Foaming at the Edge - Open City
The 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, in conjunction with the Berlage Institute–CARD in Rotterdam, presents a two-week (24 September - 9 October) master class entitled Foaming at the Edge. Sixteen international teams of young architects, guided by their tutors and the New Dialogues AG team, research the edge between the city of Rotterdam and its harbor in order to reflect on the citys urban and architectural future. The focus is to imagine how Rotterdams harbor area may be transformed into new housing developments. The participants specifically engage with the development goals outlined in Rotterdams 2030 Urban Development Strategy for the harbor area.
Participants design the edge between the city and the harborbetween the liquid and the solidin order to explore what the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk has defined as architectures of foam. At the center of this conception is the modern residence par excellence: the apartment. The apartment unit is used as the center from which different wet and dry urban activities, including residential needs, water-oriented sports, public promenades, water batteries, and fish farming, intermix and expand.
The master class participants explore how the apartment unit can form a new entity where humans coexist with nature and building together. The philosophical challenge hinted at by Sloterdijk suggests that a truly productive architectural foam must help human beings to emerge. In other words, the challenge of the participants is to design a complex amalgam of nature and building that projects a new quality of living. Taking into account the challenges of present-day Dutch housing needs, participants bring together new construction materials and ways of living to design 21st century housing.
In addition to daily sessions with tutors and master class leaders, participants directly engage with local experts from the Port of Rotterdam, the Rotterdam city planning department, and representatives from the construction and harbor industries through a series of lectures, guided tours, and seminar sessions. The aim of this engagement is to critically debate the long-term development strategies already in place as well as to envision other alternatives for the harbor area.
On 9 October, participants present their new master plan proposals for revitalizing the Rotterdam harbor at a public event as part of the Open City Event Program in the Netherlands Architecture Institute.
Leaders: New Dialogues AG, Zurich: Lars Lerup and Christian Bandi with Gunnar Hartmann
List of participating schools: Columbia University, New York, USA; Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway; Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Technical University Delft, Delft, the Netherlands; Tsinghua University, Beijing, China; Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico; University of Split, Split, Croatia; Berlage Institute, Rotterdam, the Netherlands