By MVRDV with Mick van Gemert and Aser Giménez-Ortega (2016/2017)
Photo by Ishka Michocka
Western society is recently challenged by more and more people that want to enter the public debate on current issues. Since all decision making starts with the ability to have a good conversation, students interior architecture at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, take on the challenge to develop decision spaces that suit the future demands of decision making. With their research and building prototype decision making installations the students enable participants to experience the extreme influence design of space and design of the debate itself has on the character of decision making.
Encouraged by the possibilities social media offers to share opinions, more and more people enter the public debate on current issues. These contributions to the debate that flood the internet are not always carefully formulated and claryfying in nature but regularly also show deeply felt frustrations by the participants in an uncensored way. This unleashed ambition to participate in decision making currently challenges the democratic traditions that especially western countries have developed. Because in the end all decision making at all scales starts with the ability to have a good conversation, students interior architecture at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, took on the challenge to develop decision spaces that suit the future demands of decision making.
The future interior architects at the Royal Academy of Art not only focus on designing physical space but engage fully with current social and cultural issues in society and use their position to shape the relation between the space that relates most directly to people and the world that surrounds that. With the project let’s decide they research the relationship between the design of space and the design of the debate on the process and character of decision making.
The American Embassy in The Hague, designed by Marcel Breuer in 1956 and completed in 1959, is no longer viable for security reasons and will be decommissioned in the near future. The embassy building along Korte Voorhout will thus become available for redevelopment; an exceptional opportunity to celebrate this important icon at a prominent location in the city centre and research its possibilities for transformation. How can, with respect to its enigmatic character and in keeping with Breuer’s legacy, the building become part of the civic and cultural life of The Hague and be finally treasured by the public?
The news about the future vacancy of the embassy building stirred up several public debates in the last decade raising the question whether it should be preserved or demolished. Some have argued for demolition, a sentiment that seems to be dictated by the growing inaccessible and fortress character of the building. Currently the public opinion seems to support the preservation of this Brutalist design by Breuer; a showcase of his interest in construction and materials and their inherent expressive potential. Besides that, the building is one of the rare modernist examples of the symbolic projection of US diplomacy in Europe in the post war period.
One of the advocates of reuse of the building in an adapted form is the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. The museum came up with a proposal to house their collection of the famous artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, currently located at the former winter palace nearby the embassy. The local government holds a corresponding view, though they also announced a desire to investigate the possibility of conversion of the building into a hotel. In addition to the Escher Collection the museum aims to show new art works (optical art) in an extension of the building and possibly some large scale art installations to evoke an intense spatial experience (e.g. James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson, Gregor Schneider) making optimal use of Breuer’s expressive architecture.
Massive urbanisation, climate change and resource scarcity increasingly impact our way of life in cities and urban regions. Innovative solutions for potable water, renewable energy and sustainable food production are necessary to tackle these societal challenges in the decennia to come. The Dutch Windwheel is an inspiring concept that addresses these issues in an innovative way for an urban context. It is a distinctive architectural and touristic attraction that generates water, energy and food. The strength of the concept lies in the crossovers between cutting edge technologies, to establish truly disruptive change to the way we look at living with technology.
Predictive and adaptive environment
Building and environment form an ecosystem in which systems interact on different scales. Smart technologies enable the ecosystem to continually adapt and improve itself based on user patters and performance data. This interactive layer improves the efficiency of the building (energy consumption for example) but also the experience of users through 1:1 experiences and personalised information (narrow casting). Each student will be designated a particular user profile. Understanding the behavioural patterns and user needs will be explored by creating scenarios. The water, energy and food systems will form an integral part of the scenario development.
Design project: The studio is looking for new typologies for the changing retail market. Relevant topics like vacancy, permanence vs flexibility, sustainability, spacial identitity , technology, experience will be discussed and used to come up with a design based on a new typology for a futureproof store anwered by actual themes for a case studie SPRMRKT in Amsterdam.
SPRMRKT is a 450m2 concept store located on Rozengracht 191–193, Amsterdam since 2003. The store houses a
broad selection of ready-to-wear collections designed for men and women, a bookshop and pop-up events. SPRMRKT
regularly hosts exciting art and lifestyle events.
Studio James Bond
by OMA, with Chris van Duijn and Mark Veldman (2014/2015)
Learning from Ken Adam OMA design project – House for James Bond movie
The intention of the studio is to concentrate on design and design research, without performing extensive research on general subjects and site analyses. The theme of James Bond will generate immediately many associations and design ideas while still allowing for personal interpretation.
The location of the project inside the Academy facilities will make it easy for the students to study the design locations, while also being able to make or test installations on site.
The design of a specific James Bond space, which can be used in one of the 23 movies. The project ideally ends with an edited version of the 007-movie where the original space was replaced by the new James Bond space!
Any space in the Academy building (or limited to the Inside Studio space).
“How can The Katshoek Building in Rotterdam be Re-activated within its urban context through Integral Sustainability”
Studio Space will work this year with Doepel Strijkers and Basement Project Development on a real assigment where a sustainable social development of the building will be examinated and answered on district, building and product level. Students participate in in a Katshoek laboratory where research are done and models and mock-ups are made of design proposals for the building.
Talent Building / Building Talent
At five-minute walk from central station via the Schieblock and Mini-mall, Katshoek forms the next logical step in the development towards the Zomerhof district.
The building will 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 talent a helping hand. It is also about developing new talent. By connecting business, education and innovation in learning trajectories, the entire conversion will be implemented by people with a distance to the labour market.
Besides housing and developing talent, KATSHOEK, a monumental building in Rotterdam designed by Maaskant, will become a multifunctional building with a rooftop bar, ecological supermarket, grand cafe and short-stay hotel.
Sport is sexy and it’s everywhere. It is connected with fashion, music, lifestyle, media, the street and the city. If sport was once the exclusive domain of clubs and associations, these days it is an indispensable part of our society and daily life.
Sport’s value for the community and the economy is getting major coverage in politics, the civil service and the media. Sport is good – good for your health, good for social cohesion, good for your image. Sport’s value for planning, however, is often largely overlooked. Sport can benefit the city and its public domain. It provides a counterbalance to the impoverishment of public space by charging this with activity and dynamic. Sport is one of the most powerful means to get people out of their protective home environment during their leisure time. It provides frameworks for encounter and interaction, two prerequisites for a vibrant public domain. In addition, qualitative sport facilities enhance a city’s attractiveness as a place for companies to settle and for those seeking a home.
High time then, that sport’s key place in society is reflected in the way it is designed, staged and integrated in the city. The question is one of what sport can mean for the city and, conversely, what the city can mean for sport.
The goal of this studio is to investigate where and how sport should be mobilized as a spur to urban quality. We will be looking for inventive spatial, programmatic and organizational solutions that enlist sport to enrich the public domain.