The New York Times quoted me when they recently published an article about architect Koen Olthuis this November. The reference derives from my article for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad from 2009 which is also recently translated.
The work of Dutch architect Koen Olthuis is still relevant because it is progressive and genuine at the same time. Olthuis envisions entire cities being built on water in the (near) future. ‘Save the world, build on water’ is Olthuis’ philosophy in a nutshell.
This is going to be the first tax evasion landscape in Europe, maybe even in the world. It will be in a remote corner of Europe, in the northeast of Estonia, in the town of Aidu near the Russian border. Other than the country’s usual lakes and forests (about half of Estonia is covered with trees) Aidu has one unique selling point: 20 meters under the limestone in the ground, there is oil shale. To get to it, the mines have exploded tons of limestone. With this waste product, architecture firm KTA has created a landscape of sculpted pyramids, ancient and futuristic at the same time. Read the article…
08/12/2016 - 09/12/2016 – Moderator event AMS Institute
4 November, I was award the Maaskantprijs 2016 by mayor Aboutaleb. This is a biennial prize for a person that stimulates the debate on architecture, landscape and urban design by publications, teaching or commissioning. That day I also launched the multimedia project ‘Tracy in Nederland‘ (Tracy in the Netherlands) that I developed with multimediaproducer Submarine, artist Jan Rothuizen and podcastmakers De Kostgangers. Part of the project is the essay ‘Vlucht naar Voren‘ (A Flight Forward), designed by Hamid Sallali.
Look closely at the photo below: on the far right you can just barely discern a human figure. That gives you an idea how big the new building for the Estonian National Museum is in the city of Tartu, which opened to the public last week. It’s huge: 356 meters long, 72 meters wide, and 15 meters high at the front, sloping down gradually to just over 2 at the back. One of the world’s smallest countries now has one of the world’s biggest museums, at a cost of 75 million euro’s. The only bigger cultural building in the country is the Linnahall, built by the Soviets on the occasion of the 1980 Olympic Games.