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In 2001 Crimson Architectural Historians and journalist/pOlitician

Felix Rottenberg were asked to revive a down-at-the-heels New

Town suburb in the harbour area of Rotterdam. Against all odds, and
amidst the biggest housing demolition project in the Netherlands,
this unlikely team of planners have made huge strides towards the
ultimate goal of transforming the Modernist New Town of Hoogvliet
into a vibrant contemporary urban area with a new confidence
about its future. Many successes achieved to date in Hoogvliet belong
to Crimson, Rottenberg and the residents of this half completed
New Town. And yet, because the challenges -both past, present and
future- faced by Hoogvliet are similar to those faced by thousands
of post-war towns and housing projects, the story of what happened
in Hoogvliet will be of interest to those engaged in similar urban
renewal efforts all around the world.
Going by the moniker WiMBY! (Welcome into My Backyard!) Crimson
and Rottenberg have spared nothing or no one to accomplish their
mission . First, they retold the eventful history of Hoogvliet in a
dramatic manner. Then they mobilized local entrepreneurship and
talent and began working with the best architects and urban planners
to develop a co-housing project, schoolS, a community park and
a cultural center. Along the way, they organized many festivals
and events and struggled with bureaucracy and mediocrity. And
it is all documented in this richly illustrated, epic, hilarious and
sometimes grim report on six years of autonomous urban renewal
from within. Welcome!

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With the suppleness born of routine, an Apple Airpod from Paramaribo

lands on one ofthe new runways at Rotterdam Airport, the international
traffic hub. The plane's passengers include the former secretary of state,
Lloyd Beaton, who, after a successful second political career in the
legendary but short-lived socialist-green cabinet of Aboutaleb and Bohler,
made a permanent return to Surinam, his birthplace. He is very exceptionally
returning to the Netherlands to mediate in an escalating conflict in his old
home town of Hoogvliet, a medium-sized town between Rotterdam and
Antwerp. The main property owners and a group of residents have been
involved in a stormy confrontation there, for which the only solution seems
to be diplomacy of the highest standard . The deliberations are taking place
on neutral ground, the old and monumental Tram Station in Hoogvliet. Long
before Beaton was secretary of state for culture and integration, he was
involved in the establishment of the Villa in Hoogvliet, a leading cultural
centre developed as part of the Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet leisure and recreation
parle It irs precisely this Villa that is now unexpectedly in danger of
becoming the target of this clash.






The conflict broke out earlier that year, in March 2030 . That was when it
became clear that the multinational company Shell would be permanently
closing its petrochemical plants at Pernis . A new generation of sustainable
biofuels such as ethanol and hydrogen had by then completely ousted the
use of petroleum from the market and the halting of industrial activity
wou,ld mean that the surrounding area would be free of environmental
pressures within five years. The former danger zone of Hoogvliet North
thereby unexpe(tedly became one of the most attractive areas of the town,
close to the Oude Maas River, around the Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet and on the
borders of the Ruigeplaat Wood, one of the major regional tourist
attractions of the area. When it came to property, hardly any profit had
been able to be made from this in the previous few decades, but with the
abolition of environmental restrictions, after 25 years the original investors
in the Heerlijkheid (the property branch of what was formerly the Ministry
of Waterways and Public Works and the property developer that originated
in the Vestia Housing Corporation) now finally came to draw their dividends.
They announced plans for new buildings in the area. This led to a tough
confrontation with the existing residents of Hoogvliet North and what is
more, after a relatively long period of peace and contentment, heralded a
new turbulent phase of Hoogvliet's development .
Only two decades previously, these same investors saw the Northern
districts of Hoogvliet as the least attractive parts of the town. They were a
stone 's throw from the A15 motorway and the petFOchemica ,1 p,l ants and
treacherously close to a hidden underground web of chlorine and gas
pipelines. In about 2010, under the influence of increasingly powerful
European legislation, the environmentall standards imposed on spatial
planning were once again made even stricter. This meant that no new


bui ldin g deve lopmen t cou ld t ake place in t he area and even t hat the
nu mbe r of exi sting h ome s in Hoogvl iet No rt l1 ha d t o be radi call y red uced .
By Euro pean envi ronmen ta l standards , the ris k t o t h e su rro undings w ithin
the exis ti ng disr uptio n bo und arie s w as much too high and t he lon g-te rm
effe cts of the air qual ity on th e hea lth oL t he res ide nts wa s una cce ptabl e.
The ne w building pr oje cts und erw ay to repla ce the w orn ou t f la ts fro m the
195 0s were stopped ve ry sud de nly and the most obso let e hom es were
de molished. The housing corporations w ith drew in disappointment and by
necessity left the ar ea, wh ich had at a stroke become useless an d w as now
free to be ta ken over by nature. Within a few ye ars, and especially on the
edges of these residential areas, this had le d to the formation of a mysterio us
deserted lan dscape with overgro wn ru ins that con nected seamless ly wi th
the wi ld greenery of the Ruigeplaat Wo od. However, as a re su lt of a
re vol ution ar y dea l between She ll, the Dep art ment of th e Environment and a
progress ive group of pioneers, surprisingly enough it neverth ele ss became
possible to enable a cer t ai n form of develo pment to ta ke place in this high
risk area, though the ru les had to be bent some wh at. In exch an ge for sp ace
and freedom, the group of pione ers had redeem ed th eir right t o low-risl<
surroundings and noise. The result of this was that adven t urous home
builders in Hoogl/liet NO IIh were able, at lo w de nsity, to build their own
often arti stic and ecologically based ur ba n f arm s. The cor e of this highly
in divi d ual lifestyle had already been introduced t o Hoogvliet in 2002, by
WiMBY!, a small and flexible organisation working on a series of ex perimental
projects in t he town around the turn of the century, as a co un t erpart to the
larger scale top-down restructuring that had been undertaken by the local
authorities and the leading housing corporations. Among other things they
introduced the successful co-housing scheme, a contemporary form of
communal living in one of the town's neig'1bourhoods. In the following
decades, the am azing exchange whereby the do-it-yourself builders had
cunningl y profited from the increasingly strict environmental requirements
led to a built landscape or varied appearance, though t he pronounced
Ch J racl:~ r of its inhabitants meant it retained an urban qual ity. This
appearance was def ned by an unstructured an d ex tensive mi xtu re of small
farmhouses, self-sufficient homes, cohousing-styl e n ei gh bo urhoods,
dachas, experimental structures and chic villas in the midst of t he exub erant
gr eenery. A former Wimby! member had also gi ve n up his home in the centre
of Rotter<:1am and settled in a spaciou s self-built house in gree n surroundings,
with a view of the dizzying landscape of the petrochemical Industry.

Ruigeplaat Wo od were sl aughtered an d then barb ecu ed and devou re d by a

crowd of peopl e from Hoo gvli et and Rotterda m , and w h ich expanded eve ry
year, had even acquired a certain cult status in t he region as the pla ce
where res pe ct f or natu re and ecology were comb ined wi th a typ ical 110
nonsense Ro tt erdam men t ality.
Since th e tu rn of the cent ury Ho ogvlie t had also again had real significance
in terms of arc lli t ecture. For its projects, Wi MBY l h ad bro ught a var yin g
group of young an d unkno w n but creati ve de signers to Ho ogvli et who were
in ma ny cases able to get their first buildi ngs cons tru ct ed th ere. Yea rs later
it was st ill yi eldi ng a sustaine d fl ow of in tern ati on al archi te ctural tourists
loo ki ng for th e f irst creati ons by now world-fa mous design firms such as
ZUS, NL Ar chitects and Studio Sputn ik. All the se new develo pments enabl ed
the old new t ow n to conn ect incre asingly wit h th e urban environment of
Rot t erda m, while still retain in g its own identity. The number of in habitants
in Rotterda m ha d in the meanti me risen above the mi lli on mar l< because
many suburban dw ell ers had moved into the ci ty. After all, it was still less
full in Rotte rda m than in No rt h Ho lland, and what is mo re , the radical
cle anup of th e enviro n ment mad e lots of space and green ery available and
increasing n umbe rs of alterna tive resi den tial districts app eared . This
developm ent t ook place in Rotte rda m Sou th , which , as a re s.ult of the
mammoth alliance (Pact op Zu id) between the local auth ority and the
housing corporations , had grown into a highly attracti ve part of th e city.
Since the Pact, the residenti al areas in this South district were increasingly
being built by self-elected groups of v arious t yp es, who had founded
vari at ions on the communal gated comm unit ies, but in com pliance with the
standards of a h igh-tech version of ( PTED (c rim e prevent ion through
environmenta l design). These distri cts we re unofficial, occupied the cr azie st
sites, w hi ch had never previously bee n buil t upon, and came into bei ng
virtua lly w ithout th e in terfere nce of the authorities . Wit h its free and
unrestricted zo ne, Hoogvliet North joined this unofficial ho using
develo pment. And when the A4 was fin all y comp leted in 2020 , not as a
motor wa y but as a subtly embed ded parkway that lin ked Hoogvli et to Oud
Beijerlan d , Spij ke nisse Sou th and ultimately Antwe r p, Hoogv liet additionall y
became a per fectly located medium-sized town between the centre of
Rotterdam an d t he increaSingly den se ly populated Hoekse Waard.







In addition, in about 2014 Hoogvli et fi na ll y em erged from the shadow of its

big broth er Spij ke ni sse. In this resp ect it wa s helped by t he bloody riots in
the brand new shopping centre at Spijkenisse designed by Sjoerd Soeters. It
was tl1ere that a militia paid by the traders association and the local branch
of the Freedom Party had a shot at a group of crimi na l Muslim wo men who
ha d rep eatedl y m ade a nuisance of themsel ve s. This shocking incident,
wh ich dom ina t ed the news fo r days, made Spijke nisse a symbol of the
la wlessne ss and deprivat io n of 20 th -century suburbs. It led to the outbreak
of sim ila r riots in t he mega loma niC sup er-malls at Zoeter m ee r, Almere,
Le lyst ad , IJburg and Le idsche Rijn, like a suburban variation on the French
ri ots th at had ta ke n place in th e banlieus ten years pre vi ous ly. The one
si ded focus on la rge- scal e comm erce with heav y and visible security had
le d to this wave of riot s. Even part s of the histo ric al city ce ntres of
Amsterdam and The Hague , wh ich had until then been consid ered
sacrosanct, now also suffe red in these tu rbul ent t im es. The excessi ve
control and the harsh distin ction between shopping areas and residential

Partl y as a re sult of this new 'hip' zone and WiMBY! 's projects, Hoogvliet
had struggled out from under the dominating yol(e of the city of Rotterdam
f or good. Before the arrival of WiM BY!, the urban pu blic did not deign to
give Hoogvliet a gla nce, but as a result of its new, bold image, confirmed
Rotterdammers increasingly moved to this former outpo st. The area
combined all the attractive factors which one of ten sought in vain in the
ci ty : green surroundings but w ith ple nt y of urban am eni ties. There was for
example t he Villa, where peo ple went fo r a drin l< on a terr ace with a view of
the wat er or to a pop conce rt or to watch an ol d f ilm classic in th e
La ntaren-Ven ster cinema . A short dista nce awa y there was the Ruigep laa t
Wood where one coul d wa ll< in rugged nat ural surroundi ngs and th en ,
contented, final ly eat a pan cake in the marina o n the Oude Maa s River. The
annual barbecue, w here the rem aining Sco ttis h Hi ghl an d cattle in the

white suburb with lots of terraced houses bui lt in the nineteen-seventies,

while the north was a problematic postwar high-rise area from the fifties
and sixties. As already mentioned, as a result of the ever-stricter
environmental requirements the northern part changed into a very open
and green area, inhabited by dO-it-yourself builders, who were sometimes
artists and in any case were independent residents. By contrast, it had
already become abundantly clear since the 2010s that a huge social and
economic problem lay in wait: the hidden poverty of the old single-family
suburbs of the seventies and eighties. Because the heavy top-down
restructuring of the turn of the century had gone out of favour, another
solution had to be sought. The answer was typical of the 2020s: using a
form of social and communal tax break and micro-credit, non-profit
property developers and others invited self-help organisations (often
ethnic) and entrepreneurial associations to take over these poor
neigh bourhoods. This meant that by means of a highly sophisticated
planning and finance system, even people with limited funds were able to
invest in houses there, which at that time was otherwise virtually impossible.
New homes and small-scale neighbourhoods were built in the abundant
public space so that densely built areas arose around the health centre,
school campus and underground railway stations. The now fifty-year-old
terraced houses were moreover knocked together, heightened or replaced,
but always one by one. The physical result was an apparently chaotic sea of
low-rise building, but in fact it was highly structured and consistent,
coupled with the private responsibility of the occupants themselves. What
is more, the composition of the population changed from one-sided white
middle-class to a varied mixture of young and old, Rotterdammers of varied
ethnic origins and differing lifestyles who lived alongside each other in a
relaxed manner. This signalled the start of a period of quiet and
contentment in which Hoogvliet North and South functioned in harmony
and the town was no longer inferior to Spijkenisse and Rotterdam.

districts turned out to be a recipe for disaster. In addition, the impossibility

of renovating the poor 70s housing stock in the suburbs, because it was
owned entirely by private individuals, was a major reason for the popular
rising that created a deep crisis in dozens of Dutch neighbourhoods.
Hoogvliet turned out to have exceptional resistance to the problems that
arose above all in suburban shopping centres. One of the things that saved
Hoogvliet was that in the years during and after the WiMBY! organisation it
had opted for a multi-centre approach, even though this was not at the
time recognised by the administrators and planners of the local authority.
The organisation was able to convince them to shift their focus from the
heart of the town to the surrounding districts, often at strategic locations
near the underground railway network. It was precisely in these districts
that it was an absolute necessity to create additional amenities in the fields
of education, culture, catering and health. Long before the riots in
Spijkenisse, several projects had been completed on WiMBY!'s initiative,
with the consequence that the various districts of Hoogvliet became much
more than dull residential areas. It was for example involved in the
realisation of a state of the art health centre near Hoogvliet underground
station, where every form of care was available to the residents of the area
in the way most appropriate to them. This meant that for outpatient
treatment and x-rays they no longer had to travel to Spijkenisse or
Rotterdam. There was also the school campus designed by OMA, that was
built alongside and above the Zalmplaat underground station. On the one
hand the exceptionally high standard of education here was for many
people an important reason for settling in the area and on the other its
extensive additional programme in the fields of science, culture and sport
was also deeply rooted in the neighbourhoods. This meant that the facilities
were available not only to the pupils and students on the campus, but the
imposing library and auditorium could also be used by local residents. In
addition, pupils from the vocational courses gained experience in a
successful school restaurant, where local residents were able to profit from
their culinary talents at a reasonable price.







However, this harmony was abruptly upset in about 2030 when at Shell
head office in The Hague it was decided that the company's plant in
Hoogvliet would close. The former housing corporations - now property
developers - sensed the opportunity to earn back the once unprofitable
capital invested in the Heerlijkheid and other projects. Since they had
already been aware of the imminent decision for some time, as a
consequence of advance consultations with the Shell management, they
were able to act on the plans at an early stage . Prior to the announcement
of the closure they had argued for the annulment of the special rights of
the housing groups and dO-it-yourself builders at the European Court. In
their view, the agreement that had once been made was no longer valid in
the new situation. They went to Brussels to demand the right to expel the
sitting residents and confiscate this marvellously sited area. It seemed to
the property developers that their long-cherished dream of building up the
area and changing it into a mixed-use zone with housing, schools and
offices, with the Heerlijkheid as the beating heart of this ultramodern
urban district, was coming within their reach. In the first step towards what
was intended to become the second International Building Exhibition in
Hoogvliet, a number of internationally renowned architects and urban
planners were invited to design spectacular residential areas in anticipation
of the decision of the European Court.

These clusters of amenities in the South and the Heerlijkheid on the

northern boundary meant that Hoogvliet did not comprise neighbou rhoods
arranged around a single large shopping centre , as was the case in all those
suburbs that had been struck by riots, but consisted of a network of
smaller-scale centres that did not rely on an unnecessarily large shopping
area and did not therefore arouse the spatial paranoia to which the centre
of the town of Spikenisse was to fall victim. What is more, these centres
were also the places where the troublemakers were educated, where they
engaged in sport and went out with their friends, and also where they took
their grandmother to the docto r. The fact that the residents were strongly
tied to their own neighbourhoods meant that in Hoogvliet the urban system
remained virtually unscathed.
However, in about 2020 the internal urban planning logic of Hoogvliet was
given a thorough shake-up when it turned out that the previously
flourishing southern neighbourhoods were due for a thorough refurbishment.
There had of old been an almost unbridgeable gap between the two parts
of the town . The south of Hoogvliet had for years seemingly been a thriving

New life was breathed into the old restructuring slogan ' Hoogvliet the
Green Town on the Maas' as the mo tto for this ambi tio us large- scale even t .
It was not only the north of Hoo gvl iet t ha t w as t o be the obje ct of t h is
building event. Most of t he proj ects that w ere realised with so much pride
and trouble during th e previo us urban ren ewa l about thir ty years previo us ly
were once again starting to show sig ns of wear. The schools on OMA' s
camp us had by now had so many cha nge s of user and had so often be en
ada pte d to new forms of education that the original architecture ha d
become almost unrecog nis able . The woeful new ho uses of the nineteen
ni neties that fill the north ern district of Nie uw En gelan d, with their meagre
building style , are also long past the ir ex piry date, even t hough th ey are not
yet forty years old.
The residents of Hoogvliet North, who until now have been able t o buil d up
an undisturbed and comfort able life amongst the greenery and have for a
long time been able to tal<e all sorts of con structional liberties, are not
about to give everyt hing up without a fight. They fe el deepl y tie d to their
own familiar green neighbourhoo d. After a fleeting view of the announced
plans, under the militant le ade rship of the former member of WiMBY! th ey
set up an action group whose only aim wa s to sabota ge all the plans that
thre ate ned their area and thereby guarantee the safety of their own
en vironment for good . They closed off t he area entirely, thr eatened to set
fire to the recently restored Villa at t he Heer lijl<he id and headed resolutely
tow ards an escalation. The local authority w as unable to cope with the
frosty sit uation and had no alternative bu t to seek help from outside and to
call in the newly retired former secretary of state Lloyd Beaton. They have
as ke d him to open his dreaded box of diplom atic tr icks just one more time
and t here by save Hoogvliet fr om a major drama. Out of loyalty to Ho ogvliet
he decided to accept and take t he first flight to Rotterdam .
Despite the f act that Beat on enjoys the full confidence of both sides, the
resistan ce group is mil itant and not prepared to ha nd over what they have
gained. In anticipation of these historica l del ibe rations, to which the
nationa l press has come in droves, the resista nce gro up reveal s its new
name with a gre at deal of song and dance. A banner seve ral metre s hi gh
ha s been stretched across the facade of the old Tram Station , beari ng the
new name under w hich th ey will contin ue the ir strugg le. In an ironic
wo rdp lay on the nam e of their former clu b, it is called NiMBY! Not in My
Backyard! It is up to Beaton to change t he NiM BY!'s mind s and restore calm
to Hoogvli et.

26 May 1326

Silence. Deathly silence. But if you listen close ly, in the background you can
he ar powerfully surging water and the sea breeze rising from a whisper to a
roar. On the horizon, a small fl oc k of sea gulls rise on a gust of wind and
then la nd with a soft th ud on one of the many exposed sa ndbanks in the
vast watery land sca pe . They are alone, experts at finding food in the spar se
fringes of reeds along the riverbanks. Before long the flock of birds takes
wing and flies off into the distance, heading for a new destination,
pr obab ly chased off by the slowly ri sing t ide. As it comes in, the water
transforms the barren landscape into an immense expa,nse of water. A few
hours later, it gradually sinks back to the lower level, on ce again exposing
the island s and vegetation for the umpteenth time in history. This is
Hoogvliet at the dawn of time .

In the publication J. VerheuL

Pernis. Hoogvliet. poortu
gaal en Rhoon: alstnede
verdwenen en bestaa nde
Dlerkwaardigh ede n in het
westelijke gedeelte van het
eiland IJsselmonde (Rotter
daDl 1934), it is a ccep ted that
the first w ritte n mention of the
dyke village of Hoogvliet was
on this date. Hoogvliet was
at that time a shire doma in
a nd was part of the manor of
Putten and Strije n.

i ....



Rotterdam granted the privi

leges of a city

First SI. Elizabeth flood

The landscape hardly changed for centuries, dominated by impas siven ess
and serenity (w ith the exception of a few dramatic st orm surges like the St.
Elizabeth's Flood of 1421). But by the year 1500, the changing cou rse of th e
w ate r in the Rhine-Maa s delta had caused a few groups of clay shoal s to
grow together and then slowly move apart, finally re sulting in a new
configuration being formed to make a large isla nd, the IJ sselmon de . At a
sp ot where people had never dared settle for fea r of fl oodi ng, the re was
now a solitary farm stea d on the horizon, surrounded by meadows and a
few row s of poplars . Earlier in the 15th century, brave landowners seek ing
new territory were drawn from the highe r ground inla nd toward the
desolate, tempestuous Delta. In sp ired by the possibilities thi s fertile area
offered, they were the ones to begin, albeit carefully, the initial drainage
and development of the island . The exisUng vegetation wa s expertly du g up
and burned, allowing the first buildings to be constructed. A network of
small dyke s was built, ne ces sa ry to prote ct the settlement fr om rising
water. Thanks to thi s meticulou s, diligent pro ces s of creating polders and
dykes, IJs selmonde began to take sh ape and gradual ly i n cre ased in size. In
ad dition to the odd farm stead , small villages spru ng up, scattered
throughout an area that had once been dominated by nature . Th is is where
Hoogvliet' s story begins: an insignificant vill age founded at the end of the
15th century on a small branch of the Oude Maas rive r.

Oud Engeland polder e n
closed by dykes a t a bout thIS


. '-~\


SI. Elizabeth flood , cata
strophic flood that completely
covered the South Holla nd
islands and Hoog vliet

1449 1525
SI. Lawrence C hurc h b u ilt in

1466. 1467 or 1469

Birth of Desiderius Erasmus
Nieuw Engela nd polder
enclosed by dyke s at about
this time

Humanist Erasmus p ublishes
In Praise of Folly

SI. Felix flood

Hoogvliet marked fo r the !irst
time on a map of South Rot

~' f

Old Harbour built in Rotter
dam a t about th is time

Eighty-Years War

All Saints Flood



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IIoogv li<'t, P oor lllgua l, R h oon, Bnrc ndJ.'( ' cbt,

R Ij,;;oord , lie<; ri ,ln::-;clmu , Groo te' L imi t,

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The Republic of the Seve n

United Nethe rlands is created

Haringvliet inner ha rbour
built in Rotterda m

Leuven Dock built in Rot

Shipbuilde rs Doc k a nd Wine
Dock built successive ly i

C hurch at Hoogvlie t becomes
independ ent. a ppointe d
by the Crimina l Court of
the Manor of Pu tten_ Until
then Hoogvllet had be e n
combine d w ith the nearby
village oj Poortugaal unde r
one church. Hoog vlie t pe ople
went to the chu rc h in Poortu
aal via Hoogvlie tse Kerkweg

The Gla ss Dock built in Rot

Relolmed C hurch built In
Hoog vliet. This and the ap
pointment 01 the priest were
pa id for by the Inha bita nts of
Hoogvliet themselves

Hoogvliel , together wlth the
nea rby vlllages of Pemis
and Poorluga a l sold to the
town of Scrue dam _Hoogvliet
becomes po rt of the County
of Holland, The reason for the
sale was Jock of m oney

After 1750
Meeuwen Polder and Elders
Polde r were dyked a nd the
Dig na loha nna polder. Noord
plaat. Hooigors a nd Rietbroek
we re dra ine d

R t)'i'T ERD A ~I ,

W , F R E E,\! & Co.

