“City of Light”: The Story of Willem Dudok’s De Bijenkorf Rotterdam

09:30 - 4 July, 2015

Produced by Dutch journalist Peter Veenendaal, City of Light is a documentary that covers the design, construction, and social effects of Willem Marinus Dudok’s De Bijenkorf in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. De Bijenkorf opened in Rotterdam in 1930, and after barely surviving the Second World War, it was destroyed in 1960 to make way for a Metro Station and a new store designed by Marcel Breuer and largely forgotten. City of Light presents Dudok’s shopping center as an important model for retail architecture that came about during the formative years of the shopping mall, and includes interviews with historians, former employees, and local enthusiasts to bring the building back to life.

Despite being relatively unknown today, Dudok’s De Bijenkorf was important not only for the architectural community, but also for the city of Rotterdam. In Veenendaal’s documentary, architectural historian Herman van Bergeijk remarks that at the time of its construction, De Bijenkorf was the “largest and most modern department store in Europe." The store was immensely popular with locals; according to the video over 70,000 people visited on opening day to explore the building, and over time, it became an icon of Rotterdam's growing commercial success.

McDonald's Pavilion on Coolsingel / mei architects and planners

20:00 - 9 June, 2015

Applications Open For The 2015 AA Visiting School In Rotterdam

04:45 - 27 May, 2015
Aerial view of the port and city of Rotterdam. Image via AA Visiting School Rotterdam
Aerial view of the port and city of Rotterdam. Image via AA Visiting School Rotterdam

This year the Architectural Association (AA) Visiting School programme will extend its reach to the Dutch city of Rotterdam – a place which, "by some strange twist of geographical and historical fate, has the highest concentration of architects and architectural thinkers in the world." The workshop, which will run for two weeks in July, will explore issues of inhabitance, perception, and intensity through analysis and creative interpretation of Rotterdam’s 'core' "or, more likely, its multiple cores, invisible to the untrained eye." Based in the Shell Tower on Hofplein, students will be afforded the opportunity to observe and analyse the city from on-high.

The Learn'd: A Film About the Poetry of Light and Space at KAAN Architecten's Education Center

17:21 - 11 May, 2015

The Learn'd, a short film directed by Victor Vroegindeweij (The Office for Nonfiction Storytelling, Hazazah Pictures), captures the poetry of light and space within KAAN Architecten's Education Center. Part of the Rotterdam academic hospital Erasmus MC, the center was once an abandoned atrium that was transformed into an "enlightened inner square" that united all the building's medical student programs under a single roof.

#donotsettle: User-Oriented Architecture Vlogging

06:00 - 7 May, 2015
Visiting Delft Station on opening day. Image Courtesy of #donotsettle
Visiting Delft Station on opening day. Image Courtesy of #donotsettle

The medium of film has long been employed to visualise, document and narrate architectural and urban space. Since the advent of more accessible devices to capture and record these journeys and explorations it has been used more frequently by practices and students in an attempt to develop new ways of experiencing built designs. #donotsettle, a YouTube channel established by two architects and urban enthusiasts while studying at TUDelft in The Netherlands, seeks to reconcile the disparity between film as architectural representation and as an experiential medium. Although not high in production value, their films are exciting examples of how user-oriented architectural 'vlogging' can uncover an entirely new way of understanding the world around us, imbued with a refreshing level of enthusiasm and authenticity.

Delft Station. Image Courtesy of #donotsettle Markthal, Rotterdam. Image Courtesy of #donotsettle Markthal, Rotterdam. Image Courtesy of #donotsettle Delft Station. Image Courtesy of #donotsettle +6

Bakkerswinkel / Piet Hein Eek

04:00 - 1 April, 2015
© Thomas Mayer
© Thomas Mayer

© Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer +25

Architecture Documentaries To Watch In 2015

09:00 - 8 March, 2015
Microtopia (2013) / Jesper Wachtmeister
Microtopia (2013) / Jesper Wachtmeister

Following our top 40 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2014 and our favourite 30 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2013, 2015 is no exception! Our latest round up continues to feature a fantastic range of films and documentaries telling the tales of unsung architectural heroes and unheard urban narratives from around the world. This entirely fresh selection looks past the panoply of stars to bring you more of the best architectural documentaries which will provoke, intrigue and beguile.

From a film which explores one man's dream to build a cathedral (#4) and a simultaneous history of and vision of Rotterdam's future (#7), to a tour of the world's last surviving squatter town in Copenhagen (#14) and A Short History of Abandoned Sets in Morocco (#16), we present - in no particular order - thirty freshly picked documentaries for you to watch in 2015.

