Architecture – 27 projects selected

In the first Architecture round of 2022, 27 applications have been awarded grants. Coordinator Maarten Tas reflects on the round.

12 May 2022

general impression

Various themes emerged in this round on the basis of which several projects were submitted. It is noteworthy that many applications specifically focus on the connection between the economic development of our country and our relationship with nature. A direct example is BURA urbanism’s starting-grant application on the Post-Growth City. In this project, BURA urbanism wants to investigate how an urban-design practice that is not cultivated on growth can exist and what the position of the designer could be in this situation. Another application that illustrates this is Randerij by Jos Willemsen. In the project, Willemsen explores new forms of landscape management with special focus on existing ecosystems. The aim is to create new landscape typologies at the interface of agriculture and nature.

There are also several proposals that address the impact of economic growth, exponential demand for housing, and the adaptations to Dutch inner cities that result. For example, in the project SamenDeStad, DesignArbid is investigating how the voices of individuals can be much more engaged in inner-city developments to ensure that inner cities remain liveable and match residents’ expectations. Another example is the documentary by Stichting Pitztop, which focuses on the demolition of the former Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in The Hague. By portraying several users and residents in their own environment, the film shows how a number of urgent issues within Dutch society converge in this building, including the acceptance of people with a refugee history, the housing crisis and structural inequality.

In addition, in this round we see several historical explorations, in which the qualities of a designer or an architecture critic are examined in order to apply insights gained to current issues. For example, COFOarchitects focuses on the direct relationship between the work of Catalan architect Josep Maria Jujol and that of a group of influential Dutch architects. And Stichting ROAM wants to draw more attention to the importance of architecture criticism on the basis of texts by Hans van Dijk. Other projects focus on techniques and typologies that have disappeared or faded from view. For instance, Sytske Hoogterp sees the Spieker, an underground pantry, as a potentially unifying element in developing more sustainable local and regional food chains. And Groothuijse de Boer architecten wants to make a connection between the Austrian prefabricated house and the contemporary approach to housing construction and the use of wood in architecture.

A few other notable projects in this round include:

166 BRUT

Peeping Spaces – 166 BRUT
Rachel Refael, Milena Sekulic and Gavin Oliver O’Leary argue that our cities are facing a progressive marginalization of sex-related places in the city. This is partly caused by the gentrification of the Dutch inner cities, which moves queer culture and the sex-work industry to the edges of the city. Through a series of personal interactions, 166 BRUT aims to demonstrate the necessity of ‘red-light districts’ for the city and to provide a platform for the people who depend on them. The focus is on three types of spaces: The Ball Room, The Brothel and The Seks Shop. In addition to visual documentation and the interviews, found historical information is collected in an archive for future research into such places. Results will eventually be made public by means of a publication and an exhibition.


Filming Logistics – OMERO
Filming Logistics is a documentary that explores the Rotterdam-Venlo logistics corridor. The focus is on isolated residential areas with housing for migrant workers, calling attention to the human dimension behind the immense ‘box’ architecture found in logistics areas. It looks at the daily lives of migrant workers and the impact of this parallel world on the local community. Through its cinematic reporting, OMERO aims to deconstruct the complexity of the subject, draw more attention to the underlying issues and stimulate a conversation about them between experts and local communities. The result is a documentary and two public events, in Rotterdam and Venlo, to showcase the insights from the research and the film.

Stichting CAST

Bouwstof talkshow en podcast – Stichting CAST
BOUWSTOF is a programme through which CAST aims to inform, inspire and involve both the professional and the interested resident of Tilburg, and and engage them in conversation about architecture and spatial themes. In doing so, CAST provides a platform for designers, thinkers and others involved. The programme consists of four talk shows with live audiences on current topics tailored to Tilburg. In addition, an in-depth podcast will be produced and a critical journalistic reflection will be released for each edition. The themes covered are: intelligent densification of the city, the opportunities for business parks (including those in inner cities), and the city-country relationship. For the implementation of the programme, CAST is collaborating with various Tilburg entrepreneurs, Omroep Tilburg, Theaters Tilburg, presenter Sophie Stravens and journalist Rens van de Plas.

You can see the entire selection here.

All the positively assessed applications received grants in this round, thanks to extra budget from COVID-19 funds. Of the 43 subsidy applications taken into consideration, 27 are receiving grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 63%. Half the selected applications concerned a starting grant. The closing date for the third round is 18 August 2022.