Team innergy, composed of Frank Marcus, Pieter Wackers, Gerben Pennings, Gertjan Rohaan, Chris Van Der Zwet, recently won the first prize in the Energetic City 2050, competition about the sustainable future of the city of Arnhem, Netherlands. The jury felt that the vision of Innergy was “hopeful, with a strong belief in humanity & technology”, “focusing on individuals, for the city of the future will be the people themselves” and that “housing subscriptions and building material plazas will turn the city into a fluid place full of creativity “. More images and architects’ description after the break.
In 2050 there will be an abundance of renewable energy. Therefore the world will have changed. Energy is a lot more than just fuel or electricity. The energy of people and society, the feeling that you have energy yourself, is at least as important. This is the starting point for Innergy: the inner energy of people. This abundance of energy does not stand alone. It is made possible by technological developments and it stimulates technological developments. In 2050 a lot of work will be done by technology. A working week of two days will be a full-time job, and people will have more free time. The abundance of energy changes everything.
In 2012 we are strongly attached to the place where we are and the possessions we have. Our experiences are bound to a specific time and place. We can only experience something if we are there. In 2050 experiences will no longer be restricted by time and place. Technology makes it possible to be in Arnhem, but to experience with all your senses that you are in Canada. This technology, a kind of ‘hyperskype’ we call the Field. Until 2030 more and more people move to cities, and cities keep growing. These cities are defined by buildings: without buildings there’s no city. Because of the abundance of energy, and because of the Field, after 2030 people will no longer be bound to a certain place or attached to possessions. Every place offers the same possibilities. This will cause cities to explode and then burn out like supernovas. From then on people are the city. People, not buildings, determine where and in which form the city appears. The city becomes fluid.
There is no waste. Everything is a resource for a new use or a different product. 3D-printers make what is needed. Old trainers are pulverized and then reprinted. But you can also print a house. Therefore it’s no longer necessary to own things. What is important is being able to use matter and knowledge. Knowledge and skills are easy to share, and therefore accessible for a lot of people; an open source. In 2050 value is created by the interaction between people. Contact is what motivates people. And they have time for that.
Because of free access to knowledge, things and time, a new attitude emerges: do-it-yourself. The self is the source of our actions. It’s not about ‘I have’ and ‘I am’ anymore, but about ‘we do’ and ‘we make’. Do-it-yourself is about connection and creativity. Humanity will continue to evolve. Our society has reached a point where we can make the step from self-actualization to self-transcendence. When a person has actualized himself, he will want to help others to do that as well, he transcends himself. People look at the world not only from their own perspective, but more and more from the perspective of a greater whole.
Everything is energy, in different densities. There are three levels of energy: energetics, relations and matter. Ideas and possibilities, energetics, are the subtlest forms of energy. In this energy patterns can emerge, and if these patterns grow denser they can manifest in the relations between people. If patterns then grow even denser they become matter.
In the Arnhem of 2050, the government has largely retreated from the public realm. The city is developed by Arnhemmers themselves. Arnhem consists of many habitats: small neighborhoods with their own character, defined by the different desires people have. Among all those different habitats Innergy recognizes three types of urban development.
1. City of Matter
The city of matter is in equilibrium. There’s not much change in what the city looks like. People living in these parts of Arnhem are focused on themselves and their own groups. These are neighborhoods with a low dynamic of buildings and a low dynamic of users. The city of matter is found in parts of the city that have cultural and historical value. While most historical buildings originated from private and individual initiative, the historical urban fabric is experienced as a homogeneous unity.
2. City of Relations
The city of relations offers dynamic living. It consists of parts of the city with a dense structure and larger objects. Houses offer flexibility and space for different functions. Users have an open attitude towards the world around them. Urban development is focused on interaction and evolution. These are neighborhoods with a low dynamic of buildings and a high dynamic of users. In the Arnhem of 2050, the city of relations is found around the old city centre, in neighborhoods that have their origin in the late 19th century, when the bourgeoisie collectively decided to leave the ‘lower class’ city centre.
3. City of Energetics
The city of energetics is very dynamic, both socially and physically. There is freedom of urban development and architecture. Users are conscious, independent people with an integral world view. Building materials are collectively available for everyone to use. People and buildings come and go: these are neighborhoods with a high dynamic of buildings and a high dynamic of users. The city of energetics is often found in parts of the city with a large supply of out-of-date housing that can be used as a source of building materials. Like in the 1960’s district of Presikhaaf, in the western part of Arnhem, with its modernist post-WWII town planning focused on uniformity and repetition.
Three panels of judges: first, a panel of entrepreneurs, education professionals and local public servants, secondly, a representation of people from Arnhem (age varying from 6 to 60 years) and finally, a panel of professionals formed by Winy Maas (MVRDV), Thomas Rau (RAU) and Paul de Ruiter (Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter).
Design: Team innergy
Team Members: Frank Marcus (architect), Chris van der Zwet (landscape architect), Gertjan Rohaan (urbanist), Gerben Pennings (philosopher) and Pieter Wackers (artist)
Visuals: Andrew van Egmond – part of the innergy team
Competition Result: 1st prize