CONTENT
Published in ,
Price: € 29,50

Editorial DASH #10

Student housing is back on the agenda. At breathtaking speed, politicians, developers, architects and constructing parties are trying to reduce the serious shortage of residential space for young people and students that currently exists in almost all Dutch university towns. And in these times of malaise in the construction industry, new players are now also lining up to get a piece of the pie, alongside the traditional housing foundations and corporations…

The concept for this new architectural task is often simple: identical, independent units with their own mini-kitchen and minibathroom are the building blocks that are stacked and connected until the building envelope has been filled to the desired level. They feature a communal entrance, bicycle storage space, and perhaps a few facilities, and often a striking façade to assert a unique identity.

This is an efficient industry that allows large numbers of units to be built well and quickly. This architectural task is as topical as it is timeless. Ever since educational institutions began attracting young people from a wider environment, housing and education have gone hand in hand with a period of personal and intellectual growth. Through the centuries, various models have arisen for this purpose, in different countries and in different cultures: from students living with professors or in lodging houses, to the Anglo-Saxon college and campus, or the continental, urban residential buildings that were often under the auspices of religious institutions.

The twentieth century added a wealth of inventive solutions, after the explosive growth in the number of students made new construction a large-scale job for architects worldwide. The design of the individual rooms and the way they formed a communal residential environment for students have repeatedly led to solutions that are both culturally anchored and innovative. The result is an exciting and constantly growing variation in accommodation buildings for students, based on a multitude of ideas.

In this tenth issue of DASH, the editors want to draw attention to a sliver of this abundance. First of all, to once again study the selected plans and the ideas that go along with them, and to unlock these for a modern audience. Several recent plans and interviews with currently active players connect theory and history to today’s practice.

At the same time, seeing as there are once again so many opportunities, this publication is an appeal to continue considering the job of student housing in its full breadth, and also to contribute to the development of new models of student housing (beyond merely the required numbers) that have been expressly designed for today.

 

Essays
Published in ,
Price: € 29,50

The Room

An Exploration of Personal Space

Once upon a time, many years ago – just 20 years ago, in fact – I was living in a dormitory. I was 18 and a first-year student. I was new to Tokyo and new to living alone, and so my anxious parents found a private dorm for me to live in rather than the kind of single room that most students took. The dormitory provided meals and other facilities and would probably help their unworldly 18-year-old survive. . .

The paved path leading from the gate circumvented the tree and continued on long and straight across a broad quadrangle, two three-story concrete dorm buildings facing each other on either side of the path. They were large with lots of windows and gave the impression of being either flats that had been converted into jails or jails that had been converted into flats. However there was nothing dirty about them, nor did they feel dark. You could hear radios playing through open windows, all of which had the same cream-coloured curtains that the sun could not fade.

Beyond the two dormitories, the path led up to the entrance of a two-story common building, the first floor of which contained a dining hall and bathrooms, the second consisting of an auditorium, meeting rooms, and even guest rooms, whose use I could never fathom. Next to the common building stood a third dormitory, also three storeys high. Broad green lawns filled the quadrangle, and circulating sprinklers caught the sunlight as they turned. Behind the common building there was a field used for baseball and football, and six tennis courts. The complex had everything you could want.1

The Student Room

When you read this description through the eyes of Watanabe, the 18-year-old protagonist of Haruki Murakami’s novel Norwegian Wood, the student room – as the first (in)dependent residence after the first stage of life (namely as a child who is part of a protected family life) has been completed – can be seen as the starting point for the next phase: life as an independent, young adult scholar-in-training. The universe described by Murakami is the campus of a private university in Tokyo, where the main building, three residence halls, and sports fields form the main elements.