Photographic Exhibition Highlights The Relationship Between Brick And The Dutch

04:00 - 3 March, 2015
via Het Nieuwe Instituut
via Het Nieuwe Instituut

The Netherlands Builds in Brick is one of the latest exhibitions at Het Nieuwe Instituut (formerly the NAi) in Rotterdam. It seeks to modify the "assumed triumph of Modernism" in the interwar period, drawing upon two photographic collections from the Institute's extensive archives. The exhibition has been curated to highlight that brick remained the favoured construction material throughout the advocacy of the Modernist movement, even for experimental construction.

via Het Nieuwe Instituut via Het Nieuwe Instituut via Het Nieuwe Instituut via Het Nieuwe Instituut +14

Bus Station Canopies / MAXWAN architects + urbanists

01:00 - 16 February, 2015
© Filip Dujardin
© Filip Dujardin
  • Architects

  • Location

    Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Design Team

    Rients Dijkstra and Hiroki Matsuura with Artur Boresjo, Nobuki Ogasahara Rene Sangers, Harm te Velde, Aleksandar Hrib.
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

    Filip Dujardin

© Filip Dujardin © Filip Dujardin © Filip Dujardin © Filip Dujardin +17

On View: Inside Outside's "Museological Reconstruction" of Rotterdam's Iconic Sonneveld House

00:00 - 7 February, 2015
© Johannes Schwartz
© Johannes Schwartz

Inside Rotterdam's Sonneveld House everything is in order: books arranged nearly on shelves, chairs tucked under tables, rugs set square on the bedroom floor. The house is a pristine tableau depicting what the interior would have looked like whilst inhabited by the eponymous Albertus Sonneveld and his family.

Yet something interesting lies underfoot, thanks to an intervention by Inside Outside that sees the entire floor of the home covered with a single, continuous mirror. Read more about the installation and view selected images after the break.

Surface As Sculpture: Henry Moore's Brick Reliefs In Rotterdam

00:00 - 2 February, 2015

In 1954 British sculptor Henry Moore was commissioned to design and install a large wall relief into Joost Boks' new bouwcentrum (Construction Centre) in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. The project, pieced together with approximately 16,000 hand-carved Dutch bricks, stands as the sculptor's only work completed in the humble material. In a short documentary film produced by ARTtube, architectural historian Wouter Vanstiphout narrates the fascinating story behind Wall Relief No.1.

Working drawing, façade detail. Image © The Henry Moore Foundation The wall in-situ - February 2015. Image © James Taylor-Foster Constructing the wall relief. Image © The Henry Moore Foundation The brick wall integrated into the Building Centre, since demolished (1970). Image © The Henry Moore Foundation +6

Nieuwe Park Rozenburgschool / KCAP Architects&Planners

01:00 - 31 January, 2015
© Ossip van Duivenbode
© Ossip van Duivenbode

© Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode +22

MVRDV and Interior Urbanism: An Interview With Winy Maas

01:00 - 29 January, 2015
Markthal Rotterdam. Image © Daria Scagliola+Stijn Brakkee
Markthal Rotterdam. Image © Daria Scagliola+Stijn Brakkee

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, one of the major changes within cities around the world has been the rise of so-called "privately-owned public space," a development which has attracted the attention of many urbanists and is still being widely debated. However, for MONU Magazine, the increasing prevalence (and arguably, acceptance) of such privately owned spaces for public use gives us an opportunity to discuss another aspect of public space: interior urbanism. With the rise of the shopping mall and the increasingly diverse functions required by buildings such as libraries, interior spaces now resemble exterior public spaces more and more.

The following interview is an excerpt from the 21st issue of MONU Magazine, in which MONU's Bernd Upmeyer and Beatriz Ramo interview MVRDV founder Winy Maas, discussing the concept of interior urbanism in the work of MVRDV, in particular in their Rotterdam Markthal, Glass Farm and Book Mountain projects.

