The Underrated Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Weekend Travel: Rotterdam | NL

I did a quick visit (again) to what know known as "the city of the future" in Netherland, Rotterdam. Coming from "the city of the past", Rotterdam has its own perks that Amsterdam does not have. As one of the largest port in Europe, Rotterdam is exposed to long  and dynamic history of cultural life and heritage. Doesn't sounds so like the place that carries promise from the future eh?

Unfortunately, the city suffers from a terrible war catastrophe during World War II that almost destroyed the entire city center. The aftermath is the surge amount of opportunity to re-think and re-design the city. Now, Rotterdam has become the proving ground of architecture experiments to world-famous architects like Rem, Ben van Berkel, Winy Maas, and many more. 

After the famous Erasmus Bridge, Markthall, and de Rotterdam, this magical chrome bowl is going to be the next big thing. It's going to house art storage facility of one of the major art museums of the city, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. 

 
MVRDV's proposal for the  new Boijmans Art Depot in Rotterdam.

MVRDV's proposal for the new Boijmans Art Depot in Rotterdam.

 

Of course, after a long series of drama. Typical architecture competition struggle and hustle. Winning the competition is just the start of the long journey.

 

MVRDV was earlier disqualified from the competition due to a considered breach of the tender procedure but won a preliminary injunction at the court of justice of Rotterdam.
— http://www.mvrdv.nl/news/Boijmans_depot_competition
 

Hey, I think we can do a series of how architecture firm struggle to get things built, maybe can get the same rating as The Kardashians.

 
The decision about the Public Art Depot has been made! 
On Thursday 5 November Rotterdam City Council voted in favour of the construction of the new Public Art Depot in the Museumpark.
— http://collectiegebouw.boijmans.nl/en/
 

Exciting news! Now as we are looking forward to the completion of the world's first art storage facility that is fully accessible to public, let's check how cool the museum is right now.

*Actually Herzog de Meuron's Schaulager in Basel has pretty similar concept although it's still a private collection and the building only open to public on a certain time. Well that's a huge bummer.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Entrance

Entrance courtyard with the noticeable pavement pattern. 

Entrance courtyard with the noticeable pavement pattern. 

The museum is right located in the Museumpark area, comparable to Amsterdam's Museumplein. Museum has become one of the key component  for Dutch cities as cultural element for its resident and also to propagate the development of the city and attract talent from outside.

 

Boijmans museum in a similar setting with Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

 

Rijksmuseum situated as the center axis of the museum park.

 

Gallery

boijsman-11.jpg

This is one of the most interesting component out of this museum and there are two reasons. The first one, the gallery rooms  at the ground level are stretched along the central courtyard with opening towards it, sometimes at both sides. This allow visual interaction with the courtyard as the background and allow artworks to be viewed in daylight. 

boijsman-5.jpg

Second floor is where the permanent collection stays. Van der Steur, the original architect has come up with a pretty unique solution to what suppose to be mundane and typical layout back in the day. 

 
Conventional linear room layout (Left). Boijmans Museum linear room layout (Right).

Conventional linear room layout (Left). Boijmans Museum linear room layout (Right).

 

Rooms are arranged in a linear fashion (reminds me of the typical aristocrat mansion) BUT, how the passage to connect between rooms are placed in a way that allows visitor to isolate themselves and focus on the content  in one room.

Circulation path is clearly defined through linear view of sight.

Circulation path is clearly defined through linear view of sight.

No visual interference from the adjacent room.

No visual interference from the adjacent room.

 

Cafe / Restaurant

Integration of sculpture park and the rest of the public park.

Integration of sculpture park and the rest of the public park.

This is great!

I am a big fan of sculpture park or where artwork is being liberated from it's confined white boxes where it usually stays. Well, it's not a new idea, MOMA in New York, or Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark or Kruller Muller Museum in Otterlo, Netherland has the similar park.

What really stands out is the fact that part of the sculpture park is publicly accessible and that brings art closer to the residents of Rotterdam.