Notes:

  • Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood (London: Vintage, 2012), 16-17. Passages from the novel Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (original title: Noruuei no mori), which was first published in 1987, and in which the protagonist Watanabe describes how, as an 18-year-old, he wound up in his first student room on the campus of a private university in Tokyo in the late 1970s.
Published in ,
Price: € 29,50

College versus Campus

In the descriptions and names of many student housing projects that have been completed in the Netherlands over the past few years, the terms ‘college’ and ‘campus’ occur quite frequently. Examples include Campus Diemen-Zuid (on an industrial estate in Diemen), the Anna van Buren University College Leiden (sandwiched between Central Station in The Hague and the Royal Library), and the Amsterdam University College Campus (part of the Science Park campus in Amsterdam). The word ‘campus’ is no longer confined to the academic world.1 It seems as if every group of buildings that is used for a specific purpose is called a campus, varying from a single building to the entire city: the University of Amsterdam’s motto is ‘the City is our Campus’. And does ‘college’ stand for a form of housing, an educational building, or a combination of the two?

The concepts of campus and college seem to be used indiscriminately when it comes to student housing, rendering these terms meaningless. What distinguishes these two ideas? Do they represent a specific spatial model, a way that buildings and student residences are involved in the university and the city? By tracing the origins and developments of the college and the campus, we can examine whether these concepts still have any meaning for the commissioned student housing projects that are currently underway…

Notes:

  1. Kerstin Hoeger and Kees Christiaanse (eds.), Campus and the City (Zurich: GTA Verlag ETH, 2007).
Published in ,
Price: € 29,50

Finding Form for a Free Spirit

Despite the economic crisis, the past few years have seen a surprising increase in the construction of new student housing in the Netherlands. This has been prompted, first and foremost, by demand from the National Campaign for Student Housing, which wants to realize 16,000 new living units for students in the period 2011-2016.1 And as a result of the ongoing internationalization of higher education, universities are competing to attract the best students and researchers with high-quality facilities and attractive housing. Finally, the crisis has stopped construction work in many other areas, so that even parties that were not previously involved are now turning towards the still lucrative market for student housing.
The completed developments look nice on the outside, with attention to material and detail – a huge departure from the often grey, concrete hulks built to combat the student housing shortage in the 1970s. The material luxury inside is equally conspicuous: instead of simple bedrooms with shared facilities, most of the units are independently equipped with individual kitchens, bathrooms and toilets. This ties in with the internationalization, with demand (and a corresponding budget) for independent and often furnished units. That these are also within most Dutch student budgets is facilitated by the system of housing allowance that subsidizes independent, but not shared accommodation. In short: by building more expensive accommodation more money can be made while students get more ‘luxury’.
This individualization of facilities also leads to the loss of the associated communal programme: as soon as the need for sharing disappears, there is no longer any economic incentive for building communal spaces, which are often difficult to manage. The result is a stack of galleries or corridors with a simple repetition of identical, single-cell living units. Any thoughts about the social life that might be cultivated in such a building are often conspicuously absent.
This may be the biggest difference with the earlier projects in the Dutch tradition, in which the concept of ‘student accommodation’ was synonymous with living in small communities, where rooms and facilities were shared with housemates. This essay traces the origins of student housing as a design brief in the Netherlands and explores the principles underlying some early projects, in order to throw light on today’s design briefs and output…

Notes:

  • The Landelijk Actieplan Studentenhuisvesting 2011 tot 2016 is an agreement signed in 2011 by the national government, universities and colleges, knowledge-based cities, student housing bodies and students to reduce the existing student housing shortage during this period by 16,000 units.
Published in ,
Price: € 29,50

‘If… you can Dream and Not Make Dreams Your Master…’ 1

La Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid

‘The Residencia is an acropolis scattered with poplars, where Mr. and Mrs. Jimenez have created a centre for students, school of solidarity, sense of initiative, solid virtue. It’s like a monastery – quiet and happy – what luck for students!’2 It’s no surprise that Corbu would emphatically praise the monastic virtues – those associated with the well-known English college model – of a student residence such as the one built in Madrid between 1913 and 1918. Not for nothing had the committed first director of the Residencia, Alberto Jimenez Fraud, visited England in order to study the tutorial model between 1907 and 1909, and one of its tutors, Alfonso Reyes, would refer to the new complex as ‘Oxford and Cambridge in Madrid’.3 But appearances, as well as declarations, may in this case be deceiving. Planned by architect Antonio Florez Urdapilleta and later completed by Francisco Javier de Luque, the Residencia de Estudiantes, if undoubtedly sharing grounds with the concept of the English college, also embodied a larger number of features in frank opposition to the latter… 4

