NAi China Program | day II

Amsterdam | August 31, 2010

On the second day of the NAi China Program [see day 1] we visited a couple of classic housing projects [MVRDV’s Parkrand, the 1990s KNSM-island developments…] and large residential areas in transformation [Amsterdam West, areas along the riverbanks of the IJ…], all located in Amsterdam. Background and snapshots.

In the introduction to the consultancy report the Netherlands Architecture Institute commissioned us, we presented following state of affairs:

There is a concern amongst architects for the social context and a desire to deal with projects that respond to the reigning urban transformation. There are a multitude of phenomena (social housing, migrant workers, preservation, infrastructure, urban-suburban…) that all point, if not acted upon, towards civic imbalance and instability. This shows a society in transition lacking a clarity of thought when dealing with these issues and types of architectural commissions. A wide gap in income levels, the need for affordable housing, a neglect for the quality of construction and absence of discourse are subjects which are common concern but are not dealt with in architectural design.

One Chinese architect voiced his analysis of the Dutch housing system to us as following:

The Netherlands always has had a strong society and support system by government. For every building, they need public money or power to create the groundwork for a new community. So it has a strong experience in keeping the quality of civil society based on a good relation with governance. In the 1950s many countries invested in social housing, but after 20 years most gave up. The Netherlands still needed to do this and make it better. Architects like West8, OMA and MVRDV are so different than any others, because of the way they see society.

Following architects were present during the second day:

Locations visited during the second day in Amsterdam: Parkrand [MVRDV – 2007], WOZOCO [MVRDV – 1997], Westerdoksdijk [Meyer en Van Schooten Architecten, Heren 5 Architecten, Architekten Cie. – 2009], KNSM island [Jo Coenen, Hans Kollhoff, Christian Rap, Bruno Albert, Wiel Arets, Diener & Diener – 1992], Java island [Sjoerd Soeters – 1995] and Borneo + Sporenburg [Koen van Velsen, West8, Frits van Dongen – 1996].

NAi matchmaking program | Amsterdam, August 31, 2010

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PREVIOUS & NEXT | NAi China Program | day 1 & day 3

Related |Shenzhen | Taking A Stance | June, 2010


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