Ongoing

The Academy, Urban Planning (i.c.m. KCAP, Witteveen en Bos), Micro Housing,  NACH – New Amsterdam Court House PPS (i.c.w. Heijmans, Kaan Architecten, DVP, ABT, Facilicom a.o.) Prototype Hospital Indonesia (i.c.w. Jababeka, Berenschot, EGM, HaskoningDHV, AT Osborne a.o.), Pavilion Paterswoldsemeer (i.c.w. Tim Vermeend / UC Architects), Local Landscapes (i.c.w. Buiting Advies), Uptown Groningen (i.c.w. UC Architects),

Sweet homes

We are now working on designing houses for people who actually would not have thought that they would be able to owe a house in their lives. These houses barely use energy and they are being cleverly financed, such that they are affordable. It is often the case in this segment of the market that work is being done somewhat routinely, because there is not much to choose and the supply is scarce. That is exactly why we are going to design houses that express something different. These houses are based on the love for those who will inhabit them for an entire, or half of their life. That much seems fair to us, houses in which people will feel somewhat better, even if it is just now and then or only for a little while. 

Reconnect

Because so much has disappeared from each other and there have been built all too many autistic environments in recent times, the task is to restore the whole and to reconnect spatial things. What exactly? Almost anything we can think of. High and low, outside and inside, production and consumption, poor and rich, sick and healthy, big and small, working and living, time and space, young and old, center and periphery. The meaning of space is its connective function.

The world above

The inhabitants of the city K. felt the earth shaking for several years now. And everybody knew that the stronger tremblings would eventually approach the city. The first cracks were, indeed, appearing here and there. That is why the people were very cautious and during day- and nighttime they involuntarily watched what was happening beneath them. The inhabitants of the city K. almost never looked up. And so they didn’t notice that between themselves and the world above very lightly constructed buildings were forming that floated above the existing buildings. As if the city K. was trying to disengage itself from the unreliable earth and had far more confidence in the laws of thin air. 

De-materialization

That matter arises from energy we know since the days of Einstein. Still we often forget this relation, especially when it comes to the creation of physical space. When our surrounding is insufficiently connected to non-material features there arises a thing-like collection of designed manifestations that we have become accustomed to call architecture. It is possible to do that differently, for instance by grounding the design-process of space on non-material issues. That results in buildings that are, indeed, made of stone or wood, but that do derive their presence first and foremost from their existential contribution to life.

Another building

One day, about twelve people were seated at a long table; together they formed the building team. These people were good at their profession. One could draw and design. Another was good at constructing or had knowledge of technical installations. And there was someone present who was used to think from within an environment. There were also people at the table who were perfectly capable of coming up with cost calculations. And others were used to arrange things. This building team went to work for months in a row. Lees meer

Lifted existence

On the other side of the river there is a building at which passers-by often glance upwards, and then look again. Not because it is either a very impressive building or because there is something spectacular happening high above them. Something very different is going on. The building consists of floors of which it could be easily established that they ‘re not designed for that particular height. Sometimes it is even said that the floors were lived on at that particular time. Nobody knows exactly when, but years ago these floors had been randomly put on top of each other so that a vertical settlement came into being. Exactly because the appearance and design of all those floors have little to do with height, it seemed as if the vertical settlement is higher than it actually is. It is not about something made of concrete and stone; here, the world itself is lifted and it seems that this is why the people who have let themselves be lifted along live there for such a long time.   Lees meer

Under the blue sky

A building is only worth something when it is capable of letting people dwell in better circumstances than outside. That is why a building needs to protect against the rain and wind. And inside a building the temperature is, of course, somewhat easier to amend than in the open field. Furthermore, the circumstances inside a building are sometimes better than outside, because it is much safer there. And it could be the case that things have to be stored which would be lost outside. But that is about it; several specific reasons left aside. A building actually does not have to do that much. Let’s make buildings that differ only slightly from the open field so that they can be of as much value for people as possible. 

Good swimming

In M., people used to swim in the river. When you stepped into the water and walked a few meters, you would feel the current and force of the water. Later, part of the river was marked off with beaters and rope – delineating where you could swim. A diving board was installed. During the swim you could still feel some of the current and the slippery bottom when you stretched your legs. And you could also see the cows on the other side of the river. Lees meer

Just there

Maybe it would be a good idea to let buildings arise which are not all meant to form some sort of judgment about. This is, in fact, the case with most new buildings. Here, it is a question of features like daring, exceptional, impressive, essential, intelligent, stylish, spectacular and that kind of things.  It is never said of of tree, a wave or a gust of wind that ‘it could have been different’; that more or less would have been better. The time has come for buildings with exactly this sense of self-evidence and non-negotionableness.