While Rotterdam is known for radical architecture and forward-thinking city planning, architects are finding ways to celebrate the city’s history too. Several landmark renovation projects have launched this year, and there’s an ever-growing interest in collective regeneration of city’s 20th century residential fabric led by a new generation of ambitious emerging architects.
Jan Nauta on the jury of Experimental 11 at the Architectural Association
The relationship between Humankind and Nature is a curious one. In modern rhetoric, the two are often defined as being one and the same; Man is of Nature. And yet, as scientists, activists and politicians increasingly admit the advent of the Anthropocene, one cannot help but wonder whether, in our current era, it might not be more accurate to describe Nature as being of Man. That is to say, in the case of the former, it is nature that created us, whereas in the case of the latter, it is we who create Nature.
If Nature is indeed of Man, it becomes apparent that in designing a city we need to consider the needs of both. Needless to say, this was not how cities were designed in the past and was certainly not how much of London was designed. Bolstered by the Industrial Revolution and the increasing power of the British Empire, the nascent London was established in an entirely different global framework. Ecological and environmental concerns simply did not register as factors in urban development and the Great Acceleration of the post-war years did little to rectify this. As such, the urban growth of London ever since has left the city ill-equipped to cater to the needs of nature.
We will ask students to confront a paradigm shift. When both the City and Nature become the project of Man, our architectural language must evolve to encompass both. If once the role of the architect was to design spaces for human inhabitation, we must now design spaces of natural inhabitation as well. We will study not only the spatial transformations of the existing city, but also the performative ones, introducing the problem of human inhabitation through the design of rituals that can inform new forms of living.
We will take Charles Darwin’s mantra, natura non facit saltum – Nature does nothing in jumps – and propose an alternative as our modus operandi: Homo facit saltum. If nature does not act in leaps, we must. We will be working within the Canada Water Area Action Plan, in an effort to re-imagine how the existing cityscape can be transformed. This means that rather than working with building codes and regulations, we will work instead with the seasons, the passage of time and the possibility of including new urban rituals into the existing urban fabric. The unit will work with collage, urban sampling methods and model making.
Jan Nauta co-authored an article in Trouw about our economy's addiction to build with concrete and its enormous negative environmental impact. The piece pleads for a Wooden Age in which we will replace concrete for wood as our main construction material.
'Cedric Price: Room for Learning?' will open on 19 October at WUHO Gallery in LA
The exhibition is organised and curated by Samantha Hardingham, Scrap Marshall and Studio Nauta.
First pole ceremony School by a School
Construction work on the Constantijn primary school and nursery in Leeuwarden has started. The building is set for delivery June 2020.
We are thrilled to be included in Wallpaper’s Architects’ Directory 2018. ‘Our selection of next-level architects take centre stage at the OMA designed Lafayette Anticipations in Paris.’
Dutch and Flemish architects discuss the significance of the context for an architectural design and how adapting to and building upon existing conditions can produce new places. With Eagles of Architecture (BE), Christian Kieckens (BE), Korth Tielens architecten (NL), Studio Nauta (NL) and Tom Avermaete (BE).
POA 1-22 is edited by Jan Nauta and Scrap Marshall and published by Bedford Press. The book includes essays by Pier Vittorio Aureli, Shumon Basar, Mark Campbell, Barbara-Ann Campbell-Lange, Henderson Downing, David Greene, Samantha Hardingham, Ingrid Schröder, Nicholas Simcik Arese, Silvana Taher, Tom Vandeputte and Carlos Villanueva Brandt