A new city

They envisioned a new city that did not develop from the centre. This city had to arise differently; from the outside to the inside. First an outer ring is designed and realized; it takes two hours to walk around. This as the eventual size of the city as regards its surroundings And then a smaller ring emerges, directed more towards the centre. In the middle an empty space, a vacuum, that fills itself from the outside to the inside. Lees meer

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

Conscious design

Causing things on this world asks for some responsibility. That goes for everything we do; the words we utter, the way in which we approach other people. Let us, for this reason, especially think of a building’s eventual ending when designing buildings. And, subsequently, ‘reconstructively’ design the life which a building is to live in order for it to seize existing in this way. This approach will be apparent from the very start.

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.

New light

The center of the neighbourhood had come into existence more than 40 years ago and had not changed since that time, actually. When it was asked to intervene on this, we spent some time there and took a good look around, talked, listened en felt what the air was like. And then we made the decision to start working from the hypothesis that in all these years the average daily temperature in this place had risen with at least 5 degrees. Lees meer

Hotel development

Somewhere in the capital there was once a hotel that, when people walked in, differed from itself every day. The furniture was arranged differently, the colors were changed, the incidence of light, the sounds; and also the behavior of the people who worked there developed along with every new physical readjustment, even if it was minimal and subtle. This constant change was also tangible for those who visited the hotel only once and were, in fact, unable to make a comparison between the last or next day. After a while the hotel had many regular guests – of which some practically lived there – because the constant change of their surrounding had a positive effect on them. 

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. 

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.