w# Eline Strijkers (DOEPELSTRIJKERS), Tutor of the Studio SPACE 2013/2014 (see also INSIDE magazine #5/#4)
Can you elaborate on your studio topic? What was the brief? Why did you select it and what would you like to achieve with the assignment?
The main topic of my Studio at INSIDE was to find urgently needed answers for half vacant buildings in the inner city. The students have worked on a real assignment ‘Reactivating KATSHOEK’ a monumental building of the sixties in Rotterdam designed by the architect Hugh Maaskant. With Katshoek as a starting point, a sustainable and social development of the structure needed to be examined by the students; they were asked to formulate propositions for the district, for the building itself and also on a product level.
A five-minute walk from Rotterdam Central Station, via the Schieblock and the Mini-mall, Katshoek can easily be reached on foot. The building forms the next logical step in the development of the Zomerhof district. The aim was to give new talent the mental, physical and financial space to develop with the maximum benefits of collective amenities. But the project is not just about giving a helping hand to talent; it also looks at ways to develop new talent, by connecting business, education and innovation in learning trajectories.
Besides hosting and developing talent, Katshoek could also become a multifunctional building. During the year, students worked on the design and development strategy including programming the building with a good financial structure based on the necessity for the social, ecological and economic benefit to be in balance. In addition, the students were asked to focus on a logical process. They had to start with research based on observations in the neighbourhood in order to define their ambitions, goals and criteria for their design. And before implementing their observations into a design for the Katshoek building, the students were asked to complete a theoretical framework as a starting point for a generic design. This generic design was finally implemented at the specific location of Katshoek. During each step in the process the students had to show their awareness of how the design proposal relates to the aspects of time, money and stakeholders.
What is in your opinion the future for the discipline of Interior Architecture? What is the ideal profile for an Interior Architect? And how should education relate to the ‘new Interior Architect’?
In the near future only one percent of all commissions will be for new buildings. Therefore the interior architect will be challenged to give answers to urgent topical questions in society and to take a meaningful position. Interior architects will have to rethink their position and come up with integral solutions through different scales. Also, they should be able to connect the complex network of techniques, people and money and finally translate that into logical and beautiful spatial designs. Today’s themes give the interior architect the opportunity to move away from the discipline of being the final player in building projects but instead to be the design activist with an initiating role throughout the whole process. Last but not least: the discipline should professionalize and create its own debate about how to make sustainable and smart solutions which add value, by working on designs that create social renewal.
Project by DOEPELSTRIJKERS / SLEM, Waalwijk, the Netherlands // Realized in January 2013 / / Photo by Teo Krijgsman