Built in 1917 by the chief government architect Daniel E.C. Knuttel for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Trade in The Hague, the brick and stone building at Bezuidenhoutseweg 30 has been transformed by the Rotterdam-based Kaan Architecten into a home for five government-related planning and advisory agencies. I wrote an article for Architectural Record about how the once dark and heavy interiors of this national landmark are now light and transparent, and, in keeping with the changing times, B30, named after its address, is ready to facilitate an exchange of knowledge rather than the exercise of power.
Elke dinsdag ben ik voor het nieuws van 11 uur te gast in het KRO NCRV programma De Ochtend op Radio 1 om actuele ontwikkelingen op het gebied van architectuur en stedelijk leven te bespreken. Na de ‘leefstraten’ van vorige week nu deel 2 van het thema ‘de stedeling herovert zijn stad’: de erfenis van de kraakbeweging. Wat je ook van het kraken mag vinden, de kraakbeweging heeft laten zien dat veel leegstaande panden waarde hadden – en dat je zelf in actie kunt komen om je de stad toe te eigenen.
Citydwellers are reclaiming the streets! See the ‘leefstraten’, the ‘living streets’, like the Kersstraat in Utrecht, where for a few weeks the neighborhood uses the space normally reserved for cars. And in the New Institute, curator René Boer reflects on how decades of squatting have impacted the city of today. And meanwhile there is music on the canals of Amsterdam, thanks to the Canal Festival!
We all know Captain Robert Falcon Scott as one of the tragic heroes of the heroic age of polar exploration: in 1912 he reached the South Pole, only to discover that the Norwegian Amundsen had beaten him to it. Scott and his companions did not survive the return trip. Scott’s polar career had already started in 1901, when he set off on a scientific expedition in the legendary ship the Discovery.
The V&A Museum in London is opening a new museum next year specially for Scottish design, in the coastal city Dundee, the fourth largest city of Scotland. The huge building on the river Tay is the outcome of an international competition won by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who is also designing Tokyo’s Olympic stadium for 2020. The V&A is also one of the founding institutions of a new design museum, Design Society, which is to open this October in the Chinese city of Shenzen.
At a cost of £81 million pounds the new V&A Dundee is already 80 per cent over budget, and will open four years later than anticipated. No wonder the museum is not yet giving a date for the opening next year. Nevertheless, it is the linchpin of Dundee’s regeneration through culture and the arts, together with its lively scene for the creators of video games. Dundee is now a serious contender for the European Cultural Capital of 2023. ‘The ugly-duckling city comes of age’, was the headline of a piece in The Times in July.
From Isle of Skye through the Highlands and on to Glasgow. The city has it all: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the most impressive street art mural I have ever seen, a piano bar in a horse trailer and lots of tipsy women with too short skirts and too high heels. Then back home to the wedding of my dear stepson Bouke and his wife Daniëlle and the craziness of the Gay Parade!