Where is Wally?

December 22, 2016


Walter is looking forward to his early pension

but less Walter is for us beyond comprehension

because ( and this is not too jolly)

the most frequent question in the office is: Where is Wally?




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Restaurants become Work Spaces!

October 13, 2016


Cedars becomes ChillySpaces @ WSTLND

De Hut

June 29, 2016


Inspired by Maakland -the coolest playground around: a wooden metropolis build by kids- Otis (10) became obsessed with building his own cabin. He learned here to build with pallets; the systematic uniformity lends itself for instant structures of prefabricated walls and floors: a kind of inhabitable Lego: brilliant!

Otis found a promising building site near his home: the public green flanking a parking lot: a very rare micro forest that serves a buffer zone: dense, seemingly impenetrable.

Otis and his friends scavenged the streets for building material, luckily pallets are ubiquitous. And they come in a baffling amount of dimensions and compositions… standardization run haywire.

What we were not prepared for is the Territorial Battles that emerged. Neighborhood kids also discovered the hidden lair and claimed the premises. Nerf gun attacks, booby traps, nail mats: war… But after forming strategic alliances, there is now a peace agreement, other kids bring hammers, nails and equipment too: now work continues collectively

If we aspire to make the city livable for kids it becomes clear that this type of space is vital: how can we bring about more undefined, unclaimed, unused, uncontrolled pocket parks?







Art of Engineering

May 11, 2016

The facade cleaning installation for Groninger Forum under development: Manntech has built a 1:40 scale steel model to figure out how it could work.

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Gro fo_foto 1

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Ascent of the Blessed

April 28, 2016

Hieronymus WOS m

Thank you Daria and Laura for this divine image…

Shooting Stars: Kleiburg Gallery Lighting

February 1, 2016

Gallery Lighting_Motion Detectors at Kleiburg

The renovation of Kleiburg is now almost completed: most of the inhabitants have moved in their 500 customized units. One particular detail has a special connotation.

Gallery illumination has a tendency to be very dominant in the perception of apartment buildings with single loaded access. The intensity of the lamps that light up the front doors on the open-air corridors overrules the glow of the individual units. The warm ‘bernstein’ radiance of the apartments is obscured behind by a screen of cold lights.

Taking the repetition of the light bulbs as a starting point we explored the possibilities of animation. Mid nineties we made a collage called Digital Graffiti. The idea was to connect gallery lights to a computer so that text messages could be sent that would be displayed on the facade: the entire building would become a supersized interactive bulletin board. And what if all gallery lights worked with energy saving motion detectors? Every passer-by a shooting star!

The Digital Graffiti Mash-up was based on a photograph by Willem Haakma Wagenaar that was actually shot from the ninth floor of Kleiburg. The idea came up while residing in what is now called De Flat. A beautiful coincidence: after an incubation period of 20 years the infrared detectors are now in action right where they were conceived…

Photo: Marcel van der Burg



Betondag 2015

January 22, 2016


Some very interesting lectures (in Dutch…) about the Groninger Forum and how it will be made resilient against potential earthquakes. Erwin ten Brincke and Han Krijgsman of ABT and Jos Rona of BAM.

climate change

October 29, 2015

The so-called ‘Portiek’ used to be a very popular access type for apartment buildings in the Netherlands. It is a type of covered forecourt (vestibule or portico), a space in front of the entrance that lies entirely within the building and is open to the street.

The ‘Portiek’ was one of the favorite tools of the Amsterdamse School (the Dutch expressionistic architectural style of the first part of the 20th century) to create sculptural effects. The entrances are articulated dramatically, to form a kind of welcoming ‘caves’.

In the nineties however this type of covered outdoor space disappeared from the toolbox of the city planner.

The ‘urban grotto’ now was considered dangerous; a place where possible muggers could lurk, a hideout for potential rapists or assailants… In the past three decades roofed open-air space has been banned; in our city expansions streets have become non-stick conduits.

But since increasingly heavy rainstorms become more and more frequent, we could really benefit from some basic form of shelter…

And in the mean time another climate change is taking place: crime rates have been going down rapidly. The city no longer is dangerous…. time for the second coming of the Portiek?


Earthquake Hotel

September 25, 2015

Master G. just returned from a trip to Japan. The people he had brought along were thrilled to experience a real earthquake.

This notion of excitement sparked the idea for a new hospitality concept: The Earth Moved Love Hotel. An occasional fake quake will create a lasting memory. And perhaps a real orgasm…


September 23, 2015

Spielbudenplatz_sun study SW march

We’re very happy to announce that together with BeL we’ve won the competition for the Spielbudenplatz. Here is the German text (english will follow soon):

Städtebau von Straße, Haus und Tür

Die Straße ist Aktionsfeld gesellschaftlicher Mischung. St. Pauli ist aktives Gemenge auf der Straße. St. Pauli entsteht durch eine Vielzahl unterschiedlicher Akteuren, die sich auf der Straße treffen.

Wir erzeugen städtebauliche Heterogenität mit einfachen Häusern. Die verschiedenen Wohnungstypen sind gebäudeweise sortiert. In diesen Häusern leben jeweils relativ homogene Gruppen, sie stellen eine Gemeinschaft dar. Die Gruppen und ihre Mitglieder treffen auf der Straße aufeinander. Stadt wird auf der Straße gelebt, die Tür im Erdgeschoss ist der Übergang vom Gemeinschaftlichen zum Öffentlichen. Die Anzahl der Türen bestimmt den Grad der Mischung des Öffentlichen, dieser sollte maximal sein. Mit der großen Anzahl an Türen entsteht gesellschaftliche Vielfalt, Mischung und selbstbestimmte Begegnung.

Städtebau als Verhandlung

Die Realteilung wird sowohl als soziales als auch als wirtschaftliches Werkzeug eingesetzt. Das Gesamtgrundstücks wird in vier Grundstücke geteilt, die nach Art ihrer Nutzung sortiert sind. Das Hotel liegt am Spielbudenplatz, der geförderte Wohnungsbau an Taubenstraße und Kastanienallee, der freifinanzierte Mietwohnungsbau und die Baugruppe an der Kastanienallee und der Quartiersstraße.

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