Notes:

  • From Rudyard Kipling’s poem If . . . , first published in 1910 and the source of the title of Lindsay Anderson’s film (1968).
  • Quote from the conferences delivered by Le Corbusier in the Residencia de Estudiantes, 8 and 11 May 1928. From the exh. cat. Le Corbusier, Madrid 1928. Una casa, un palacio (Madrid, 2010).
  • Alfonso Reyes, ‘La Residencia de Estudiantes’, ResidenciaI, vol. 1 (1926) no. 2, (quoted in the dossier ‘Una habitacion historica de la Residencia de Estudiantes’). See also: Ian Gibson, Luis Buñuel (Madrid: Aguilar, 2013), 111 (quote from: John Brande Trend, A Picture of Modern Spain [1921])
  • The main source for Florez’s biography and the history of the Residencia de Estudiantes is the work of Salvador Guerrero, curator of the exhibition about Florez held in 2002 in the Residencia. See: Salvador Guerrero (ed.), Antonio Flórez, arquitecto (1877- 1941) (Madrid: Residencia de Estudiantes, 2002).
Interviews
Published in ,
Price: € 29,50

‘On to the Generic Assignment’

Double Interview with Niek Verdonk and Marlies Rohmer

A number of cities in the Netherlands are struggling with a shortage of housing for students. As a result, student housing is one of the few residential building assignments still being taken on in the present economic climate. This is also the case with Groningen, where in 2010 an ambitious programme was started for the development of 4,500 student units by the year 2015. Called bouwjong!, the programme has been underway for some years now and it offers insight into the possibilities and impossibilities of carrying out such an assignment at the present juncture. In a compilation of two separate interviews, one with Groningen City Architect Niek Verdonk, initiator of bouwjong!, and one with architect Marlies Rohmer, who is both a curator and an inspirational guide for the project, Verdonk and Rohmer shed light on the strong points of the assignment, the importance of young people’s housing for the city and the effect that the present crisis has on the issue of housing for young people…1

Notes:

  • In 2010, on commission from the Department of City Planning and Economic Affairs (dienst RO/EZ) of the City of Groningen, Marlies Rohmer and the Chair of Architecture and Dwelling at the Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, made an inspirational book within the framework of bouwjong! for architects, clients and initiators. After the manifestation was over, the contents of this book and the results of bouwjong! Were combined in the publication bouwjong! woningbouw voor jongeren (bouwjong! Housing for Young People), René Asschert, Erik Dorsman, Dick van Gameren, Paul Kuitenbrouwer, Marlies Rohmer, Peter Michiel Schaap and Niek Verdonk (Groningen: Platform G.R.A.S., 2012)
Published in ,
Price: € 29,50

‘A Campus is: a Place Where Everything You Need is at Hand’

Interview with André Snippe, Developer of Campus Diemen Zuid

Before 2011, anyone walking from the Diemen-Zuid station into the Bergwijkpark district, just outside the ring road in the south-eastern section of the greater metropolis area of Amsterdam, could clearly see the impact of the economic crisis: office buildings no older than 10 to 40 years that were over 45 per cent vacant, drearily surrounded by barriers and empty parking lots. In September 2013, Campus Diemen Zuid opened here, a student campus in American fashion with 936 apartments and facilities of its own, the success of which is already having a positive influence on the rest of the district.