Tourist guide with walking routes on the island of IJsselmonde,1898


O ne 01 the lew writte n re fer

e nces to the d yke village of
Hoog vliel app eared in L. van
Ollefe n. B.S. Bakker. De Ne
derla ndsche Sta d- en Dorp
beschr ijver; Het la nd van
VoornePutten. Overlaque.
Poor tuga al. Amsterd am 1798



: E aua:::ls l

The Bota vian RepubUc.
The French invade the
Netherlands. Under French
a dmmistration Hoog vliet
was annexed to the village of
Poorlugaa l

446 people li ve Ir Hoogvilet in
this yea r

Ba tUe of Leipzig The French
re dnven out of the Nether

Kingdom 01 the Netherlands

Hoogvhet becomes an a u
onomous submunlclpa lity

Constitutional reform of 1848.
wh ich laid the basis lor par
liamentary democracy

Water project by W.N. Rose in

29 August 1859
,jone! Drake extrac ted the
first. petroleum by d r illing into
the g rou nd In Titusville (USA)

is Sunday, the da y of rest. Earl y in the morning, the silence is broke n

by t he rh ythm of ringing church bells, calling the inha bi t ants of the
sl eepy fi shing village to attend mass. Hoogvliet's farm fami lies silently
pro ce ed along th e dyke toward the new Reformed church, com pleted
only a fe w ye ars ago. It is a small, humble village wit h only eighty
inhabitants, located at the western Edge of the IJssel m onde island on
the Dud e Maas river. The sinuous row of dykes, along which the first
houses are clustered, forms Hoo gvli et's larges t and only street, the
oldest part be ing the picturesque vill age centre. This is whe re the
mainstays of life in Hoogvl iet stand : the village church, the watermill
and the harbour, which runs into the tid al cha nn el a bit further on. Thi s
tidal chann el is a small stream which is only f ull at high tide, when it
separates the small islands of Meeuw enplaat and Zalmplaat from the
village. At a short distance from the village centre are the farmstead s,
hidd en behind gnarled trees and pollard willows and surrou n ded by a
patchwork quilt of polders containing spacious bright green fie lds in
which lambs and cattle graze peacefull y. It all for ms a picture sq ue
scene, in whi ch t he church t ow er and mill sta nd almost herO ica lly in t he
flat polder landscape. An idyllic sig ht: one that could easi ly have be en
painted by a sevente ent h-century Dutch ma ster such as Jacob van
Ru ys dael or Meyndert Hobbema .

30 June 1862
The firs t barrels of petroleum
from America '-'lere Imported
mto Rotte rda m by sea

Rotterdam a nnexes the dyke
villages of Ilsselmonde, Ka
tendrecht and Charlois

C on!'>truction of the Nieuwe

Implementation of the Felle
noord Plan by the Rotterd a m
Tra ding Associa tion

Hoogvliet has 875 inhabitan ts

Rotterdam connected ( 0
the 2U1derspoor rail hnk to

Rhine Dock constructed

Maas Dock construc ted

Life in Hoogvliet was simple : the peopl e did not ask for much. Their daily
sustenance came from the land, such as m ilk, fru its and flax, or from
fishing. Before the break of dawn, the men of the village would sail up
the river to fish, returning in the evening with baskets of salmon and
allis shad. There was little to no conception o f the world beyond the
limits of the dykes , nor was it necessa ry : the villa ge could take care of
its own needs. The winding paths were often unpaved, and it was only
possible to leave the village a couple of t im es a wee k. Once a week, a
ferryboat sailed t o Vl aardingen on the other side of t he river. On
Tuesdays, a boat departed for Rotte rdam much further to the east, and
that boat onl y returned the ne xt day. But t hese se rvices were only used
in case of utter necessi ty. Whi le successive generations of Hoogvliete rs
were satisfied w i th t heir isolatio n and often kn ew no other w ay of life,
at the end of the nineteen th centu ry Rotterdam 'city foll<' bearing
walking guides were increaSingly see ki ng the natural surroundings of
Hoogvliet . Whe n seei ng th e faithful exit the church in neat rows on
Sund ay s, they must have bee n am aze d by the unspoiled quality of rural
life , seemingly pre served from exte rnal influences for ce nturies .

The domain [heerlijkheidl of Putten around 1650, with the trade domain
Hoogvliet. Drawn by H.A. Banfe in 1798.


Enactment 01 the Housing

Law, establishme nt 01 hous
ing associations


publication of G a rde n Cities

of To-Morrow by Ebene zer


Operations b egin at the !irst

Bataalsche Pe troleum p etrol
installation at Sluis jesdijk


Tra mline laid connec ting

Hoogvliet to Rotterdam

co I; ~1Ia: :\'1' E II II II( ~ n.1 WI" .

- - ,1

26 February 1907


Establish ment of the NV

Bataafsche Pe troleu m Maa t
schappij (la te r to b e come
Shell) in The Hague


( -



., . !


-'1 s
' +"'''''ui.

Phased construction of the

r-- -L r--1 - _-\

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11 ', 1/1/ (f II I


to \&\._"'


Pernis harbour p lan by A.C .
Burgdortfe r. Under this p lan
Hoogvlie t w ould b e absorbed
e ntirely into a la rge harbou r
a rea


Ii' ".


-=-.. ~-






Hook of Holla nd annexed by

Ro tterdam

... .


" ...... ""

Universa l suffrage for wome n



Fey-enoord w ins national




tf,,.k.... '



., _ _. _


(. ...-rty ,

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~ ...=.

Lo tte Starn Beese takes

entrance exami nation for the
Bauhaus in Dessau


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IV"'" i ,If..,,..



First C lAM meeting

(Congres Internationaux
d 'Arc hitect ure Modeme) in
La Sarraz. Switzerland



11'"'" UII---,ru~1I ~n~rfi- I~.Cr"IIrG:en

111 Ii':'

H,,,,"',.. ." .l /""."",..

Feyenoord wins national


First Pe troleum Dock dug in




p ublication of The Nelgh.

bourhood Unit: A Scheme of
Arrangement for a Family
Life Community b y Clarence


/lsselmeer Dam built


Rotterdam a nnexe s boroug h

of Hoogvliet and Pernis, a nd
parts 01Rhoon and Poortu


publication of C h arter of
Athens by Le C orbusier


Fevenoord w ins national

""I ch;mpionships


First Shell homes bUIlt in



Second Petroleum Dock dug
in Hoogvliet

Feyenoord wins na tiona l

Feyenoord wins national

14 May 1940
Bombardme nt of Rotterdam
city centre

Reconstruction plan for Rot
terdam by municipal archi
tect W,G, Wltteveen

Moos Tun nel comple ted

Work starts on building of
Eem Dock complex

Enac tment o t the New Towns
Act in England

Enactmen t of the Ba sis Pla n
for Rotterda m by Cor va n

On 115 own mitiative, S hell
plans expansion of housin


Raising of polders for the construction of the harbour on the island

of Usselmonde.


The dyke village of Hoogvliet with the first postwar development Nieuw Engeland, 1951.

The dyke vii/age of Hoogvliet with on the north the construction of Shell Pernis, ca. 1929.



The polders Meeuwenplaat and Zalmplaat on the river Oude Maas, with the village of
Hoogvliet to the north, ca. 1929.

xxxV'b xxxix

While the inward-looking dyke village of Hoogvliet effortlessly m a naged

t o ret ain its st oic co mp osure, industrial progress was grow ing apace just ten
kilometres away in Rotterdam. With the construction of the Nieuwe
Waterweg in 1870, directly connecting Rotterdam to the sea, an d t he
construction of the railway to Antwerp shortly afterward , Rotterdam had
entered an era of unbridled economic and infrastructural gro wth . The city
was bursting at its seams. In order to take maximum advantage of its newly
acquired Uad ing posit ion in Europe, the city ex panded to t he other side of
the Maas Riv 2i at the end of the nineteenth cent ury. A new commercial
centre was built with unprecedented vigour on t he former plague is lan d of
Feijenoord. In just a few years, Feijenoord bec am e a chaotic, bustling
complex, complete with industrial an d infrastructural amenities like
railways, docks, cranes, wharves , w arehouses, silos and office build ings,
with the turbulent noi se of incoming and outgoing trains and steamships in
the background . People were optimistic, hopefully anticipating the
pro sperity the future would bring.

disappointment , the site destined for his We ster Do cl< w as left with only a
'shabby' dock for the transit and storage of petroleum. In order to build the
dock, Rotterd am annexed Hoogvliet and Pernis, just as they h ad Fe ijenoord,
Charlois and Katendrecht, buying and ex propr iat ing farmers ' la nd . The
sludge dredged up durin g the excavation of the docks on the
Vondelingen pl aat was spre ad out over the fertile fi elds, permanen tly
covering t he impoldered ground with a layer of mucic The dyke village of
Pernis was wedged between the dock and its accompanying arsenal. The
vast farmlands north of Hoogvli et w ere used for storage. Building materials
were delivered for shipment via the small village harbour. The pastoral idyll
that had cilaracter ised Hoogvliet for ov er four centuries was roughly shaken
and destroyed f oreve r by the br ute force of port machinery.
As soon as the First Petrole um Dock was com pleted in 1938, the Royal
Batavian Pet roleum Company (later Shell) established itself in the
surround in g ha r bour terr ain. Until that ti me , th e company and its modest
refinery had been located on an. industrial estate near the Waal Docl< in
Charlois . Because petroleum, a source of light, heat and lubrication, had
become an indispensable commodity for modern society, She i: was growing
quickly. The presence of this prestigious, fast-grolNing company had great
economic importance for the city of Rotterdam, which was happy to grant
Shell its new site .
The Vonde li ngenplaat was the ideal location for Shell. There was a lot of
space an d nothing that would get in the iNay of company growth;
furthermo re, it was located in a remote, spa rse ly populated area, which
would be a fortunate advantage in case of explosions and emergencie s. In
total, the Vondelingenplaat had 170 hectares of available land for
petrole um storage and the construction of refineries and chemical
factories. A maze of advanced technological installations was built on
Hoogvliet's polders to process the crude oi l that huge tankers brougllt in
daily: dist illation apparatus, storage tanks, thermic and catalytic crackin g
plants, and purificati on and distribution plants were built and linked
togeth er with what looked to be a jumble of pipe s and t ubes .




The initial step s taken on the southern bank of the Maas had a snowball
effect 'lS a re sult of Fe ijenoord's success, Rotterdam hungrily sought out
much more space. Un der the direction of civil engineer Gerrit Jan de Jongh,
between 1887 and 1931 a large tract of t h e left (southern) bank of the Maa s
fell vi ctim to Rotterdam's port ex pa nsion and de Jongh's 'grands projets'
the Rhine Doc k, Maas Doc k and Waal Dock - were completeLi In terms of
size, these docks were man y t imes bigger than anything Rotterdam had
ever known. De Jongh saw the exp ansion of Rotterdam's docks as a single,
all-encompassing technological an d infrastructural task, and believed t!lu L
no effort should be spared to make Rotterdam t he large st port in Europe.
The city, the river and the unspoiled polders on IJsselmo '- lde were nothing
but tiny cogs in this huge technological superstructure, which would give
Rotterdam a lea din g position in Europe . De Jongh was of the opinion that
the city shou ld ser ve the purposes of the port, and that urb an development
would logical ly follow the deve lopment of the do ck s. In order to create
these three en or mous new docks, the early mediaeva l dyke v illages of
Charlois and I(atendrecht were quiet ly swallowed up. The polders of yore
that had been reclaimed by human hands were dug up, all ow ing the water
to once again flow into the harb our basins.

With the arrival of the Shell empire and the excavation of the First and later
the Second Petroleum Dock, in the 19305 Hoogvliet lost fo rever both its
admini strative and phys ical aut on omy to the city of Rotterdam. The bicycle
trip from Rotte rda m to the Shell plants on the Vondelingenplaat too k ju st
under an hou r, passi ng along the newly constructed Groene Kruiswe g f rom
Charlois to Hoogvl iet. The journey could be completed a bit more quickly on
the 'little m urderer' , a tram that rode between Rotterdam and Hoogvliet.
But even that t ook too lo n g in the event of t h e regularly occurring
emergencies, an explosion or a fi re that needed to be ex t inguished. In
order to be able to sp rin g into action as quickly as possible in case of
emergency, Shell planned a residential district of 600 hom es in Hoogvli et.
So me of t he homes w ere built alon g t he Noordzijds edij k [N orthern Dyke],
leading dire ctly to t he factory doors. About tw en t y freest an ding villa s were
built for company exec utive s, t o t he north of the historic village centre. As a
result, Hoogvliet's population shot up to 1300 in on ly a few years . The
streets in the ne w residen t ial neighbou rh oods were named after places
Where Shell got its oil li ke Haifa and Kuwait, contrasting with th e mediaeval
streets like Hoogvlietse Ke rkweg, Dorpsstraa t and Achterpad .

De Jongh's successor A.C. Bu rgdorffer, convinced that the Rotterdam port

would have great global success, took an even more ambitious approach: he
deve loped the Perni s Docklands Plan (1 915), which encompa ssed the entire
left ban k from Ro tterdam to the Hook of Holland . The high po in t of this plan
was his mega lom aniac Wester Doc k for transit and sto rage , eq ual in si ze t o
the Waal Dock. He inten ded this dock to be built in th e w esternmost part of
t h e IJsse lm on de islan d , near the sleepy farmi ng vi lla ges of Hoogvli et and
Perni s. The econom ic rece ssion t hat foll owed t he Gre at War th w arted the
completion of this plan , ho we ver. To BUrgdor f fer' s immense


While the seventeenth-century image of Hoogvliet could be described as a

landscape painting by Ruysdael, the impression ist Georges Seurat's
al i enating masterpiece 'Bathing at Asnii!fes' is a more appropriate depiction
of the situation at the beginning of the twentieth century. In that painting,
French families spend a day off wading along the rustic banks of a river near
Paris. But it seems that the pastoral idyll will be spoiled frighteningly soon.
The painting's bright, fresh pastel colours gradually fade into the horizon
and in the distance, the clouds mix seamlessly with the thick grey plumes of
smoke rising from factory chimneys in an ominously fast-approaching
urban setting .

... .. ...


. . - . - G... _

to. _

. . - - ..... ... ~ _ _.... --_


Tram Sta tion buill by

a rchitect C. Elilers at Groene
Kruiswe9 on the site of the
old tram-shed blown up i
the war




Lotte Stam Beese drew the

initial sketches for a New
Town in Hoogvliel. intended
for 60. 000 inhabitants







Constructlon of Third Petro

leu m Dock a t Rozenburg






Enactment of e xpansion plan

in sta ges. District A. part I
(Nieuw Engelond district)



30 August 1951


Start of construchon of the O il

dis trict a nd the Wao ier, 928


Concept ske tch for Hoogvliet
as a linea. satellite town

Design sketch for Hoog vliet as
a satellite town by the urbo n
planner Gorter, with the final
choice 01a concentric model
and the Introduction of the
neighbourhood concept

1 February 1953
The g reat flood . Po rts of
Hoog vlJe\ under wa te r


. .


N ,


'" ,,\",,

Plan for Hoogvllet la rgely
completed. Hoogvliet of
licially designated a s sa telllle



- ' I'D





Build ing of Digna Johanna

distr ict, 120 homes

1 March 1954
Huge explosion In a Shell gas

Con struction of the Botlek
area and the Botlek bridge

Desig n fo r the tow n centre
by Lotte Sta rn Beese (nol

13 August 1955
Lignlrung strike bums out an
oil ta nk at Shell Pernis


- ....S




Hoogvlietwas born exactly 60 years ago, in 1947, when Lotte Stam-Beese

designed a new town for 60,000 inhabitants in a bend of the Oude Maas
River, on th e two sides of a tidal channel that separated a marshy strip of
land from the island of IJsselmonde. Over the polders, the channels, the
marshes, the dykes and the woods on the shore, Lotte Stam Beese drew a
ring of roads enclosing twelve residential districts each with 5000
inhabitants, with a town centre on the site of the old village. She used the
old landscape element of the tidal channel to shape an elongated municipal
parle In a later plans the tidal channel disappeared, whereas it was in fact
perhaps the best idea a town planner had ever had for Hoogvl i et; letting a
small river run right through the middle of the town and allowing it to rise
and fall to the rhythm of the main river. After Hoogvliet was completely
inundated during the disastrous floods of 1953, the huge Delta dykes built
to protect against the sea meant that Hoogvliet lost all contact with the
pulsating river, a fact which present-day town planners are stili vainly






tryingto make good.

There are indications that the planning of this satellite town emerged
from a concrete demand for a settlement on this site; yet this cannot
explain the construction of a town for 60,000 inhabitants. It is true that
Shell very urgently required housing f or its employees at the refineries on
the Vondelingenplaat, but that amounted to no more than 3000 homes.
In addition there was in this chaotic period immediately after liberation no
cohesive strategic plan for Greater Rotterdam, only a pile of unrelated
planning documents. Some of them, such as the IJsselmonde Regional
Plan, dated from before the war, some from during the war, such as the
191+0 Rotterdam Expansion Plan, and some were still being worked upon,
such as the 1953 Botlel( Plan. But, despite the lack of concrete or approved
plans for the expansion of the port, the city of Rotterdam of course had a
permanent and unstoppable desire to continue doing so. After the
dynamic plans drawn up by the prewar directors of urban development,
De Jongh and Burgdorffer, the city was ready to take the next step and it
was increasingly apparent that the ambition was for Rotterdam to develop
into the largest port in the world. It wa s certain that the Shell refinery
would playa major role in this, and it w as equally certain that workers
would be needed, and they would have to live somewhere close to the

jonge Engel
edebouw vol
.nten. In deze
10cmde natio
1 voor Groo t
hier ook een
an het te ver
let plan van

dinO van prof.

)Oral voor de
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:te. wordt ont
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Any plan for a new town of 60,000 people de signed in such Changing
Circumstances would normally be considered as just one of many ideas, at
most a promising vision . The decision to invest in something lil<e this must
surely come from a huge commitment by many parties to a broad long-term


contacl met
om daardoor
lannen de
e mCf"iJe'men

en niet alleen

"Telling tIle people" -

Leg hel latm td

den mensch in dezen tijd. Het ..Jis_
J. __ 1. _ __ 1 _ ____ _ _ _ _ _ .U.J _ ___ 1__

duidellJk bliJk van, dat het :tich ,,;ong"

_ ___ t Ao


_ _ ..J

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tt\ .. .."


strategy for an entire region. Not in this case, apparently, because from the
moment Lotte stam Beese drew a sketch on commission to Rotterdam
borough council, events took place in rapid succession and the first district
of Hoogvliet was alre ady finished in 1951. A new satellite town was
established, almost noncha lantly, in slightly less than 15 years. This sort of
reckle ss town planning can normally only be explained by the urgent need
for housing and the exceptional speed needed in reconstructing the town
after the war, and thatis how the story of Hoogvliet has always been
written, as a product of pure pragmatic haste.
However, even 'haste' does not provide a complete explanation for
Hoogvliet: in 1947 the planning of Zuidwijk and Lombardijen and a small
plan for part of I<leinpolder had only just got started, and it would be
another year before people started thinking about Pendrecht and schiebroek,
while Alexanderpolder and IJsselmonde w ere still in the distant f uture. The
Basic Plan for the reconstruction of the city centre had only just been
adopted. so why, in a location far away from the city, whe re all that was
needed was a Shell village of relatively limited size, should a satellite town
ten times as big have been planned?


~ i"'
~ 'O





















Part of the answer is to be found in the BOijmans Van Beuningen Museum,

in 1946. Eight rooms were devoted to an exhibition on the reconstruction
in England . This exhibition had a tremendous impact on the younger
generation of architects and urban planners. It showed what could be
achieved when a country full of enthusiasm and the most modern means
and insights threw itself into reconstruction. The impatient young
generation that envisaged the Netherlands again sinking into the socio
politically divided narrow-minded clergyman's state after the initial
euphoria of the liberation, saw in England the model of how things should
be done. A young archHect and civil servant at Rotterdam council's
Department of Urban Development and Reconstruction, Jaap Bakema, like
Lotte stam Beese a member of Rotterdam's 'Opbouw' delegation to ClA M,
wrote a dazzl'ing report of the exhibition in Bouw magazine. He described
how the rampant 19 th -century growth of towns and industry had eroded
the fine clear forms of English towns, and how the destruction by th e Blitz
had provided the opportunity to 'bring about radical renewal'.l This was
entirely in line with the ideas of the breakthrough concept in Dutch and
urban planning and architecture during and immediately after the war, but
in this case in a fully developed policy put into operation by the English
authorities : Bakema then described how the country had had large-scale
compelling plans made by Patrick Abercrombie for the expansion and
reconstruction of Greater London, and also drew up a broad national plan
for the whole of Great Britain. The thing he found most important was that
these plans were based on an analysis of the way people actually live in
their urban neighbourhoods, where they go for reiaxation, how they enter
into relationships and where they engage in culture and religion. On the
basis of these sociological data, they organised the towns and provided
the neighbourhoods with amenities, schools, parks and housing. According
to Bakema this gave rise to neighbourhoods that were 'composed of
elements significant to the lives of people in the present day'.2 These
neighbourhoods had their own committees : self-elected representatives of


but it remains an expansion area . Hoogvliet is still a completel y differe nt

the inha bita nts. So t he fo rm of the to wn is bas ed on the wa y peop le live

and the wa y soci ety is organise d: as a democracy. In 1946 th is poin t had
an Ideological importance that was not to be underestimated. Bakema
contrasted th e o rganic planning of the new English towns with the w ay a
ne w to wn (Emmeloo rd ) and a ring of vi llages in the Noord-Oostpolder
were being built in th e Nethe rlands at the same time: not in accordance
with the modern community, but as reassuring references to tra dit ional
village and town forms, in order thereby to regain the 'old sense of



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Bal<em a had ve ry different idea s about how one should create a sense of
community by means of town planning and architecture. Together with
Lotte Stam Beese and others, he developed this with th e Rotterd am
'Opbouw' delegation to ClAM . They formulated a rad ical alte rn at ive to the
traditional view U",at by rec,) nst ructing the form of a v illage one would
also automatically evoke the social lire of the village. Opbouw's reasoning
was the reverse. By analysing the social structures at the present tim e t hey
ar rived :; :: entire l~1 new town planning figures thatser ved as instruments
by which to lead the inhabitants t o live in a particular w ay. The t hrea d
runni ng through it was the neig hb ourhood principle , which they
delf'210ped into an extremely meticulous design system. It consisted of a
r :erarchical composition of social circles within which people's lives were
organised. The starting point wa s the family, li vi ng in a block of flats or a
single-family home. The next circle was the neighbourhood, where the
housewife does her shopping and tal<es the children to school. Th e
neighbourhood is part of the district, where the family goes to church on
Sunday, and where the district office is located and the marl<et held. The
next circle was the town, where t he man went to wo rk every day, where
the football stadiu m and the museum are located, and where the Mayor ha s
his office. Each circle had its own architectural scale that is a direct
reflectio n of social cohesion; from intimate ties with in th e f amily to good
neighbours in the neighbourh ood and acquaintances in the dist ric t. The
neighbourhood principle wa s lin ke d specifically to the growth of the port
ci t y: the new urban dwell ers f ro m Brabant, Zeeland, Groningen or Drente,

who were used to the easy-going life of the vill age or a small prov incial
t own would be enabled t o gradually integrate into the metropoli tan
lifestyle of Rotterdam by means of this clear hierarch y. Even outside
Opbouw, the social determinism of the neighbo ur hood principle became an
integral part of town planning thinking in Rotterdam; in this respect an
important docu men t was the stud y ma de by the Bos Commission, entitled
De toe ko mst der stad, de stad der to ekomst [Th e fu tu re of the city, the city
of the future] and pu blished in 1946. 3 Bos was the d irector of th e Housing
Department and in his bool< developed the neighbourhood prin ciple along
administrative and town planning lines. Jaap Bakema provided th e

illustrations for his book. A short time lat er, in 1949, both Bake ma and Lotte

Stam Beese wo rke d on the Dutch entry for the 1949 ClAM congress in

Bergam o, wi th th e design for t he Pendrecht district, a radical design fo r

an urba n district th at w as Mo ndriane sque in its cons iste nt ae sthetics.

