Archive for the 'strategies' Category


September 7, 2013

TX_SCAFFOLD_ExpCONGRATULATIONS to Merixell Blanco Diaz with her Cum Laude graduation project: VINEXMARKT !!!!!

The opportunity to write a report for Txell’s graduation puts me in the enviable position of creating a text that supports our recommendation that she graduate cum laude. What impressed us most in this extraordinary project is her originality and the pioneering position this design takes in relation to the future of our profession. She epitomises the need for a revised position of the designer, combining the conceptual starting points with architectural design by using social methods. (mentor and supervisors: Lada Hršak, Kamiel Klaasse, Jochem Heijmans)TX_VNX1_s

The graduation project ‘Vinexmarkt’ is a personal and intriguing exercise, combining into one the layers of concept, architecture and art with Txell’s own social engagement. The brief has an autobiographical quality generated by her real life experience of moving to Leidsche Rijn, possibly the last Vinex housing location to be built in the Netherlands. The design process is articulated with the curiosity of one who passes through life with their eyes open, seeking out spaces suitable for ‘exploitation’. The neighbourhood where she and hundreds of others live is not visible on Googlemaps which still shows an agricultural landscape even though the last farm departed years ago. Several future plans for the area have been widely publicised leaving the residents caught somewhere between the past and future. What is the identity of this place in the making, and who are the other ‘pioneers’ living there? Who are my neighbours, and where do I meet them? The research embarks with these questions in mind on a quest for the character and identity of Leidsche Rijn.TX_VNX2_s

Txell developed a personal design trajectory flitting alternately between the many roles of our profession. As social activist, researcher, designer, technician and assembly instructor she engaged directly with the narrative’s other protagonists. Displaying endless energy, she contacted and spoke to an impressive number of people ranging from the Local Authority’s marketing advisor, urban planners and structural engineers to local entrepreneurs and the last farmer to vacate the area.TX_PubSp

In her search for the meaning of Vinex and its potential as a place for interaction, she proposes the Vinex Markt – a specific market formed by hijacking the characteristic Vinex building module (a repetitive 5.1m suburban housing grid) and using it to generate a covered, yet open marketplace with an iconic quality. Located on a vacant site adjacent to the train station, Vinex Markt is arranged in a square layout that differentiates the submerging inner square from the outer zone. The stalls are located between the concrete dividing walls with concrete furniture to aid the activities of buying, selling, playing etc. The market serves as the missing public forum: a local place capable of transforming to suit its users with their various interventions and activities as: the ‘classic’ market, extended market, playground, meeting place, cafe, cinema, theatre etc….TX_SCAFFOLD_DRW

The material presented for her graduation consisted of conceptual analysis, action-research, urban studies, a design proposal,design details, plans for flexible use, water and sustainability schemes and a host of models arranged in a variety of scales (1:500, 1:100, 1:20 and 1:1 poured in concrete). It also included a beautiful scale model of the wooden scaffolding illustrating how the idea can be developed in the future.TX Pour

See the blog and our earlier post Rearranging the Real


April 25, 2013


OASE 89 wil be presented on April 25 in the Stadsmuseum Gent (STAM). 25 April 2013 19.00
Stadsmuseum Gent (STAM). Bijlokesite. Godshuislaan 2, 9000 Gent

Klaske Havik will present the issue.
Lada Hrsak will reveal the project ‘Scramble City’.
Michiel Dehaene will discuss the Mid-Size City in a conversation with Bart Verschaffel and Paul Vermeulen

De middelgrote stad is een onderbelicht thema in het discours over stad en stedelijkheid. Urban studies hebben zich in hoofdzaak op de metropool gericht en focussen meer recent ook op relatief nieuwe fenomenen als de generieke stad of de netwerkstad. Terwijl de middelgrote stad weinig tot de verbeelding sprak van diegenen die het discours bepaalden, bleek zij in de praktijk desalniettemin populair als woon- en vestigingsgebied – misschien juist vanwege haar weinig spannende karakter. Als de metropool bij uitstek de plaats van de moderne stedelijke ervaring is, dan is de kleine en middelgrote stad de plek waar de moderniteit wordt geabsorbeerd en zich een vertrouwd en vertrouwenwekkend gezicht verwerft. De middelgrote stad als plaats, waar het verlangen naar een ‘getemperde’ stedelijke ervaring voorwerp wordt van stedenbouw en architectuur. Ooit het centrum van haar eigen ommeland is de middelgrote stad meer dan ooit deel van een stedelijk netwerk waarin de kansen en problemen van de hedendaagse stedelijke samenleving neerslaan. De grote maatschappelijke opgaven, demografie, migratie, mobiliteit, ecologie, zijn net zo goed uitdagingen voor de middelgrote stad. In die context is de middelgrote stad vandaag opnieuw de plek waar de stedelijke beeldvorming rondom de Europese stad herijkt wordt.

