 14 MR VISSER PLEIN NOT WORKING
> FIG 15 MR VISSER PLEIN WORKING PROPERLY AS KIDS INDOOR PLAYGROUND
TH EA TE R
C OCAL REAL L
TU NF UN
ES A OF DA AR M A CH CC IT AD EC E TU MY RE
TO HIS ISH JEW SEUM MU
TOWNHALL & OPERA
DC UL TU
v FIG 17 WEST-EAST SECTION 1:100
< FIG 16 LOCAL, TOURISTIC GLOBAL AND THE NEW LOCAL-GLOBAL NETWORKS
-16 ASYLUM SEEKER
-16 ASYLUM SEEKER
TO UR M IST AR RO KE UT T E
NL AC FIL CA M A DE N MY D T V
TOURIST -16 ASYLUM SEEKER
OP LE IN
M AA OZE RO S E N N KE R
HO EX LL PE AN RI D EN CE
AT IO N
RE HO MB US RA E ND
124 REGISTRATION NUMBER
The ﬂow of juvenile asylum seekers in the Netherlands is, compared to other European countries, very high. In 2001 each week approximately 140 minors seeking asylum entered the country. The majority was from China and Angola. Until now the return policy of those children is quite caring but it is to expect that the new government will change this.
FIG 18 MR VISSER PLEIN WORKING AS 16(KIDS LESS THAN SIXTEEN YEARS OLD) ASYLUM SEEKER CENTER INTEGRATED WITH KIDS INDOOR PLAYGROUND PLUS NEW INDOOR ACTIVITIES.
THE LIVING QUARTERS ARE PLACED ABOVE THE SQUARE, DIRECTLY COMMUNICATED WITH THE SHARED ACTIVITIES UNDERGROUND.
LIVING QUARTERS A.S.C. (16- ASYLUM SEEKERS CENTER)
A.S.C. EXCLUSIVE ACCESS A
FIG 19 EXTRUDED AXONOMETRY WITH PROGRAM HOTSPOTS.
The city would want to recover its recent past, its essence. The city would want to show what now hides (FIG 18), in order to make its problems visible, and thus not forgotten. In order to look for solutions by having the problem upfront, forcing itself to think coldly and yet altruistically.
A SIXTEEN MINORS ASYLUM SEEKER CENTER LIVING QUARTERS ABOVE, ACTING AS A ´HOPE´LIGHT FIXTURE TOWARDS THE SQUARE B RETRACTABLE GRID OF TRAFFIC BOLLARDS, WHICH ALSO ACT AS LIGHT FIXTURES, GIVING A STRONG, AND YET ELEGANT CHARACTER TO THE SPACE C AND THE EXTENSION OF THE UNDERGROUND SPACES, WHERE THE LOCAL KIDS MEET THE ´LOCAL-GLOBALS´(16 YEARS OLDINMIGRANTS) AND SHARE THE FACILITIES
The new Mr. Visserplein space shows the advances od Dutch society both at technological level, breaking grounds in activating and controlling public space, and at social level, by placing increasing inmigration problem, at the best place in town, to make everyone aware and turn a problem into a solution.
A.S.C. EXCLUSIVE ACCESS 1.30mX1.30m GRID OF RETRACTABLE BOLLARDS 12000 m2
The city would place an -16 Asylum Seeker Center in its core, giving hope both to itself and to those who withholds. The city would want its kids playing safe with kids less fortunate from abroad, so this new generation would start from out-of-this-world bases, in order to come to a solution for this globe.
DANCE CLASSROOMS, SPORTS 375 m2
SWIMMING POOL 350 m2 INMIGRATION OFFICES, LANGUAGE CLASSROOMS, ASC ACCESS 1200 m2 CHILD DAY CARE, MEDICAL CARE 325 m2
AUDITORIUM, EXPOSITION SPACE MUSIC ROOM - TRAUMA CENTER 850 m2 TUNFUN 3000 m2
GENERAL PURPOSE CLASSROOMS 750m2
TUNFUN AND PUBLIC ACCESS
WATER TREATMENT CENTER 275 m2
LIBRARY, VIDEO ROOM, COMPUTER ROOM 1000 m2
v FIG 17 WEST-EAST SECTION 1:100
1. RETRACTED BOLLARD - LIGHT SPOT ON SQUARE LEVEL, CARS CAN DRIVE OVER
3. EXTENDED ROD - SUITABLE AS LIGHT FIXTURE OR TEMPORARY FLEA MARKET STRUCTURE
4. TRAFFIC LIGHT EXTENDED STRATEGICALLY POSITIONED TO SUIT EVERY GRID LANE CONFIGURATION
5. PREFABRICATED REINFRORCED CONCRETE BEAM 6. HIDRAULIC RETRACTION MECHANISM 7. NATURAL LIGHT CAN FILTER THROUGH ROAD DUE TO OPTIC FIBER INNER CILINDER WALL COATING. ARTIFICIAL LIGHT ALSO FILTERS DOWN.
-16 ASYLUM SEEKER
2. EXTENDED BOLLARD - 50 CM - DEFINES LANE WIDTH - LIGHT FILTERS THROUGH SIDE APERTURES
^ FIG 19 NIGHT VIEW TOWARDS CITY CENTER, THE RECTRACTABLE BOLLARD MATRIX SYSTEM IN CROSSING POSITION.