Several years later Lotte Stam Beese w as to become wo rld-famous with

her final deSign for Pend recht, which many peopl e consi der the mo st

im portant post- wa r residen tial di strict in exi sten ce. Pendrecht is a

marvellous ideologic al development of the neighbo urhoo d princip le,


An obsession with England '

The exhi biti on at the Boijman s Museum was on ly one part of wh at might

justifi ab ly be called a period of obsession with everyth in g that emerged

from England. Ye ar after ye ar Dutch town pla nning an d architecture

perio dicals were full of analyses of the acts and bills force d th ro ugh the

British Parliament that mad e it possible t o design and plan on a ful ly

national scale in accordance w ith th e most rec ent urb an planning ins ights.

Leadi ng parts in this w ere played by two peopl e: Si r Patri ck Ab ercro mbi e,

designer of the Greater Lon don Plan and countless oth er reconstruction

plans in Engl and, and Fred erick Osborn , the great champion of Engl and's

New Tow ns an d a form er assistant to Eben ezer Howard, the brain behind

the Garden City movemen t. Around the turn of the century Howard had

develope d a radical al ternative to th e endless industrial and suburban

sprawl of t he Victorian city. He wanted to combine the advantages of the

village (q uietness and spac e) w ith the so cio -econom ic and cult ural

possibilities of the large city. His schematic model of the city w as composed

of small units of several h l..l :1 d re d houses w it h their own amenitie s,

combine d into districts of several thousand houses with their own

employment opportunities. These were in their turn combined into garden

cities of never more than 30,000 people, which together formed an entity

of 250,000 people, embedded spaciously in the landscape.







Howard succeeded in convincing investors, arch ii:ects and large groups of

people of his plans and without the slightest contribution by the English
authoritie s was able to complete two small garden cities c,j: Letchworth
(190 4) an d We lwyn Ga rden City (1920). The influence of these two
autonomous an d relatively small settl ements, and especially Howard 's
manua l Garden Cities of To- Mo rrow (1902), wa s huge; w ithin just a few
years Garden City movements had started up all over th e world and local
divisions shot up everywher e. Th ey we re put to use to reflect a wide variety
of political movem ents, from fascism to Zionism and f rom social democracy
to Nazism . What is more, th ey cou ld als o be built in completel y different
arch itect ural styles, from the Art Deco of t he Ital ian Fasc is t new towns in its
colon y of Cyrenaica (lat er to become libya) t o the traditionalist Blut und
Boden architecture of the Naz i settlements in the 30s. Howe ve r, the most
important addition to the Garde n City movement came fro m an American
follo we r, Clarence Pe rry. In t he 20s, Perry developed Howard 's spatial and
social catego ri es into th e end lessly refi ned 'neighbourhoo d princi ple' ,
whe reby seve ral hund red ho uses were in every case arran ged around a
soc ial centre , t he most important elem ent being the school.

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Frederick Osb orn , Howard's much younger assistant, wa s convinced that the
Garden City move ment w ould only be able to achieve its ambitions if they
were adopted by the government. However, Howard t ol d Osborn : "if you
wait for the autho ritie s to build new to w ns you will be older than
Methuselah bef o re th ey start. The only way t o get anythi ng done is to do it
yourself. '" However by uncea si ng political lo bbying, and due to the urgency

created by the devas tation of the Second Wo rl d War, Osborn was

nevertheless able to convince t he British gove rn ment. He onl y had to wait






until his 61" birthday, not his 969 1h , as Howard had predicted . 1946 saw
the passing of the New To wns Act, by which the Briti sh government decided
to tal<e on the construction of dozens of new towns virtually without any
contribution from private parties. These new towns were the immediate
successors to Howar d's garden cities, transformed by Frederick Osborn and
others into modern towns that correspond entirely to Howard's systemic
thinl<ing and sup plemented with Clarence Perry's neighbourhood principle,
fitted into Patrici< Abe rcro mb ie's regional planning doctrine and of course
executed using the most modern building techniques.
Between 1946 and 1950, under the Labour government, the first wave of
new towns spread across the country; the first were Stevenage, Hemel
Hempstead, Harlow, Crawley, Bra ck ne ll an d Basildon, all in the region
around London; they were followed by Cwmbran in Wale s, Peterlee and
Newton Aycliffe in Coun ty Durham, and Glenrothes and Ea st Kilbride in
scotland. Within half a century Howard's doctrine had be en converted from
a Victorian manifesto into a gigantiC govern me nt project that would hou se
millions of people and have a tremendous im pact on the reconstruction of
Europe and new tow ns throughout the world. The Engl ish model was
enthusi as tically take n up by town planning departments in France,
Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Israel , post-colonial Africa, and Asia. There
was a special relationship with Israel, the brand-new country and former
British protectorate. Th e whole country was designed on the basis of a
strategy in which a series of 'D evelopment Towns' colonised the new




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In his book To -Morrow; apeacefulpath to real reform

(1898), Howard raised the question, "Where will the
people go?": to the city, the country or tbe garden city?

A dash forwa rds

So how can we interpret the planning of Hoog vlie t in the light of the
ubiquitous influence of England, but without any national policy or even a
town plan, underpinning something like a New Town near Rotterdam? They
saw a fine opportunity: the yo ung ideali sts at the Department of Urban
Deve lopment and Reconstruction were able to combine the concrete
req uirement for a few thousand home s for Shell workers, the overall
housing shortage, the lack of an unambiguou s town planning strategy for
the ex pansion of Rotterdam, the general, almost chaotic and hectic nature
of th e first fe w ye ars of reconstruction, and t he impressive lead taken by
t he English, t o cre at e what can only be d escribed as a dash forwards.
Without setting up a single o ne of the planni ng , political or economic
struct ures that formed the foundation of th e English New Towns, and which

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The influential diagram by Ebenezer Howard for the

construction of garden cities (1898).



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The wor ldwide impact of the new towns could be explained by several
factors: in the first place the embedment of a progressive regional planning
strategy, the modernity of the design, and the fact that a government had
so uncompromisingly and d ecisively taken this radical step. In second place
is th e modernity of the design and the fact that all the new towns were
built in a format that could be copied. This format was absolutely new and
state of the art, but because progressive town planners had already been
working with Howard's legacy for decades, it also felt inevitable and logical.
Every new town in Eng lan d was billed as follOWS: a hierarchical 'system of
roads , with betw een t h em ten to twelve districts each with about 5000
inhabitants and their own amenities centre, the embedment of the new
town in t h e landscape , a t otal population of abou t 60,000 and a town
cen t re at its heart, often on the site of a former v illage.

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The Greater London Plan, with a string of New

Towns around London, Sir Patrick Abercrombie and
John Henry Forshaw, 1946.

\Scene 5:

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February 1956

w ere the result of alm ost h alf a century of lo bby ing and ex perimentation by
Ebenezer Howard, Frede ric l< Osbo rn, Pat ricl< Abe rcr om b ie and m any others,
in Rotterdam the y decid ed, all at once, that th ey too would design a New
Tow n. The English had shown ho w it should be done and that it wa s
possible . Building a Ne w Tow n in Rott erdam too would provi de a shor t cut
to the infinitely more modern plan for socie ty for which England had set the
The building of Hoogv liet thereby takes its place in a series of crucial
moments in the history of Ro tterdam, with a radical and far- rea ching
choice being made in a ma d r ush. The decision not on ly to clear up th e
rubble imme dia t el y afte r t he bombardment of May 1940, but also at a
str oke to ex propriate everything and demolish eve n the less badl y da maged
bu ildings, was also tak en in a similar manner. There too it was a matter of
a great opport uni ty. The des t ru ction meant t hat at last something modern
could be done, and people wanted to exploit the urge ncy to t :: I(e a deciSion
that would otherwise become bogged down in the politics of compromise:
the complete eraS IH e of the old city. This decision too was an eXi; mple
typical of Rotterdam's urban plan n ing in its heyday: the fear of not having
done lhe most radical i/ dng.
The design and even the construction of a New TOINn in an area on the
outskirts of the Rotterdam conurbation could of course not be comp ared to
the brutal changes in the centre of the city, but as an act of recl<less
planning it corresponds to a similar psychological profile . The thing these
exa mples of the forward dash have in common is that the following
d ecades w ere dominated by the assimil ation of this audacious dec ision: in
the case of Rotterd am centre it led to an addiction to permanent ch an ge
and rene wal, even though it was sometimes entirely rhetorical in nature. In
Hoogv li et, the constructi on of a New Town as an aui onomous act ex p ressing
the p ure urge for renewal led to an ambiguity that still defines its urban
planning identity and its relationship with the mother-city.

Draft for Hoo9'1liet by urban planner Charles, februari





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Design tor the town centre b y

H.C. Mihus (not e xecuted)


Esta blishment 01 the 'Stichlin

veor Volkshuisvestmg Hoog
vliet' housing aSSOCIation


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Construction of 582 homes

by architects los and La
de lange in the Elritsstraat
area (blocks 01 fl a ts with
walkways, low rise blocks
of flats wilh entrance halls
a nd single family homes).
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in the same forms, Iypes and
numbers In Ko rianderslroal
a t Westpunt

C onstructio!l of Europor t


Plan for De Gadering to a

design by H.C . Milius (nol



Construction 01 Westpunt to a
desig n by Lotte Slam Beese

Construction of Meeuwen
plaa t to a design by Va n
Wijngoa rden


Esta blishment 01the Budo

Sports Institute by Ch ris de
Korle in Hoogvl iet

A series of plans
Th e genesis of Hoog vliet was to proceed in fits and starts right from Lotte
St am Beese's very first ske t ch, w ith sub- plans being implemen t ed while at
the same time the main thr ust of t he main plan, which had by no means
been appro ve d , wa s still being outlined. This emphasises the im prov is ed
natu re of the undertaking. After l otte Stam Beese had com p leted a draft
deS ig n, it was adjusted a ye ar later by the urban designe r Charles. In his
layout, Stam Beese's tw elve districts were grouped into three large and
co mp act clusters, distric ts A, Band C, which were themselves then di vid ed
into smaller neigh bou rhood s: A1, A2, A3, etc. Between districts A, Band C
lay br oad green wedges that pen et ra t ed int o the town from the green areas
al ong the River Maas and t he Shell sites. The t i dal chann el was forced back
t o ha lf its for mer size and no longer playe d any structuring role. The centre
w as separa te d into three parts, one large centre in district A and t w o small
ones in districts Band C. A green space remai ned in t he middle.
At that time Charles also very rapidly drew up a plan for one of the districts,
w h ich ha d to be carri ed out im me di at ely so tha t th e home s cou ld alrea dy
be occu pied in 19 51: this was district AI, Nieuw Engelan d, or th e Oi l
neighb ourhood . Nieuw Engeland was a very dense com pos it ion of 104 8

ExplOSIon in Shell crocking

August 1958
Sla rt of constr uction of 580
walk-up flats in the Wesl p unl
district to a design by Van
Tijen, Boom anu Posno

Delta works

Building of Dellakerk in
Hailaweg b y architect M.


Building of Oudeland 10 a
design by H.G. Milius




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homes and sever al dozen shopsin t w enty id en t ical bloc ks offlats, with an
in d ustrial but slightl y traditional brick architecture, combined with a low
ris e area and a square with sh ops. Charles' composi ti on culm in ated in the
Waai er, te n blocl<s offlats with the spaces between them ope n to t h e green
parl< bet w een Hoogvliet and th e She ll site."
While Nieu w Engeiand was being built at high speed, the next designer was
already engaged in adjusting the overall plan fo r Hoogvliet. And once again
it came down to fundamental changes in the concept .
In 1951, the urban planner Gorter drafted a design for Hoogvliet as a ribbon
of separate districts that would develop along the old dykeand w ould thus
deviate emphatically from the model of the English New Towns. In this way,
Hoogvliet would develop in a so uthe r ly direction starti ng from the first
di strict to be built, Nieuw Engeland, by simply adding on ne wl y built
districts. The town centre would also develop par allel to the dy ke , but then
on th e eastern side. The centre would grow with the new districts
depending on the neec, "or amenities, and w ould thereby erase more and
more of the old village. On the basis ofthis pragmatic inward growth mode l
there once again arose a detailed plan for an individual district, which wa s
built with the same haste as for Nieuw Engelan d: Digna Johanna. This lay
west of Nieu w Engeland and comprised a high-density repetition of blocks
of maisonette f lat s with four or six storeys. There was no longer any sign
of the rudimentary traditional orn ame nta tion, the saddle roofs and the
urban planning effects ofthe Waaier in Nieuw Engeland, but instead there
was an emphaticall y Mod erni st architecture with a certain heaviness and
sturdiness in a rigorously orthogonal structure. The 585 homes in the Digna
Jo han n a district were compl eted as from 1954.

E~ensionplan for the district Nieuw Engeland, 1951.









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In 1952, a number of draft designs appeare d, by Van Drimmelen and then

again by Gorter. The ever-changing basic concept of Hoogvliet now
solidi f ied into a form that would continue to guide its development for the
next decade. Instead of deve lop ing like a tapeworm, in segments, which
could in princ iple grow endlessly along the dyke structure on the isl and of
IJsselmonde, the districts were folded around a compa ct t own centre on
both sides of the Groene I<r uisweg. It w as now that the flo we r shap e tha t
still characterises Hoogvliet first appeared: ten districts (com posed of
neighbourhoods),. separated from each other and from the town cen t re by
strips and w ed ges of green space, each with its own neighbourhood cen tre.
For t he firs t time, the neighbour hood pri n ciple was recognisable in t he
elaboration of th e in dividual districts i n this New Tow n. In earl ier plans the
f unctions of the centre had been divided betw een th ree large cent re s or in
a single town cent re ; now the re were both a t ow n centre and indivi dual
centres in each neighbourhood. For the first t i me, t he administrative rea lity
of a subm un icipa lity boundary made itselffel t , running right through th e
planned area. This was the boundary with the submunicipality of Poortugaal.
One distri ct, the futur e Zalmplaat, was still on land be lo nging to Poortugaal,
w h il e the boundaries of the other districts wer e north of this line, which
was only changed in 1985.
The develop ment of the urban planning layout in the shape of a flow er was
ta ken furth er in the 1953 Plan in Hootdzaak [G en era l Pl an] and ot her pla ns
up to the 1959 structura l out line. A great ma ny of Ho ogvl iet ' s districts were

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Oliebuurt [Oil Neighbourhood] in

Nieuw Engeland, ca. 1952.

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Urban plan (sketch) for Hoogvliet with a flower

shaped lay-out, 1952.


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designed and developed during this pe ri od: 2000 homes in Oudeland

(1953-1961),2100 homes in Westpunt (1954-1959) and 3060 homes in
Meeuwenplaat (1954-1960).

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As the shaping of the plans for Hoogv liet advanced, more and more
information cam e over about the urban planning intentions of the English
New Towns, and Hoogvli et wa s able to profit from this. The districts
separated from each other by a ring-road embedded in green surroundings,
the town centre dominated by pedestrian zones and high-rise, the district
centres and of course the size of the neighbourhoods, districts and the
town: all these elements meant that Hoogvliet would fit in perfectly with
Peterlee, Ne w ton Aycliffe, Steven age and the rest of the farn i ! ~' of New


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Towns in England .
A system began to mal<e itself visible in the design of Hoogvliet as a whole,
in its internal district structure and the mutual cohesion between the la rge
and small scales. What the districts have in common is that they ~" <.! r 2
designed according to the neighbou r hood principle, but in a looserand less
doctrinaire way than at Pendrecht. In the elaboration of the districts we see
the huge leap the Department of Urban Development had made in the
designs for Pend recht, 1<leinpolder, IJsselmonde and the other garden
districts. The Rotterdam Department developed an all-embracing design
system that permeated into every detail of the urban design plan and
thereby distinguished itselffrom the English New Towns, where the districts
were designed in a le ss integrated fashion.
The Rotte rdam system was made apparent in the large but precisely
managed alternation of housing types, of h igh, medium and low-rise, in
the emphatic all y lo cated district centres and i n the various ways g.reenery is
woven into the districts: eve n ly in Oudeland, in the form of a big bayonet
structure in Meeuwenplaat, and as a series of broad green spaces between
the slightly staggered blocl<s of flats in Westpunt. Wall<ing around between
the flats and the single-family homes, over the green fields and along the
avenues, through the district centres and near the schools, one sees an
urban aesthetic recognisably associable with Rotterdam: fresh, green,
sometimes bare, sturdy and unapproachable, but always with intimate
small-scale inner areas where neighbourhood life can grow.

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The half levelled medieval dyke and the district

Digna Johanna under construction, ca. 1957.






Single-family houses in the district

Meeuwenplaat, ca. 1959.


A certai n form of architectural globalisation took place in the Dura Coignet

neighbou rh oods in Zalmplaat. Mi nister de Wit des ignated them as sites for
the ap plication dfthe French Co ignet building system; from 1964 the Dutch
company Dura and the Rotterdam architect Erne st Groosman built a total of
almost 1400 homes in slabs at right-angles to each other, thereby tal<ing
account of the ideal turning circles of the cranes that stacl<ed the concrete
panels and placed the facade elements against them .











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In the de fi n itive 195 9 plan, earlier attempts to incorporate landscape

elem ents into the plan for the town were ignored and a more modern and
above all larger-scale approach was chosen. The traffic on the Groene
I<ruisw eg was diverted onto a ring-road. Inside it a huge and hypermodern
town centre was designed, wh ich tool< no account of anything that had
been th ere before: histo ri cal buildings, old road s, tidal channels , harbours,

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dyke s or pold er patt er ns.

The centre wa s to be the largest and most ambitious part of Hoogvliet and,

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after the centre of Rotterd am , would be one of the most modern and lar ge
sca le town centres in the region . He rman Bakker and Jan Ho ogstad's
shopping centre, inspired by the Lijnbaan, the marl<et square with the high
rise flats at I(inheim, the small standardised schools, the block of flats
balancing above the sh ops and the (former) submun icipality offi ces were
the only rudiments of this truly monumental plan. To achieve it, the entire
centre of the old village of Hoogvliet was to be demolished and the Groene
I(ruisweg and the village dyke were to be made on a level with the ribbon
development . This was only partly carried out, as can be seen f rom the
'temporary' car park floored with StelconT;\ concrete slabs that has now
been waiting for almost fifty years for transformation into a central t ow n
square . The only relic of the old village is the solitary church, standing like
lost prop erty on the car parle
It is now hard for us to imagine that the whole suburban area, from the old
church to the Hoogvliet underground station, was to be converted into a
town centre. H. Milius had designed eight gigantic blocks of flats in four
pairs at right-angles to one another, enclosing green gardens just as at the
Lijnbaan. Here too a pedestria.n shopping street was to form the backbone
of the cent re, which at its edges would run on into an outer area of squares,
car parks, sc hool buildings and sports facilities. A tower was planned with a
cultural centre, a football stadium, a whole serie s of schools and cultural
insti tution s, yet another shopping centre on the Lijnbaan model and along
the eastern side an underground railway vi ad uct set spaciously amidst the
greenery. It was to be a centre that would far trans cend Hoogvliet itself and
have a regional role to play.
The first part of this plan for the centre was executed, but the discussion on
the pre cise status of Ho ogvliet with regard to its surroundings had by no
means been settled. This led to contradictory designs and st ate ments. For
example, the Director of the Department of Urban Development and
Reconstruction, the man behind the reconstruction of Rotterdam, Cornelis
van Traa, said that Hoogvliet was in the end neither a sat ellite town nor a
New Town, because it was too close to Rotterdam and was thus unable to
occupy an autonomous position. However, the partially completed plan for
the town centre suggests a town with the grand ambition of being the
centre of the islands of IJsselmonde and Voorne-Putten .

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Former village houses on Groene Kruisweg, with the shopping.

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ca. ...

Hoogvliet, how do you want to be?

The unce rtai nty and ambiguity about the prec ise status of Hoogv liet w ith
reg ard to its surroundings is the first thing that strikes you when you lay the
planning documents side by side. By the time Hoogvliet had already largely
been built, there was still no consensus about its status and this was not
only made clear in the urban design plans. In a 1953 analysis of the growing
satellite town that was later to become famous, P. De Jong alrea dy
mentioned the many problems of adaptation that former inhabitants of
Hoogvliet and Rotterdam, and new inhabitants of Brabant and Zeeland,
were faced with when they were confronted with each othe r in a district
under construction J When De Jong writes about the problems the
inhabitan ts of the Zeeland and South Holland islands have in fittin g in, not
to mention the peat and farm labourers, basketmal<ers and petro leum
selle rs from the northern provinces, their deta chment from their origina l
setting, co untry women's compulsive retention of old domestic habits, the
Question of whether different subcultures should or should not be stuci<

... ::r

o::s ...



together in flats with shared entrances, it is exactly as if one were following

contemporary discussions about the multicultural society and the deprived



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De Jong's study reads like an early forerunner of the livability monitor of the
twenty-fir st century. He noted complete ly different definitions and
assessments of the variou s population groups in Hoogvliet. What is more,
he signalled a serious mismatch between housing needs and housin g types .
But he would no t have been a true fifties socio logi st if he had not argued
for an urban planning structure with its accompanying housing types and a
set of amenities that wou ld help to emancipate the 'indigenous' and 'non
indigenous' ex-villagers into open-minded, modern town-dwellers. This
process of emancipation could be stimulated by the hierarchical structure
involving neighbourhood, district and town. De Jong concluded his analysis
with the call to Hoogvliet to work towards a clear conception of its own
identity, even at this early stage in its existence (when he wrote it, only the
Nieuw Engeland had been completed): how do you want to be?



