2015-06-10Souper #65

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Our last Souper was with two energetic guests Steven Manhave (Manhave Vastgoed) and Léon van Geest (moderator and entrepreneur). Both gentlemen program the city on their own way, but with the same intentions. They want to make Rotterdam a better city.

The similarities and differences between Steven and Léon were interesting. Their current work seem so logical, but is not aware mapped so. What they achieved so far is by much experience. They talk very seriously about their profession. The differences are mainly in how they work in the city. Steven tries with the right mix of program, good maintenance and good service to achieve a steady return. This results in attractive that housing, working or shopping areas. Léon tries with events, temporary programming, to show an original view on the city. As moderator, he also has a binding factor between all stakeholders in the city.

Steven and Léon work with pleasure and gogme to change the existing city. The impact of their approach and attitude generates lasting qualities for the city. They are constantly seeking an appropriate response to the changed economic, social and cultural conditions. At the same time they work on continuity. Building by building, street by street, block by block, neighbourhood by neighbourhood they make the existing city better.

The cuisine and the wines at restaurant Huson again were delightful.

2015-01-26The future city is already there

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Transformation of building is not possible in a dogmatic way of financing, application of traditional technique and strict design method. Property owners, builders and designers needs a different attitude. Not value in the short term, but the long-term value is decisive. Not a building system is the starting point, but the existing building dictates the construction method. Architects must release the modernist adage: form follows function is now (possible) functions follows form.

Article in collaboration with Paul Diederen. Published in Renda, January 2015. Text only in Dutch

2014-12-03Souper #60

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Advisor Carol Hol (Concire - developer of area concepts) and lecturer/ researcher Tom Daamen (TU Delft - Architecture and the Built Environment - Real Estate and Housing) were our guests in the end of November. The theme of the evening was (the future of) integrated area development.

With the experience of Carol and the academic knowledge of Tom a broad spectrum of area development was covered. Stories versus figures. Attainability versus manufacturability. Both expertise are strangely enough needed for future small-scale developments. Errors from the past may not be repeated, and decisions are to be taken to the basis of transparent knowledge. We can conclude that in future projects program and tempo of development are issues and not profit economic maximization and a desired final image.

The Souper was at FG foodlabs located in Hofbogen, halfway ZOHO and Schieblock. Delicious food and new ways of developments are in any case well together.

2014-11-06The construction industry can save itself by embracing the city

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Reprogramming of existing buildings in cities is much more effective than new construction in empty fields.

Article (in collaboration with Paul Diederen) was published in Het Financieel Dagblad November 5, 2014. See item at FD-website or read PDF. Text only in Dutch.

2014-09-15Souper #57

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On Friday, September 12th, there was a special Souper in Venice. At our table we had Ankie Schellekens (owner Venice Planner), architect/ photographer Giovanni Vio (phd IUAV) and architect Silvia Dainese (studio GRISDAINESE). Later architect Stefano Gris (studio GRISDAINESE) also joined us.

The exhibition Monditalia at the Architecture Biennale was a good input to talk to people who live in Venice. Monditalia shows that the country has a nice history, but also a very uncertain future in many ways. Living and working in Italy in general and in Venice in particular are obvious themes for this evening with people from the tourism industry and architecture business.

80,000 tourists visit Venice each day, while the population has now dropped to 60,000. No one has an idea how population decline and mass tourism can tolerate each other well. In Ankie these phenomena come together. She lived for many years in the city center and she conducts a visit to the city tailored for different types of businesses. Pleasant reside in Venice finally has everything to do with the precise organization of the stay of visitors to the city.

Giovanni and Silvia work in a country that has one architect per 450 inhabitants This density is outstanding. In the Netherlands, for example, there is only one architect per 1650 inhabitants. Both have broadened their design activities. Giovanni with research and the office of Silvia also designs many temporary structures for exhibitions and retail.

We have learned a lot about living in Venice and working in Italy from our pleasant and enterprising guests. The waterfront terrace of Trattoria Altanella in the district of La Giudecca was a perfect place for this special evening. The restaurant is runned over 100 years by the same family. The homemade gnocchi nero di sepia was delightful.