Exhibition at Het Nieuwe Instituut
Until March 10th 2019 Het Nieuwe Instituut presents an exhibition with the proposals of the four nominees and an introduction to the Sixhaven area.
The four nominees of the Prix de Rome Architecture 2018 were asked to come up with a proposal for the Sixhaven area in Amsterdam. Whereas the open call of the first round addressed issues for a Low Pressure area, this final round focuses on High Pressure; an assignment in a popular urban area, a place where many want to live.
Alessandra Covini (Milan 1988, owner Studio Ossidiana, Rotterdam)
Replacing ‘high pressure’ with ‘high intensity’, Alessandra Covini’s proposed design, Amsterdam Allegories, transforms Sixhaven into a water-filled harbour dotted with 21 ‘islands for Amsterdam’s future.’ Reflecting poetically on the city’s identity, its dreams and obsessions, its desires and idiosyncrasies, the islands are not defined not by their program, but by the possibilities they offer for human encounters with animals, plants and minerals. In this way, Covini attempts to shape a new type of public space in which leisure becomes re-creation: an arena for action, rather than passive consumption. In this surreal and experimental public domain, Amsterdam’s citizens are transformed from users into sailors, collectors, farmers, cartographers and explorers.
Bram van Kaathoven (1991 Lieshout, works at Bauhütte / TU Eindhoven)
Located in the former backwater of Amsterdam-Noord, Sixhaven is the last truly empty space this close to the historical city centre. Stressing the need to preserve this rarity, rather than develop it, Bram van Kaathoven sees the site as embodying a crucial choice–concerning the future not only of the city, but of civilization itself. His proposal New Atlantis concentrates Sixhaven’s emptiness by constructing a perimeter building around it, preserving and monumentalizing a vacant core. Interpreting the ‘high pressure’ of the jury’s assignment as the stress exerted on citizens by ever-accumulating technological ‘solutions’, he envisages this perimeter building as the Repository of Discontinued Techniques. Here, proposed innovations are assessed, and if deemed detrimental or unnecessary, rejected and stored, so that future generations can witness ‘what has been abstained from’ for the sake of humanity. “The true sign of civilization,” he says, “is to realize that not all that is possible should be effected.”
Katarzyna Nowak (1985 Czestichowa/Poland, works at MVRDV, Rotterdam, winner Archiprix 2016)
In her proposal for the upcoming urban expansion in north Amsterdam, Katarzyna Nowak introduces a new position on the public realm. Vrijhaven inverts the way we think about the public domain by developing meaningful public space as a new precondition for a healthy, growing city. Nowak’s method changes the common order of built development by granting public space priority and extruding the space to the third dimension in order to emphasize its role and elevate the typology. Vrijhaven is a complex of ‘significant public spaces’ that contributes to the intangible values of the urban experience. The project portrays and articulates emptiness – voids captured in form create the architectural foreground. These voids do not define, but rather allow meaning to emerge.
Rademacher de Vries (David Rademacher (1984 Maastricht), Christopher de Vries (1985, Maastricht) (partners Rademacher de Vries Architects, Amsterdam)
Rademacher de Vries’s project Foundations starts from an imaginary future – post 2032 – when real-estate speculation has resulted in a strange new Amsterdam monument: the abandoned foundations of the gargantuan SixTower in Sixhaven. These vast, labyrinth-like excavations, a casualty of the latest market crash, are now leased to a diverse variety of groups with nothing in common besides their marginalization in the modern city. In the foundations, these groups – religions, refuges, baby boomers, cyborgs, daredevils, and anti-pluralists – go about their activities, observed by outsiders who watch them from above and enabled by the city’s insistence on erfpacht, its ancient leasehold system. In Foundations, David Rademacher and Christopher de Vries propose a pluralistic monumentality able to reflect “the construction of the city as the centre stage on which the historical process of civilization is represented in concrete terms”. This plurality, familiar from Amsterdam’s fictionalized history and image of itself, is what Rademacher de Vries sees as being at the heart of its future.
In addition, Het Nieuwe Instituut and Mondriaan Fund organize a temporary pop-in presentation, until December 9th, containing the plans for Oost-Groningen that were submitted in reaction to the open call
Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25, Rotterdam
Click here for opening hours
Exhibition at Het Nieuwe Instituut