Archive for May, 2011

Bijlmer Bliss: Kleiburg 1 Euro!

May 30, 2011

If you’re short sighted, what use is a vista?

Kleiburg is the last apartment building of the Bijlmermeer still in its original state. But Housing Corporation Rochdale has plans to demolish it. Rochdale claims renovation is too expensive. That is no surprise after more than 20 years of systematic neglect… The prospect of erecting profitable market driven houses instead apparently was irresistible.

During the reconstruction of the Bijlmermeer it was decided to keep the most emblematic area intact. The so-called Bijlmer Museum came into being; a compact refuge for Bijlmer Believers. Kleiburg is the cornerstone of the remaining ensemble. Bulldozing the masterpiece by architect Ottenhof, a bend slab of 500 apartments, 10 stories, 400 meter long -however profitable for the friends of the former director of Rochdale- will lead to the unacceptable mutilation of this magnificent urban monument.

Since there is quite some resistance against the destructive plans and the local government still prefers to prevent demolition, Rochdale recently launched a mediagenic action to ‘save’ the building: Kleiburg is now for sale for the sum of ONE euro. Over 50 parties responded to this ‘bargain’ with a business proposal. Four teams have been selected to further develop their ideas. But the criteria for selection remain foggy. We have to wait for ‘Bijlmer Leaks’ to learn about the real considerations… is it really a rescue operation or just smoke screen tactics?

Flying over the area with Google Earth (or KLM) it seems unimaginable to claim that it is only logical that the low rise suburban development is to be preferred over the vertical garden city… from ground-level (and from the apartments) the panoramas are stunning. But then again: if you’re short-sighted what use is a vista?

The Bijlmer pretty soon after its optimistic launch as a green, light and spacious alternative for the -at that time- disintegrating inner city has suffered from a lot of bad publicity. From 1974, for instance, a nickname for the new jail of Amsterdam started to become popular. It was officially called Penitentiaire Instelling Overamstel. But even though the prison was not located in the area, it was labeled Bijlmer Bajes, (bajes = jail). In a perverse process of reversed association the inhabitants of the Bijlmer turned into inmates…

Many attempts to renovate slabs in the Bijlmer, Kleiburg in particular, have focused on differentiation, in an attempt to get rid of the uniformity, the repetition, to ‘humanize’ the architecture. BAD idea. Time for a new approach: emphasize the intrinsic beauty. Sublimize. Kleiburg will soon make it into Wallpaper. Or Vibe magazine. Kleiburg is cool.

Wallpaper Mashup: photograph by Tim Freh

Vandkunsten at Verdana

May 30, 2011

The Danish office Vandkunsten came to visit Amsterdam. Our former teacher Bernard Leupen prepared a tour. Funen was one of the destinations. After visiting the fantastic and radical apartment by Herman Prast, we could enter K9 of our Blok K. Ruben van den Boogaard, architect and founder of INarchitecten is the very happy inhabitant. Ruben was the last to move in. And he was kind enough to open up his just completed apartment for a group of about 35 people.

Strap: any reasonable offer…

May 27, 2011

Architects Armada

May 20, 2011

A new fleet has entered Amsterdam…

Interestingly the flotilla docks next to the so-called Duokantoor Weteringschans, nick named Pepper and Salt; the most heavily criticized and disrespected buildings in Amsterdam, in the seventies described as ‘scull architecture’ – which at this moment perhaps could also be understood as a compliment … the question is if the HMS F. van Gool is part of the fleet

OH – NO Chairity Chair: sold

May 16, 2011

Cityscapes at Art Amsterdam

May 12, 2011

Architect and urban planner Bastiaan Gribling launched an exciting initiative: Cityscapes Gallery. Cityscapes explores the relationships between art, architecture and the city: The kick off was yesterday during the vernissage of Art Amsterdam.

Cityscapes shows artworks of diverse nature: painting – sculpture – architecture – photography – video – installations –  that demonstrate a distinct view on the urban condition we live in.

In 2011 Cityscapes exhibitions will be organized on different locations and in different European cities. Next to exhibitions in the Citythoughts Artspaces in Amsterdam and Antwerpen, plans are being developed to organize exhibitions in collaboration with galleries in Barcelona, Zurich and Paris.

The exhibit features works by Anne Holtrop, MVRDV, NL Architects, Bas Princen Daan Roosegaarde, SeARCH, Giny Vos, West 8 and Nicky Zwaan.

We’ve always considered our virtual contributions to the ‘architectural landscape’ of similar importance as our actual build work. Cityscapes now offers a real opportunity to explore a new audience. And perhaps a new economy…

Two of our ‘mash-ups’ are now for sale: Flower Power / Power Plant and Phantom Pain. The large ‘piëzo prints on dibond’ (100 x 140) are made by Bernard Ruijrok, which really brings them alive.

Also a 3D print of Power Flower is now available. Booth 47, until May 15. Check it out!

Scary Shit…

May 9, 2011

From our correspondent Gert Jan

Kameleon: sanitary scaffolding.