Governmental Vandalism


We just returned from a visit to the Beetsplein in Dordrecht. We are in shock. Apparently the government considered it necessary to introduce additional toys to the square. ‘They’ installed a playground with a slide from a catalogue without consulting us. Or our partners DS. Or the CBK that partly commisionned the project.  They took the effort to find ‘matching’ colors. Which made it worse. The green ‘bouncy ground’ destroys the integrity of the design. The banal gadgets are exactly what we tried to avoid with our effort to create a real public square freed from debilitating standard furniture. Why invite us in the first place?

5 Responses to “Governmental Vandalism”

  1. Jasper Says:


    Study the famous Bonnema arrest. You are in a strong legal position if you really want to go reverse this (and never get a commission in Dordrecht again).

    The Bonnema arrest is a good story by itself BTW

  2. nlarchitects Says:

    Jasper, what was that about?

  3. Jasper Says:

    Abe Bonnema in his position as architect of the municipality building (“stadskantoor”) of Leeuwarden (at least I thought it was Leeuwarden) had the sunscreens removed by means of a courtorder. The sunscreends had been added to the bulding after it was finished by the municipality (the commissioner).

    His claim that the sunscreens were a breach of his Intellectual Property Rights (or wat passes like it in the Netherlands : “auteursrecht”) and the court ruled he was right.

    The trial that produced this court order set the “juris prudentie” (sorry, don’t know the english term, IANAL) for IP rights on architectural production.

    The funny thing about it was that Bonnema dropped the airconditioning from the design when he was force to cut costs. I don’t know the details, but I think he was opposed to this solution, but was forced to do it by the comissioner, the municipality of Leeuwarden.

    In the end the municipality was forced to remove the sunscreends and install the airco installation at last.

    Another famous case BTW is the architect who had the “haringkar” (fishstall) removed from the sidewalk in front of building he designed on the Wibautstraat, Amsterdam. The building was a butt-ugly 80’s social housing block. The stall had to go with a court order.

  4. PMM Says:

    Zie in dit kader artikel recent van Piet Vollaard op Archined over copyright in architectuur:

  5. IS Says:

    Ben ik de enige die dit soort dingen veelal een vorm van architectonisch snobisme vind? Functionaliteit vraagt soms om aanpassingen (en als je een goede architect bent voorzie je mi. dat soort dingen).

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