Rotterdam architecture year kicks off

6th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 April 2007 , AMSTERDAM – Although several buildings in Rotterdam have become more ‘purple’ in the past months, Ivo Opstelten, the mayor, gave the official kick-off to the Year of the Architecture on Thursday evening. For a whole year the city will hold exhibitions, tours and special events around unusual buildings and locations. The municipal executive gave this name to 2007.

6 April 2007

AMSTERDAM – Although several buildings in Rotterdam have become more ‘purple’ in the past months, Ivo Opstelten, the mayor, gave the official kick-off to the Year of the Architecture on Thursday evening. For a whole year the city will hold exhibitions, tours and special events around unusual buildings and locations. The municipal executive gave this name to 2007.

Mayor Opstelten opened the year by donning a purple safety helmet in the middle of the building activities around Central Station, which will be completely newly built. “For such an important year for the city and its architecture, you initiate this in the largest building site of Rotterdam. It could not be more symbolic,” he said. He addressed his speech to the people of Rotterdam.

“Building is what links us to the city and it has already done so. Rotterdam wants to be the architecture city and we will remain just that”

A number of activities for the Year of the Architecture have already started. Forty exceptional buildings, such as the Erasmus Bridge, the cubic houses and the Groothandelsgebouw (Trade Centre) are already illuminated or (partly) wrapped in purple. In the pond of the Dutch Architecture Institute (NAi), there are floating purple balls and ducks. This year, the third International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam will also be held in this city and Follydock will set up fantasy buildings on Heijplaat.

While Rotterdam has called itself the architecture city of the Netherlands, many people, and in particular professionals, wonder if the city merits this title. The reputation that Rotterdam has built up over the years was consolidated by urban projects such as the ‘Kop van Zuid’, the tall buildings-policy, the arrival of architecture institutes and the establishment of many renowned architectural bureaus.

Professionals no longer see this title as the obvious one. They feel that there are not enough high-quality buildings and that Rotterdam makes little use of the famous creative bureaus located there. “Despite incidental architectural tours de force, it would appear that the Rotterdam architectural climate has lost the power and allure of former days” is the conclusion of the Architecture Institute Rotterdam (AIR) which, as a result, will hold an international professional debate later this year.


[Copyright Expatica News 2007 +ANP]

Subject: Dutch news

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