 

 

The Ultimate: Vocabulary of Solitude by Ugo Rondinone

If I have to have one reason to visit this museum this time, it's gotta be because of this exhibition. There is a strange feeling as visitors meander through the sad clowns. Sort of showing satiric side of clown which is an irony on itself.

Something strange happens every time you look at Rondinone’s art. He gives everyday motifs and images a poetic dimension by isolating or enlarging them. On the floor of the 1500m2 Bodon Galleries visitors will move between life-size clown figures. With titles in the present tense, such as be, breathe, remember, feel and yawn, the clowns in the exhibition represent a 24-hour day in the life of an individual. These clown sculptures have never previously been exhibited.
— http://www.ugoinboijmans.nl/en/#4hIZRQMDgrLpMrPc.99
 

Conclusion

Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum is one of the most important art museum in the Netherland because of what it can offers as a unique canvas to present the artwork.  Apart from its one of a kind gallery spaces, the museum offers a very relevant content in the landscape of contemporary art itself balanced with its more classical / historical collection.

Mooi!

 

Hey do check #donotsettle's Wahyu Pratomo video who came along with me to check the museum!

 

And he got me a fancy picture. 

And he got me a fancy picture. 

 

Zaha's Pivotal Moment To Digital Age

We have all heard about the devastated news yesterday, for a second I thought it was April fools. 

Since the first time I studied architecture, I wasn't really a big fan of her work. Fancy geometries, double curved surfaces, twisted lines, and many other in result to unnecessary complexity. I visited Guangzhou Opera House months after the project finished and looking at the finished product confirms my skepticism. It seems like her body of work reflects merely on her altruistic fetishism of form.

I was wrong.  Dead wrong.

 

From Fragmentation to Fluidity

Between Cincinnati's CAC to Rome's MAXXI

I didn't understand the context and the idea that she's trying to pursue. At the AA day, the critics were blown away by her drawings because an architecture intent has never been presented as such before. With The Peak competition, the proposal is trying to capture movement and seeming instability through fragmentation of building parts. And her fascination to understand the potential of fluid spaces through the exploration of fabric and network. There is though a common theme across since the very beginning, building as landscape. 

 
Fragmentation can be philosophical, too. It can be systematic and not merely chaotic or accidental. This can be seen in some of Malevich’s earlier paintings. Or, even if it is chaotic, it can reflect an existentialist edge, a risky form of play with disintegration as a prelude or even an impetus to a higher re-formation. As long as forms remain whole, unified, coherent, they cannot be transformed. Only when established forms are broken up are they susceptible to change.
— https://lebbeuswoods.wordpress.com/2009/03/27/zaha-hadids-drawings-2/
Fragments | The Peak Proposal

Fragments | The Peak Proposal

Fabric & Network | Onenorth Masterplan

Fabric & Network | Onenorth Masterplan

This system of drawing led to new ideas, such as layering drawings over one another – like a form of reverse archaeology – which led to literal translations in the buildings. Vitra Fire Station (1983) in Weil am Rhein, Germany, was key – the drawing became the project, when the lines became volumes.

It took me 20 years to convince people to draw everything in three dimensions, with an army of people trying to draw the most difficult perspectives. Now everyone does 3D on the computer, but I think we have lost some transparency in the process. Through painting and drawing, we can discover so much more than anticipated. It might take 10 years for a 2D sketch to evolve into a workable space, and into a building, but these are the journeys that I think are the most exciting, as they are not predictable.
— https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/zaha-hadid-ra-on-the-influence-of
 

Contemporary Arts Center / Cincinnati | OH US

v

MAXXI / Rome | IT

 

Zaha Hadid has a very broad range of building portfolio, a very fruitful 40+ years of career. As we all notice the firm departs from deconstructivism to parametricism. However, I am interested in her work at the end of 1990s when it became the pivotal moment for ZHA in terms of design aesthetic, Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinatti, and MAXXI in Rome.  

Painting for CAC in Cincinnati - Notice the distorted perspective effect as media of formal exercise.

Painting for CAC in Cincinnati - Notice the distorted perspective effect as media of formal exercise.

