An Impossible Stair by NEXT Architects

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Sander Meisner_03

The steel staircase is based on a Möbius strip. (Sander Meisner)

A folly in a Rotterdam suburb draws on residents’ complex relationship with the city.

The residents of Carnisselande, a garden suburb in Barendrecht, the Netherlands, have a curious relationship with Rotterdam. Many of them work in the city, or are otherwise mentally and emotionally connected to it, yet they go home at night to a place that is physically and visually separate. When NEXT architects was tapped to build a folly on a hill in the new town, they seized on this apparent contradiction. “This suburb is completely hidden behind sound barriers, highways, totally disconnected from Rotterdam,” said NEXT director Marijn Schenk. “We discovered when you’re on top of the hill and jump, you can see Rotterdam. We said, ‘Can we make the jump into an art piece?’” Read More

Impressive Shortlist for New Dutch Cultural Center Revealed

International, Newsletter
Monday, March 3, 2014
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Arnhem, Netherlands is in the midst of commissioning designs for ArtA, a new cultural center planned for the city. Proposals from an impressive list of four international firms are being considered for the space, which is to house the Museum Arnhem and the Focus Film Theater. Beyond accommodating both exhibition and theater programming, the structure is also meant to act as a link between the city and the waterfront of the adjacent Rhine River.

All the proposals after the jump.

Unveiled> MVRDV Designs Shiny New Storage Facility for Rotterdam Museum

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MVRDV’s winning proposal. (Courtesy MVRDV)

Dutch firm MVRDV has won a competition to design a new public/private art depot for the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam. While the design has been selected, the fate of the project remains in the balance. City council officials have until the end of the year to decide whether or not to go ahead with construction.

Learn more after the jump.

OMA’s Massive De Rotterdam Towers Completed

International
Monday, December 2, 2013
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(Courtesy OMA)

(Courtesy OMA)

After less than four years under construction, the massive De Rotterdam towers, OMA’s grand experiment in urban density and scale, were completed a few weeks ago. With over 1,700,000 square feet of floor space, Rem Koolhaas’ glass-clad “vertical city” is the largest multifunctional building in the Netherlands.

Continue reading after the jump.

Dutch Architects Join Race For World’s First 3D-Printed House

International
Thursday, March 14, 2013
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Rendering of DUS' proposed 3D printed house in Amsterdam. (Courtesy DUS)

Rendering of DUS’ proposed 3D printed house in Amsterdam. (Courtesy DUS)

Dutch firm DUS Public Architecture has switched gears from soap and water to polypropylene as they join the race (alongside British collective SoftKill Design and fellow Dutchman Janjaap Ruijssenaars) to complete the first 3D printed house. Their sights are set on a full-sized four-story canal house in Amsterdam, entirely printed and built on site by the KamerMaker, their own purpose-built 3D printer housed inside a verticle shipping container. Starting work in the next six months, DUS plan to have the entire facade and first room of the house printed and erected. With the “welcoming room” established, the architects hope to complete the rest of the house in the following three years.

Videos of the giant KamerMaker 3D printer after the jump.

On View> Triggering Reality: New Conditions for Art and Architecture in the Netherlands

International
Friday, March 8, 2013
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Cow sculpture by Atelier Van Lieshout.

Cow sculpture by Atelier Van Lieshout.

Triggering Reality: New Conditions for Art and Architecture in the Netherlands
Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, Italy
Curated by Giampiero Sanguigni with the collaboration of Marco Brizzi

The economic crisis may be a global phenomenon, but in the Netherlands it has shown its effects in full swing. During the ’80s and ’90s, Dutch architects and artists benefited from generous public funding supporting architecture and the arts. Nowadays, they face the same shortages as their European counterparts. Yet, history teaches that in the face of a recession, architecture shrinks; it hides by borrowing from other disciplines: sculpture, decorative, and performative arts.

Triggering Reality displays the work of young (and not-so-young) professionals, whose works range from decorative pieces of urban sculpture like Atelier Van Lieshout’s made-from-recycled-material cow, to small and ephemeral vanishing pieces of architecture like Dus Architects’ bubble building.

History also teaches that crisis can sharpen a person’s wits, and architects sometimes grow their works within existing structures. The work by Krijn De Koning, for example, consists of small reinventions of interiors. Overall an example of how even now, with less money, the Netherlands can build architectural examples to reflect upon.

Photo of the Day> A Miniature City Made of Flowers

International
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
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A parade float of a cityscape made of flowers. (Courtesy Zendert Flower Foundation)

A parade float of a cityscape made of flowers. (Courtesy Zendert Flower Foundation)

The Dutch are known to love their flowers. They’re even building an entire city dedicated to them for a horticultural expo in 2022. On a smaller scale, the Bloemencorso flower parade covers imaginative and incredibly detailed floats in thousands of colorful blooms, and this year it featured a miniature flower city of its own.

Dutch Artist Imagines a Playground Rooted in Used Tires

International
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
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Proposal for a playground made of tires called RubberTree. (Courtesy AnneMarie van Splunter)

Proposal for a playground made of tires called RubberTree. (Courtesy AnneMarie van Splunter)

Of the 85 proposals submitted to a playground design competition hosted by Go Play!, few were as innovative as AnneMarie van Splunter’s RubberTree, which landed an honorable mention. The Dutch designer’s imaginative reuse of old car and motorcycle tires recalls the simplicity of children playing around a tree, inspired, in fact, by the rubber tree and its heavily exposed root system. Van Splunter sought to create a place where refugee children on the border of Burma and Thailand can be “rooted in solid ground.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Slideshow: Zonnestraal Sanatorium Saved From Ruin

International
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
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Zonnestraal Sanatorium in Hilversum after restoration (Courtesy WMF)

Zonnestraal Sanatorium in Hilversum after restoration (Courtesy WMF)

Abandoned and nearly lost, the Zonnestraal Sanatorium in Hilversum, Netherlands has been meticulously restored to its former glory by Bierman Henket architecten and Wessel de Jonge architecten.  In honor of their efforts, the two firms were awarded the 2010 World Monuments Fund / Knoll Modernism Prize.  Alan Brake penned an article for the print edition of The Architect’s Newspaper:

Designed in 1926–1928 by Johannes Duiker and Bernard Bijvoet and completed in 1931, the sanatorium is considered a seminal work of early modernism. Though it was well known when it was built, the structure was eventually abandoned, and since then nearly subsumed by the surrounding landscape. Portions of the three-building complex were almost completely lost, so many parts of the sanatorium had to be meticulously reconstructed, including formerly mass-produced elements that had to be recreated by hand.

Read the entire article from The Architect’s Newspaper.

A gallery of before and after conditions after the jump.

Rem Sees the Sea

Other
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
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Courtesy Netherlands Society for Nature and the Environment 

OMA and Rem Koolhaas have released an ambitious plan for the North Sea that would produce all the electricity for Dutch households via offshore wind power before 2020. Commissioned by the Netherlands Society for Nature and the Environment, the plan would create North Sea wind parks as a “sustainable battery for Europe.” Read More

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