~ ",'

o c:

:;o g



3 ~
5 g


It is striking that the sti ll very small Hoogvliet was already experiencing all
the co ntradictions and differences it still has today. It's true that a decade
later a completely new Hoogvliet had been built , with tens of thousands of
inhabitants, but there was hardly any more clarity about the precise status
of this satellite town. Thi s meant that Hoogvliet could as a whole,or even
each district separately, be reinvented allover again at each planning
round. The various concepts for the town came in regular succession: from
the town in three separate parts (Charles) to the strip town (Gorter), and
from the town laid out around a tidal channel (Stam Beese) to the petal
town (Gorter) . These were later followed by the regional super-centre
(Milius) to the Rotterdam suburb that just happened to be a bit further away
(Van Traa) and finally the concept launched in 1958 for Hoogvliet as
a twin town with Sp ijke nisse (Lotte St am Beese). Ea ch of these visions
provided the basis for the execution of part of the plan at a rapid tempo:
Nieuw Engeland, Digna Johanna, We stpunt, and also the present tow n
centre ; these are all fragments of visions of the whole of Hoogvliet that
were never executed in their entirety. In 1960 Hoogvliet was thu s already a
complex and sometimes contradicto ry collage of many varied Hoogv liets.
The only constant is the frameworl< provided by the example of the Engl ish
New Towns .
However, any doubt about the status of Hoogvliet was eliminated when the
state decid ed to elevate Spijkeniss e to the status of gr owth centre. It is
ironic that when the growth centre policy was accepted in the Netherlands,
it signalled the coup de grace for the pioneering Hoogvliet . Spijl<enisse was
to become a real, complete and autonomo us New Town, with unlimited
potentia l for growth to the west, much broader intentio ns and above all
administrative autonomy.
For Hoogvliet this meant a radical change of course, which its planners
transformed into actions with an almost masochistic attitude. Hoogvliet no
longer needed a large ce ntre, so the part south of the Groene J(ruisweg was
given over to a suburban residential area; the dyk e village no longer had to
be demOlished and the town square the old church stood on did not have to


February 1960
Star I of construction of shop
ing centre In the central
area 0: Hoogvliet. to a design
by Jan Hoogstad one! Herman

Design for Boomga ardshoek
by Lotl e Starn Beese and AJ
van der Kooy (not e xecuted)


Construction of maisonette
blocks in Oudeland. designed
by architect G . Hallema

Feyenoord wins national

Feyenoord wins nation

be complete d. But the undergrou nd railway wa s alrea dy there,

waitin g f or a t own centre that would neve r be bui lt.
This is the re al significan ce of Hoogvli et: it is the story of a to wn
which , again st its better ju dgement and wi thout the most
f u ndamental of the necessary system s and structures, wished to
buil d a real En glish New Town , and whic h was th en again and again
abl e t o adapt t o t he w ilful reali ty by improvisi ng, adjusting, beginning
again or si mpl y obstinate ly persev ering . One t hing we shall never
I<now is how th e co mp lete concept for Hoogvliet as a satellite t ow n
of 60,000 inhab itants an d a large-scale mode rn t own centre w ould
ha ve far ed after the sixties , un der th e influence of automation at
Sh ell, the con t ain erisation of the port, im migration and the
departure of the wh ite middle- class to t he growth cen t res and the
VIN EX districts. Tile English New Towns are engaged in a substan t ial
renaissa nce both as new reg ional centre s and as inspi ring model s for
sustai na bl e towns, li nke d t o pu bl ic tra nsport network s, which
co unteract suburban sp raw l. The ir first Dutch f ollower is still
wre stling with itself, its surrou ndi ngs, its in hab itan ts and its image .
On ce agai n: Hoogvliet, how do yo u wan t to be?


" "'''-.1

Building of 60 ma iso nettes in
Wijnru!tslraa l. deSIgned by
architect G.w Fiolet

Building of Zalmplaa t

Second housing corporahon
comes to Hoogvliet (BV Patri

Building of the Antwoordkerk
on Kruisnet)oan in Zalmplaal.
designed by architect Rem

March 1965
BuUdlng of the [jrst Dura
Coignet homes in Zalmplaa t
by Ernest Groosman

Alexander Calder's work of
art. The Ant-Eater. installed
in Hoogvllet

Shell builds 213 metres high
chimney. the highest buUdin
III Rotterdam

Removal of tmmline in

Feye noord w ins national


--~-- --------.......... ,~

Construction of Maasvjakl!)

5 June 1967
The Benelux Tunnel is of
ficially opened

12 August 1967


- - - - - - - - -_ _ _ _ _ Regilio Tuur born in Pa ro.-~



Building of Health Centre a t

the Avellng, by C. Veerlin

20 January 1968
Explosion in the Shell Peents
reUnery. Two workers were
killed and Ihe shoc kwave
sma shed the window s of
thousands 01homes in Hoog.

Building of De Kulk , a block of
flats designed by architect M.

Feyenoord wins national

Feyenoord wins naUonal

Building of Siloam Home,
a strikingly desig ned block
0/ flats in 2almplaat with
nursing care lor the elderly
and chronically ilL by the
archlteclS Krijgsman and Van

16 March 1972
! [

De molilton of the Pruitt

I Egoe Hats in SI. Lou is, USA.
C harles Jencks considered
this to signa l the end of mod-

Publication of Learning From

Las Vegas by Robert Venluri
a nd Denise Scott Brovin

Spijkenisse designated a s
centre of urban growth, as
art of the Centre 01 Urba n
Growth Policy

Prime Minister Den Uyl'!i
ca binet introduces the car
Iree Sunday

The 1968 explosion in the petrochemical factory of Shell

Pernis as seen from Vlaardingen.

20 June 1974
Explosion in Shell cracking
plan t

Enactment of Middengebled
land-use pla n . The orig inal
plan for the centre by H.C.
Milius is definitively termina
ted a nd single-Ia mily homes
wllh th rough living rooms are
b uill in U1e remaining area of
_----__., the centre

nderground ra !lwoy line
from Ro tterdam extended to

onstruction ot Hoog vliet
underground railway station

EnaClment of Rijnmond
Reg ional Plan. O n I he ba sis
01environmenta l considera
tions. this report recommends
halling any fur ther building
work In Hoogvliet

Feyenoord wins national

The rhombus of roads a round
Rotterdam, the 'Ruit om fl ol
lerdam', is complete



........ In the mid-seventies a nota b le

obi siledmi-colldective
ow-nse u mgs, eSlgne
by the Hartsuyker lirm of
a rchitects, was e rected ill
the south-ea stern corner of
Za lmpla ot

~ $ x:~ lqua~er


Start of urbon renewal in the

nineteenth-century distric ts of
Rotterda m

Publication of The Language
of Post-Modern Architectu re
by C ha rles Jencks

In ternationale Bauaustel
lung in Berlin, headed by
Joseph Pa ul Kleihues, with
the motlo 'Stadtreparatur'

New plan for Boomgaards
~ hoek, with a tree structure

The Spijkenisser Bridge, link

ing Hoogvliet to Spijkenisse,
opens to tra ffic


Start 01 'BanUeues '89' under

Rola nd Castro a nd Michel
Canla l-Dupart

Feyenoord wins nation

Rotterdam annexes parts 01
Poonugaa l. The di stric ts of
Meeuwenplaat, Zalmplaa t
a nd Baamgaarcishoek, which
officially were built within
the bounds of Poortugaa l,
a re now ofhcially pa r t 01

Decision to preserve the
rema ins of the old dyke

The underg round ra ilvray is
exte nded to Splj kenlsse a nd
the Hoog viIet Zalmplaat sta
tion is opened

Establishment of the political
party Initiatiefgroep Boom
gaardshoek en Pla ten (IBP),
which 'JPposed the annexa
tion of parts of Poortugaa l by
Rotterda m

Closure 01 the Shell refineries
on CurOl;:ao and Aruba, will!
wa ve of emigration of Antil
leans a nd Sunnamese to the
Netherlands as a result

10 October 1989
Demolition 01 the first blocks
of !lots in the Nieuw Engela nd
district. Th is meant Hoogvliet
wa s one step a head of the
restructuring. The remainder
01 the Waaier was left stand
ing unU.l 1999

Internationale Bauauste l
lung in Emscherpark under

Karl Ganser

In the 19505 , the port of Rotterdam, full of optimi5m, moved further to the
we5t, with the 5ame feveri5hne55 with which the fir5t and 5econd
petroleum docl<5 had been con5tructed at Hoogvliet. The third and fourth
petroleum docl<5 were dug at Rozenburg and it wa5 only a decade later that
two completely new indU5triai area5 were built: Botlek and Europort, which
were to make the port of Rotterdam the large5t in the world for several
decade5. Bringing up the rear, the Maa5vlakte wa5 laid out on a rai5ed
i51and in the North Sea, at lea5t 40 km from Rotterdam. Thi5 meant that in
only half a century the whole 50uthern bank of the River Maa5 a5 far a5 the
5ea had been taken over by the port and indu5trial area of Rotterdam, a
feat which 5uch urban planner5 a5 G.J. De Jongh and A.C. Burgdorffer once
ardently de5ired . But, alm05t 5imultaneou51y with the arrival of the fir5t
container 5hip5 in the brand new dock5 on the Maa5vlakte, there came a
5udden end to the worldwide advance of indu 5tr y. Two 5ucce5sive oil cri5e5
(1973 and 1979) took the global economy to an ab50 lute nadir. In addition,
there were the fir5t openly expre55ed doubt5 about the 50 far unbridled
growth of indu5try, primed by 5uch publi cation5 a5 Limits to Growth (1972)
i55ued by the Club of Rome, which for the fir5t time ex p05ed the negative
influence oJ indu5trial development on the environment. Report5 5uch a5
the5e lead to the e5tabli5hment of5tricter environmental legislation and
the ri'le of such environmental organisations as Greenpeace.
At the same time, the building process in Hoogvliet stalled. The need to
build home s was no longer so urgent as in the 505 and 60s. Automation in
the petrochemical sector meant that the demand for personnel had sharply
decl in ed and human hands were gradually replaced by computer~controlled
robot5. In its heyday, no less than 7000 worl<ers were employed in the Shell
plants, whereas in 1999 there were no more than a hundred. In addition,
the labour-intensive industries increasingly shifted to the new industrial
area5 of the Botlel< and Europort. The figure of 60,000 inhabitant5 once
planned fo r Hoogvliet seemed all at once to be wildly optimistic. What is
more, in 1972 the state designated Spijl<enisse as a centre of growth. Using
a recipe comparable to that of Hoogvliet, a new town was once again
planned, now on the opposite shore of the Oude Maas River, and this time
for at least 80,000 inhab itants. In addition to a great many extra homes, a
virtually identical regional amenity centre was planned for Spijl<enisse,
comp'l ete with theatre, cinema, shops, hospital
and library. This meant that the one planned for Hoogvliet was made
unfeasible at a stroke. The original ambitions for Hoogvliet, affected by the
consequences of these developments, were drastically reduced and an
alternative strategy was chosen in which to complete the new town. The
5till partly undeveloped districts were 'filled in', mainly with low-ri se
homes in a suburban setting . For example, Lotte Stam -Beese's original plan
for Boomgaardshoel< was replaced by a small district with low-traffi c
resi dential areas and for the time being the Gadering residential district
remained unused.

H.C. Miliu s' bold plan f or the cen tre w as subJecle d to compa rable tr eatm ent.
On the site where he had fo reseen su ch large amenities as a stadium an d
theatre, all that"was built was a large car park th at wa s com pletely out of
proport io n. Th e las t re mn ant of the ea rly mediaeval dyke wa s preserved as
a pi cture sque wall<in g ro ute t o t he ce nt re. On both side s, th e remai nin g
area of the cent re , Ju st lil<e th e Zal mp la at district , was f il led w ith gene ric
hom es with th roug h loun ges and was renam ed Middengebied [Mi ddl e
AreaJ. The death blow was fin ally struc k whe n the und ergroun d rai lway
route was cons tru ct ed in t he southern part of Hoogvliet i n 1974. In
positioning t hi s rou te, the trans port ex perts to ok no accoun t w hatso ever of
t he rigorou sly adj usted centre of Hoogvli et , but con centrated mainl y on th e
fut ure link with the t ow n centre In Spijken isse. Thi s mea nt that the new
Hoog vliet undergro und railway st ati on w as built right t h roug h t he
pre ser ve d old dyke and wa s no less t han 1 5 m inute s walk fro m the ultimate
location of th e central shopping area . Hoogv liet's last gra in of hop e of ever
being a regi on al centr e wa s thu s lost and thi s new town cam e to be label led
mercil essly by Ro tterd am planners an d urban desi gners as a 'pl anning
failure '. Th e num ber of inhab itants did not rise above 37,500 .
Th is radic al ch ange of cours e led t o the co ex istence of two co ntrasting
to wn s within a sing le unfin ished urban p lannin g framework, spatial ly
separate d from eac h ot her by t he Gro en e I( ruis we g, th e road embankment
w hos e pl an ned de molit ion never too k pla ce. To the nor t h - lite rally un der
the smoke of the petroche m ical Industry and th e A15 motor.way - lay a
mod erni st t ow n w it h st ri ctly ordered lo w - rise f lats with common ent rance
halls and collective ga rden s, occu pied mainly by port wo rkers and th eir
f ami lie s. To th e so uth , nea r t he polder landscape , th ere were re si dentia l
area s w ith terra ced hou ses and private garde ns , inten ded for a new group
of suburb anites . So in ad diti on t o th e phYSical separa tion betwe en north
and south the re wa s also a not iceab le men ta l schis m. The. residents of
Nle uw Enge la nd, Ou deland and Wes t pu nt. w ho st ill lar gely w orke d in
indu st ry, f elt cl early con necte d t o t he city of Rotterdam. By contrast the
subu rban dwe ll ers south of the Groen e I(r uis we g adopt ed a more su burban
lifestyl e, an d looked more to th e nearby green and pr osperou s vi ll ages of
Rhoo n and Poo rtu gaal , wi thin whose bo undari es th e southe rn
neighbou rhoods were sti ll located .
The image of Hoogvliet pl um meted in the eyes of th e ou tside w orld t oo,
fo stered by t he imm ediately perceptib le effects of in dustr y on the
envi ro nment. Whe rea s in the firs t hal f of th e t w entiet h ce ntury the pip es of
the oil refi nery st ill gua rantee d eco no mi c an d t ech nological pro gress, now,
with the win d in the wrong direct ion, th ey produced above all lots 6f smell s
and pollu t ion. Studies showed that t he quality of the drinldng wat er an d
the air in Hoo gvliet we re among the poo rest in the Rhine Delta re gion . In
addit ion, th e ground turned out to be serious ly polluted because th e new
town had been bu ilt on land rai sed usin g polluted silt dredge d from t he
docks. Several serious exp losio ns and accid ents t hat t ook place in the Sh ell
plants in the same period did not im prove matters eith er. In 1968 an
ex pl osio n in th e She ll refi nery kil led two employees an d shattered wi nd ows
and cracked ceilings dee p into Hoogviiet. A t otal of 15,0 00 sq . m . of glass
ha d t o be replaced. Repor ts on Hoogvl iet in loca l newspa pers became more
fre q uent an d increa sin gl y grim . In 1970 the Rotterdamse Nieuwsblad
publi shed an arti cle w ith the telli ng headline : "W ho came up w ith the




misbegotten id ea of building Hoogvliet th ere?" Th e introduction

read as foll ows : " It's wretch ed t o live in Hoogv liet. It mea ns
explosion s and tinkl ing gla ss. It mean s being woke n up to hear
that you can sleep on witho ut concern . It mea ns smelli ng
someth ing wi t hout knowin g w hether it will harm you or not. The
people of Hoogvll et are t he pariahs of th e in dust ri al cli mate ju st
outside th eir doo r. Ho og vliet has by now becom e a collec ti ve
name for and exponent of all the misery t hat can happe n t o a
person if he surrend ers t oo much to the welfare of industry... ,
This is how th e ou t side wo rld sees Hoogvli et . And t hat's wh y this
outside wo rld w on ders w hy anyo ne eve r had th e mis begotten
idea of buil din g a district tha t now ho uses al mos t 37,00 0 peo ple,
but shoul d ultimate ly ho use 60 ,000 , ju st a f ew hun dred met re s
from the petro che mical industry. And for th is rea son o ne might
wonder w hy it is that any mort al woul d still w ant to live there.
.. , Ho w can you make a district liveabl e wh ich, con sid er ing
everything tha t has happen ed there , is by definition impo ssible
to mal<e liveabl e."
This do w nward spi ra l co ntin ued and led to a painful self
fulfillin g prophecy. As a con se quen ce of t he negative pu blicity,
investo rs withd rew f rom the shop pin g cent re and the arr iva l of a
new branch of th e ch ic Ga/eries Mo d ern es depa rt me nt sto re wa s
cancell ed . In th e regio nal plan for the Rhin e Delta (1 974). hope
for Hoogvliet w as mo re or less give n up an d the reco mm en dation
was t o sto p all furth er bu ild in g activity. In t he eighties , t he
origin al pionee rs wh o, fu ll of opti m ism, once move d to Hoogv li et
from near and far to occu py the f irst fla ts in the Oi l distri ct, fled
to the more co mfor t ab le single-fa mil y home s in Za lmplaat and
Boom gaar dshoek or left for spij l<e nisse. They made way fo r an
ever-exp andi ng gro up of immi grants f ro m th e An till es and
Surin am who cam e to th e Nethe rlan ds , and espe ci all y
Rotterd am, lookin g fo r wo rk when Shell Curaca o clo sed dow n.
Thi s led t o t he exp losive multicultura li sation of Rotterdam .
Attracted by t he low rents an d im mediat e av ailabi lity of
Hoogvliet , this group w as soo n con qemn ed t o the low -rise f lats
wi t h comm on entrance halls abandoned by th e prev io us
res id ents of Hoogv li et. Thi s mean t th at the divisio n of Hoogvllet
into ur ban and su burban parts became mo re t han ever an
irreversibl e and pai n ful rea lity.
The ori ginal close embrace betwee n Hoogvliet and ind ustry
ther eby cam e to an end and t he f o rmer all iance switched t o a
suffo cati ng ho ld. The two parti es w ere cond emn ed to re mai n
with eac h oth er. Tightened environ me nt al leg islat ion meant t hat
Sh ell wa s not ab le t o expan d its indust ria l ca paci t y w it hout
re stricti on, be cau se It wo uld oth erwise harm the envi ronme nt in
wh ich the people of Hoogvliet live. In add ition, the map of
Hoogv li et was diV ided into several plan nin g zo nes by t he same
protec t ive law s. The greatest risks , soil poll utio n , di sruptio n and
noi se in the nort hern area s wer e thereby set dow n on pape r.
Thi s made it more difficul t to mal<e th e spa t ial ch anges t hat were



Heenna Paper. In this paper,

Heenna , the secretary 01
state, argued (or the inde
pendence of the hOUSing

Work starts on building the
Thssenwa ter distnct on the
sHe of the Gadering dislrict

The Boorngaardshoek and
Platen group, an iniltative by
the lecal political party, wins
sufliclent votes to gai'1 a seat
on Hoogvliet Council, chaired
by Hans Clemans

October 1992
Construction of iour blocks
o! luxury flats by Roell
Steenhuis Archilecten a lon

Feyenoord wins national

In 1993 the Ministry of Hous
ing . Spatial planning a nd
Environment (VROM) issued
the Fourth Memorandum
IOf Spa llal PlannlOg (Vierd,
Nota Rulmtelijke Ordentng,
VINEX). In this memorandum
a la rge a mount of expansion
areas were designated at the
edg es 01big cities, to a lleviate
housing shortages =d 10 lure
back to the cities the more
well-off target groups who
:1 ad left tho c ities en masse
for high end suburbs =d
villages In rural a reas . As a
esult ollhis memorandu m,
belween 1995 a nd 2005,
35.000 new houses were

b uilt in the socalled VINEX


Policy lor Major C ities. The
a im 01 this government policy
was to solve the accumulation
of problems in the major Cities

Stichting v~~r Volkshuisvest
i.n g merges with a housing
corporation In Spijkenisse.
The housing corporation
continues operations under
the name Maasoevers. Wo
ningstichting Patrimonium

essential to wo rsen ing living condition s in the northern distric t s. In

t he eyes of the peo ple of Hoogvl let, Shel l had decl ined from an
eas ily accessib le source of Income to an utterly elusive and host ile
e mpire. And t he opt imi sm wit h wh ich co nstruction was started on
the new town in th e mid-fifties had van ish ed entirely an d been
rep laced by a long peri od of paralysing dep res sion . .

also merged and WQS then

renamed Estrade Wonen

11,e State's obligation to sub
sidise housing corporalions
was commuted a t a single
stroke. from this lime on the
housmg corporatiens were
dependent Ole the capilal
market ane! the possession o[
their own property portfoho

Hoogvliet mUnicipal prison
buill by DKV Architecten

Crimson Architoctural
Historians commissIOned
by the Rotterdam Plannin
and Housing Depa rtment
to formulate ':1 vision lor the
development of Ho ogvllet

28 October 1996
Broadcast 01 the documentary
Eindpunt Hoogvliet. Kroniek
van een gello [Terminal

Hoogv!iet. ChrOnicle of a
Ghetto] by filmmaker Gerard

MinIster of Social Affairs and
Employment. Ad MeJkert.
visits Hoogvliet

The Strategische Wijkaan
pak Hoogvliet [StrategiC
Dislrict-by-Distflct Approach]
is drawn up by the submu
nIcipality 01 Hoog vliet and
two housing corporations It
locuses on the restru cturing
of North Hoogvliet and Ihe
areas o.1ong the Moos

TAXI 80.80.80
kAAr' 2!.01

Work starts on laying out
the path 01 the Betuwe line
[goods tram line trom the port
oI Rotterdam to Germany]

Map of Hoogvliet, 1979.


Bas CJnd WUlem de Korte take
over the sp orts inshtute from
their fa ther Chris d e Korte
nd star l lJp the De Korte
Sports and Health Institute in


Maasoevers housing corpor. ,

tlon merg es and becomes
Wconbr on Maasoevers

19 March 1999
The Green Left councillor
Herman Meijer a sks the
director of the Planning and
Housing Department, Joost
Schrijnen, to examine the
viability o f an International
BUilding Exhibition (lEE) In
Hoogvliel, with the aim of
stimulating architectural
debate. The desire for an
!BE was formulatea in an
Architecture Pa per. An \BE
steering committee w a s set
up, w i th members represent
ing Rotterdam and Hoogvliet
Submunicipal Councils, a nd
the Estrade and Maasoevers
corporations. Gideon C onsult
and Crimson Architectural
Historta ns were commis
sioned to examine Ihe pos

-.... ---.~.

"' I 8,.
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Peyenoord wins national


_._. _ .


01880 19122 -





'Orne' Jan Sc:hllikamp from
Hoogvl iet proclaimed 'Rot
terdammer 01 the Year'


24 September
RegUio Tuut, tbe super
featherweight (58 .97 kg) from
Hoogvliet wins [tIe World
Boxing Organization world

: -1



October 1999
TBE Rotterdam-Hoogv!Jel
roject learn visIts IBA Em
scherpark for two da"lS and
has talks with Karl G~nser

l .8 raun

Op zoek naar
Wi; verhuren circa
15.000 woningen in
hoog- en lnngbouw in

3 November 1999
DemolUion 01 the Woofer In
the Nieuw Engeland distric t.
The secretary of siata. lohan
Remkes. gave the ollicial
slgliOl for the demolition via a
beam transmitter

lBE op8ns oWce In a room
at Crimson Architectural

Tudoka Mark Huizingo [rom
Hoogvhel wins gold medal
at I 1e Olympic Games in
Sydney. Auslralla

May 2000
Welcome into My BackYardl
rospectlls published. In
this prospectus. the slarl-up
organisation (Peter Kuenzli,
Wouter Vansllphoul. Michelle
Provoost, Henk Molena ar)
for the lnternationale Bouw
tentoonstelHn9 Rotterdam
Hoogvliet takes the first step
towards establishing the
content and programme of
work for the next ten years,
[rom ZOOI to 2011

13 May 2000
Firework disaster ill the
Roombeek area of Enschede

June 2000
!BE trip to lEA Emscherpark.
accompanied by submu
nicipal councillors. architects.
urba n p lanners. officials
from the Ministry of Housing.
Regional Development and
. the EnVironment. repre
sentatives of the Rotterdam
Development Company and
the housing corporations. The
trip ended a t Expo 2000 in

4 July 2000
Presenta tion by !BE Hoog
vUet: Wimby! Welcome in my
backyard I a t Nleuwspoon
In The Ha gue. The mayor,
Iva Opsteiten . handed the
prospectus to the Secretary
of State !or Housing, lohan

31 August-l
September 2000
Della Holel debate in
Vlaardingen. The purpose
01 this meeting was to reline
the TBE programme by
checking Jt with the prafes
sional community and related
disciplines. Those present on
31 Aug ust were: Pi de Bruijn,
Peter Kuenzli, Carnie! van
Winkel, Na tha lie de VrIes,
Rients Dijkstra, loop Padber,
a nd Adriaan Geuze. Those
resent on I September were:
Camiel van WinkeL Merijn
Schenk. Donald va n Dansik,
Pete r va n de Gugten, Gera rd
Hadders, Paul Opda m a nd
Wi m TJmmermans

27 September
Advertisement in the national
dailies lor a new director for

3 October 2000
Groaten uit Hoogvlie t. a n es
say by Carniel van WinkeL on
the occa sion of the debates in
the Delta Hotel

Autumn 2000
lEE moves to the Estrade
office at Aveling 500 in Ho

October 2000
NewsJeuer No. 1

November 2000
Peter KuenzlJ (G ideon Con
sull) becomes director 01 the
reconstrucllon of Roombeek
West in Em;chede. the a rea
devastated in the firework
disaster in 2000

6 November 2000
Rotterdam submUnic ipal
council votes to g ra nt 3 mil
lion guilders to the IBE for the
2001 -2004 period

Ho ogvliet. Follow ing the excesses in the Oil ne ighbou rh ood, vacancy sp read
li ke w ildfi re throu gh the other no rthe rn neighbour hoods . Nieuw En gel and
was first, followe d by the Westp unt, Oude land and Meeuwenp iaat
ne ighbourhoods . Many in hab ita nt s left because nei t her the neighbourhood
nor t he hous i ng lived up to modern expectatio ns; t he flats were often too
sm all (approximat ely 50 sq. m.), had no ce ntra l heating and lacked a 11ft. At
the begi nning of th e 1990s, ove r on e t hou sand flats were va cant at a time.
The area was in imm ed iate need of drast ic act ion .