Its initiator is André Snippe, whose office is a stone’s throw away. As we speak, some 500 students are already living here on campus and new facilities are being completed every week…

Interviews

I think of the 1:1 Project as a Discursive Tool…

Interview with Barry Bergdoll

The Museum of Modern Art in New York, established in 1929, played an important role in the propagation of modern architecture. The Department of Architecture and Design was founded in 1932 as the first museum department in the world dedicated to the intersection of architecture and design. Philip Johnson, the department’s first head, directed, with Henry-Russell Hitchcock, the Museum’s 1932 ‘Modern Architecture –International Exhibition’ and they wrote the famous accompanying book The International Style. Barry Bergdoll, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA since January 2007, and a professor of art history at Columbia since 1985, discusses with DASH his efforts to expand MoMA’s role to support experimentation and advocacy in architecture and design.1

In 2008 he curated the exhibition ‘Home Delivery’, which examined factory-produced houses from 1833 to today. In addition to a gallery with traditional architectural display tools, Bergdoll took advantage of a vacant lot next to the museum where five full-scale houses were shown. With these full-scale exhibition houses Bergdoll renewed an old tradition, since, in 1949, 1950 and 1954, MoMA had already sponsored and hosted mock-ups of houses that reflected seminal ideas in the history of architecture in the garden of the museum…

Notes:

  1. Shortly after the interview Barry Bergdoll announced that he has decided to step down from his post as Philip Johnson Chief Curator in September 2013 to assume the Meyer Schapiro Chair at Columbia University’s School of Art and Sciences.
Published in ,
Price: € 29,50

IBA BERLIN 2020

Interview with Vanessa Miriam Carlow

‘If it’s about architectural splendour, Berlin is eager to dream of faded glory,’ Berlin newspaper Tagespiegel recently stated as the opening of an article announcing the demolition of the Lützowplatz building, a housing complex designed by wellknown architect Matthias Oswald Ungers.1 This project was one of the tangible results of the 1987 Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA). This residential complex was demolished in early 2013; at the same time there were plans to break down the Kreuzberg tower, architect John Hejduk’s contribution to the 1987 IBA. The Kreuzberg tower – a rare example of Hejduk’s built work – was fortunately saved at the last minute and is now even protected by the government and being restored by its new owners. In the meantime plans were being made for a new Bauausstellung: IBA Berlin 2020. The objectives of this IBA were to realize ‘dreams from past ruins’ for the city, represented, for instance, by the rebuilding of the former city castle (now known as the Humboldtforum), but also to proudly present the city’s contemporary responses to current questions concerning housing and public space. Unfortunately, the preparation of this new IBA came to an early end in the fall of 2013. As the official website states: the Senate didn’t reserve room in the 2014/2015 budget to continue the preparation. Nevertheless, ‘even without the format of an International Building Exhibition these issues will remain on the agenda’.2 In the spring of 2013 I interviewed Vanessa Miriam Carlow, head of the Institute for Sustainable Urbanism (ISU) at the Technical University in Brunswick (Germany) and co-owner, with Dan Stubbergaard, of the architecture firm COBE, based in Copenhagen and Berlin. Carlow was a member of the ‘prae-IBA-team’,3 the team preparing IBA Berlin 2020. In the interview she reflected on the ideas that would continue to be of crucial importance to the city after the IBA. At the time the situation seemed promising: the IBA had been embraced by distinct political parties during the local election campaign in 2011, and valued afterwards by the ‘grand coalition’ of SPD and CDU that govern the city today. Now that it’s been cancelled, the question remains what value even just the initiative to prepare such an event may have offered the city. This interview therefore investigates both the approach to the IBA Berlin 2020, as well as its – regrettably untimely – aftermath…

Notes:

  1. Christian Schöder, ‘Stad ohne Mas’
  2. See: www.stadtentwicklung.berlin.de
Plan Documentation

Plan Documentation Housing Exhibitions

The planning documentation for this ninth issue of DASH contains ten exhibition projects that give an overview of the different approaches to, and motivations behind, housing exhibitions during the past 100 years. All of the documented examples featured homes exhibited on a 1:1 scale. With the exception of the exhibition ‘Die Wohnung unserer Zeit’, which was meant to be temporary, the homes in the other nine projects remained even after the exhibition period was finished, and have since been permanently inhabited. Each of these ten exhibitions forms a mirror of the prevailing Zeitgeist. They call for change, expose shortcomings, form a platform for experimentation, offer a stage for political propaganda, or attempt to initiate urban renewal. ‘Ein Dokument deutscher Kunst’ (Darmstadt, 1901) was the first architecture exhibition that consisted entirely of homes and buildings, which themselves formed the objects that were on display. ‘Die Wohnung unserer Zeit’ (Berlin 1931) represents a highpoint in the series of exhibitions from the interwar period. As a result of the exhibition’s temporary nature (all of the exhibited homes or parts of the residential buildings were constructed on a 1:1 scale inside of an exhibition hall), it has since fallen into oblivion. The ‘Wiener Werkbundsiedlung’ (Vienna, 1932) was the last in the series of Werkbund exhibitions, and it focused primarily on the ground-floor, single-family home as a counterpart to the urban superblocks that dominated Vienna’s municipal housing programme. On the eve of the Second World War, ‘Schaffendes Volk’ (Düsseldorf, 1937) was the first exhibition in which the political system used a (housing) building exhibition as a propaganda tool.

The substantial efforts made in terms of post-war reconstruction and housing led anew to a number of important and influential housing exhibitions. For example, ‘Q.T.8 – Quartiere Sperimentale di Triennale di Milano VIII’ (Milan, 1947) was the first major post-war exhibition in Europe, and wound up covering an entire city district. The first projects in Q.T.8 displayed experiments that were meant to find efficient solutions for high-rise and compact low-rise construction. ‘Plan Internationaal’ (Doorwerth, 1967) took place in a period where new voices against the modernist ideals of mass housing began to be heard. The exhibition’s mostly detached prefab homes from abroad, along with several houses designed by Dutch architects, were meant to give the public the opportunity to compare the Dutch residential style to that of other countries.
In ‘Documenta Urbana’ (Kassel, 1982), an appeal was made for small, compact housing in a variety of housing types. In this way, the exhibition critiqued both post-war, large-scale residential architecture and the later sprawling, low-rise neighbourhoods and the exodus from the city. The ‘Internationale Bauausstellung’ (Berlin, 1987) continued these themes, and was the first exhibition to deal not only with new construction, but also with urban renewal and renovation. The exhibition seemed to want to definitively break away from post-war modernism in urban planning and housing, as seen in the 1957 ‘Interbau’ exhibition, which also took place in Berlin (in the Hansaviertel). The exhibition ‘Bo01 City of Tomorrow’ (Malmö, 2001) introduced, alongside a wide variety of housing types, several principles and ideas for a more ecological and sustainable kind of urban development. And finally, the ‘Internationale Bauausstellung’ in Hamburg cannot go unmentioned. It is the most recent building exhibition to have finished (on 3 November 2013), after six years of construction and exhibition activities. The IBA Hamburg addressed the themes of ‘ecology, sustainability, and climate’, ‘the multicultural city’, and ‘inner-city peripheries’.
To make these plans transparent and comparable, the projects have been redrawn in a uniform style. The starting point for these scale drawings was to be the original urban planning diagram, but it proved impossible to achieve this in a uniform way for all of the projects. That is why it was decided to present the project ‘Ein Dokument Deutscher Kunst’ (1901) in the form of two maps. The ‘Wohnung unserer Zeit’ took place in a hall; a diagram of this has been drawn, with the floor plans of the individual homes placed on top of it. For ‘Schaffendes Volk’, the exhibition’s 1937 plan was used as a kind of structural grid, with the current urban situation added on top of it: today, in 2013, the exhibition grounds are mainly used as a park (called Nordpark), and the residential areas from the exhibition have been partially expanded. For ‘Quartiere Sperimentale’ (Q.T.8.) in Milan the third plan by Piero Bottoni, was drawn (III piano, 1953), again set in the current context. In ‘Plan Internationaal’, several homes have since been converted or even demolished; the drawing here shows the plan that was originally realized, based on the exhibition brochure.
The plans for ‘Documenta Urbana’ were ambitious, and were only partially implemented. The drawing in this issue of DASH shows the designers’ original intent. The IBA Berlin of 1987 was the first exhibition that took place across several areas. At various locations in the city, work was done on the reconstruction programme that had been drawn up. Instead of a new overview diagram, what has been drawn here is the situation of the two documented projects. In Malmö, the area in Västra Hamnen (Western Harbour) where construction was to take place had not yet been finished at the time of the ‘Bo01 City of Tomorrow’ exhibition. For this project, DASH shows the final (current) situation. The IBA Hamburg ended in late 2013, and many of the projects that it encompassed will be continued in the coming years. For this issue of DASH, a section of the exhibition in Wilhelmsburg-Mitte (known as ‘the building exhibition within a building exhibition’) has been drawn. All of these projects have since been completed, and are open to visitors.