Painting for MAXXI in Rome - Notice the fluid lines and surfaces that meander through and weaved together.

Painting for MAXXI in Rome - Notice the fluid lines and surfaces that meander through and weaved together.

 

Exterior

CAC stacked boxes exterior.

CAC stacked boxes exterior.

MAXXI exterior carries the same massive and solid feeling.

MAXXI exterior carries the same massive and solid feeling.

Both projects are located in a dense urban setting. Yes, ZHA's projects are usually known for being stand out of its context and neglecting its surrounding. However, these two particular projects are well integrated into the urban fabric. 

 

CAC merges as part of the typical gridded US urban block.

 

More varied block shape in Rome urban setting allows more dynamic integration towards the context.

 

Interior

Both museums employs almost similar material palette but totally different spatial experience.

CAC is about vertical relationship of volumes and our sequential experience as we move up through the void space. 

MAXXI rather, with more fluid space allows us to meander diagonally inside and in between the gallery spaces. With opportunity to have larger atrium, the space allows the circulation to interweaves and transfer people from one level to another.

Sometimes the gallery space shoots out and you're suddenly hovering over the entry plaza of the building.

Sometimes the gallery space shoots out and you're suddenly hovering over the entry plaza of the building.

 

Trajectory to The Digital Space

Malevich and Suprematist movement, and Derrida's fragmentation to start off.

Fluidity of fabric and network to set trajectory to further explore three dimensional design process through digital technology.

Parametricism, the outcome of a decade of exploration on the potential of digital technology with Patrik Schumacher.

 

Zaha Hadid is no doubt one of the most important profile in our contemporary society. Her talent has excel the field of architecture itself, academia, fashion, product design, along with digital technology, and digital fabrication. Beyond, her background and profile has proven to the world as a female architect and a muslim. Both combined, plus the pro-men context of post-WW II, she is indeed a very strong and inspiring individual.

Her 40 years career was very fruitful but sadly it was too short.

RESPECT!

Fragmentation sets trajectory of Zaha's career.

Fragmentation sets trajectory of Zaha's career.

Fluidity as trajectory to the digital space.

Fluidity as trajectory to the digital space.

#RIPZahaHadid

Event Report: Dutch Design Week 2015, Eindhoven | NL

Shopping street in central area surrounded with newly-built stores with medieval clock tower as the background.

Shopping street in central area surrounded with newly-built stores with medieval clock tower as the background.

Happy Back to the Future day!

I went to Eindhoven to check Dutch Design Week 2015 event this weekend to see a glimpse of our future, and it was awesome!

It was my first time in the city. However, I didn't get to see much of the city yet because I am focusing on checking out the event. My first impression of the city was that it's a pretty modern city, pretty much like Rotterdam but more laid-back and not as intense.

I was wrong...

Industrial material used at Eindhoven Design Institute.

Industrial material used at Eindhoven Design Institute.

Looks can be deceiving, when it comes to Eindhoven’s history. Modern as the city is today, it is in fact one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands. Henry I, Duke of Brabant, already chartered the then little village of “Endehoven” in 1232, as part of his extensive town planning process. The city was destroyed and rebuilt several times in its written history. Eventually the town established itself as a trade location en route from Holland to Liège. Its industrial activities initially centered around tobacco and textiles.
— http://wikitravel.org/en/Eindhoven
Downtown scene during WW II, 1944.

Downtown scene during WW II, 1944.

Apparently the city has gone through several number of re-starts. Eindhoven has an interesting condition where those start-overs can mean the city has been constantly re-defining its center until its current state. Home for Phillips and DAF (Truck / lorry manufacturer), industrial revolution definitely plays a great role into the dynamic of the city. Eindhoven has adapted a successful integration of academia, industry, and government. It's been awarded as the world smartest region and is referred as Brainport.

Having said that, no wonder the city is able to manage major event in such a scale like Dutch Design Week.

