In February, the Jaap Bakema Study Centre organises archive conversations with and about the authors of the archive material that is on show at Habitat: Expanding Architecture. Sunday 24 February, Pjotr Gonggrijp and Frits Palmboom will be talking about their work based on the material on show in the exhibition.
Het Nieuwe Instituut
3015 CB Rotterdam
Studentens, Friends and Members of Het Nieuwe Instituut€ 3,75
Pjotr Gonggrijp (1935) studied at the former TH Delft and was student assistant to Cornelis van Eesteren, the former secretary general of CIAM. Gonggrijp would also assist Aldo van Eyck in his teaching in Delft and was touched by his imaginative use of language on the human experience of architectural space. Gonggrijp graduated in 1969 on a landscape study of the western Netherlands. His design research focused on the ongoing expansion of the port of Rotterdam, including the location of new docks, the flow of goods and the residential areas in the region. He created a series of hand-drawn maps that analysed the Dutch delta and its characteristic geological landscape formations in relation to the different settlement patterns. The drawings often show multiple layers at the same time: for example, historical landscapes and cities are combined with the modern infrastructure of docks and railways. Gonggrijp's fascination for anthropology and psychoanalysis meant that the drawings were not only an architectural tool, but also a means to literally map the specific identity of the landscape and its inhabitants.
Urban designer Frits Palmboom (1951) made his name in 1987 with the book Rotterdam, verstedelijkt landschap (Rotterdam, Urbanised Landscape), a completely new interpretation of the urban morphology of Rotterdam. As a student, Palmboom was inspired at the former TH Delft by the work of Pjotr Gonggrijp. His work showed him how drawing could be a form of reading the landscape. The design of IJburg (1995-97), which Palmboom made together with Jaap van den Bout, also relates to the coherence between the large-scale, man-made landscape of the polders and the IJsselmeer area, and the physical morphology of the new district of islands.
Habitat: Expanding Architecture is a research installation which captures a key moment in the history of architecture and urban planning: the tenth CIAM conference at Dubrovnik in 1956. Here the concept 'habitat' was a central theme: a broader understanding of architecture through a new ecological approach viewing architecture less as an autonomous discipline than as part of larger, dynamic whole. Habitat is the first in a series of Total Space programme installations.