Archive for November, 2013

Deventer by Matthew Stadler

November 26, 2013

Deventer_WOS 8

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!

Urban farming? Urban pharma!

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!

Serendipity: the Silo Tapes

November 12, 2013

Genetic Choir in Silo_01

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.

Silo Tapes_Genetic Choir

opening of a silo

Amsterdamse Kunstkalender

November 6, 2013

Amsterdamse Kunstkalender

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.

From Blok K to Klusflat…

November 4, 2013

Blok K

My double life as ‘spouse’ of one of the residents of Verdana (as revealed by Het Parool after winning the Nieuwbouwprijs in 2011) now gets a surprising new dimension: from husband in Funen to model in a klusflat in de Bijlmer…


Halloween München

November 1, 2013

Halloween Munchen_02

Johannes Kappler has invited us to speak about our residential projects at the Fakultät für Architektur / Hochschule München in the series Here and There. There was an unexpected guest in the audience last night…

Halloween Munchen_01

Zwarte Piet keeps the Netherlands in a grip (with possible UN sanctions, an intervention coming soon?). But this guy has maybe solved the issue… a black and white Piet!