Lectures – The Week Of Architecture

July 4th, 2008 > 19:30h & 19:00h

19:30h – New Residential Architecture of Amsterdam: Public-Private Spatial Relations, Mirjana Milanović
19:00h – Limited Lifetime Architectures, Ana Đokić, and Marc Neelen, STEALTH.unlimited

New Residential Architecture of Amsterdam: Public-Private Spatial Relations, Mirjana Milanović – Relation between the individual and the collective in Dutch culture played a key role in forming settlements and building towns. The quality of public space is part of the collective domain funded generously by the town and submitted to strict conditions. The need for individual expression on the margins of public space is what links traditional and modern residential architecture of Amsterdam. Limited Lifetime Architectures, Ana Đokić, and Marc Neelen, STEALTH.unlimited – This lecture explores three projects for larger cultural spaces. Exceptional is that these spaces are not meant to last ‘forever’, but are on purpose thought to serve their community of users just for a limited amount of time – from 10 weeks up to 10 years. The situation of having time, but no permanence pushes for an unconventional approach in which the capacities of architecture to test spaces, activate communities of users and facilitate new futures on-the-go are put central.

New Residential Architecture of Amsterdam: Public-Private Spatial Relations,
Mirjana Milanović

Residential architecture determines Amsterdam cityscape to a great extent. What museums and monuments mean for Paris, the Thames riverbanks and the City for London, avenues, and billboards for New York – canals lined with individual houses from the end of the 17th century mean for Amsterdam. Typology of narrow multi-story houses, with high ground floor and entrance staircase belonging to the street, determines the appearance of not only Amsterdam’s center but also of its enlargements.

Starting with the 18th-century Jordan, through the southern part of Amsterdam (from the beginning of 20th century), to new developments, such as East Harbour (end of the 1990s) and IJburg (currently under construction), residential architecture of Amsterdam is marked by relatively high percentage of individual housing and a particular public-private spatial relation. That particular relation shows, first of all, in a house entrance. It is traditional and typical for Amsterdam that each housing unit has a direct entrance from the street, even if it is on some of the higher floors. In the old working-class quarter of Jordan, each ground floor has a series of narrow entrance doors. Behind each of those doors is a narrow and steep staircase that leads to a flat. This principle was included in the architectural concept of the southern part of Amsterdam as one of its basic elements. Apartment entrances grouped around the monumental staircase became one of the features of Amsterdam architectural school.

Quality of urban tissue consisting primarily of individual houses has been recognized again in the residential architecture of the last decades. The Borneo neighborhood in the former East Harbour of Amsterdam combines typology of narrow lots with requirements of the modern age: high urban densities and garages. The result is a new relation between private and public space: the street is being used as a front garden and roof terrace replaces traditional garden inside a block. Within the IJburg neighborhood, individual housing has a different expression on every island – from the traditional staircase as part of the street to vigorously individual houses designed and built by their owners.

The relation between the individual and the collective in Dutch culture played a key role in forming settlements and building towns. The quality of public space is part of the collective domain funded generously by the town and submitted to strict conditions. The need for individual expression on the margins of public space is what links traditional and modern residential architecture of Amsterdam.

Mirjana Milanović graduated (1986) and completed her postgraduate studies (1990) at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade. 1990–1992 – urban planner at the Centre for Urban Development Planning (Center for Planning Urban Development, CEP) and editor of Communications. 1993–1995 – research assistant at TU Delft. From 1996 – urban planner at the Project Bureau Ijburg. 1999–2002 – team leader for the Steigereiland Island Project (2000 apartments). From 2003 – team leader for the 2nd phase of the IJburg Project (9000 apartments).

Published five books on urban typology and development and housing typologies. She participated in many local and international competitions. Visiting lecturer at the faculties in Delft, Eindhoven, Larenstein, and Leuven.

Limited Lifetime Architectures, Ana Džokić, and Marc Neelen, STEALTH.unlimited

This lecture explores three projects for larger cultural spaces. Exceptional is that these spaces are not meant to last ‘forever’, but are on purpose thought to serve their community of users just for a limited amount of time – from 10 weeks up to 10 years. The situation of having time, but no permanence pushes for an unconventional approach in which the capacities of architecture to test spaces, activate communities of users and facilitate new futures on-the-go are put central.

We will be looking at the 20.000m2 space of NDSM wharf in Amsterdam, which houses over 300 artists, designers, and other creative producers. In Rotterdam, the focus is on two cultural spaces. The fist is a temporary test zone within the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen – Rotterdam’s largest art museum – to test the potential futures of one of its main spaces. Finally, we’ll peek behind walls of a club for experimental music that has been built with mainly re-used materials and without any non-reversible attachment to the existing monumental structure in which it is housed.

STEALTH.unlimited – Ana Đokić and Marc Neelen – operate between Rotterdam and Belgrade and in crossovers fields of visual culture, urban research, spatial intervention, and cultural activism. STEALTH shapes opportunities where these fields of investigation can meet and where thinking about the possible future(s) is mobilized. By creating devices that can take the form of a piece of software, but also as a specific intervention in physical space, STEALTH produces test conditions to probe the shared authoring of an ad-hoc and provisional urban culture.

STEALTH established or participated in a number of internationally published and exhibited projects on the complexity and inconsistency of the contemporary city, like Wild City (Belgrade), Urban Catalyst (Amsterdam), Adaptations (Apexart, New York and Fridricianum, Kassel), Challenging the Conservative Brain (Kunstverein Munich), Cut for Purpose (Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam), Europe Lost and Found (Western Balkans). Recently their project Fruit and Energy Farms, made in collaboration with Marjetica Potrc, has been rated in Sweden. This year they are participating in Out There: Architecture Beyond Building (Architecture Biennale in Venice).

From 1995-1998, Ana was co-initiator and co-coordinator of Projekt X, and independent art/architecture association based in Belgrade. Ana and Marc are members of the School of Missing Studies, based between New York, Rotterdam, Belgrade and initiators of Central Foundation for Future Cities based in Rotterdam. They are teaching on the issue of urban emergencies at the Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft. The new creations will be presented at the Musem of Contemporary Art, for the first time to the audience.