For the newspaper NRC I visited China and Hong Kong and wrote about the two enormous new design museums being built there: Design Society in Shenzen and M+ in Hong Kong.
Winners of the 2017 Pritzker Prize are RCR Arquitectes, a Spanish studio located by deliberate choice in the volcanic hinterland of the province of Catalunya. I interviewed them for NRC Handelsblad and made a video interview as well.
The reaction is most of the architecture world was: ‘Who?’ By chance I knew their work: I had stayed in an extraordinary hotel they designed with rooms made entirely of glass, I had visited a school + library in the Barcelona neighbourhood of Sant Antoni, and I had seen an exhibition on their work in Barcelona. I returned to their town of Olot, to the 16th-century foundry where their studio is located, to speak with them, and visited their striking underground bodega in Palamós, on the coast north of Barcelona.
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.
Sometimes living in the city is more about a solid investment than about a nice house. Who benefits from the current overheated urban housing market? To what extent is a house still a home?
Watch and listen to my multimedia tour ‘Wonen’ (Housing) in which I examine how housing through the years has reflected the dominant ideology. Along the way I talk with sociologist Arnold Reijndorp, architect and Bijlmer-believer Pi de Bruijn and photographer and Vinex-resident Theo Baart.
All three multimedia tours that I created on the occasion of being awarded the Maaskant Prize 2016 can be seen on www.tracyinnederland.nl
On November 4th, 2016, I was awarded the Maaskantprijs 2016 by Mayor of Rotterdam Aboutaleb. This is a bi-annual 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 The Dark Side of Urban Success 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.