March 2, 2014
We just watched an amazing clip of Erik Åberg’s mind-bending GhostCube.
Here’s our attempt to create a transformer; Trafo Gazebo was one of 3 proposals for a cultural stage on the Haparandadam in Amsterdam.
(Our winning proposal: Multi Mill is still on hold, but something tells me that the time is slowly getting ripe for resurrecting the project…)
February 26, 2014
Since the first one came out of the oven we’ve been fascinated by the idea of future archaeologists digging up our 3Vase. What would they think when they would find all these fragments? We didn’t have the stomach to smash one to simulate the effect.
It needed someone like Wei Wei. Or like Wim. Wim has sent us some pics of his recent project. Apparently our vase was shattered in an accident. But he managed to put it back together again. Better than before perhaps. In Wim’s words: een geluk bij een ongeluk!
January 15, 2014
Bovag: the amount of campers in the Netherlands is ‘exploding’. At this moment over 80.000 mobile homes are registered. Since January 2009 the number is up with 36 percent!
When we were looking for temporary interventions on the empty lots on the Cruquiusterrein in the framework of Design as Activator one of the ideas was to set up a camping for mobile homes. Not many locations are available for parking your camper in Amsterdam, but many vacant lots are available. This could make the city attractive for a new target group. The Camper Camping on Cruquius didn’t materialize during last years event but apparently there seems to be a demand. Caroline, maybe we can set up the camp this year?
January 13, 2014
We finally put Gershwin Plot 14 online; we couldn’t get to it earlier… about one year ago we were fired from this exhilarating job; the most traumatic event of 2013. Hard to swallow, and impossible to forget: almost daily we pass the building site.
Please check it out, it is gorgeous: an optimistic terraced tower with high end apartments featuring giant hanging gardens developing from a rational block with affordable rental units. Too good to be true.
December 16, 2013
Maarten Kloos, director of Arcam, has left the building… quite a stunning building that is…
Maarten some time ago brought us a nice present: a recording of the speech that Ben Merkelbach gave in the framework of the opening of an industrial building at the Van Hallstraat that he had designed. This pre-war gem is now our headquarters.
“Due to illness, Merkelbach was unable to attend the opening of a factory in Amsterdam that he designed together with his partner Charles Karsten in 1939 for the Hartmann bros. company, Graficolor N.V. A few years before, in 1936, they had built the AVRO studios in Hilversum, their first company building and most famous work. His connections at the broadcasting corporation made it possible for Merkelbach to have his speech recorded on a gramophone record, which was played at the opening. The AVRO also gave speakers who did attend, such as the head contractor and the client, the opportunity to record a message for the recovering Merkelbach”. (NAi wwwebsite)
It is very inspiring to hear these recordings: a ‘loving’ relationship between client and architect: heart-warming mutual respect. “Dear Mr. Merkelbach, dear Ben, you belong to our factory“. You can check them here (scroll down, only in Dutch)
Maarten, thank you!
December 12, 2013
The model of Verdana / Blok K in Funenpark that was made by Made By Mistake -is it really built with Old Amsterdam?- was just returned by the New Institute from a two year trip through Brazil (2 venues), India (3 venues), China (2 venues), Turkey, Germany and NL in the framework of the Connecting Concepts exhibit organized by Ed van Hinte, a collaborative project between Premsela, The Netherlands Architecture Institute, and Brainport Eindhoven for Dutch Design Fashion Architecture… Ah, the Dynamic Dutch Institutional Landscape (DDIL)…
November 26, 2013
Matthew’s long expected new book is out: Deventer, a novel about architecture, a fantastic read, an actual page turner!
When Matthijs, the protagonist, asked me for a picture of WOS 8 to include in the book I found a couple of snapshots from our trip to Leidschenrijn around 1998.
During this site visit we met one of the neighbors. He wasn’t happy. He claimed that his property lost its value. The people next door had been able to sell the land on which WOS 8 was build; they at least received decent compensation. Now he wanted to move, but he couldn’t… he was held hostage by the black rubber monster in his backyard. Frustrated to the bone he even didn’t allow his children -the actual target group of the project- to play with it. (Some time later, we were told several times, he even started to attack visitors with a pitch fork…).
The neighbor asked why we didn’t make the building more similar to the old farm that he lived in. I tried to explain that the urban envelope didn’t allow a bigger building, nor did the demands for the machine on the inside allow for a smaller one… a rustic pitched roof just wouldn’t fit.
Then Matthew launched a stunning idea: inspired by the unifying possibilities of polyurethane revealed during our site visit, Matthew proposed that if the neighbor really insisted in a coherent relationship between the two buildings the solution would be simple: why not spray over the entire farm!
November 21, 2013
The many attempts to re-activate the millions of square meters of vacant office space in the Netherlands through urban farming have not yet proofed viable, so far. In spite of technological advancements -intelligent lighting and clever irrigation and fertilization- it seems real hard to convert empty office building into stacked green house. The only crop that actually has proofed economically sustainable in even the darkest corners is cannabis. So if we intend to green these empty towers we should perhaps turn them into hothouses for medical marijuana: form Urban Farming to Urban Pharma!
November 12, 2013
We were looking for space –we needed a good spot for the ninth hole of ‘Greening ’ the City– and we found sound…
Jakub’s friends of the Genetic Choir explored the acoustic potential of ‘super echo’… check out the clip here.
November 6, 2013
Buy Now! Amsterdamse Kunstkalender. A really cool initiative: a big calendar that shows a work by a different artist everyday of the year! Check out July 24 and many more.