SuperNormal: Architecture in the Netherlands 2010-2020 (a+u 592)
Kirsten Hannema (Ed.)
Architecture + Urbanism / Shinkenchiku-sha, 2020
This a+u issue examines the past decade of architectural discourse in the Netherlands. Following the global financial crisis in 2008, the construction industry faced a slowdown; what was then considered “typically” Dutch has since faded, replaced with a new, more modest attitude in the Dutch architecture scene. Across three themes, guest editor Kirsten Hannema introduces nineteen projects that are perceived as combining broader social issues, and which in turn have taken on a new form of cultural momentum, despite going relatively unnoticed in comparison with the “SuperDutch” generation. With work by NL Architects, Superuse Studios, Mecanoo, and more.
The 3 themes: “Reshaping the Polder” looks into pilot projects that rethink the sustainability of our construction practice. “Tabula Scripta” introduces transformation projects exploring how we rebuild under pre-existing conditions. “After the NAi” presents a body of public projects built during the period after 2012 when the national budget was cut. Each theme is accompanied by an essay written by Bob Witman, Jarrik Ouburg, and Sergio M Figueiredo, respectively. Finally, Floris Alkemade, Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands, shares with us in an interview about his reflections, actions, and predictions on the country’s architectural setting. Credits to Eelco Van Welie, Director of nai010 publishers, for his support, including authors of the essays, and the architects who contributed to this issue.