This evening the State Archive for Architecture and Urban Planning was squatted in order to explore traces of the Netherlands’ history of squatting and its significance for contemporary architecture. With contributions from curator Hetty Berens, architect Ton Venhoeven, researcher and artist Reinier Kranendonk and researcher and activist René Boer. The evening was moderated by Flora van Gaalen (Het Nieuwe Instituut).
In a period of renewed interest in a programmatic approach to the existing city, in which people are working with ‘what is there’ and empty buildings are being given new uses, Het Nieuwe Instituut is beginning research into squatting as a form of architectural appropriation. How can squatting – formally forbidden in the Netherlands since 2010 – be understood as a strategy with spatial implications? And what influence can the squatting movement have on the practice of the architect and the urban planner?
This evening is part of the research programme Architecture of Appropriation. The first outcomes of this exploration will be presented in an installation by design studio ZUS.
Hetty Berens is an architecture historian and a curator at Het Nieuwe Instituut and Sonneveld House. She is responsible for acquisitions and collections research. She also curates exhibitions, writes and lectures. She curated the presentation Simultaneous Modernism in Sonneveld House and is preparing an exhibition about De Stijl in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag with works from the collection of Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Since his childhood, artist Reinier Kranendonk has been fascinated by the collision between nature and industry. Following his studies at the AKI Academy of Art & Design in Enschede, he established the art space OffMess, where he and his friends organised their own exhibitions, side events and parties. They were evicted from the space in 2009. While studying for his master’s degree in the Dirty Art Department at the Sandberg Instituut he founded a new project space called PostNorma, without water, electricity or gas. For the space he designed Todopia, a semi-mobile living unit for life in urban ruins and spaces.
Ton Venhoeven, CEO and founder of VenhoevenCS architecture+urbanism, is an experienced and much sought after consultant for various international public and private organisations, advising on Smart City, Micro City and Healthy City developments, integrated planning (‘Dutch Approach’), multimodal mobility networks and TOD, and strategic planning issues related to care and cure. In the 1990s he was involved in a ‘squatted crèche’ in Soest, in which children also played an active role. This stance is evident in all his projects, which can be summarised as ‘coagulated programmes’ with an urban quality.
René Boer works as an urban and architectural researcher, writer and activist in Amsterdam, is managing editor at Failed Architecture and part of the Non-fiction team. He has been affiliated with urban social movements in Barcelona, Ramallah/Jerusalem, Cairo and Amsterdam. René Boer has been part of the curatorial team of the exhibition ‘Architecture of Appropriation’, currently on show at Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Containing the collections of some of the most important architects and urban planners in the Netherlands, the State Archive for Architecture and Urban Planning provides an insight into the development of Dutch architecture and society over the past 130 years. Each item in the collection of the four million drawings, sketches, models, professional and personal correspondence, photos, posters and news clippings has a story to tell. But many of these stories have remained untold because nobody has yet uncovered them. For the series of evenings entitled Archive Explorations we invite a range of people to undertake a journey of discovery in the archive in order to introduce new perspectives.
You can download the hand-out of the evening below (only in Dutch).
Het Nieuwe Instituut
3015 CB Rotterdam