text OASE Journal for Architecture


March 11, 2013

afreur1‘ He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.’ George Orwell. Exhibition at the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is celebrating the 400 years from the Golden Age, and all venues in the city are focusing on it. Some parts of the famous ‘Grachtengordel’ or the canal district look very much alike the historical paintings (if we erase trash bins and cars and parking ticket poles). Alike but not the same, as the subtle layers of developments throughout time show through the historical cracks. UNESCO has granted a good deal Amsterdam Centre a monumental status, which works like a preservative. Question arises how will the city develop further? At the same time, inside, the city changes and develops. Controler and Activist_smlTwo almost consequent  projects deal with the question of how to imagine and give form to the future by understanding the past. One of them, the last Winterworkshop (Jan-Feb 2013) at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam was dealing with the question what will the Grachtengordel be like in the 400 years from now.  The students predicted the New World coalition: the AfrEurope, a north south pact of an imaginable non-material society where people will be wearing their mask as the only possession describing their qualities, abilities and influence. Students doubled the portraits in the seventeenth century gallery with copied portraits wearing the future masks. Overcoming the 800 years in time.

with: Lada Hršak, Frederica Jambor, Paul Kuipers, Jerryt Krombeen, Heather Macsween, Wishant Manna, Patrick Rogiers, Eva Souren, Mark van Vilsteren, Thom Zijlstra.Afreuropa_timezones_smlMap of The Afreurope Union


March 4, 2013

Scramble_BookshopAccompanying the ‘Medium’ OASE magazine issue nr 89 devoted to Mid-Size City you will find our visual essay  entitled ‘Scramble City’. (see earlier blog) The upcoming seminar and debate focusing on the topic will be held in Ghent on 25 April 2013.


July 7, 2012

photos Dieuwertje Komen

Our 5m long leporello has arrived! And has already been pronounced ‘The Book of The Month’ by renown Dutch site ’Archined’ (in a bundle with 3 other cahiers). Available via: archined-boek-van-de-maand

Scramble City is a visual essay by Lada Hršak, Michiel van Iersel, Dieuwertje Komen and Neeltje ten Westenend. It presents a fragmented journey through a fragmented urban landscape filled with good intentions. In the autumn of 2010 they were part of a group of 20 architects, urban designers, artists, designers and writers that travelled to the Balkans(Skopje, Priština, Tirana), Marseille, the North of England (Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool) and the Basque region (Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteiz). This ninth Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture study trip was entitled What’s Up, What’s Down: Cultural Catalysts in Urban Space and investigated the urban transformations of the last several decades in these European secondary cities.


June 26, 2012

Kim Verhoeven ‘Space in Four Parts’

Archiprix is an annual award for the best graduation work of students all higher architectural institutions in the Netherlands. To be nominated in such a condition is already a great achievement. Herewith congratulations to all 27 nominees, and the final 6 winners (teams). Amongst the winners is ‘our’ student Kim Verhoeven that we specially congratulate for her research and design project ‘Space in Four Parts’. ‘van harte’. An earlier blog features her (cum laude) graduation presentation with more data . Apparently it was, next to the great project, the extensive material research and all the rubber and gypsum moulds that took the hearts of the jury:) This is a recommendation for other students and designers alike. Accompanied by beautifully designed publication.


May 24, 2012

How could the be if we were able to rearrange the elements of realty? A significant venture into an other-improved living condition is done by Txell Blanco Diaz.  At the outskirts of Leidsche Rijn reality is placed in a  gap between past and future condition on constantly evolving building-site. Piles of sand or bricks lay next to road waiting…. until Txell came by and rearranged the pile into a place; creating complete urban furniture set with a bench and a waste basket. Excellent.

Let’s leave to imagination what happened when workers pass by the next morning at 7 am?  Txell Blanco Diaz, more info on


April 18, 2012

In the coming few days there are few interesting venues regarding The City. One of which is definitely a colloquium on ‘Mid-Size City’ – The Dual Nature of Urban Imagery in Europe During the Long 20th Century. It takes place in Ghent from 19th to 21th April and is organised by GUST (Ghent Urban Studies Team) from Ghent University. Even before we go out to the printer’s with our ‘Scramble City Cross Section of a Fictitious Secondary City’ project will have a ‘primeur’ presentation at the colloquium.a glimpse of Scramble City map

Scramble City presents the cross section of a fictitious secondary city, composed of elements from nine European cities. It is a visual essay by Lada Hršak, Michiel van Iersel, Dieuwertje Komen and Neeltje ten Westenend, recording a fragmented journey through a fragmented urban landscape. In as much as there are similarities among European urban pathways through time, there are also local particularities and differences. Europe’s cities have unique identities grounded in geography, climate, their overall function and historical narratives. This heterogeneity emerged clearly from the research (Fonds BKVB Study-trip) carried out by a group who undertook a ‘grand tour’ of Europe’s cities and travelled in close succession to Skopje, Priština, Tirana, Marseille, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteiz. Scramble City is more than just a journey along places and people; it is ultimately a journey through time: the successes and failures in the creation of urban identity over the past decade.