Situated at a comfortable distance fro m t he po ll uti ng petrochemical plan t s

an d th e nois y A1 5 mot arwa y and fea t u ring all modern amenities, th e
sou t he rn pa rt of Hoogvli et had perfe cted t he conce pt of a co mforta bl e,
su burb an lifestyle . In t he northern are as of thi s satellite town , however,
t he social si t 'uation qui ckly to ok a turn for the worse . She ll offered
absolutely no emp loym ent oppor t unit ies an d t he groups of Ant ill ea n, (ape
Verdean and Surina mese imm igra nt s who had come to Hoogv liet full of
hope t hat th ey wo uld f ind a payin g j ob were lefLdis aPPoi nted and
penni less in the most vulnera ble neighbOUrhoods. This led to a bleak period
in Hoogvliet's h ist ory, chara cterised by poverty, anarch y, cr ime and ru in.
Part icula rl y t he 'O il ' neigh bour hood, t o wh ich t he weakest so cia l groups
had bee n ban ished, tra nsfo rmed into a 'no -go area'. The inhabita nt s of de
Waaie r, as t he grey bric k f lats from t he 1950s were call ed, were
unempl oye d, living on benefi ts and often owed mo nths of ba ck rent.
Resid ence s oft en ha d t heir water and electric ity cut off, w ere uni nh ab it ed
for long' period s of t ime and were t il en permanently boa rded up. Du e to the
low re nts, th e fl ats wer e used as a pos tal ad dress fo r peo ple on social
securit y an d in many cas es w ere used as ill ega l coffee shops, ga mblin g
hou ses or sto rage f or (sto len) go ods. Before lon g, sh opkeepe rs in the
neighbourhood w ere f orced to close t hei r doors because clients stayed away
an d t he socia l circumsta nces grew increaSingly unsa fe. By th en, lo cal
polit icia ns had given up hope an d left t he neigh bou rhood to f end f or itself.
Green spa ces wer e not maintain ed and ga rb age piled up on t he str eet for
longer and longe r periods. Th e Stich t i ng voor Va lksh u isvesting Hoo g vliet
hous ing corpo ra tio n decid ed to stop all ow ing new t ena nts t o move into t he
neigh bourh ood, and eve n sto pped taking the trouble to f ix up build i ngs
that had f allen into disrepai r. Any atte mpt at im pro veme nt wa s seen as a
wast e of time and effo rt.

Th e broad cast of the notorio us documentary broug ht Hoogvliet t o an

un avoidable poi n t of no ret urn and helped lead to th e ful l- scale
re st ructurin g of th e satellite tow n. The proj ec t was made fi nan ci ally
possible by the national government' s Grot estedenbeleid [Urban Po licy for
La rge Cities1. This led in 1999 to t he 'strategiC ne ighbourhood po licy ' fo r
Ho ogvllet Noord and Maasranden, draw n up by the sub mu n ici palit y itself,
the design de par t ment of t he city of Rott erdam and t he two largest housing
cor poration s. The goal of the planners was to pe rmanentl y wipe t he
brol<en-down , faile d sate ll ite t own off t he map and to re invent Hoogvl iet
as a sub ur b of Rotterdam. Th e plan incl uded a radica l di ffe rentia t io n of
Hoo gvliet's housin g supply, in whi ch prob lemati c, low-rent socia l hou sing
in t he northern neigllb ourhoods was replaced by new , more co nt em porary
housing in tile more ex pen sive for-p urcha se segme nt , ai med at midd le
cla ss in ha bi t ants. In order to achieve this, the de cisi on wa s mad e to
de mollsll a thir d of all housing i n Hoogvliet, ap proxi mate ly 5000
resi dences, and t o sell an additiona l 2000 ho mes.
The role played by th e two largest housi ng corporat ion s in this transformatio n
process wa s co nsi derab le, due to the large nu mbe r offlats they owned in
Hoagv liet . At cri t ica l moments, t hey had even more influen ce tha n t he local
govern ment . The rea son for t hi s could be tra ced t o ch anges t he housing
corpora ti ons had recently made in thei r operat iona l po li cy. For year s, the
governmen t - suppo rte d housing associ at ions il ad had t he honoura bl e goal
of improving the provisi on of ho us ing to t he publi c, but und er t he i nfluence
of a pape r en t itled Publi c Housin g in the 19905, from Co nstruc t io n to
Ha bitatio n (1989), writte n by the Secre t ary of St at e, Hee rm a, th is goal
cha nged drastically. In th e pap er, Heerma call ed f or great er auto nomy f or
the housi ng co rpora ti ons. He felt t hey sh ould foc us mo re on build ing for
pu rcha se resi dences in ste ad of man ag ing th e old rent al properti es. On ly six
ye ars after t he pap er was publishe d, t he liberation of t he hous in g
cor pora t ions had becom e an irreversible f act. As a re sult of th e
' bruterin gsoperotie' [financ ial auto nomy proj ect], all fi nancial subsi dy
co mmi t me nts betwee n t he gove rnm ent and th e ho usin g corpo rat ions were
su rrendered in one f ell swoo p. From th at mom ent on, t he cor pora tions
became market- or iented est at e agen ts w ith a soci al f unct ion an d t here
foll ow ed a wave of me rgers and t akeover s betwee n the com pan ies. In order
t o fi nance new build ing proj ects, t he autono mo us corpo rati ons we re largely
de pen dent upo n th e cap it al ma rket an d profi ts fro m t heir own pro pe rty
portfolio s. Practically speak ing , t his implie d a red ucti on in comp lex , hardly
profitable post- wa r residential prope rty, repl acing it w ith for-purch ase
re side nces ai med at the wel l to do. In thi s strategy, the th oro ugh renovatio n
of t he decrepit flats in Hoogvll et 's various neighb ourhoods was not an
op t ion. Sale and demoliti on were si mply more profita ble . Th e fir st
demo lition , of the Waa ier in 1999, was accompa nied by a fe stive ceremo ny.







The psychological break ing po i nt in t his diffic ult sce nario w as th e

do cu ment ar y 'Ein dpunt Ha ogvliet. Kro n iek van een get to' [Term i nal
Hoogvl iet . Chroni cl e of a Ghetto] by fi lmm ake r Gerard d 'Olivat , which was
broa dca st on natio nal te lev ision in 1996 . This co nfrontatio nal rep ort
fo llow ed f ive indiv idua ls over th e cour se of six mont hs, reco rdi ng t hei r lives
in t he 'Oil ' neighb ourhood. Th e st riki ng ma in chara ct ers were rathe r
fa ta li stic in th eir everyday outlo ol<: t hey dea lt in dru gs or stol en good s,
w ere cons ta ntly getting into tr oubl e w ith th e law and sle pt in doorways on
mo uld y mattre sses. Apart from t he od d d edic ated social wo rker, the lo cal
gove rn men t wa s st rikin gl y 'absent fr om t he sto ry. The docume ntary rev eal ed
decline and dest it utio n in a post- wa r urb an sett ing, wh ich until t hen t he
Dutch pub lic had only seen in America n ghett os. Where as at t he end of t he
1960s peop le had ca lled Hoogvli et a ' pla nning blunder' , f rom then on the
nat io na l press call ed rt a 'G hetto in t he Netherlands' and a ' Dumping
Groun d f or Fail ures '. Th e inh ab itant s of t he more af fl uent pa rt of Hoogvliet
w ere deeply off ended an d op enly dissociated th emsel ve s from what t hey
saw as an undeserved and sens at ion alistic representa t io n of life in 't heir '

Due to the combined efforts of all the parties involved, Hoogvliet's

restructuring soon had an effect and housing statistics continued to move
in the right direction. Before long, wo rk was started on 'cleaning up' the
most difficult nei ghbourhoods and the first clusters offlats we re t orn
down. Hoogvliet's new image was defined by the cranes and scaffolding
used to build the first luxury apartment comple xe s and resi dential towers,
intended for old and new Hoogvlieters. In addition, the Tussenwater
neighbourhood was developed in the Gadering area. Contrary to the initial
development plan, Tussenwater primarily consisted of detached single
family homes for families with children. As a result of these elements,
combined w ith a powerful 'zero tolerance' attitude to crime, peop le saw
Hoogvliet as being safer and cleaner by the end of the 1990s.
Despite this steady progress, Hoogvliet still had a long way to go before it
could achieve its goals: the compl ex ity and scale of the tasl< at hand made
it difficult to get the job done. Never before had such an extensive, large
scale approach been attempted in the Netherlands. As such it drew the
attention of the City of Rotterdam, which for years had had little concern
for the fate of Hoogvliet. Though the satellite town was officially linked to
Rotterdam, no one saw or thought of it that way. Nonetheless, the attentive
and progressive Green Left alderman for Urban Regeneration, Herman
Meijer, was charmed by the well-intended attempts made in Hoogvliet to
turn the tide, ye t at the same time he could see the impending danger that
the project would degenerate into an ordinary build-and-demolish
operation. He had a sneaking suspicion that if Hoogvliet received sufficient
support to take appropriate yet daring and experimental measures, the
result would be something very special and unique. He even dared to
imagine that given the unparalleled grandeur of its transformation,
Hoogvliet could become an experimental project that would provide
examples for all the other identical, as yet unknown Hoogvliets in Europe.
Furthermore, he believed that Hoogvliet had the potential to become hip.
He recorded his findings and ambitions in an enthusiastic Architectural
Paper, which he presented to his colleagues at Rotterdam City Hall in 1999 .
In this paper, he argued that the transformation of Hoogvliet offered
Rotterdam an excellent opportunity to organise an international building
ex hibition, analogous to the successful German Internationale
Bauaustellungen that had previously taken place in Berlin and Emscher
Park. This was a unique opportunity that Rotterdam could not allow to slip
aw ay.
With the presentation of the Architectural Paper, Hoogvliet entered a new,
experimental and active phase in the history of its development. It was the
beginning of a period in which this far too quicl<ly rejected 'new town' from
the 1950s was given another chance to prove itself, consequently gaining
both national and international attention .





.. m


iii Prologue

Intro duction
vii Sce ne 1: 2030, xv Scene 2: The Year Dot, xxv Scene 3:

1700, xxxi Scene 4: 1930, xlv Scene 5: 1950, lxxi Scene 6:

1970, lxxxv Scene 7: 1995

years Of WIMBY!

17 IManifesto for Single Use Only

5 5 Inte rview #1: Herman Meijer, former alderman for Spa tial
Pi a "1i ng, 59 Scene 8: Lighting Plan, 65 House Guest: G.A.N.G.
FOL Jdation, 71 Scene 9: Hoogvliet Cityscape, 95 Interview #2:
Marco 'Pastors, former alderman for Spatial Planning, 99 House
Gu est~): Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek, 105 Scene 10:
SchootParuites, -t 89 House Guest:
ew #3: Henk Molenaar, former chairman of the Po
el da m


15 3 Sce ne 11: Logica, 175 Scene 11: Appendix A Green Seams,
18 3 Sce ne 11: Appendix B Green Space Study, 185 House
Guest: Teu n Castelein, 189 Scene 12: Tidal Channel, 201

Int erview #4: Martien I{romwijk, director of housing

co rporatio n Woonbron, 205 Scene 13: Trial Factory, 231
Int erview # 5: Jacqueline Cornelissen, portfolio holder for the
su bmun icipality Hoogvliet, 235 Scene 14: Campus, 253 House
Guest: Ton Matton , 259 Scene 15: Co-housing, 2 83 Interview
#6: Lloyd Beaton, manager of the Heerlijkheid, 287 Scene 16:
The New (Flexible) Primary School, 297 Interview #7: Jan
Trommel, principle of primary school the Notenkraker, 303
Ho use Gu est: Wendelien van Oldenborgh, 307 Scene 17:
Westpunt , 329 Interview #8: Erik Staal, director of housing
co rporati on Vestia, 333 Scene 18: Heerlijkheid, 379 Interview
#9: Peter I{uenzli, quartermaster of the IBE, 38~ne 19:
Maisonette Blocks, 403 Interview-#le~nne van
fo und er of the 'Tree K~
4 0 9 Epilogue
4 19 Bi bliography, 422 Credits, 427 Thanks to ... , 430 CJlophon


Vo ndeli ng e npl aa l


Sc;'oolParasite 'The Beast'

20 - M u ltifunctional Accommodation
21 - Oedevlietse Park
22 - SchoolParasite ' The Chinese Lantern '
23 - Trial Factory
24 - Hoogvliet Inside Out



Hou sing Co rporation


Hou sing Corporation


Sub mun icipalit y Hoogvliet


Fina l Publication

Final Manifestat ion

~ orking organisation

Education genera l
Ed ucation MFA
Edu cation SchoolParasites

External exper t s
and consultants

Education Campus

Tidal Channel . Ecologi ca

Financia l administration
Tri al Fac tory
Office costs

Groei brilja nt Villa

Heerlijkhei d Hoogvliet
Groel b riljant Park
He erlijk heid Hoogvl iet

Information Cen tre Hoogvliet

Hee rlijkh eid Hoogvliet

Hoog v ilet Inside Out


The Survey



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The WiMBY! project for urban renewal of the postwar sa te llite town of Hoogv liet has been
a six-year lon g experiment, involving a seri es of what could be termed con textual
projects of urban design, architecture and culture. But WiMBY! drastically extends the
meaning and sco pe of what people normally reg ard as 'context' in urbanism, st retch i ng it
to cover every aspect of contemporary urban life. This formed a basis for developing a
ser ies of methods and projects for postwar urban districts, which we posit as a serious
competitor to the conventional technocratic practice of demolition followed by new
building. Thi s bool< records our mode st attempt to develop a realistic alternative to an
approach that has marked so much of twentieth century u rba nism, and which today still
seems dominant especially in urban renewal as practised in Western Europe.

Hoogvliet Is a Failure






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Hoogvliet is a planning blunder. The borough was created in the Rotterdam d ock land s
as an ultra-modern sa tellite town, planned according to the latest theories. Tens of
thousands of Dutch families settled in an ideal compromise between a garden suburb and
a modern town, combining the domestic bliss of a sma ll neighbourhood with a lifelong
job at Shell. It was built in an era when h as te went along with amb ition s and pretension s
we now no lon ge r believe in: emancipation through urban form, and progre ss and
modernity as univer sa lly shared values . The Hoogvliet m as ter plan was not even fully
implemented. Half of the original village of Hoogvliet for example was demolished, but
no n ew town centre was built to replace it. A third of the neighbourhoods were not built
in the modernist town planning idiom but according to a suburban typology. Then
Hoogvliet' s economic raison d'etre crumbled when the docks stopped needing thousand s
of labourer s living within bicycling distance. Formerly middle class neighbourhoods now
became populated by poor immigrant families without any economic re lation to the port
indu stries . The satellite town, designed as a harmonious community, is now divided into
distri cts classified as 'good' or 'bad' and 'white' or 'black', with populations that lead
se parate lives. The town's location near the Shell refineries and the A15 moto rway no
lon ger forms the basis of its geographical logic, but has instead become a so urce of
environmental and safety problem s. Hoogvliet is a fa il ure .!

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towns, w het her in Fran ce, England, the Netherland s or Germany, are freque ntly diagno sed
as fa iled ur ban planni ng prod ucts on account of the soc ial problem s that beset them.
Analysi s the n reveals that neither the demographic structure nor the urban typology is
still va lid, so large -scale demolition and new construction projects are conducted in an
attempt to renew them . The outcome is new towns and districts whose character is
dictate d by a new but equally technocratic outlook, in which variou s social and economic
objecti ve s can be achieved by means of urban design and architectural form.

con t ex t ual urbanism

There is another approach to the city in gen eral and to postwar urban areas in particular,
one in wh ic h there is no question of a city being a 'failure' or a 'success'. Instead of the
techn ocratic paradigm, we may place the opposite parad ig m of contextuality. The latter
style of urb an development also gained a following during the twentieth century, among
other t hin gs as a method of limited applicability especially concerned with the urb an
morp holo gy of premode rn cities and histo ric ci ty centres, both planned and unplanned .
The archi te cts and resear chers of Italian and French universitie s and firm s in the 1960s ,
such as Bruno Fortier, Antoine Grumbach and Christian de Portzamparc in Pari s and
Bern ardo Secchi, Aldo Rossi and Georgio Grassi in Italy - the so-c alled contextualists argue d fo r upholding the continuity of the city as a partly planned an d partly unplanned
const ruct ion . The contextualists opposed the tabula rasa outlook, the idea of sta rting
again f ro m scratch, and called for greater respect for the city architecture, built without
the ben efi t of a master plan , of such inner cities as those of Paris, Rome and Bologna.
They desig ned small-scale intervention s which were guided by whatever they encountered
in the loca t ion concerned, rather than by abstract diagrams or ideological goals projected
onto t he cit y in a top-down fa shion. l The contextual approach to urbani sm also has a
long, com p lex history; while the progenitor of the technocratic approach was Ebenezer
Howa rd and his Garden City model s (1902), the contextualists recognised their root s
large ly in the surveys and urban plans of the Scottish innovator Patricl< Geddes, who,
work ing fr om his Outlook Tower in Edinburgh around 1900, developed a method f or
prep arin g exhaustive surveys of cities and of regions. This was an interpretive style of
urba n de sign and planning ba se d on the uniqueness of the existing fabric.


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Alon gsid e Geddes' regional surveys and the painstal<ing analyses of the anatomy of
prem ode rn European cities, another form of contextual urbani sm ha s emerged, which
offer s a m ore direct connection with the problems of modern urban areas such as
Hoo gvliet. Since the 1970s, a number of architects have taken an intere st in the land sca pe s
alon g and around motorways, which are regarded as chaotic, ugly and banal, and in
whi ch t h e planned construction of transport infrastructure and hou sing development
min gles w ith non-planned land utilisation for incidental built structure s and various
com mercial activ itie s. The activities include ephemeral phenomena such as illuminated
adve rt ising signs, hoardings, pop festivals, demonstrations and even urban crime. The
ma nife sto Learning from Las Vegas (197 2) by Venturi, Scott Brow n and Izenour can be
cla ssed as an early, radical form of contextualism, because it tried to shake off the
sch emas and dogmas of arc hitec ture and urbanism and to develop an understanding of a
totall y ne w urban aesthetic and systematic which had arisen unplanned along the Strip in
Las Ve gas.4 Another example of the sa me urbanist ethic is provided by the architectural
historian Reyner Banham, wh o not only described Los Angeles, a city despised in
profess ional circles, but retroactively ascribed it a structure of superimposed landscapes
as t hou ght the city had been designed that way.s

This is the technocratic approach towards the city, which the earlier modernist urban
designers had in common with tod ay 's governing autho ri t ies who are concerned with the
restructuring of urban areas built in the nineteen fifties and sixties. These districts and



Technocratic urbanism
If we co nsider the city as a project, as a precise instrument that serves to achieve certain
economic and social goa ls, then at a certain point we can adjudge the city to h ave either
succee ded orfailed.lfthe instrument is only half finished, ifits components are worn
out or if its intended objectives have not been reached, then only one conclusion is
pos sib le : thi s city is a dud. That is how people dealt with the city in the twentieth
century. A direct connection was always made between the city as a soc ial problem and
the city as a spatial and physical sys tem. It implied that social problems could be blamed
on the fo rm of the city, and that taking action to alter the form of the city was the prope r
way to tackle those soc ial problems. This obvious-seeming pa rad igm underlies most of
twent ie th century urbani sm. It is a mental ity that seems still to have the upper hand,
especially within the practice of urban renewal in postwar moderni st cities and housing
estates. The latter have been designed with such careful plann i ng, such well-defined
objectives and such ideological ce rtainty, that, in the eyes of planning professionals and
city authorities, every aberration is immediately seen as a symptom of an inevitable
failure. The sequel is then practically automatic: eradicate the ma lfunctioning
co mponents and start over again, trying to get it right thi s time .


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Th is syst ematic ideali sa tion of the most contemporary of urban land sca pes reached its
cli max in the 1980s in the urban design methods and techniques developed by the Office


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for Metropol ita n Arch itecture, the firm of Rem I<oolhaas. The blatant acceptance and
description of citi es and areas re sulting from the unplanned clash of infra structure,
planning, commerce and culture, followed by an attempt to understand them and finally
to turn t hem into a design syst em, underlay plan s for Am st erdam Bijlmermeer (1986) in
which the u nex pected uses made of public space we re turned into a new prog ra mme for
thi s modern suburb. 6 Will em Jan Neutelings followed in I<oolhaas's foot st ep s in 1986
when he conducted a st udy for the Ring in Antwerp, the complex of motorways which
thread s all facets and expre ssion s of ma ss culture together in a 40 Idlometre long
necklace around the city. Neutelings not only analy se d, with evident pleasure, why
fu rni ture palace s, sports hall s, indu strial zones and go lf courses po sted themselves along
the motorway and exi t roads, but himself added a la rge number of pro gramme s to the
'Ring Culture' thereby emb ro idering on the logic of mobi lity, acce ss ib ility and visibility. 7

Another 1980s phenomenon wa s the rise of a project which wa s contextual in an entirely

different re spect, namely in that it applied a kind of psychoanalysis to the hidden
mea nings, wi she s, memories and blockage s (both mental and governmental) of the
suburbs of Pari s: Banlieues '89 by the Pa risian architects Roland Castro and Michel Cantal
Oupart . The object of Banlieue s '89, which originated in 1983 in a de cree of Pre si dent
Mitte ra nd, was Le Grand Paris, Paris including all its suburbs. The whole Paris region, with
its variety of land scape, its historic town s and village s, its differing urb an morphologi es
and diverse populat io n groups, wa s designated as a single proje ct. As an antithe sis to the
unequivocally planned city, Castro and Ca ntal - Dupart po site d the ville sedim entaire, a
city consisting of mult iple laye rs which could exist physically or eq ually well re side only in
ind ivi dual or collective memory. The architects deployed a combination of empirical,
architectural and political method s. They start ed by preparing a set of maps on which
they filled in all kinds of data: cafes, cinemas, distance s to bu s stops, schools, park s and
p laces where people could sw im. The se maps pre sented a distre ss ing picture of the hu ge
inequalities in the ban lieues, wh ich sometimes hou se d concentration s of thousands of
inhabitants without a Si ngle cafe, shop or children's playground within reasonable reach
while being as much as an hour and a half's journey from the centre of Paris. Castro and
Cantal-Dupart then went on a prodi gious tour of all 77 mayors of the banlieu

muni cipalitie s and the arrondiss ements of Paris . They paired off ea ch mayor with an
architect, requiring them to conceive together one or more pr ojec t s, which could be large
or small and functional or sym bol ic , but which mu st in all cases have an impact on t he
area. The outcome was a map showing a total of 250 project s. The overall project thu s
stood an excellent chance of be i ng reali se d, a much better pr os pect than any me ga- plan
imposed in top-down fa shion. But it was preCi se ly bec au se the plan wa s taken
increasingly seriously and wa s embedded into numerou s mini stries and department s, that
it lost the battle f or survi val. Banlieue s '89 led to the es tablishment of a suc ce ss ion of
ministries and inte rmini sterial departments, while Castro was made a kind of se nato r f or
the banlieue s. But once he reali sed that the proje ct was deteriorating i nto a series of
media ge nic event s, he re signed and the project sank without trace. s
Co nte xt ual urbani sm, as rooted in the Fre nch-Italian tradition of purely morphological
contextual ism for premodern inner Cities, in Geddes' re gional analy ses of land sc ape,
economy and culture, in the 1970s man ifestos for th e co ntemporary h ighway landsc ape ,
in the urban de signs of OMA's succes so rs and finally in the Banlieues '89 project, ha s three
features that distin gui sh it from te chnocratic urbanism :
- It start s with a precise de scription of everything empirically encountered, while maldng
no distinction between the pl anned and the unplanned or the phy sical and the non
physi cal. It aims to avo i d qualitative judgements.
- It endeavours to distil a st ory, an image and a di st inguishing characteristic from what it

ha s encountered, while treating complexity and in some cases paradox as positive

qu ali ti es.

