June 27, 2005
by Canadian Architect
The Architecture Biennale took place from May 26 to June 26 in the Las Palmas Building and the Netherlands Architecture Institute (Nai) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. During that month, the five main exhibitions attracted 22,000 Dutch and foreign visitors, compared to the first event in 2003 which drew 15,000 visitors in its first month.
The event focused on the theme of "The Flood" and highlighted the relation between water and architecture in the Netherlands and around the world. The curator was Adriaan Geuze, landscape architect and director of West 8. The exhibition Water Cities, featuring over one hundred models, was the subject of great interest during the second Biennale. Like Mare Nostrum, his exhibition took place at Las Palmas. The following NAi exhibitions continue until early September: Polders, Three Bays and Flow.
The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam organization is working on plans for a third event in 2007. This is in spite of the fact that the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has decided not to include the Biennale in its 2005-2008 Cultural Policy Document.
Biennale director George Brugmans is optimistic: "The success of this year’s event has generated enthusiasm among all the public and private parties involved. So I’m confident there will be a third Biennale. What’s more, 2007 will be the Year of Architecture in Rotterdam, and that cannot happen with out a Biennale."
The occasion prompted State Architect Mels Crouwel to write to State Secretary Medy van der Laan, on behalf of the council of state advisors, insisting that she ensures the continuity of the Biennale. The council was unanimous in its enthusiasm for this Biennale and believes it generated widespread support. "The Biennale has succeeded in putting the theme of design and water high on the social agenda," says Crouwel.