October 25, 2006
by Canadian Architect
Rotterdam will be celebrating its architectural culture in a grand way in 2007 under the title Rotterdam 2007 City of Architecture. This comprehensive festival will turn the spotlight onto the citys splendid architecture. Throughout 2007, Rotterdam will be a platform of architectural interest in the form of exhibitions, events, excursions and an audio tour of 40 architectural highlights.
In the Sites & Stories programme, 40 buildings play star roles in a story of over 100 years of modern architecture. Sites & Stories consists of an audio tour with original sounds and stories from architects and users. The tour around the 40 locations offers a new and surprising perspective on the city. Beginning in April 2007, events ranging from excursions to theatre productions will be organized in and around the individual buildings.
The project Fire Limits commemorates the 1940 bombardment of Rotterdam. The entire city centre was consumed in the bombing and the firestorm that followed. The limits reached by the conflagration correspond to the boundary between old and new which is evident at many places in the inner city. On May 14, 2007, hundreds of intense beams of light will form a spectacular, dramatic visualization of one of the most significant moments in the city’s history.
POWER: Producing the Contemporary City is the theme of the third International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, curated by the Berlage Institute. From May 24 to September 2, 2007, the Kunsthal in Rotterdam will host exhibitions, lectures, debates and conferences organized around this central question: how and by whom is the contemporary city produced?
The Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) will be organizing several exhibitions during Rotterdam 2007. From January 27 to May 6, 2007, Luminous Buildings: Architecture of the Night celebrates the architecture of light. Another production on the NAI calendar is a major review exhibition of Le Corbusier running from May 26 to September 2, 2007. Besides his architectural projects, the show will present furniture, paintings and drawings by this influential architect.
AIR Foundation is organizing Keurmeester Revisited, a debate among guest specialists about the state of play of architecture in Rotterdam. In this updated version of the 1979 Keurmeester project which runs from April 1 to October 31, 2007, three international architecture critics will express their opinions on over 20 buildings and locations, which represent the last 30 years of architecture and urban planning in Rotterdam.
WiMBY! is a large-scale event dedicated to a better, prettier and livelier future for the district of Hoogvliet. The opening of Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet, a new leisure and recreational park, will be a prominent feature of the festival, and is open from May 25 to June 1, 2007.
Follydock Expo, an exhibition of architectural follies, will take place from May 25 to August 30, 2007 in the dockland district of Heijplaat. Fantastic structures will appear between the harbour sheds, basins and shipping containers, at locations scattered around this urban peninsula.
Annually recurring events such as Architecture Day, Open Monuments Day, the Building Site Festival, Rotterdam Builds and the new event Skyscraper Week will take place within the context of the Year of Architecture in 2007.
A summary of the Rotterdam 2007 City of Architecture program can be found at www.rotterdam2007.nl. The website also provides practical information, image material and a link to the Rotterdam 2007 newsletter.