_ It formulate s project s from the standpoint of the continuity of the city as analysed, and

im plem ent s these projec ts as a series of more or less mutually i ndependent interventions,

of lim ited sc ale alt hou gh with an impact on the whole.

T he m o tives and inspiration behind IBE I

W iMB V !
Wi M8Y ! is a project that may be classified as unmi stakably belonging to the contextual
urbani sm camp. It operate s nonethele ss in parallel w ith a technocratic project: the
res t ruct ur ing of Hoogvliet , a satellite tow n of Rotterdam, which starte d in the 19905.
The bu rden of social p rob lem s prompted the two hou sing co rporation s wh o ow ned the
ho usin g in Hoogvliet and the Hoo gvliet local government to embark on an urban renewal
projec t in which most of the small block s of flat s were to be demolished and replaced by
a higher p ro portion of one-family hou ses. The aim of this heavy handed i ntervention,
whi ch involved the demolition of 5,000 dwellin gs out of a tot al stoc k of 15,000, was to
attract a ne w cla ss of re sid ents and so give Hoogv li et a more balanced demography.
The city of Rotterdam played sc arcely any part in the ambitious urban renewal of its
bo roug h Hoo gvliet until the alderman He rman Meijer of the Green Left party (portfolios
of urba n and social renewal, monum ents and archite ct ural policy) de ci ded to summon a
meeti n g of hi s advi so rs in 1999. Joost Schrijnen, the direct of the city' s Urban Planning
and Pu blic Hou sin g departm ent, and Peter I(uenzli, former dire ctor of the Municipal
Ho usi n g office, advi se d Meije r to give the renewal of Hoovgliet the stat us of an
int ernational building exhibition. The in sp iration behind thi s recommendation came
fr om IBA Em sc her Park (lnternationale Bauaustellung Em scher Park, Germany, 19891999). The gigantiC Em sche r Park pr oject aimed to tran sform the Ruhr fro m a region of
seriou sl y contaminated land and a stagnant industria l economy i nto a park rich in
la ndsca pes, knowled ge ente rp ri ses and nature. The area co mpri se d thou sands of square
kil ometres and million s of inhabitants, and contained dozens of towns and villages.
Th e project operated on the axiom of change without growth, whi ch meant tal<ing
ad vant ag e of the region' s declining economic activity and population to turn it into a
huge network of green pa rl<s and hi gh tech indu st rie s, bu ilt on the ruin s of steelworks,
co al mi nes , railway s li nes and other monumen ts of heavy industry. Facilitated by a
sp eci all y appointed central authority, the project wa s led by a charismatic director, I<a rl
Ga nser, who di spo sed over a large budget for development and implem ent ation.


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IBA Emscher Park h ad been preceded by several oth er German international building
ex hibiti ons. IBA Be rli n, which took place in 1979-1987, aimed to repair the f abric of the
cit y w h ich h ad been unravelled by the Second Wo rld War, the Cold War and the years of
moder nist redevelopmen t , in accord ance with the dogmas of I(ritisc he Recons truktion .
Th at meant above all reintroducing cla ssical urban typologies such as closed perimet er
bl ocks and street fa ca des, thereby reviving the harmony of prewar Berlin. Berlin had
al ready been the backdrop to an interna t ional building exhibition i n 1957, the IBA Han sa
Vi erte l, which had prom ot ed the reintroduction an open built structure and of moderni st
design into the city. A co mmon feature of t he IBAs wa s t he aspiration to make an
in terna t ionally exemplary p roject out of a loca l problem by mean s of prestige architecture
and urban planning - to turn the city into a showcase of the late st thing in architectural
and urban design interventions.
As to Hoog vliet, the ob so le sc ence of the po stw ar suburb appe ar ed to be j ust such a local
proble m w ith the po te ntial to fulfil an internationally exemplary f unction. I<eu nzli,

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Schrijnen and Meijer proposed turning Hoogvliet into an international laboratory for

radical urban renewal in the modernist satellite towns and suburbs of Europe.

A unique model and strategy

But as soon as Peter Kuenzli, as the trailblazer for IBE Hoogvliet, and Crimson Architectural
Historians began researching the feasibility of holding an international building
exhibition in Hoogvliet, it became obvious that the starting situation differed enormous ly
from that of the German IBA. The scale of Emscher Park was, to start with, vastly greater
than that of a small satellite town like Hoogvliet. Then the central organisation and the
mandate of the director Karl Ganser were gauged to a top down approach. Finally there
was scarcely any question of competition for space in Emscher Park; on the contrary, the
region was shedding its population. In Hoogvliet, on the other hand, two housing
corporations, the Rotterdam Development Corporation, Rijkswaterstaat (the State
Department of Roads and Waterways), Shell, Dutch Railways and the Water Board all
stood ready to develop project s in or adjacent to Hoogvliet; the pressure on the available
space was immense. Conversations with people already active in the district made it clear
that this relatively small satellite town was subject to hectic micromanagement from
dozens of government departments, semi-public associations and industrial companies.
It was made crystal clear to us that any attempt to set up a new and powerfullBA
Institute, with a national or even international agenda, a hefty budget and a passion for
realisation and publication, would be less than welcome and might even lead to rejection
symptoms and alienation - not only from the official actors but also from the local
population. Furthermore, Karl Ganser offered us some very instructional advice when we
consulted him in Emscher Part. He warned us that it was by definition impossible to
transplant a model like that of IBA Emscher Park to a different situation: every situation

demanded a unique approach.

IBE Hoogvliet would have to jump onto a moving train. The most radical decisions, both

physical and economic, had already been taken, and there seemed to be little scope for

developing a separate strategy. The demolition of Hoogvliet's blocks of flats was sealed,

as was the fact that the programme of new building would entail a mix of one-family

houses and apartments, intended to attract middle class residents.

Some of the stakeholders entertained a definite view of what an international building

exhibition in Hoogvliet should be like: it should identify itself with the demolition and

new building projects and aim to raise their quality by engaging foreign architects and by

organising competitions, congres ses, master classes, summer schools, exhibitions and

publications. An international building of this kind might enjoy considerable success in

physical and publicity terms . But would it leave any scope for innovative projects, or

would it allow no more than a cosmetic design layer stuck onto the otherwise immutable
programme of the housing corporations? The outcome would undoubtedly be a number of
iconic buildings with a positive effect on Hoogvliet's image and hence on its social and
economic cachet. But what exemplary value would this approach have for other urban
renewal zones? The level of investment in Hoogvliet and the IBE would create an
exceptional Situation, but the hundreds of other districts lacking similar financial luxurie s
would not benefit from Hoogvliet's role as a laboratory. Contentwise, there would be
little point in reinterpreting the German IBA in this form .
Support for the adoption of a different course came with the appointment of a new
WiMBY! mandate holder, Felix Rottenberg, in 2001. Several factors contributed to what
would eventually become the WiMBY! organisation . Herman Meijer had explained his
expectations regarding the IBE in conversations with I(uenzli and Crimson: Hoogvliet, as a
borough of Rotterdam, needed to become more urban, more open and more lively. The

dilapi date d modernist town needed sprucing up for the twenty-first century. It was clear
to Cri mso n that renovation of the housing stock would not itself be enough to achieve
this aim. Given the rigid i ty of the housing co rporations and their immutable programme
of de molition and new construction, we grew convinced that the chief priority of the IBE
shoul d be t o address all the other urban proce ss es that could contribute to the future
quality a nd vitality of Hooglvliet - especially education, alternative housing forms,
recre at ion and entertainment.
The conve rsations we had with residents, action groups and special interest groups
convi nced us moreover that an international building exhibition which loosely addressed
itself to ' t he population of Hoogvliet' would be much less effective than a focussed
colla bora ti on with those active and enterpri sing re sidents who had been trying for years
to ha ve var ious projects implemented, but who lacked the means or the knowledge to do
so. Rather than bombarding households with leaflets and newsletters, as usually happens
in urban renewal projects, we aimed to collaborate actively with a selected group of
Hoogvllet citizens . We also wanted to root our projects as firmly as possib le i n existing
initi ative s to reduce the risk that they would be abandoned as soon as WiMBY! wa s over.
So th e st rategy adopted in all WiMBY! projects was to take up an existing plan and
upgra de it into an exemplary and attractive architectural project.
Finall y, t h e possibility that IBE Hoogvliet might be modelled on the original large-scale
approach of IBA Emscher Park and might take the lead in the transformation of Hoogvliet
with a se ries of iconic construction projects was out of the question for financial reasons.
The ini ti al plan to set up an institute with a staff of 60 and a ten-year budget equivalent
to 27 m ill ion euros was financially infeasible; it was cut to a tenth of its aspired size, and
WiMBY! started as a small organisation of six people .
The sum effect of these factors and new insights wa s a decision not to identify the IBE
with th e demolition/new construction operation - if only because we felt critical toward s
the all too eager demolition of the flats, which although written off by the housing
corp orat io ns were in many cases still highly usable or were significant from an urban
desi gn vi ewpoint. Together with the budget constraints, our strategic decision seemed to
aba ndo n any aspiration to an iconic international building exhibition and to place WiMBY!
in th e margin of developments in Hoogvliet. That was indeed the case in relation to the
tech nocratic urban renewal paradigm, but it was in the supposed margins that we found
the f ree dom to formulate a programme which did after all match the characteristic IBA
age nda of innovation, exemplary effect and specificity.

H ard w are~ software~ orgware

The Ho ogvliet International Building Exhibition had carried the name WiMBY!, Welcome
into My Backyard, ever since the publication of the bid book under that title in 2000 .
Wi MBY! is a play on the term for one of the more frustrating side effects of public projects,
NI MBY, or Not In My Bacl<yard. The bid book wa s written exactly a century after Ebenezer
Howard's Garden Cities of To-Narrow, the manifesto at the root of modernist urban
pl ann i ng in the 20th century and also of Hoogvliet; like Howard, the WiMBY! prospectus
is opti mistic about the future.

"Th e challeng e for the IBE Rotterdam and for urban planning in the twenty-first century
is not the development of a new urban model that satisfies the requirements of the
urbanite of the twenty-first century, as the model of Howard did for the urban dwe/ler of
th e twentieth century. The challenge is rather to practice urban planning without a
prescriptive model of the qualities and quantities that a good town should satisfy, in
order to always make the best of a given set of circumstances. In future the quality of new
to wns will depend on how planners seize the phySical, infrastructural, economic and cultural
oPPortunitie s that are already present and mould them together into something new."'O


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The programme for an international building exhibition in Hoogvliet, as declared in the

bid book, operated on a contextual paradigm - the belief that the recipe for renewing
an urban area must spring from an interpretation and amplification of its existing
qualities. The first step in formulating the programme was accordingly the most compl ete
poss ible survey of Hoogvliet at that point in time, in 1999-2000. Crimson adopted a
three-layer structure for this survey : hardware, software and orgware. This was a
method Crimson had already used in earlier research and design projects, among them a
study for Leidse Rijn in Utrecht (1994) and an earlier development vision for Hoogvliet
- Hardware refers to the physical manifestation of Hoogvliet: its buildings, its public
space, its landscape, its natural ecology and its infrastructure.
- Software refers to the ideas, images, memories, opinions, associations and plans about
and for Hoogvliet, prevailing among Hoogvliet reSidents, the surroundings, professional s
and lay persons. The term covers anything from an implemented urban plan to a person al
- 'Orgware' (organisation-ware) means the complex of institutions, enterprises and oth er
bodies in and around Hoogvliet, including their policy intentions, statutes, budgets and
rules, as well as the web of official regulations and policy, ranging from the Rotterdam
Education Department to the 10-6 risk contour around the A15 motorway.
The three-layered survey yielded a complex picture of Hoogvliet as an alternative to the
usual sketchy image of a declining satellite town in the vicinity of industry. In respect of
hardware, Hoogvliet proved to be a collage rich in contrasts, formed by the extremely
rapid if unsteady development this satellite town had undergone in a mere fifty years.
Large-scale road infrastructure, residential suburbs, remnants of an old village and the
hierarchical modernist town lie cheek-by-jowl in this picture. The fragments are
embedded in an environment of motorways, polders, industry and - protected by a sea
dyke - the river. We accorded a special value to the places where the fault lines and
contrasts took on an almost theatrical and hence symbolic effect: for example the old
village church on a temporary car park in the middle of the half-completed town centre
from the 1960s, or the spot where the old dyke abruptly ends because it runs into the
metro line built in the 1970s .
The software survey produced a corresponding image. Despite its limited size and historic
age, Hoogvliet is a place whose residents, local officials, architects and neighbouring
villages proved to have very different and in many cases contradictory expectations . This
seems to have been the case since Hoogvliet's earliest days: the ideals of social malleability
and the enormous optimism of the planners of the fifties was at odds with the original
population's rootedness in village life . The sense of progress and the growing prosperity
shared by the first wave of satellite town dwellers contrasted with the preoccupation
with house and home and the suburban aspirations of subsequent residents. Expectations
about the future of Hoogvliet differed strongly too: the picture favoured by the housing
corporations, a new Hoogvliet full of modern architectural icons, contrasts with the desire
for peace and quiet and for certainty (especially about housing) prevalent particularly
among older residents in Hoogvliet. There is also still a sharp if unspoken dividing line
between the young population with a significant ethnic minority ingredient housed in the
dilapidated northern neighbourhoods, and the suburban 'white' inhabitants of the more
recently built suburbs to the south. While many residents appreciate Hoogvliet for its
village-like atmosphe re, non-residents commonly associate the town with profound
dullness. Finally, there is a whole history of metropolitan architectural fantasies in which
Hoogvliet's situation amid spectacular harbour-industry surroundings forms an
interesting counterpoint to the 'official' image of Hoogvliet as a garden town by the river.

The orgware of Hoogvliet presented us with a tangle that was no less complex. Firstly,
HOOgvl iet proved to be dominated by a large number of powerful institutions, each with a
specific task and hence a specific set of legal instruments . The housing corporations,
which posse ss and let 80 percent of the housing stoci<, the City Development Corporation
which own s the land of Hoogvliet, the Urban Planning and the MuniCipal Works
departmen t s, which both carry out projects on behalf of the Development Corporation,
and th e ho using corporations, which officially work on behalf of the submunicipality,
which itsel f carries responsibility for the urban renewal exercise . It appears, furthermore,
that each area of activity (schools, sport, culture, recreation, care, greenery etc.) has not
only sp ecific municipal departments but also semi-public foundations and national
subsi dlsing sources. The number of contracted consultants and advisors, whose interests
are oft en f urthered by the starting of complex, long-term processes regardless of the
outco me, is al so expanding . Another significant form of orgware comes from the
industr ia l environment: laws against noise nuisance, explosion and gas leakage hazards,
municipal, provincial, national and European guidelines and legislation, have together
create d im mense constraints on building and land use. In the north of Hoogvliet,
espe ci ally, they have engendered a maze of (dotted) no-go lines on the map.
The su rvey yi elded a number of working hypotheses for the programme ofWiMBY! In the
hardwa re ar ea, the conclusion was that Hoogvliet's diversity was its most unexpected
quality; t he major contrasts within Hoogvliet and between the town and surrounding
subu rbs - the steep gradients - between small and large, old and new, green and built
up and fa st and slow, presented us with the main ingredients for the redevelopment of
Hoogvliet , particularly since we wished to position the town as a credible alternative to
the VINEX developments [see Timeline, p. Ixxxi] in the vicinity .
Our conclu sion in the software area was that there was a role for WiMBY!, first in
intro ducin g some clarity into the contrasting expectations that prevailed among different
groups of users in Hoogvliet, and after that in binding everyone to a single shared,
universa lly supported, expectation. It was moreover clear that Hoogvliet possessed a
rese rvoir of ideals of urban development and social malleability, along with values such as
modern ity, collectivity and emancipation. The reanimation of these dormant ideals and
their inte rpretation in the light oftoday's needs and possibilities was something we saw
as a vita l ingredient of Hoogvliet's renewal.
In re spect of orgware, it was clear to WiMBY! that the huge number of actors with
adm inistrative andlor executive power in Hoogvliet called for a collaboration model, and
not f orth e imposition of a new organisation with its own development and construction
pro gram me like that of IBA Emscher Park. Our conclusion was that the way to operate in
Hoogv li et was as a small, autonomous organisation which forms different coalitions on
each project with the actors whose interests and expertise overlap with WiMBY!'s
age nda.

P rogra mmatic statement, collaboration

m odel and focus areas
In t he pr ospectus, the above three conclusions were elaborated into a programmatic
sta teme nt, an organisational model and a list of eight focus areas - spatial hypotheses
fo r the f urther development of Hoogvliet. The programmatic statement was an attempt to
mobilise the huge complexity and ostensible paradoxes of Hoogvliet to resuscitate the
traditio n of idealism for this location.

"If the IBE Rotterdam-Hoogvliet wants to be an example for urban planning projects in
th e twenty-first century it can not limit itself to a value-free pragmatism. In order to


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build on the model provided by its predecessors in the last century, the IBE must also
formulate an idealistic concept of collectivity, urbanism and urban planning and link it
with an equally ambitious and assertive slogan : WiMBY! (Welcome into My Backyard!) ...
WiMBY! represents a new design and organisational culture in which complexity is
deliberately confronted in order to discover and apply innovative and pioneering
p oss ibilities. It also marl(s the application of an urban ethic in which the changes that
overcome the urban dweller are seen as potential sources of enrichmentfor the individual's
life within the collective city. The town is then no longer judged by the extent to which it
fulfils our preconceived desires, expectations or norms, but by the opportunities it
presents for renewal and integration arising from unlikely juxtapositions and conjunctions
of urban and other programmes. Urban planning today must not be based on n ew
beginnings on virgin territory based on a pure and appropriate model, as in the
twentieth century, but on the reorganisation of the tangle of networks and settlements
with which we have already circled the planet. " 11


5. Natu re and green ery. Ways should be so ught to connect up Hoogvliet's considerable but
frag me nted area of green space to the main green networks i n the surrounding re gion,
and, on a smaller scale, to seek specific programming and management techniques for
gree nery in Hoogvliet itself.
6. Th e process industry in the harbour. What is the common future of Hoogvliet and the
Port of Rotterdam? The goal should be to selectively open the bastions of Shell and other
harb our companies to social function s such as education and tourism. The process
indu stry co uld thus give a greater emphasis to social enterprise and sustainability. For
Hoogvliet , Shell could once more become a source of innovation, development and job
crea t ion.

A series of organograms were used to convey a picture of how WiMBY! might relate to
the ma in actors in the renewa l of Hoogvliet, and how it could form coalitions for the
development and execution of projects. The leading stakeholders in the restructuring of
Hoogvliet would become members of the IBE foundation's governing board. They would
commission a small operating organisation to execute the WiMBY! programme. This
organisation was free to draw up its own agenda and to operate independently. Projects
would be initiated as follows: WiMBY! generates project proposals which will convince
parties who normally operate on separate island s of their shared interests, and hence
persuade them to participate in the collaboration. The formation of new coalitions
between what were often extremely different partners - between local and regional,
commercial and non-profit or green and commercial - was fundamental to the kind of
innovation WiMBY! aspired to.

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eth nici ty and the spaciousness of Hoogvliet. The aim is to serve specific niches in the
hou sin g market, so that people would seek a home in Hoogvliet for positive, individual
reas ons , rather than on purely quantitative or financial grounds.

Before attempting to define concrete projects, WiMBY! identified a number of themes

relevant to the development of Hoogvliet and formulated a number of hypotheses on
this basis . The outcome was eight 'focus areas' in which space could be sought for
implementation of the WiMBY! agenda in cooperation with the stakeholders. The focus
areas were as follow s:
1. The A15 multimodal corridor. An integral approach would have to be found in
cooperation with Shell, Rijkswaterstaat, Hoogvliet, Dutch Railways and the Port of
Rotterdam Authority for dealing with the zones on either side of the motorway, so that
the economy of the motorway and of adjacent industry would no longer be at odds with
the local ec onomy of Hoogvl iet. Instead they should benefit one an other.
2. Construction of the A4 South section to the east of Hoogvliet, where an embankment
has been lying in wait for this function for the last fifty years . Hoogvliet, together with its
neighbouring municipalities, must make proactive proposals for the construction of this
motorway in a way that they could all exploit it profitably.
3. The town centre traffic corrido r. Wi MBY! proposed not to insist on a concentrated urba n
centre in the middle of Hoogvliet, but to aim for a deconcentration of town centre
functions by taking advantage of the overdimensioned vehicle routes and the off- centre
plaCing of the metro in Hoogvliet.
4. The development of new varieties of resi dential neighbourhood which would not try to
compe te with the generic supply of VINE X estate s, but wh ic h give full play to the multi

7. Ed ucation and research as a fact or in urban develo pment. WiMBY! shou ld firstly aim to
invol ve t he maximum number of students, schools and research institutes in the
devel opm ent of new concepts for Hoogvliet, thereby making Hoogvliet into an
interdisciplinary urban renewal laboratory. Secondly, WiMBY! sought educational
innovati on and new collaborative link s between schools - on the model of the
'com munity school', the first of which was established in Hoogvliet as well as an
overl ap of schools with companies and residential area s.
8. Visu al communications and the image of Hoogvliet . Rather than developing house
style s an d image campaigns as marketing devices, WiMBY! sa w visual communication as a
pote nt ial project with an urban significance in its own right . The emphasis would be on
revea li ng th e invisible side of Hoogvliet, the highly diversified, multicultural reality
conce ale d behind the unifor m facades of the f lats, so yielding a new but authentic image
of Ho ogv liet as a complex, multilayered district .

Pri oriti es and projects

The WiMBYl bid book was successful and led to the establi shment of the WiMBY!
organ isat ion in 2001. It was admittedly on a smaller scale with regard to the size of the
organ isati on, the duration of the project and the annual budget, compared to the
initiating group's original proposal. One of the first tasks undertaken by the organisation
(in wh ich Crimson was re sp onsible for content programming) was to inventory all the
proje cts an d mini-projects that had already been started in Hoogvliet. They formed a
veritable mer boire ranging from small-scale project s initiated by the neighbourhood
proje ct gro up Wijkaanpak, to the demolitionlnew construction schemes of the housing
Corp orations and municipal departments in total hundreds of projects .
For ea ch project, WiMBY! determined whether they could (and wanted to) contribute to
the projec t, using the eight focus areas described in the bid book as a filter. The WiMBY!
Contri bution in some cases consisted of bolstering a proj ect by providing expertise or
finan Cial support; in other cases, separate mini-projects might be merged to form a
large r proj ect with more clout . Along with this inventoryin g exercise, WiMBY! began
~ond erlng how it could initiate its own projects in order to achieve the objectives stated
In the bid book. The outcome was a list of large, small, advanced, inCipient, expensive
~nd costle ss proj ec ts with which WiMBY! wi shed to concern itself. They were arranged
Into t en priorities, th ematic groups loosely based on the focus areas but angled towards
formi ng a practical wor king programme . These prioritie s turned out to be usefu l in later
years too as a guideline for whether or not to accept new cha ll enges and projects.