Several characteristic homes or residential buildings from each of these exhibitions have been elaborated upon. For each of these projects, the most essential floor plans and profiles are shown. The drawings are based on historical publications and archival material. The recent projects in Malmö and Hamburg have been drawn up on the basis of documentation that was provided by the designers who were involved. For this issue, new photo reportages have been made of the projects in Vienna, Düsseldorf, Doorwerth, Milan, Kassel, Berlin, Malmö and Hamburg. For Darmstadt, existing photo footage was used, which is also the case for Berlin, 1931. Old photographs and archival materials were also used for the other projects in order to give an image of these projects during the actual exhibition.

 

With contributions by:
Paul Kuitenbrouwer, Nelson Mota, Pierijn van der Putt & Karin Theunissen

Drawings:
Guido Greijdanus, Cederick Ingen-Housz, Carlyn Simoen & Wing Yung

 

Ein Dokument Deutscher Kunst

DarmstadtJ.M. Olbrich et al.

In 1899, Ernst Ludwig von Hessen, the Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt and the grandson of Queen Victoria, founded the Darmstädter Künstlerkolonie (Darmstadt Artists’ Colony). In the previous year, the Darmstadt art publisher Alexander Koch had made it clear in a treatise to the Grand Duke that the intertwining of art and craft was of great importance, not only from an aesthetic point of view, but also from an economic perspective. Koch suggested establishing a working and living community for artists, and the Grand Duke embraced the idea. He had a passion for art and architecture (the interior and the furniture of his palace, for example, was designed by Baillie Scott), and he invited four artists (Hans Christiansen, Rudolf Bosselt, Paul Bürck, and Patriz Huber) to form a free creative community in which they could live and work. Shortly after the colony was established, architect Joseph Maria Olbrich (a former student of Viennese architect Otto Wagner), painter Peter Behrens and sculptor Ludwig Habich were also brought to Darmstadt. In the years prior to this, Olbrich, together with Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser and Josef Hoffmann, had founded the Vienna Secession, an association of artists, sculptors and architects…

Die Wohnung unserer Zeit

BerlinMies van der Rohe et al.

In 1931, amid the economic crisis, the Deutsche Bauausstellung opened in Berlin. It was the result of an initiative started several years beforehand to open a permanent building exhibition in Berlin. Part of this exhibition was to consist of several separate, temporary exhibitions, such as the ‘Internationale Ausstellung für Städtebau und Wohnungswesen’ and the exhibition ‘Die Wohnung unserer Zeit’. This latter exhibition covered an entire exhibition hall, and was set up under the leadership of Mies van der Rohe. It seemed that Mies here was picking up the thread from Stuttgart’s Weissenhof Siedlung in 1927, which he had also organized. But this new exhibition would be taking place indoors, in a hall where 1:1 models were built based on the designs of the participants, who were now limited to architects living and working in Germany. Mies introduced the exhibitions with the statement: ‘The home for our age has not yet been created. But changes in living conditions will ensure that this new home will indeed be created.’