Het Nieuwe Instituut
3015 CB Rotterdam
In 1956, a visionary group of architects gathered in Dubrovnik under the name CIAM (Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne) in search of ways to radically innovate urban planning and architecture and to realise new, better living conditions. Instead of considering cities as disparate collections of buildings, they viewed them as coherent systems and ecological networks. Vigorous discussion about habitat culminated in the end of CIAM and the establishment of a new avant-garde group: Team 10, which made their mark with their 'Statement on Habitat'. Habitat: Expanding Architecture examines what this meant for architecture then and now.
The exhibition presents a reconstruction of the material CIAM delegates showed at Dubrovnik in 1956. In addition to work by major postwar Team 10 architects such as Jaap Bakema, Aldo van Eyck and Alison & Peter Smithson, exhibits include work by James Stirling, Piero Bottoni, Arne Korsmo, Geir Grung, the Finnish group PTAH and the Portuguese CIAM Porto group. Alongside this historical archive material selections from the Nieuwe Instituut collection and private collections are included to further illustrate how ecological and theoretical systemic approaches to architecture have been interpreted in different ways since then: phenomenal studies on the connection between settlement and landscape formation by Pjotr Gonggrijp, transformative interpretation of the Dutch delta landscape by Frits Palmboom, ecological interventions by planner and activist Joost Váhl, and discussions about Delft’s Tanthof district designed by Van den Broek and Bakema together with the Tanthof workgroup. Various 1980s projects are also showcased, including the Nederland Nu Als Ontwerp project and the Tapijtmetropool study by Willem Jan Neutelings
Seminars and debates
Habitat: Expanding Architecture combines archive research with public presentations. It incorporates an intensive programme of seminars and conversations with international guests, students, historians, architects and planners. The installation is arranged as a platform to examine numerous questions relating to 'habitat': what is the significance of habitat as a new ecological paradigm for architecture and planning – whether in a historical or a contemporary context? What is the significance of no longer thinking in terms of objects, form and construction, but rather in terms of processes, systems and networks?
Aldo & Hannie van Eyck Conference
During Habitat the fifth annual Jaap Bakema Study Centre conference will take place dedicated in 2018 to the work of Aldo & Hannie van Eyck. The conference, entitled The Irritant Principle of Renewal, will run from 28-30 November 2018.
Habitat is the first in a series of Total Space programme installations following the Structuralism exhibition of 2014. Total Space delves into the State Archive for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning to reflect on today’s questions, in particular the interdisciplinary traffic between architecture, planning, anthropology and system theory that marked the 1950s and 60s. The first publication and two international workshops were realised in 2015-2016.