Eventually we arrived at a list of some 30 projects, classified into the following

1. Cityscape
2. Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet
3. Nature, Landscape & Ecology
4. The A15 Development Zone
5. Knowledge and Statistics
6. Transformation of Industry
7. Education
8. (Beyond) Public Housing
9. The Virtual City Architect
10. Southwest Town
Looking at the projects WiMBY! eventually developed and set in motion from the
standpoint of the priorities and the goals expressed in the bid book, one thing stands out
clearly. Three of the priorities necessitated cooperation with heavyweight players from
the wider region around Hoogvliet, such as Shell, the Port Authority, Rijkswaterstaat and
the neighbouring municipality of Spijkenisse. The projects developed with these partners
did not prove successful, however. Despite their initial interest and helpfulness, and
despite their abundant expression of willingness to cooperate with WiMBY! or with
Hoogvliet, the satellite town was a size too small to serve as a base for serious
collaboration with these giants. It quickly proved impossible for a small Hoogvliet-based
organisation to convert the many words and half-promises emanating from Shell Pernis,
the Port Authority the Deltalinqs Association for the port industries and Rijkswaterstaat,
into action. This was due, for example, to the real decisions being taken in head offices
elsewhere in the country, while the local interests were defended by managers with
scarcely any strategic elbow-room. The cooperation with the neighbouring municipality
of Spijkenisse, necessary for placing and developing Hoogvliet in a regional perspective,
similarly went little further than lip service. The magnanimity, vision and perspective
needed for real collaboration seemed to be missing. The conclusion must be that the ne w
spatial and programmatic hybrids of industry, infrastructure and housing estates which
WiMBY! wished to foster, are tasks that have to be initiated on a larger scale - that of the
city or even a regional one - and not from the base of a single submunicipality.
The projects that did prove successful are those that related to areas and themes in whic h
stakeholders from the innermost ring of WiMBY! partners had a direct interest, so that
WiMBY! had some kind of negotiating position . But here too the process took a different
course to what we had anticipated in the bid book's organograms. While WiMBY! saw its
own role as in the initiation and development of projects, which it could then hand over
to the housing corporations and responsible municipal departments, it proved necessary
to engage ourselves much more deeply and lastingly with the implementation - to the
extent that several buildings were developed by WiMBY! and subsequently sold or hande d
over to the stakeholders. By around 2003 it became clear that the municipal and
submunicipal departments and the housing corporations were prepared to cooperate, bu t
that they had neither the manpower nor the commitment to implement a whole series of
atypical projects. The nature of the projects, in which all kinds of programmes and
partners were fused into experimental collaborations, clashed with the stakeholders'
business-as-usual mentality. This sometimes resulted in the project dying a quiet death
and sometimes in serious stagnation or complete failure . At that point, WiMBY! decided to
modify its position and expand its role as an R&D organisation to include implementing
projects that had already been developed. This was in fact a logical consequence of
adopting a contextual approach to the city, in which the city is seen not solely as built

fabric but als o as a real, dynamic network within which the project has to conquer a
positio n fo r itself instead of being dropped onto the city in a top-down fashion.
WiMBY!'S re newal agenda was thus forced to include several responsibilities not touched
on in th e bid book: implementation, management and finance. In other word s, we were
involve d in real estate development.

The c ontent of the WiMBV! programme

The sh eer diversity of the WiMBY! projects may perhaps raise the question of a common
denom inator. Why were these particular projects chosen? And, even more significantly,
what is the sum effect of all the projects? To what future image of Hoogvliet do they
contri bute?
The val ues WiMBY! endeavoured to realise though its projects can be summed up in a
single word , one which is admittedly broad and subject to multiple interpretations:
urbanit y. In earlier projects, Crimson Architectural Historians regularly used a specific
definition of urbanity and connected it to a certain type of urban planning concept. This
definiti on m ay be summed up as follows: the essence of a city does not reside in its
formal cha ra cteristics, in its density of building or its urban design typology. The difference
betwe en a city and a suburb (or, as in Hoogvliet's case, a micromanaged housing estate
from th e 195 0s) is largely that a suburb is the exact sum of the needs and wishes of its
reside nts, and no more than that. A city, on the other hand, has a relevance to far more
people tha n solely its own inhabitants. This means that city dwellers can profit from a far
higher leve l offacilities than they would normally be entitled to in terms of their numbers
or eco nom ic clout. The multiplier effect of the city is not merely a material one: since the
city is not a direct derivative of its inhabitants, it is much more complex, dynamic and
unpre dictable than a suburb. The city hence offers the resident the possibility of rising
above his own expectations, above the customs and habits of his family and clan. The city
is an ema ncipation machine - not due to the way it has been planned, but to the way it
could neve r be planned.
This is th e concept of urbanity that WiMBY! adhered to and adapted to the scale and
chara cter of Hoogvliet; for Hoogvliet is of course neither a VINEX new town, nor a historic
inner ciLy n or an old housing estate. We therefore sought a form of urban complexity
Whic h wo u ld generate freedom, diversity and choice (among other things by treating
Hoogv liet as part of a wider region), but which simultaneously retained the space, the
green ery , the landscapes and the undiscovered potential of a suburb as distinguishing
qualit ies. The WiMBY! projects were the building blocks for this vision. The Rotterdam
alderman Herman Meijer charged us with the task of making Hoogvliet 'trendy'. WiMBY!
interp re Led this commission, regarded by some as frivolous and by others as impossible,
as an ex hortation to turn Hoogvliet into a place capable ofwalldng away from its own
shad owy ex istence as a dormitory suburb and of exploiting its own contradictory qualities
(villa ge/to wn, naturelindustry). It had to become a place that people would move to
becau se th ey did not wish to live in a generic suburb but in the idiosyncratic city outpost
of Hoogvli et.
The se bu ilding blocks are difficult to picture as related components of a single, consistent
urba n development programme, owing to their wide diversity of programme, scale and
deSi gn. Nonetheless they all contain the same ingredients. Besides the concept of
urban ity mentioned above, these are the contextual approach taken towards Hoogvliet
as a you ng but multilayered town, with all the opportunities and challenges presented by
its ihte rn al and external contradictions and contrasts. WiMBY!'s approach was in that
resp ect antithetical to conventional urban renewal practice. The tabula rasa approach
of demo lition/new construction was replaced in the WiMBY! programme by the
Sup erim position of a new layer. Many of the existing demolition/new construction

projects were after all aimed at converting Hoogvliet into the sta tistical lowest common
denominator of consumer hou sing wishes in the region. WiMBY! saw this as a negative,
indeed destructive, approach since it made it impossible to exploit the uniqu e or
potential qualities of Hoogvl iet (physical, greenery, social).
The reinterpretation of existing qualities applied not only to bloc ks of flats and other
buildings, but also to the mental, nonmaterial aspects of Hoogvliet. The waning fifties
ideals of emancipation, openness and collectivity gained a new, twenty-first century
interpretation in projects such as Co-housing, Westpunt and the Maisonette block s.
Although the established demolition programme and the low architectural quality of
Hoogvliet housing precluded any 'traditional' architectural heritage conservation, WiM BY!
respected a 'conceptual' form of heritage conservation and applied it in many projects .
Thi s meant restoring not the physical form of the 1950s architecture and urban plannin g,
but a contemporary interpretation of the underlying values.
Other common factors of the WiMBY! projects were, on the other hand, completely
contradictory to the orig inal urban outlook. Unlike the old planners, WiMBY! idealised t he
'naturally grown' culture that developed despite the intention s of the original planners.
We moreover advocated an inclusive, pro-urban attitude, as opposed to the anti-urban
approach, focu ssed on control, management and order, of the original planners.
Finally, the development of the WiMBY! projects was invariably coordinated with an eye
t o a balance in duration. Projects were classified into sho rt and long. Some projects lasted
only a day or even an hour (festivals, lect ures and conferences) while others had a
life span often years (for example realisation of the Campus). The realisation of larger
projects in which many parties are involved tak es a seem ing eternity, and even while
people are working frenetically behind the scenes it seems to outsiders that nothing is
happening. Some of the short-term prOjects aimed to give people an idea of what was
cook ing in t he WiMBY! kitchen. But tha t was not the most important motive: WiMBY! used
the short events to give people a for etaste of larger projects and so to test those projects'
desirability and feasibility. Thi s applied particularly to the Heerlijkh eid Festivals, which
were a means not only of live-testing the collaboration between different participating
parties, but also of gauging the reception and enthusiasm among residents. The temporary
billboards and banners of the Ho ogvliet Inside Out project were similarly a precursor to
more permanent visual strategies involving the application of photographic image s to
buildings . A short-term project could thus be an announcement and a self-fu lfill ing
prophecy: the aim was first show what it would be like, an d if successful to elaborate the
project in a more long-term, permanent form.

A question tradit ionally associated with any international buildin g exhibition is what kind
of example it sets for other, similar areas. That at lea st was always the aim of earlier
internation al building exhibitions, and in the case of Hoogvliet a number of the
experiments could be relevant to New Towns and postwar suburbs elsewhere in the
world. But how does this question app ly to a contextual approach, in which the area's
specific spatia l and cultural qualities playa guiding part? If an exhibition of this kind is a
manifesto, then it is a manifesto for Sin gle use on ly. As an entirety of ideology, methods,
imp lementation techniques and realised projects, it is impossible to repeat WiMBY! or to
hold it up as a literal example for other towns. That would after all contradict its most
fund amental principle: a unique approach for every place. So we must be very precise
about direct transferral from WiMBY! to practices in similar towns elsewhere.
The experiences and results of six years ofWiMBY! could serve as an example to others in

severa l way s. Firstly, there is our ideology, our credo : urban complexity as a precondition
for em anci pation. Secondly there is our sta ndpoint towards Hoogvliet : the contextual
appro ach t o an area that was originally built up in an extremely technocratic, generic
fashio n but which like any other place has since developed in its own unique way. Thirdly
there is Wi MBY!'S adopted methodology: an acupuncture of projects of differe nt nature,
scale an d d uratio n, with the intended effect of energising the whole. Fourthly there are
the project s themselves: prototypes for new temporary schools , a mix of seconda ry
school s, pu blic transport and neighbourhood facilities, a park with club facilities in the
green buffe r zone alongside the motorway, a handbook for establishing consensus on the
main lin es of urban development, a pilot factory and ico n for the process industry, a
buildi ng system for transforming maisonette buildings into emancipatory Joyersfor new
collecti ves , a neighbourhood developed by its ow n residents on the basis of a common
professio n or obsession, a graphic system for giving the memories and identities of
reside nt s a m onumental presence in public space, a festive hall which doubles as a
cultura l cen tre independent of the subsidy system, multi day festivals as a device for
involv in g t he local population in urban development projects, and, finally, a specialised
hotel roo m w here guests from the Netherlands and abroad could efficiently write up
reco mme n dations and ideas for a peripheral area.
Any mun ici pality, property developer, residents' committee or architecture firm is free to
select and imitate elements and projects from this range of activities. Most of these
examp les could be applied successfully in totally different locations, perhaps with
different consequences to those obtained in Hoogvliet. The taki ng out of context of
concepts realised in Hoogvliet paradoxically helps confirm the validity of our contextual
appro ach. WiMBY! is after all not a model-like total concept; the urban project we
develo pe d for Hoogvliet is unique, like the town itself, although it consists of element s
whic h are all separately usable for anyone who cares to adopt them.
By contra st, t he conventional Dutch practice in which no one turns a hair at replacing a
third of t he total hou si ng stock in postwar or older districts can scarcely set an example
for othe r countries to deal with their New Towns. In Eastern Europe, for exam ple, the
fund s are simply not available for this approach, so more circ umspect and inventive
methods of urban renewa l have to be so ught. Similarly, France has discovered that
pres t igi ous urban renewal exercises in the banlieues has produced les s satisfying results
than anticipated - not surpri singly, since t he same large-scale, technocratic strategy was
used as in the sixties, although now in towns that were already inhabited! It was not
until after the riots of 2005 and the failure of this Grand Projet de Ville that planners
star ted resorting to smaller-sca le, more inve ntive methods that mal<e play of the existing
qu ali tie s and capacities of the population, for example microcredit loans to stim ula te
indu stry in ethnic minority communities Y Like WiMBY!, this is a style of thinking that
pro ceed s pragmatically from whatever socia l capital and economic development
op portu nitie s already exist in a neighbourhood, instead of imposing an alien model,
bas ed on a specific social ideal, from outside. In this res pe ct, this modus operandi seems
to be socially and economically more sustaina ble.
Most of t he WiMBY! projects expanded on i nitiative s which had already started by
res iden ts or residents' groups or which existed as ideas. Thi s was obviou sly t rue for the
Heerlljk heid . Furthermore the School Parasites were developed in close cooperation with
local he ad teachers, the Campus was an existing initiative which had fail ed to make
headway, and the demand for suitab le housing for the Antillean mothers already existed
bef ore WiMBY! expanded it into a functionally and architecturally interesting project . All
the WiM BY! projects were similarly rooted in a basis already present in Hoogvliet. A sixth

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sense (and a sophisticated survey) for recognising existing social and phy sical qualities is
a sl~ill in which WiMBY! has trained its elf, and is one of the most important le ssons for
organis ations acting in a comparable situati on. These qualities , once detected, mu st be
tran sl ated into a proje ct, and the way that happen s, the form the project takes and Wh at
meaning it gathers, are high ly specific to the particular situation; this is where the WiM BY I
method lose s its exemplary value . We must refer once again to the words of Karl Ganser,
who knew all too well after his experiences with Emscher Park that every area must tell its
own story and that the core of a project lies in what already exists. Refining that core Int o
a credible, inspiring alle gory is the goa l of the project.
The interviews with sta keholders reproduced in thi s boo k included a que stion that
attracted rep lie s with both pos itive and negative emphases: what effect has WiMBY! had
- did it ma ke a difference? One thing that is certain is that, for all kinds of demonstrabl e
and ex plainable reasons, not everything on the programme was achieved . Thi s book
deta il s the failure s as well as the successes, for it is the failu res that can be especially
inst ructive to people faced with similar situations elsewhe re . Although the context and
character of Hoogvliet which shaped the WiMB Y! project s are co mpletely spec ific and
unique, the same is certainly not true of the political mechanism s and the orgware whi ch
may have a crucial impact on the success or failure of a project . A whole crowd of
administrative bodies, power struggles, cases of incompetence, problems arising from the
decentralisation of government agencie s, the privatisation of the housing corporation s
and their new function as real estate developers: the se are all facets of the contempora ry
urban planning land sc ape as we en co untered it in Ho ogv li et. These facet s are certainly
not unique and are ev ident in other cities in the Netherlan ds and abroad . WiMBY!'s
sk irm ishes with the se f orces receive specia l attention in this book in the hope that it wi ll
be of benefit to others.
Hoogvliet meanwhile remains a t ow n in transition whose peopl e often find it hard to
accept the imminent chan ges . WiMBY! tried, by continual immersion in this town and an
unremitting quest for its creative forces and characteristics, to contribute to the
rea lisation of a new dream as a successor to the (failed) dream of the original New Town : a
new dream in which the neatly manicured communal gardens and the suffocating social
control of the 1960s is repla ced by natural habitats and se lf-selected collectives; in whi ch
the negative image of the town and its dull NIMBY-minded resident s is replaced by a
pos itive if eccentric image with a curious but intere sting blen d of se nior cit izens, Antill ean
immigrants, nature and indu stry; a village-like town whose inhabitants are pro ud of it
and which other s v iew with avid curiosity .









































21 November


First meeting of the boa r d.

The members o f the boar,
o f the LBE were Ineke Bakker
(VROM ), lIri A nton (Estrade),
Hans Elema n s (submunJci_
poli ty of Hoogvliel), Martian
Kromw ijk (Maasoevers),
Herman M eijer <Rotterda m's
al derman for Spatia l Plan
n in g) a nd Henk M olenaar
(cha i rman, former d irector of
Por t A uthority)

20 December

2 000

Second b oar d meeting. The

W iMBYI Prospect us w as
estab l ished as the b asis for
the IDE

2 000.2001
Cafe lire in Volendam

2 001
Estrade Wonen housing
cor poration merges and con
ti nues as Vestia

200 1
IDE receives a financia l
contribulion of 1, 905,876 euro
from the na tional Innova
tion Program me lor Urban
Renewa l lOT the 2001-2006

200 1
Wi M BYI p resentation i n the
Facul!y of A rdu teclu re at
Oslo Unive rsity, Oslo, Norway

200 1
iMBYI presentation a t a

cong ress orga n ised by the

Union of Norwegian Archi

tects, Trom s6, Norway

1 January 200 1
The I BE fou n da tion goes
operational. The work o f the
lEE steerin g commit tee is
trans/erred to the mE o rgan i
sa tion 's board. The board 01
stakeholders is joined by Ed
Taverne (University of Gro
ningen), and Erik Staal (Veslia)
rep laced his colleague liri

Het man Meijel'was alderman in Rotterdam from 1994 to

20 0 2, (unn'rnl?d !)uc:<:essively witr. urban and sodal renew"I,
rT'OI'Um(lnl$, and then architect ural pobcy. III 1999 he
:I~rodl:ced a motIon that would resull In the ioundation of
the InH\rnationa! Building Exhibition (IBE) ,n Hoogvliet In
2001 He also commiss;oned the IBE to make Hoogvllet 'hip'

Itx Rottenberg: Who~e Idea was It to make something special of

r ,I' M{H~f.''''' At the llll'e I Wa:nnvo\ved wit~ thc Ardlftecture Pap>" and
IN.lI1tc-d to empha~i~ s('verBI pract,.c d\tems 0110 of tho."" was IBE We
( 'f Bt GC'fTTIany ~o ~t?e how trllngs had been done In the Emscher Park
~(' a:i" vIsited I found it ad very [nte.t esting bec.ause they "ave a
I'E" ~n' view of the indllstnallandsc.:ape It ..vas not a fotgotten spac.e but
- r !l1ey haa found . TIl! m;'ln who headed 'he project saw great polem.lal
.r.e <Jr/d 1J1.,in that Emsche' Pn rk was ilt the tune, r!l1d throug 1l his
,!'1w.asm he managed to .lthieve a great deal With regatd to funding
l~i <;0 on. It was very ll'spir n9 I tl"lli!ly decided t~at the IBE should come
I hO:;JVliet because Mllrti~n Kromwljl( at Woon r.. lon Maa~oevers tOlC
.'lbout 1Il1"lHnent plat's fo, large-..c:a\e demolltio"l, We were- willln9 to
"tlClpate but not in a proJect that amounted to simply demClll~hmg all
,'(>8 and then treating 11 "ElW hOUSing estate In short, we wanted
.Qnlethlll':' out of the ordmafY. TItE.' ,tale o( the project dernandE!d thls_
.\~r..:ordjn9 to Meijer. the fact
tre ~\lbmun,clpcJhty was enthusiastic
out Ihe idea also helped h detli:/,nq thAl IBE' would come to Hoog""leL
. was in c'o<;e contact With Jacqu('I ,.,e Cornel,SS(ln and thought 51'8 Wl!S


very good The etmospl'tera wus.very good and everythrnq was done In

.pec.ial way. Th,s 'lies pmt':Jfarly clear in the wl)lcaal1paktoub!ltiy

ubsidl7ed social prOjects for "elgl-tbourhoods!. M.v philosophy wa'; thilt
~':llll ".westment 'ihOUld play <I fundamel"tal role in the wljkilanpak and tills
wa~ illreil dy 'lrplemel1tad here They looi>d closely et V. hllt people
wanted and Il'volved th~m at.every level Thev were also used as a SOi/rcc

of knowledge.
IS a liort of inaccessible colony of Rotterdam . Wouldn't It be
better to simply Incorporate It into the municipalities of Albrandr.
waard and SpiJkenissl', as hal been suggested?
Hoogvltet was onE' of the first attempts to' b,Jlld a '.illte lhte cllY If Hlloqvl ,et
h<ld be':OmE' An ,"depondent borough jl WOUld r1.lW('1 havt, got where' tIS
~Od.1Y. II. IS fl sort ot RotterdiJ'Tl ill exile where loa spirit or Ratterd.:;m
domINJtE''i when it c;omes to the pI at.:\.tc3i appmach alld .,ot thinkIng on
too Ij'1",11 a sC"'Jle. This is d'fl'litrly to Hoogvllet''i Sdvantil9E' Tflis is \'!hy
Hoogvliet wa~ il ble to ,<ltd,onto t~e wIsh os Rotterdam c;tv counc" with
the WIMBVI prOject and the wlIkasnpak Thai Wol'i .,ot 1>0 self evidol't
Rotterdam really SilW ';oogvli:t ciS an out:yng le.... ,tl)ry ot t he c.ty flf.'iore
190,1S; pUblic. oHiclal5 . ",c!uOtnq thE> departmenl of u ,ban dave l'J pmen\
o;aw It as a sort of b<'lPlshml'rt If tl'tey were sent to work In Hoo~v ; ,et ThiS
attlt 'J de h<ls C:~i!nged dramatically People who ('..lnrt' to work here
>:Ilscovered tI'\at It had A g ood atmosphere and lhat II ha.;a qrellt de~1 of




In recent years education in the large cities has become a Salazar-type

of bureaucratic policy. WiMBYI Is busy developing a school campus
in Hoogvliet, but Is getting very little co-operation from officials in
the education department of Rotterdam. What is your experience of
the decl'easlng ability to organise things aCTOS'S 'the various
It'5 dlw.W$ boen IIkC' that n"ss c.aused Ijy the Iji.eof Rotttlrcwm. nod alll'

Hans Elema ns , chairman of the submunicipal council of Hoogvliet from 1991 to 2002,
esta blished t he Lighting Committee in 2001. Inspired by the lighting experiments
cond ucted in Emscher Park as part of the Internationale Bauaustellung, he asked
an a rchitect from the Municipal Works Department, Maarten Struijs, to chair the
com mittee a nd oversee preparation of a master plan for lighting in Hoogvliet. The
aim was to m a ke Hoogvliet stand out through its use of light and lighting euqipment
in public space. As well as Maarten Struijs, the committee members included Wouter
Vanstiphout as a representative of WiMBYl, Dick Visser as secretary, and the architect
Pet er Trum m er who, with the graphic designer Gerard Hadders, designed the pilot
projects u nder the master plan.
Pet er Tru mme r was responsible for the lighting of Alexander Calder's famous Anteater
sculpture on Aveling, for the hundreds of reflectors on Stelconplein in front of
Hoogvliet's small, historic church, and for the illumination of the rubble-strewn site
where th e Wa aier Flats formerly stood. Gerard Hadders designed the Pole Elemans
a t echnicall y innovative prototype for a new lighting mast which uses LEOs running
on solar ene rgy - and a new type of LED lighting for Welhoeksedijk.

ichting GANG (GAN .G.

