April 21, 2005
by Canadian Architect
Entitled The Flood, the Rotterdam Biennale takes place from May 26-June 26, 2005, and includes a month of exhibitions, conferences, excursions and a City Program. Curated by Adriaan Geuze, landscape architect and director of West 8, the event focuses on the relationship between water and architecture in the Netherlands and around the world.
The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam is also a research project. Taking the topical theme of water, it identifies and analyses the forces that influence our surroundings, outlines future scenarios, and develops alternatives. The conference program of the Biennale offers room for discussion and formulation of ideas for the design disciplines of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture, as well as governments, developers, builders, scientists and a larger audience.
Mare Nostrum Conference: May 27-28 (language English)
This conference marks the start of the Mare Nostrum exhibition. It examines how the touristic exploitation of coastal areas and the associated economic growth can go hand in hand with the conservation of local cultural and landscape-related qualities. On the first day, the guest curators of Mare Nostrum present the results of their research to each other. The second day will focus on a panel of experts such as project developers, policy-makers, futurists and tour operators. They will respond to the issue from their own professional perspectives and take a critical look at the designs that the curators have brought to the exhibition.
Three Bays Conference: May 27-28 (language English)
The three guest curators of the exhibition Three Bays – Marino Folin (Rector of the Faculty Architecture of the University of Venice), Jinnai Hidenobu (professor Construction Engineering, Division of Engineering, University of Hosei) and Maarten Kloos (director of ARCAM) – will give presentations explaining the "water history" of their respective cities.
Flood Resistant Housing Masterclass: June 1 (language English)
During the biennale, architect Greg Lynn will guide a masterclass with over 60 architecture students and young architects from all over the world. The class will specifically focus on finding new ways for building houses in the flood risk areas of the city of Deventer, the Netherlands. Prototypes for these houses made by the students will be on display at the exhibition Flow. On June 1, the final presentation of the masterclass will take place. Participants of the masterclass come from: the University of Cape Town, RMIT University in Melbourne, Columbia University, Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago de Chile, SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, Architectural Association London, ETH Zrich, University of Zagreb, CEPT School of Architecture in Ahmedabad, the Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana in Yogyakarta, Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design, Technical University Delft and Berlage Institute.
Space for Water: June 1 (language Dutch)
The Waterkring (Water Circle) of the Dutch Association for Public Administration holds an open meeting on the theme "Space for Water." Behind the models of the new water cities in the exhibition The Water City lies a harsh governmental reality in which civil servants and administrators are left to solve the problems. However, a lack of vision and foresight hinders the process. Do the models present a realistic vision or should they be treated as products of an ide fixe?
Between Doom and Dream: Designing with Water in the Dutch Urban Landscape
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) organizes two debates as a follow up to the publication Atlas Dutch Water Cities:
Breakthroughs / Concepts: May 31 (language Dutch)
The low-lying Netherlands are an intermediary between the North Sea and the mainland of Europe. The interplay of land and water can be read from the elastic shifts that the coastline of the Netherlands has made in the past. This "boundary" is now fixed, and the dike has to ensure safety. Are there alternatives?
Wet feet / Dry dreams: June 3 (language Dutch)
Dutch cities are hydrologic structures. They are designed in such a fashion that the rain- and groundwater are regulated, thus ensuring we keep our feet dry. The combination of urbanization, concretion, subsidence and the increased extreme precipitation destabilizes these hydrologic systems.
From Water to Gold: June 8 (language Dutch)
The Association of Dutch Property Developers (NEPROM) organizes a festival of knowledge. The motto is "From Water to Gold" and the main objective is to come up with a developmental agenda for water and urbanization. How can the water problem in all its facets be handled as a development planning task?
Landscape: a Trump Card for Europe? June 9 (language Dutch)
The Atelier Rijksbouwmeester (Chief Government Architect’s Office) is organizing a day of discussion at the occasion of the European Landscape Convention. In this convention, the member states of the Council of Europe profess their opinions about the content of a sound national landscape policy. The aim of the discussion is to introduce professionals from the world of space-related disciplines and other interested parties to the convention.
The Polder and the Ark: June 10 (language Dutch)
The "future centres" of Rijkswaterstaat (Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) organize a conference about topics such as "living with water." The age-old polder landscape is having a rough time and poses old questions with renewed urgency. If we were able to start afresh, what would a complex polder project such as the Horstermeer Polder look like?
Rotterdam and the Flood: June 11 (language Dutch)
How will the city of Rotterdam fare in future with the increasing volumes of water in the sea, rivers, the atmosphere and the soil? This question was central to a study by three municipal departments in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The designers from the departments devised a plan for the year 2035, making a virtue of necessity. Architecture Institute Rotterdam (AIR) organizes a program based on the results.
Note: Due to its dynamic character, the content of the conference programme might still change. Please find a more detailed description of the conferences and registration information at www.biennalerotterdam.nl