1990s (Dutch) Architecture Revisited
there is more than meets the eye…
1990s (Dutch) architecture revisited
Throughout the 1990s, Dutch architecture experience what was arguably the most dramatic transformation architecture culture had ever seen. If in 1979, the state of Dutch architecture was declared to be appalling and dismal by Kenneth Frampton, Stanislau von Moos, and Francesco Dal Co, the three foreign critics invited to participate in Rotterdam’s Keurmeesterproject (inspection project), by the end of the 1990s, the architectural worlds was in awe at the original and fresh new architectural approaches and ideas flourishing in the Netherlands. The publication of Bart Loostma’s widely acclaimed 1999 book, SuperDutch: New Architecture in the Netherlands, merely confirmed how far Dutch architecture had come.
This project investigated the ideas, ambitions, but mostly, the forms of Dutch architecture throughout the 1990s, to better understand (and make visible) how this dramatic transformation occurred, as well as to determine what remains of it today. For that, it focused on 10 of the most significant buildings from that period, namely, the buildings that appeared on the cover of the annual periodical Architecture in the Netherlands Yearbook between 1990 and 2000. From Groningen to Breda, from single-family housing to industrial buildings, from old masters to emerging voices, this collection of buildings presents a significant diversity of geography, program, scale, and ambition. However, it also articulates, rather consistently, the shifting values and approaches of Dutch architecture throughout that period.
Beyond researching the evolution of dominant ideas in Dutch architecture throughout the 1990s, this project also explored the distance between the discourse associated with these buildings (at the time of their construction) and their contemporary status, expression, and use. In short, it attempted to answer the simple question: what has happened to these buildings?
December 2018 - May 2019
Sergio M. Figueiredo
Thomas de Bokx
Merel van Hooren
Het Nieuwe Instituut