Markthal Rotterdam. Image © Nico Saieh Book Mountain in Spijkenisse. Image © Jeroen Musch Book Mountain in Spijkenisse. Image © Jeroen Musch Glass Farm in Schijndel. Image © Jeroen Musch +13

Rotterdam Central Station / Benthem Crouwel Architects + MVSA Architects + West 8

01:00 - 19 January, 2015
© Jannes Linders
© Jannes Linders

© Jannes Linders © Jannes Linders © Luke Harley © Jannes Linders +27

'An Installation In Four Acts' - Exploring Structuralism At Rotterdam's Nieuwe Instituut

01:00 - 5 January, 2015
Structuralism: 'An Installation In Four Acts'. Image via Het Nieuwe Instituut
Structuralism: 'An Installation In Four Acts'. Image via Het Nieuwe Instituut

Great movements in architecture are usually set in motion by a dull societal ache or as a response to a sudden, unforeseen reorientation of a community at large. The Dutch city of Rotterdam - vast swathes of which were cast into oblivion during the blitz of May 1940 - has been at the forefront of many shifts in approach to the built environment. It is therefore fitting that the latest exhibition at the Nieuwe Instituut (formerly the NAi), simply titled Structuralism, is being held in the city that was recently named Europe’s best.

Furthermore, Dutch Structuralism is a timely subject for Dirk van den Heuvel and the Jaap Bakema Study Centre (JBSC) in Delft to tackle. With major civic buildings like OMA's extension to Rotterdam's City Hall taking shape, it appears that a resurgence of Structuralist formal thought is appearing in the contemporary city. The exhibition seeks to shine a new light on the movement by uncovering drawings, models and texts which profoundly shaped 20th century architectural thinking.

'An Installation In Four Acts' Seminar Space. Image via Het Nieuwe Instituut Structuralism: From 'An Installation In Four Acts' looking towards 'Making Space, Leaving Space'. Image via Het Nieuwe Instituut Structuralism: 'An Installation In Four Acts'. Image via Het Nieuwe Instituut Structuralism: 'An Installation In Four Acts' - the mini-mega furniture. Image via Het Nieuwe Instituut +28

Reflections on the 2014 Venice Biennale

01:00 - 18 November, 2014
Fundamentals (Central Pavilion): Ceiling. Image © David Levene
Fundamentals (Central Pavilion): Ceiling. Image © David Levene

Fundamentals, the title of the 2014 Venice Biennale, will close its doors in a matter of days (on the 23rd November). From the moment Rem Koolhaas revealed the title for this year’s Biennale in January 2013, asking national curators to respond directly to the theme of ‘Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014’, there was an inkling that this Biennale would be in some way special. Having rejected offers to direct the Biennale in the past, the fact that Koolhaas chose to act not only as curator but also thematic co-ordinator of the complete international effort, was significant. This announcement led Peter Eisenman (one of Koolhaas' earliest tutors and advocates) to state in one interview that “[Rem is] stating his end: the end of [his] career, the end of [his] hegemony, the end of [his] mythology, the end of everything, the end of architecture.”

Rotterdam Named Europe's Best City By The Academy Of Urbanism

00:00 - 17 November, 2014
Renzo Piano Bulding Workshop / OMA / UNStudio / Siza / Mecanoo. Image
Renzo Piano Bulding Workshop / OMA / UNStudio / Siza / Mecanoo. Image

The Dutch city of Rotterdam, often referred to as a hotbed of architectural activity, has been named as the best city in Europe by The Academy of Urbanism at the 2015 Urbanism Awards. Pitted against two other finalists - Aarhus in Denmark and Turin in Italy - the city has been praised for its "predominantly young, open, tolerant community that is embracing innovative architecture and urban design and new business models."

Despite being a very closely fought battle, the Academy said that Rotterdam was a vote winner for its "unique approach to governance. Appointed for six years by central government, the role of mayor sits outside of political structures and with no portfolio, allowing greater engagement with citizens and businesses." Steven Bee, Chairman of the Academy, said that "a long-term perspective, a high level of autonomy, strong leadership by the mayor and municipality, and strong partnerships between public and private sector, are all helping Rotterdam grow positively."

In Progress: Stadskantoor / OMA

01:00 - 26 October, 2014
© Ossip van Duivenbode
© Ossip van Duivenbode
  • Architects

  • Location

    Meent 119, 3011 JH Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Partners In Charge

    Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf
  • Associate

    Alex de Jong
  • Project Team

    Philippe Braun, Clarisa Garcia Fresco, Maaike Hawinkels, Andrew Linn, Takeshi Murakuni, Peter Rieff, Tom Tang, Sakine Dicle Uzanyayla, Mark Veldman
  • Interior Team

    Saskia Simon, Andrea Giannotti, Ross O'Connell, Mafalda Rangel, Lucia Zamponi, Grisha Zotov
  • Area

    43370.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

© Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode Facade Collage from North. Image Courtesy of OMA +30