 

DDW 2015

UtrechtLr_s-8 copy.jpg

The event is happening in more than 100 locations throughout the city with 3 main locations, Central, East, and West (Strijp Area). Apart from exhibitions, they also have music venues and performances in multiple areas every day. The event offers many things to see and is really a big thing for the city of Eindhoven and even Netherland. It is overwhelming in a positive way and impossible to check everything in one day or even a week.

They've curated themed routes for different audiences to experience the event. I was there only for the day and went to check several areas in Central, one of the main highlights is the graduation show of students from Design Academy Eindhoven.

Check here for DDW 15 map.

 

Graduation Show Design Academy Eindhoven

I was blown away by the quality of the work by the students. The entire fourth floor of DAE Building was filled with amazing projects that can be easily be placed in art museums or be in the front page of designboom or dezeen. 

Checked wikipedia real quick, turns out some alumni from DAE has been nominated as designers of the year by Design Museum, London. Legit.

Among all brilliant projects, I sum up several projects that caught my attention.

 

Textiles

Stuffed quilting, manipulating material behavior through injecting new element. 

Stuffed quilting, manipulating material behavior through injecting new element. 

Biff's jacket in Back to the Future

Biff's jacket in Back to the Future

This project has been predicted by the movie decades ago and here we are now living the future. Expanding its possible application beyond clothing, Anaick Lejart developed stuffed quilting in relation to her vision on industrial production of 3D carpets. Her project opens up the possibility to be integrated to outdoor structures or inflatable elements.

Please do touch! - Exploring the language of tactility.

Please do touch! - Exploring the language of tactility.

Instead of investigating the field of visual and digital design, this project is pushing further possibilities of incorporating etherial experience of touch and feel towards surfaces or objects. The surface iteration derives from Bori Kovacs's argument on offering similar stimuli experience of nature on manmade objects.

 

Digital Fabrication

Delta 3D printer with modified nozzle for clay.

Delta 3D printer with modified nozzle for clay.

Pepsi Perfect bottle in BTTF.

Pepsi Perfect bottle in BTTF.

No, this is not a machine to print your own Pepsi Perfect bottle at home. MIT recently developed 3D printing method using glass. Here in Eindhoven, students get to modify Delta 3D printer to be able to print with clay. Emulating the traditional handicraft, with custom algorithm, the printer gets to produce a certain glitch in order to make every print unique. This project is in a way a successful strategy to congregate vernacular material with digital fabrication method. 

Combination of resin and braided yarn to create 3D printed like structure.

Combination of resin and braided yarn to create 3D printed like structure.

3D Weaving Warp is not another 3D printing related project. Arielle Andreotti is investigating traditional weaving techniques and combines it with todays technology. She developed a method to freeze the braided yarn and use it as element of structure depends on its shape. This is an exciting alternative fabrication method apart from increasingly getting saturated fused deposition modeling 3D printing method. 

 

Analog Fabrication

Metal inserts and joints to further utilize bamboo in building construction.

This project is taking advantage of layering the plywood to create alternative way to fabricate plywood. The result is a whole new possibility to explore a new dimension from what was before perceived as surface or 2 dimensional material.

This project is trying to preserve ancient wood working method that is on the brink of extinction. Pegs as part of fabrication method is incorporated as part of the final product.

 

Other Products

Space, a brilliant project by Ward Wijnant, explores the duality characteristic of a lamp when its being switch on or off. By enclosing the lamp with reflective material, the presence of the lamp when it's turned off will transform the room by blending in with the surrounding and expanding the space it's in.

Shay Raviv's vision of the future. Work doesn't have to be bounded with physical space anymore. Technology has allowed the activity to be executed in a more agile and dynamic fashion. As work can be done anywhere, Hotel Travail provide mobile stations for traveling workers.

Neo, a new concept of musical instrument by Lola Gielen offers anyone to experience making music. The instrument is designed to be operated through simple gestures. 

At the era of digital information, Jos Klarenbeek's creates analog infographic model called Cowtarium, an installation that explains dairy products that are extracted from a cow, milk, butter, cheese, eat, bones, veal, etc. The model in the center along with the ring reveals information of a certain project as you orient the cow around.