Archive for May, 2012

Odd Job

May 30, 2012

Kleiburg is the last original apartment building in the Bijlmermeer: a magnificent beauty, larger than life: 400 meter long, 10 stories high, 500 apartments (of about 100 m2 each), 4 KM of galleries… in a way ‘the last man standing’ in the ‘War on Modernism’…

Housing Corporation Rochdale calculated that a thorough renovation would cost about 70 million Euro. But bulldozing the BMF and building a lucrative low-rise development in-stead –not long ago an almost irresistible option- is in this ‘bunny market’ not feasible either.

In order to catalyze an alternative plan for this Megastructure the housing corporation put the building for sale for ONE Euro.

Alter a selection procedure there is only one party left at the table. Consortium De Flat, consisting of KondorWessels Vastgoed, Hendriks CPO, Vireo Vastgoed en Hollands Licht, introduces Kleiburg as Klusflat. ‘Klussen’ translates as ‘doing odd jobs’.

The idea is to renovate the main infrastructure -elevators, galleries, installations- but to leave the apartments unfinished. The future residents can buy the shell and renovate it by themselves. For a very low price. And entirely according to their wishes. Owning a home suddenly comes within reach. It will be so cheap that two flats (or more!) can be combined into one. Either by making vertical voids or horizontal holes.

Martijn Blom of the Consortium has invited Rappange & Partners and us to contribute to materialization of this concept: an unexpected (and very welcome) chance to substantiate our prediction that Kleiburg could some day end up on the cover of Wallpaper

Kuifje in Crooswijk

May 29, 2012

Human Scale in Architecture

May 24, 2012

Die Frage trieb sie um, wie der Mensch „als wichtigster Maßstab architektonischen Handelns“ in zukünftiger Architektur wohl wohne und lebe.

Das Ledigen Haus in Darmstadt, is a building for singles, designed by Ernst Neufert in the early fifties. The Neufert.

The innovative, intimate balconies feature a very elegant ring to suspend a flowerpot. Or is actually a cup holder?

Surprisingly the ceilings in the stairwells are low. Too low for Jana and Hans. They are both pretty tall, ganz tall actually, but just 2 meters headroom?

Perhaps this building ‘error’ was the catalyst of the Bauentwurfslehre, the spark to develop the apparently indispensable Architects’ Data…

Der Mensch, das Mass aller Dinge.


May 24, 2012

In the train to the airport, a mother to her son: that’s not a screen, that is a window!


May 22, 2012

Nieuw Crooswijk – Blok C

May 21, 2012

Labour Day: Smile Curve

May 1, 2012

A smiling curve is an illustration of value-adding potentials of different components of the value chain in an IT-related manufacturing industry.

Stan Shih revealed that both ends of the production chain create the value of a product, not the middle part.

Not Manufacturing, but Concept, Research & Development, Branding and Design together with Marketing, Distribution, Sales and Service are responsible for the added value. If represented by a curve, a smile appears.

According to the VeraSage institute of the $400 price of an iPhone a mere $5 goes to manufacturing in China…  That is why outsourcing of IT fabrication to low wage countries is not per se a sacrifice.However, if you look at the fee of architects through the different phases of the construction process, you’ll notice a different pattern. The concept phase (VO + DO / PD + SD) amounts to only one third of the total fee.

And more and more the actual production of contract and working drawings is handled by specialized firms, design institutes, cad companies. This used to be the phase in which you could actually make some money. Now this phase is often amputated…Although Architects are not particularly good at communicating the positive effects of their interventions, still the true added value of a project might be in its conception… isn’t it time for a new model of remuneration?