At the postwar meetings of CIAM, the participants presented each other's work as much as possible in a grid format with a series of identically sized panels, making the different contributions more comparable and negotiable. The tenth CIAM congress prescribed compact presentations of just four panels that summarised each project while simultaneously providing visual representations.
Although the consistency in presentation format results in a homogenous overall appearance, a wide range of projects were shown: from modest workers' homes - for example in the presentations by John Voelcker or Romke Romke de Vries - to complete cities, such as in the plan of the Finnish PTAH group. Strikingly for a time of large-scale modernisation, there was a lot of attention for rural models with their own regional identity that were modern at the same time. The Portuguese contribution of the CIAM group from Porto is a striking example of this.
The presentations by Alison and Peter Smithson and Aldo van Eyck received the most attention in the historiography of the tenth congress. The British couple gave an overview of typologies from an individual home to mass housing. Van Eyck presented the ideal polder village of Nagele and his playgrounds in Amsterdam. In particular, the latter imagined how use and urban space could be interrelated far beyond the practice of technocratic, functional urban planning.
The CIAM material from the 1950s has been supplemented with more recent work to illustrate how ecological and theoretical approaches to architecture have since been interpreted in different ways: the studies on the relations between settlements and landscape formations of Pjotr Gonggrijp, the transformative interpretation of the Dutch delta landscape by Frits Palmboom, the ecological interventions by planner and activist Joost Váhl, and the discussions surrounding the Tanthof district in Delft, designed by Van den Broek and Bakema together with the Tanthof working group. Some projects from the 1980s are also shown, such as the Nieuw Nederland (New Netherlands) exhibition and the 'Tapijtmetropool' (‘Patchwork Metropolis’) research by Willem Jan Neutelings.
The Rotterdam office Van den Broek and Bakema made the first design for the Tanthof residential area south of Delft in 1969. The plan provided a core of high-rise slabs along and over a major trunk road towards Rotterdam, with the low-rise neighbourhoods around it.
Urban planner Joost Váhl (1939) made a name for himself as an activist and advocate of the mixing of traffic where the dominance of the car had to be curbed while pedestrians and cyclists were given more space. In Delft he laid the first speed bump in the Netherlands.
Urban designer Frits Palmboom (1951) made his name in 1987 with the book Rotterdam, verstedelijkt landschap (Rotterdam, Urbanised Landscape), a completely new interpretation of the urban morphology of Rotterdam.
Gonggrijp graduated in 1969 on a landscape study of the western Netherlands. His design research focused on the ongoing expansion of the port of Rotterdam. For this research he created a series of hand-drawn maps with overlaid transparent sheets.
In 1989 Willem Jan Neutelings (1959) was commissioned by the municipality of The Hague to study the urbanisation process of the southern section of the so-called Randstad conurbation in the west of the Netherlands, in particular the area between The Hague and Rotterdam.
The New Netherlands
In 1987 the exhibition 'Nieuw Nederland' (The New Netherlands) took place on the initiative of the foundation Nederland Nu Als Ontwerp (The Netherlands Now As Design). With a view to the future urbanisation of the Netherlands, four scenarios were developed for the spatial development of the Netherlands up to the year 2050.
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?