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



August 26, 2013

BL_KH_ARCHIVE1_SMLTIME-MACHINE is a range of Virtual exhibitions. First one will open on Friday 30th August at the artist’s complex Nieuwenmeer, Oude Haagse weg, Amsterdam. Our ARCHIVE project done in collaboration with KettingHuls will be  featured. We are curious how will the virtual reflections work, in real-time space. It promises to be an amusing site anyway, somewhat like silent disco, in the search for space.. BL_DH ARCHIVE 03_sml


June 21, 2013

SCRAMBLE 5_sml18 meter long ‘Scramble City’ being hung at Gredelj factory hall

Recently finished Dan_D (Day D, or day of design) in Zagreb Croatia took place in another one of the many abandoned industrial premises in the centre. The industrial heritage of the old Gredelj facory fills the largest central city gap, just behind the main railway station. Organised by the HDD Croatian Designer’s Society and in collaboration with Zagreb Holding, the partners managed to open the doors of the beautiful area and gave the ‘patient’ a shortlived rehab therapy. Pointing out the potential of the area. The romance and charm of the industrial heritage is in most European cities adopted by cultural polities, with varying degrees of success, but any larger city has one. Could Zagreb manage to get this one off the ground ?GRED_smlHaving in mind that the theme of current expo  is Design and the City, the temporary and ambitious programming works very well at the spot. Our ‘Scramble City’ lecture was planned together with several interesting practices: Muzej Kvarta, Akunpktura grada, 1postozagrad, Lana Cavar i Narcisa Vukojević, engaging with city and public space. 1005581_613901331975975_297286233_nHungry Designers have, except of having made the beautiful exhibit, been grilling sardines for the party. IGle with Nataša Mihaljčišin have made a catwalk. Propuh action in the ‘downtown’ blew some new wind in the area, opening the doors of small practices. In the photostudio Zelmanović portrait photographs were taken with the wind blowing machine. For the best photos the wind blows from the front. Hopefully reuse of the industrial heritage in Zagreb will get some wind from the back…..wind_sml


May 29, 2013

M feet 1_sml An exercise in compact living combining the Dutch Golden age tradition with the ‘japanese style’ Pet architecture. Preview from the opening as a follow up on previous blog…Vertical Niche_sml


May 2, 2013

130318_zauberkastZAUBERKAST is an exercise in the magic of compacted living. Fitted like a glove into the historical Amsterdam canal house, the ‘Magical Cupboard’ opens it’s doors to all the wonders of living. An entire  house is  compacted within the 67 centimeters thickness : entrance cupboard, sleeping room, kitchen, bathroom and toilet, and storage spaces. With a single Sesame open various housing functions reveal themselves. This is also a flirt with the old house that becomes a luxury pied -a terre in the heart of the city.keuken opstellingkitchen: the fold out dining table extends double with the mirror, four dining guests. An i-pod cooker lookalike warms the soup, quiche  is in the oven and wine chilled in the fridge. The adjacent sofa and daybed can eventually fold out into a full size sleepingSlaap opstellinglarge bed, walk-through closet and bathroom with warm shower make part of the sleeping room. Compacted storage, accesible with the ladder for the change of season or extra kitchen storage.  open deurtjes


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.


January 13, 2013

Upon the invitation of The Dutch Embassy in Georgia we went to Tbilisi to participate in an interesting event: Days of Dutch Architecture in Georgia containing an exhibition and the lecture series. Accompanied by very warm welcome, many interested parties and foremost an interesting place. When the mist set off the city revealed it’s treasures. Ministry bankThe Ministry of Transport designed by minister Chakhava himself at the end of soviet times turned into The Bank of Georgia. Followed by the restored wooden loggias of the historical summer place and ultracontemporary architecture.tanjur The change and adaption was however most interesting to be seen in modernist housing slabs. One might call it personalising the facade, and activating the ground floor with public functions: small commodity shops and services. MiniMARket It is difficult to trace the original elevation and shopkeepers were suspicious to strangers. But energy of people and  power of change makes this definitely a place to return to. Multiflat


November 26, 2012

The selected designs for landscape chambers of Brabant’s Veghel, were exhibited and negotiated at the ‘ontmoetingsmarkt’ organized by the Gemeente Veghel last friday. In many instances this was an unique occasion ‘vergezeld’ by the remains of the brass band with plenty of local delicacies and real livestock. Architects were presenting and ‘marketing’ their designs for contemporary landstyle homes while other parties (private and companies) were looking for their rooms, homes, views, projects or ultimately a better tomorrow. Remains to be seen what will be the future turns and returns of the Chambers of Veghel. The interesting landscape/urban plan (done by Bureau B+B) flirts with contemporary tradition, as do the designs….several of ours capture the spirit of the place as the livestock wanders around.