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Feature: SuperNormal Architecture in the Netherlands 2010–2020
In this issue, together with guest editor Kirsten Hannema, Chief Editor of the nai010 Yearbook Architecture in the Netherlands, we will take a look at the last 10 years of Dutch architecture discourse. Previously, in our a+u 12:01 issue (Architecture in the Netherlands 2000–2011), which highlighted the country’s architecture scene right after the global financial crisis in 2008, the construction industry faced a slowdown. What we saw then, as “typically” Dutch, has gradually faded. Looking away from the “SuperDutch” stigma, we now see projects combining broader social issues, and taking on new forms of cultural energy. Yet, compared to the superstar generation that preceded them, these architects and their projects often go unnoticed. Therefore, in this issue, 19 projects are selected and placed into 3 themes to introduce a new attitude on today’s architecture in the Netherlands – the “SuperNormal”.
The 3 themes: “Reshaping the Polder” looks into pilot projects that rethink the sustainability of our construction practice. “Tabula Scripta” introduces transformation projects exploring how we rebuild under pre-existing conditions. “After the NAi” presents a body of public projects built during the period after 2012 when the national budget was cut. Each theme is accompanied by an essay written by Bob Witman, Jarrik Ouburg, and Sergio M Figueiredo, respectively. Finally, Floris Alkemade, Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands, shares with us in an interview about his reflections, actions, and predictions on the country’s architectural setting.
Thanks to Eelco Van Welie, Director of nai010 publishers, for his support, and to the authors and the architects who contributed to this issue.