August 28, 2015

Welcome to our all-you-can-sleep hotel

Virtual Reality

June 17, 2015

Renderings are becoming the new contract drawings… no longer they are ‘artist impressions’: we’re now thoroughly assessing the visuals with our cost consultants.


June 10, 2015

I just woke up from a dream about a so-called DBMO tender. In order for the client to get a better performance, this type of contract involves not just the design but also the maintenance of the project. The contractor, in addition to erecting the building also has to provide toilet paper and coffee for a 25 year time frame. The hallucination was about the menu of one of the required restaurants. According to the program of demands we did not provide enough red pepper icons in the side line. How could we rescue the project? What if we placed some extra peppers on the children’s menu?

Expanding Universes on Shrinking Footprints

April 8, 2015

ostrava sokkel test

In 2010 The City of Ostrava aspired to become the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2015. In this framework the city organized an Urban Design Competition for a site called Černá Louka (or Black Meadow). NL Architects was invited to make a proposal that should catalyze cultural development and urban transformation.

Black Meadow offered a unique opportunity to experiment with a new type of park; an urban park, a park that combines lush greenery with real urban substance. It perhaps could serve as a model of a new type of city: Tokyo meets suburbia.

Although our dear friends of MAXWAN won this competition (and Mons in Belgium and Plzeň in Czech Republic won the final bid for the cultural capital) we are still very exited by the potential of our proposal: Black Meadow to us serves as some sort of manifesto: how to rescue vulnerable green in the city and intensify urban life at the same time?

We are delighted by the opportunity offered by Kabinet Architektury to present our work once more in Ostrava. The idea of the exhibition is to show a number of projects that are thematically related to the premises of the Černá Louka competition entry, some build others still speculative, but all ‘family’: expanding universes on shrinking footprints.




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February 24, 2015

UGE on Eiffel

UGE has mounted two vertical axis turbines on the Eiffel Tower. “Located above the second level, the turbines will produce over 10,000kWh of electricity a year, offsetting the annual consumption of all commercial activity on the Eiffel Tower’s first floor.

The two UGE VisionAIR5 vertical axis wind turbines were specially painted to match the iconic tower, and are located 400 feet above ground level to maximize energy production”.

It feels a bit like a déjà vue if you excuse my French. It could be considered a mock up for the Power Tower:

UGE 01

UGE 04

UGE 02

John Jerde dies

February 11, 2015

I remember visiting the Partnership in Los Angeles. The hotel was nearby so we walked along the Ocean Front Walk. When we arrived we could not find the entrance. The building did not have a front door. The only way in was through the parking garage…

Fly United_For Real!

December 15, 2014

Fly United_Airbus

Fly United Airbus Formation for real copy

Fly United sm

For the Biennale in 2008 we created a Virtual Reality called Fly United. The Mash-up shows nine jets in the V-shape typical for migrating birds like geese. The idea is that the slipstream will reduce air-resistance; the airplanes will become lighter because they have to bring less fuel! Airliners from London, Brussels and Paris for instance could gather in the sky to ‘embark’ on the collective long haul flight to NY… and safe 10%.

It of course requires really good pilots. Now Airbus for the first time succeeded to make formations with passenger class flights… check this amazing family flight video. It is getting time to check the hypothesis.

Thank you Daan Roggeveen for the in-flight information!

RAL 7039_brutalism appreciated!

December 9, 2014

Er zal een trotse wijk verrijzen…. Grote grijze toren flats nog mooier dan paleizen”.

Schaap met de 5 pooten_Bijlmermeer

A proud neighborhood will arise… large grey tower blocks prettier than any palace”. ‘t Schaep met de 5 pooten – 1969 – De Bijlmermeer

‘t Schaep met de 5 pooten was an immensely popular TV show broadcasted nationally in 1969. One episode chanted about the creation of a new expansion of Amsterdam: Bijlmermeer, the CIAM inspired hexagonal vertical garden city: concrete utopia. The heartfelt optimism about the new quarter in the making is remarkable: Bijlmer Bliss!

That desolate wasteland
Will become an all concrete neighborhood
With a thousand houses in a row
And all equal

“I can feel that I will love you
Bijlmermeer… Bijlmermeer”.

Apparently grey concrete was considered wonderful… brutalism appreciated!

During the rescue operation and revamp of Kleiburg -the last remaining apartment building of the Bijlmermeer still in original state- layers of paint have been blasted off. Balconies and galleries once again expose the wonderful tactility of concrete: the consoles delisiously coarse and rough on one side and refined on the other, the exposed aggregate concrete panels vibrant, and the prefab railings smooth and soft. Maybe even better than Travertin.

An unfortunate chain of events aborted our initial aspiration to bring back the tropical hard wood window frames in transparent varnish. But the grey paint (RAL 7039) proofed a wonderful and fitting alternative…

Below the full lyrics in Dutch:

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Elevator goooing left!

November 29, 2014


ThyssenKrupp is developing the world’s first rope free elevator.  The MULTI  will evoke a revolution. It comprises of several cabins in the same shaft moving vertically and horizontally that will permit buildings to adopt different heights, shapes, and purposes, transforming conventional elevator transportation in vertical metro systems. Transrapid going up!

MULTI requires smaller shafts than conventional elevators, and can increase a building’s usable area by 25%!

The MULTI is exactly what we’ve been waiting for… In our proposal for Taipei performing Arts Center we hoped to deploy a system of elevators that besides going up and down could move sideways, that could overtake each other for ultimate efficiency and pure bliss: the elevator a ride!


The Road as Chesterfield

November 25, 2014


Sleeping Policeman in the gutter.

Increasingly heavy rain might eventually require a new type of drainage. Traffic safety will remain an important issue. So why not combine bump and gully?

Can we invert the speed bump and turn it into some kind of gutter?

Drainage and speed control combined into one object = speed drain!speed drain