The Dutch architects and the Brazilian developers in front of "The Building" by Ton Venhoeven. Photo: NAI
How do you give Brazilian developers a good overview of contemporary Dutch architecture? This question first surfaced when the NAI’s participation in the November 2012 trade mission to Brazil was confirmed. Many professions, among them architecture and design, were represented among the visiting delegates, which included the Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Maxima. Together with Premsela, the NAI arranged the programme for some 25 Dutch architects and designers. In preparation for the mission, the NAI invited eight Brazilian developers to the Netherlands to boost their familiarity with Dutch architecture. They visited the country from 23 to 26 October for an intensive programme that offered them plenty of insight into contemporary Dutch architecture and the architecture firms that later joined the trade mission.
The first day for the Brazilians started with a tour through the ‘Red Apple’ residential tower with KCAP Architects & Planners. On the 37th floor they enjoyed a magnificent view of Rotterdam and the River Maas. The afternoon closed with a visit to OMA.
The programme for the next day included an introduction to the NAI, featuring a guided tour of the exhibitions and the collection. After that, the visitors embarked on an architectural tour of some of Rotterdam’s historical highlights, among them the Justus van Effenblok housing complex, the Lijnbaan shopping precinct and the Kop van Zuid development district. That gave the group a solid overview of developments in the city on the Maas. The tour ended in the Lloyd district, and also took in the Shipping and Transport College in Rotterdam, the library at Delft University of Technology, and the office of Mecanoo architects. That evening, all 17 Dutch architecture firms that took part in the trade mission to Brazil in November met the Brazilian developers for a lively network dinner in Rotterdam.
Frans de Witte (MVRDV) talking about their project the Silodam. Photo:NAi
The architectural tour through the Western districts, the IJ area and the Eastern Docklands in Amsterdam included the Parkrand West, Silodam and Lloyd Hotel projects, all designed by MVRDV architects. Lunch was held at Open, a restaurant designed by ArchitectenCie, where the architects/partners of this office presented their work. The restaurant offers a wonderful view of the Westerdokskade area. Architect Dick van Gameren, who drew up the master plan for this area, explained his design. After lunch, the visitors went to the new Stedelijke Museum, where the architects/partners Mels Crouwel and Marten Wassmann explained in detail the renovation and extension project they carried out.
In the Zuid-As business district, Erick van Egeraat showed the visitors around The Rock, one of his prestigious projects. Right next to The Rock is the UNStudio Tower, where Caroline Bos of UN Studio greeted the Brazilian party. A welcome change came in the form of a boat cruise through Amsterdam. Accompanied by all architects, the touring party enjoyed a close look at the splendid historical centre and the new developments along the IJ waterway. A second network dinner followed, during which Allard Architecture, UN Studio, Selfservice Urbanism and Vera Yanovshtchinksy presented their work.
On the morning of the final day the group visited Leiden, where they donned safety helmets to tour Het Gebouw (Dutch for ‘The Building’) in the company of architect Ton Venhoeven. Back in Rotterdam, they stopped for lunch at architecture firm KuiperCompagnons, housed in the monumental Van Nelle Factory, before moving on to the office of Erick van Egeraat and the Feyenoord Stadium. The four-day visit concluded in festive style that evening with the opening of the exhibition Lelé: Architect of Health and Happiness at the NAI (about Brazilian architect Lelé).
‘Intensive and inspiring’. That’s how the developers described their visit to the Netherlands. In a following visit to the Netherlands they would like to see more of the Dutch architectural landscape. All 17 architecture firms that took part in the trade mission in November featured prominently during the visit. Both the developers and architects were invited to the opening of the exhibition Connecting Concepts in Brazil, and to one of the evening events. Hopefully they will have enough time to talk further about possible contributions by Dutch architects to future projects in Brazil. The Dutch offices are confident of doing that!
The lunch in restaurant Open, designed
Young, enthusiastic and ambitious: that’s the best way to describe
Indonesian architect Danny Wicaksono. Still under thirty, Danny already
runs the architecture firm studiodasar, he is editor in chief of
jongArsitek!, and this year he has even programmed events at the Erasmus
Huis, the Dutch Cultural Centre in Jakarta. No wonder that the Erasmus
Huis nominated this inspiring architect to take part in the NAI
international visitor programme. He visited The Netherlands from 12 to 15
September. Here’s a short summary.
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The NAI invited four international journalists from Turkey, Brazil and
India to the opening of the 5th International Architecture Biennale
Rotterdam (IABR). The journalists were mr. A. Srivathsan of The Hindu
Newspaper, mr. Silas Marti of the Folha de Sao Paulo, ms. Yasemin Keskin
Enginöz of the YEM Turkey and ms. Bianca Antunes of the Magazine
AU-Arquitetura & Urbanismo.
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Silas Marti is staff journalist for the Folha de Sao Paulo, one of the largest and most respected newspapers of Brazil. Silas mostly writes on art and architecture. The NAI invited Silas to the opening of the fifth International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam in April. We asked him four questions about his stay.
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Due to great success Unsolicited Architecture, the Dutch entrance at the 9th International Architecture Biennale of Sao Paolo, was later also on show at Studio X, Rio de Janeiro. The exhibition Unsolicited Architecture features nine projects by architects who enter into urgent social challenges. They seize opportunities where the established building practice doesn't. Almost all of the presented projects are established in cooperation between Dutch and international architects.
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His Royal Highness the Prince of Oranje and Her Royal Highness Princess
Máxima of the Netherlands will open the exhibition Connecting Concepts
on Wednesday 21 November 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This exhibition on
Dutch design, fashion and architecture has been compiled by the
Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi); Premsela, the Netherlands
Institute for Design and Fashion; and the Association of Dutch Designers
(BNO). The exhibition opening forms part of the official visit to
Brazil by the Prince and Princess, which coincides with the visit of a
major Dutch trade delegation to Brazil.
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