Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Unity of Urban Design (Admiring the Dutch)

Adriaan Gueze explains why this "bridge" is not a bridge in PBS's Design:e2 show "Adaptive Reuse in the Netherlands"

I keep repeatedly watching this installment PBS's Design:e2 series, which focuses on one of my favorite urban design projects, Borneo Sporenburg, the creation of Adriaan Geuze (above) and part of the greater waterfront redevelopment of Amsterdam's Eastern Docklands.  I thought it well worth sharing.  

If I were to belong to a society of professional urban designers I could find a home in, it would probably be dubbed the "Congress of Dutch Urbanism".  I forgot who it was who said this, but it is very true: "In the Netherlands, modernism has never died." (That was not a statement in reference to mid-mod style, but a statement of the CIAM-like ambitions of modernism as tempered by the relaxed attitudes of Dutch designers.)  Those festively creative polder planners across the Atlantic have much to teach about the value of well-applied urban design.  Amsterdam is the Place of the Example, as Louis Kahn might have put it.  To those who say that urban design has no real success stories, the Dutch, obviously, merrily go on believing.  Creating urban places.  Actually.  For more than singles, retirees and DINK's!  Only in the Netherlands, ...sigh...

1 comment:

Ludid said...

fabulous video. i liked the bit about the bridge and regulations. how becoming a piece of artwork would allow for the construction of the bridge like it needed to be. i also love dutch design and decorating. i thought you might enjoy this too. http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/10/amsterdam-guide.html