Foundation) is an Arnhem
colleCtive of three artis ts
focusing on the 'parallel world'.
w ww.stichti 'The
parallel world is a n inter
changeable world with the
motoIway as a backbone, a
wOl ld of industrial areas, petrol
stations, motels, clusters of fur
niture stores , fas t-food chain s,
indoor skiing cen tres, tropical
swi mmmg p aradises and leis
ure-Lime parks - all of which
are very much the same every
where. A world th at is not li mit
ed to its surroundings and tha t
has no form of socia l structur
ing whatsoeve r. A world that
ca n be foun d anywhere, and in
which the architectu re, the lay
out and the folk are inte r
changeable. Th is parallel world
serves for the G.A.N .G. people
as their subject m atter, sphere
of activity, source of inspi ration ,
their materia t and their muse.'

a nd 'dormitory town'. Only the

skyline of Shell Pernis' oil refin
eries form a backdrop th at is,
for the Netherlands , of an un
paralleled spectacula mess. The
expedition members were par
t ic ularly s tr uck by the reassur
ing dista nt n icker of the ever
present Flame that could be
seen from the old Tram Station.

Due to its high 'middle-of-the

road' quality, Hoogvliet might
be seen as belonging to the par
allel wo rld. though due to its
green character it could at th e
same time be categorised as a
Nation al La ndscape. Although
Hoogvliet is not really renowned
for its beautiful lush su rroun
dings, it unexpectedly tu rned
The rest of th e surroundings are out to be enci rcled by a ring of
cou ntryside. As far as G.A.N.G.
far less spectacular, contai ning
was concerned, th is sample of
many an element (hat can also
landscape adap tability and in
be found elspwhere in this
tercha ngeability formed an ex
country. A mo torway with its
With the old Tram Station as
t des ti nation for their ex
exit and McDonald's ou tlet. a
their base, GAN.G .'s investiga
in and around Hoog
tion team h as explored the won
of shipping Lraffic, a recent in
derful borough of Hoogvliet for
dustrial a rea, and a so-called
three days. One of the first
Entirely acco rding to the peri
things tha t sl ruck the me mb ers 'green bu ffer zone' that has
view of housing, work a nd
among olh er things a garden
of this expedition was the re
a healthy dose of
lentless mediocrity of Hoog
space and greenery was includ
vhet's archi tecture, urban plan the neighbouri ng borough s' ex
ed in the planning of post-war
pansi on from view in order to
ning and retail outlets. Hoog
districts On the fringes of these
vliet's centre seems to be found keep up a sense of au tonomy
areas, pa rks were laid out, as a
ed on (he themes of 'suburbia '

kind of 'embarrassment green

ery' hiding the industry from
view and thus kee ping up the
illusion of 'wholesome country
living '.

present. Why not break up the

paving and place the catLle

grids deeperinLo the builL- up

Ella Dorren , NRC Handelsblad

area, so that the allrochses can
Between the shiny installations
sta re into the h ouses while folk s
an d robus t oil s torage tanks of
a l e at blea kfast (do not feed l) ?
the refineries in the Rotterdam
The times have changed, only
Why not grow regional produc ts
docklands, there is an aba n
the illusion and the adapLability in the parks .. oops: 'Nat ure'?

doned li ttle cottage. On the

have persisted. Today the parks With lots of small-sca le inter

wa lls t here are yellowed family

are badly neglected, there are
ventions, GAnG . would love to
ph otograph s, there are stuffed
fallen trees , grass and even
welcome the cou ntryside an

ducks and pheasants on the

mysterio us herbs shoot up high. 'real nat ure' into Iloogvli et. Of

window-sill , while t he soap di$h

and now and then you ru n into
course in a convivia l and there
s till contai ns a cake of soap.
a bewildered primeva l cow in
fore accessible m anner, so th at
This is the abode of the last
one of these green areas Luck
it is also of some use to the resi
ga me-keeper of wha t used to be
ily, the parks arc furnished with dents and - this is no t unimpor

nature reserve De Beer. Halfway

an ample number of informa
tant -Lo folks from outside

the fifties, there suddenly was a

tion signs explaini ng why it all
Hoogvl iE't who ca n the n enthu

new zoning scheme - a scheme

looks such a mess, and that this sias tically undertake the jou r

for a dockla nds area. Pols' cot

is not a question of misma nage
ney to the rural inn or the na

tage is t he las t bit of evidence of

ment but of policy, a policy
ture camping si te in the Hoog

what it used to be like here at

called 'New Na ture'. An exit
vliet Na tional Landscape for a

one ti me_
roa d 's broad central reserve is
roma ntic weekend'

Under the name P-travels, the

only very ra rely mowed, as ac
G.A. N.G. Fou ndation organises
cording to the accom pa nying
In 2005, t he GAN.G Founda
day trips to'parallel worlds'.
signs it is a genuine 'butter fly
tion. organ ised a number of
They show the Dutc h land
bank'. A tidal a rea along t he
coach trips under the name of
scape's adaptability by way of
Oude Maas vies with the Bies
P-reizen (P-travels), with excur
New Natu re, for instance recre
bosch legion and has conveni
sions to the 'pa rallel world' of
ation a reas along the motor
ently broad foot bridges, so th a t the Rotterdam h arbour and
ways, and of amuseme nt pa rks
even invalids can ve nture into
Hoogvliet During these, they
in n uclear reactors and homes
this slice of Dutch pri meval na
visited the cottage oftbe la st
on mounds of waste Artist
ture without getting their feet
game -keeper of the former na
Hans Jungerius of GAN .G. is
wet The parks along the A15
tu re rese rve De Beer (nowad ays particula rly fascinated by the
have amphibia n ponds, big
Lhe indus tr ial region called
Ro tterdam dockland.
bovines in (he form of Highla nd
aasvlak te) as well as the 'na
His interest in the Rotterda m
cattle and numerous other
tu re reserves ' crea ted all over
h arbour h as a Jot to do with its
props that are allegedly of im
the dockl ands, the refin eries
genesi s: "Particularly the Stalin
portance to I he genuine local
with their impressive ins talla
ist vigour with which pictur
countryside. Meanwhile, in the
tions of condu its and pipes, the esque villages were forced to
backgro und, countless lorries
motorways, the dyke villages,
make way for the petrochemical
plough their way eastward s
the no-man's land of th e dock
ind ustry's abstrac l landscape."
Linaugh the thronging daily
indus tries , the endless pl ains
In the fifties, the origina l devel
full of containers , a nd then fi
opment was demolished in ornally. .. the Heerlijk heid festival der to ca rry out the ambi tious
GAN.G. would applaud it if,
in Hoogvliet.
harbour pia ns The sand that
somewhere in Hoogvliet, Lhis
had been dug ou t when deepen
idea of a green natura l pa rk and
ing the river Maas and its arms ,
countryside would corn e into its
used to level up the land
own more than is the cas e at
aro und it by five metres . "Look,

Whe re ever one looks there are

can see it clearly here in
pern is " Close to the rnotorway - thousa nds of seagulls They're
which is at the new, higher level like ver min , there's one on eve
ry lamppost. To judge by the
_ we see an old [arm many me
run-over ch icks on the road,
tres below us. A moment la ter
we are passing the Pastorieweg, motorised man is the only na tu
ral enemy they have left "You
another remnant of the village
cau plough up a nature reserve
centre, and then arrive at the
to make a harbour, but you caut
ultramodern enua nee of the
hase away the natural fau na. It
Rotterdam metro. "The village
always comes back " .
of Pernis is now a sort of en
clave between the waterwa J ,
motorway and petrochem ical
industry." In Pernis there are
the Shell refi neries, the biggest
in Europe.
The personificati on of this opti
mism and progress -mi ndedness
was WilJem Pols , natu re reserve
De Beer's last ga mekeeper, who,
as Lhe only villager, went on
living amidst the containers
and the supertankers .
Jungerius: "He was sad that his
nature had to make way for the
ha rbour, but he rega rded it as
inevitable. He fou nd the passing
ships beautiful things and was
proud of the fact tha t Rotte r
da m was seeing such a trem en
dous economical expa nsion.
Nowadays we are quite unable
to imagine this kind of ch auvin
ism and collective thinking."
During the trip, Pols' cottage is

Another day trip destination as

regards New Nature are the
newly crea ted green areas in
the docklands. "Lmbarrass ment
greenery is what I call it. Fast
growing poplars were planted in
order to hide the advancing in
dustrialisation A bit h ypocrit
i~al, but sometimes it results in
beautiful spots , like the artifi
cial dunes created to hide the
aasvlakte from the eyes of the
bathers alllook of Holland:

Of VUO'tlllffHEK DOil,jli 'l".l!I",U~G HIlllWHLIIL5

- TOllfDU-:1 lJriI CM4TGHJ or lIlAH" tOUHlU.tC

or$O~INlH 'ET.OCII~Mll" AiI'Ol.A~Osck ..."rN

Nfl "UtIlE Vo\H 01, lAltoflf( t OSWACHl1t VA N or lUI'

troUAn! TUU!" De .sCHOOItSUNt..
JiIIleuwf HAf.UI a. SCHOllf MOOGtAftDU1
Of HfflllJlHhD HOOCVUU ( runy ... '" OI~U )

vunr.c' 10.00 UU. MUtOj'AfIOW ".tiC. iQUllD"'",

11111(;- CA 20,00 UUI

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IN'C)titICMtlfiiGG"AI(G.OtG/ Ol, UIUII




19 ,20 & 21 AUGUSTUS







18-19 January

Two-da y ConshtuHve. .
Delibe ra tions under Fehx
Rottenberg at the Delta Hotel
in Vlaard ingen. A seled lon of
prominent people. was invited
to give their reaclions to the
IBE and the programme. They
were Donald van Da nsl k. Ton
Kreuke ls, Marien d e Langen,
Mirja m va n Lierop, Pa ul
Opdam. WWem O omens. J.P.
Welling. Tieke Verkerk, Hen k
de Bruin. Henk Molena a r.
Adriaan Geuze , Erik Sto ol.
Frans Anciriessen, Eric
Geraets, Arnold van d e r
Heijde. n Kerkh ofs, M.
Vissers, Hans Kombrink, Ivo
Opstelten. Hans Elema ns ,
Hugo Priemus, Ineke Ba kker.
Herman Meijer, Loe t Albrecht,
Els Kuijper. Be n Maandag,
W'illem van Vliet. Ja cque
line Cornelissen and Rob

1 Fe bruary 2001
WiMBY! presents the doc u
ment Wat doet WiMBY I in
2001? Among ot he r thi ng s
it proposed a new for m of
organisation lor the IBE .
The plan was b ased on the
same substance a s the mod
Gideon Consult presented to
the boa rd on 20 December
2000. b ut had come up w it h
an 'u no[fjcial' alternative
for the orga nisa tion ba sed
on a chea pe r and slimmed
down model. It g a ve a much
smalier TOle to the log istics
of the IBE olfice a nd a much
larger one to the p roje cts.
WiMBYI 2001 comprised ten
proje cts tha t e me rg e d from
the prionties sta ted in the
prospectus: a hall fo r festive
events. the A lS zone, the A4
zone. Parasite s. School C lus
ter, Town Cen tre. Rijnmond
Knowledge Economy, the fu
ture of Shell on the Vond eh n
genplaat. qualit y a nd idenllty,
and nature a nd infrastr ucture



February 2001
Publication of the brochure
AlS, de snelweg voor Hoog
=; vliet [A15, the Motorway for
Hoogvlietl. In assoc ia lion with
One Architecture, it a rgues
for a n integ ra ted develop
ment of the infra struc tu re and
a mixed-use urban environ
ment in the A 15 zone

7 February 2001
Foundation stone laid for the
Information Centre a long
Sprong. The borough of
Hoogvliet, Estrade Wonen
and Maasoevers are united
in the Stichting Informatie
centrum Hoogvliet

Hoogvl iet
Ci tysca pe

e Hoogvliet Inside Our outdoor exhibit, which extended along the road s
leadi ng into Hoogvliet and on the fa<;:ades of the condemned f1ats in Saffraa n
straat, and 'The Memory of Wester stein' a rtwork on the fa<;:ade of the
Westerstein service f1ats in the Zalmplaat neighbourhood were both short-term
projects whose visual impact only lasted a few months.
Yet they were elements of a plan for Hoogvliet that was so ambitious, long-term
and large-scale that it could easily have handled competition from the spat ial
interventio ns in Hoogvliet. Starting in 2001, the graphic designer and visual artist
Gerard Hadders developed a visual infrastructure for Hoogvliet, together with
students from the postgraduate programme for visual communication at the Sint
Joost Academy in Breda. The project was called Hoogvliet Cityscape.

23 February 2 00 1
Felix Rottenberg draws up
pla n of action, in which he
~ ~ undertakes to bea mandate
holder [or WiMBYI He will
collaborate with Crimson
~ Architectura l Historians, 00
~~ ~ nald va n Dansik and Nikkel
Reinhoud (business manager)

26 February 200 1
Board meeting. The proposa l
for the group comprising Felix
Rottenberg, Nikkel Reinhoud,
Crimson and Donald van
Da nsik is put to the board

20 March 2001
Board me eting. The board
elects Felix Rottenberg as
ma ndate holder for IBE ~
Projects running at tha t time
, " .... , , " - 'U~ ...1 \..~ were the development of the
20 Parasites in Hoogvliet, the
Al5 zone, Visual commu nica
tion, housing for youngsters
_________________--- ----11 and single mothers a nd an
ecology project (in associa
tion with the Alterra research
instit ute)

Spring 2001

WiMBYI moves to the Hoog

vliet Vernieuwt informa tion


The goal of Hoogvliet Cityscape was to m ake Hoogvliet a place its inh abitants
could relate to, and not a place they saw only as the product of a particular,
anonymous kind of urban planning, or worse: that they didn't see it as anyth ing at
all. Secondly, the visua l infrastructure had to help ensure that people in the areas
surtou nd ing Hoogvliet would also understa nd that a diverse, multicultural soc iety
had been created there, including many different kinds of people and a complex
history. It was th e ambition ofWiMBY! and Gerard Hadders to achieve these goals
not th rough cosmet ic procedures, an image campaign or branding policies, but to
take a st ructural approach, as an urban development proj ect.
WiMBY"s and Hadders' ambition to give their visual interventions as sttong a
foundation in social reality as that of modernist urban planning showed through in
their methods: just like Patrick Geddes , the founding father of 20th-century urban
planni ng, they conducted a 'Survey Before Plan'. The first step was to make a
systematic photograph ic scan of Hoogvliet. This was conducted fo llowing a
sophisticated plan for photographing outdoor images, people and interiors, using a
metbod we developed together with the Sint Joost Academy. This method had
already been tested in the streets of New Delhi, where the programme travels on its
annual study trip. Why go all the way to capital ofInd ia for a project in a suburb of
Ro tterdam) Because no other city in the world exper iences such a dramatic clash
bct",cen the bottom-up wear inflicted by the ciry's inhabitants and users and the
to p-down planning by urban developers and architects. As a result, the cityscape of
New D elhi has become an exciting cacophony of order and chaos, strucrure and
details. Learning to read the fa<;:ades a nd public spaces in Delhi was an unparalleled
trai n ing camp for the vis ual infrastructure engineers Hadders needed in Hoogvliet.
Small armies of experienced srudents spread out in H oogvliet, photographing
successive series of building fa<;:ades, panoramic shots of public spaces and moving

scans made by video cameras mounted onto bicycles and cars. They also visited
people, shops, establ ishments and schools, where they used their cameras to Scan
the walls, Ooors, cabinets, toilets, corridors, bedrooms and studies . A phorography
tent travelled ro markets, shopping centres and fairs ro take pictures of Hoogvliet
people against a neutral background. Finally, these people's memories were
scanned: Sint JOOSt's survey team scanned and phorographed entire collections of
memorabilia and old phoros.
The resulrs of aJl these recordings were entered into an image bank. Tens of
thou sa nds of phorographs were carefu lly divided into groups and given a
sophisticated index for ease of refer ence. This image bank, which was meant to be
continually added ro, cou ld be used for a number of initiatives and applications.
The image bank contained fo ur categories: Street and Park, At Home, Full Figute
Portraits and Memories. They were transformed inro four applications. The first
was an ex tensive website conta ining all the outdoor phorographs, divided into
va rious categories: paving, wear, graffiti on walls, etc. The second was the 'rolling
parasites', big mobile rooms with panoramic collages of interior phorographs on the
outsi de and an interior made up of outdoor photos; these 'parasi tes' would travel
throug h Hoogvliet, virt ually turning the satellite rown inside o ut for thei r viewers.
The third category was the 'Full Figure Porrraits': human figures mounted on large
billboards along the roads leading into rown. These head-ro-toe porrraits of
H oogvl iet people were also transformed into digital f ig ures for use in architectural
visualisat ions. Architects designing for Hoogvliet wo uld have to use photographs of
rea l Hoogvliet people instead of rooting around in srock photo collections full of
unrealistically glamoro us models. The fourth and last category was that of fac;:ad e
renovation: the scaffolding attached ro apartment buildings having the ir fac;:ades
renovated or demolished wo uld be covered by canvas imprinted with monumental
reproduction s of famil y portraits, school pictures a nd other memo rabilia. But th e
renova ted fac;:ades themselves could also be given a perma nent facing, using mosaic
images from the City Image Bank.
Gerard H adders created a set of aesthetic principles for this road map of
applications, ranging from the most temporary to the most permanent and from
the most personal to the most general. The first was ca Lled 'Reminiscence and
Monumentality', in which inhabitants' personal memories were to be given
architectural form in public spaces. Not only would this allow the inhab itants ro
li terally show 'somethin g of themselves' in town , the rown would also acquire a
mysterio us and intrigu ing stratification for outsiders. The second principle was
called Raunak. This idea , which comes from India, describes how wha t appears ro
be a simple illustra tion can contain an almost endless complex ity of images, forms
and ornaments, one of which draws the viewer into a kind of visua l trance.
Examp les are the temples that from a distance appear ro have a clear hierarchical
form, bur that as one approaches disintegrate into thousands of small images in
wh ich the overall shape - and the viewer - is immersed .
The first chance to realise parr of H oogvl iet Cityscape came in 2002 with the
WiM BYI Week, a series of events and exhibitions in which WiM BY! presented its
plans for Hoogvliet. The location was a V-shaped block of Oats surrounding a
small garden in Saffraanstraat; this retirement community _ originally designed by

15 June 2001

'Opting for Quality a nd

Cooperation', a conference
on public g reen areas, co
organised by the borough of
Hoog vliet and !BE a nd mod
e rated by Felix Rottenberg.
The most importa nt pla ns a nd
developments in the field of
outdoor o nd green a reas in
Hoogvliet were set out. The
starti ng point for the confer
ence wa s Ihe q uestion of how
the q ualities of the g reen
a reas could be used to the
best eHeet. Both the residents'
g roups a nd the designers
from the Plonning a nd Hous
ing Department we re ve ry
critica l oj the plan for the
Oedevlietse Park that Kuiper
Cornpa gnons drew up (on
commi ssion to Maa soevers
and the borough). This criti
cism led to WiMBYl adopling
the Oedevl.ietse Pa rk as a
pilot project and the request
[or a second opinion from the
fuurlink and Geiu k firm of
landscape a rchitects

11 September
Attack on the Twin Tow'ers in

Ne w


Lotte Starn-Beese - was scheduled for demolition and was already half empty.
Museum-like galleries were set up in the empty apa rrments, each explaining an
aspect ofHoogvliet or a WiMBY! project. Large collages of interior phowgraphs
were placed in front of the garden-facing walls of the empty flats, so that visiwrs in
the garden were suddenly surrounded by monumental close-up photos , ' harvested'
from cl assrooms, business spaces and homes. On the walkway side of the building,
scaffold ing was erected bearing a gigantic frieze of'Full Figure Portraits'. These had
been collected over the course of several weeks by the phowgraphy tent that
travelled to Hoogvliet fairs, carnivals and Sunday shopping days.
Full Figure Portraits popped up all over Hoogvliet: silk-screened onto front doors,
on billboards along the Aveling and the Spijkenisser
Bridge a nd on an immense temporar y monument in the
midd le of the Saffraan Park: a miniature Eiffel Tower
made from scaffolding and canvas, showing a Hoogvliet
child on three sides. The Raunak principle emerged in the
way the human figures were formed: the images were
created using a grid of round dots, using Hadders'
patented STIP system. Consequently, as the viewer
approac hed the image, it gradually dissolved into
decorar.ive but abstract patterns of coloured dots.
Conversely, the image became sharper and clearer as the
viewer moved away. These initial Cityscape test projects
had a numbe r of unexpected effects. The people who had
been photograp hed in the photo tent a few weeks
previ ously we re full of suspense about where their images
had fi nally ended up; groups of children and adults gathered at roundabouts, in
parks a nd on the pavements, pointing up at their own portraits. Hoogvliet people
trying to find themselves represented a la rge proportion of the visitors to WiMBY!
Anoth er effect lasted longer than the exhibition itself: the idea of people as being
big as or bigger than buildings persisted and acquired meanings that were never
explici tly stated. The monumental human images became symbols of a world in
whic h a city's 'wetware' (peo ple) take priority over its 'hardware', and in which the
character of a city is determined by its inh abitants rather than its buildings. It
suggested a mythical world in which Hoogvliet people were gods with the power to
create t heir own environment as they saw fit. The giant girl in rhe Saffraan Park
and the frieze of giants along the Aveling were echoed in the image campaign
created for Hoogvliet by Traast & Cruson: images of enormous Hoogvliet
residents - splashing in the canals, clambering over petrochemical machinery and
playi ng w ith trucks and ani mals from a child ren's farm, as if the settings were
mini at ure models - appeared in magazines and newspapers, brochures and
billboards, in the centre of Rotterdam and at home design fairs throughout the
COUnt rY.

In the real world of Hoogvliet, however, the inhabitants were still dominated by
other people's actions in their environment. The Saffraan Park flats and their
canvases were left standing for a few more weeks, after which the remaining

inh abitaoes were moved to a new collective housing block elsewhere in the
neighbo urhood and Lotte Stam-Beese's residence was razed to the ground. A
few years later, WiMBY!, Woonbron, ZUS and Studio Sputnik started thinking
abour fil ling this area, Westpunt, with new housing. In planning for the
future, they explicitly left room for the memory of what had once stood in that
Two years later, there came a second chance to bri ng about part of the Hoogvliet
Cityscape plan. The Vestia Housing Corporation had plans to drastically renovate
and expand the twelve-storey, more than 30-year-old Westerstein service flats on
the Aveling. For the elderly inhabitants of these large bLliidings, the plans meant a
major dis ruption to their normal lives, involving excessive no ise, temporary moves
and other inconveniences. The same would apply to a lesser exteoe for all the
inhabitants of the Zalmplaat neighbourhood, in which the flats are located. Vestia
wanted the renovation of the flats to be pan of the broader context of H oogvliet's
restructuring, and also wanted to show th at they were very interested in opinions
and in put from the flat's current residents. Hoogvliet Cityscape's 'Reminiscence
and Monumentality' concept gave us the opportunity ro create a work of an with
an arcililecrural impact while at the same tim e carrying out a journalistic project
about the resideoes of Westerstein. For weeks, WiMBYI staff visited these peopl e,
record ing the stories of their lives and how th ey had wound up there, with whom,
why and when . Each interview centred arou nd an old photograph of someone
who had played a key role in thei r lives. The results were astonishing: a collection
of24 short stories of widely contrasting tone, from the most bitter and sorrowful
tale to the lightest and most cheerfu l, from quiet lives with litrle variation of
deviatio n to lives full of incred ible incidems, interruptions, separations and
reunions. It was striking how often the war was named as the cause of double
nation ality, mi xed marriage , lost loved ones or lifelong rancouI. What all these
veterans had i.n common was that th ey had seen Hoogvliet built up around them
decades ago, and that they now saw it being knocked down again from their
vantage points above.

Speakers at evening debates during the WiMBY! week: Sam Jacob (FAT Architects),
Rients Dijkstra(Maxwan architects and urbanists), Annemiek van der Kooij (Planning
and Housing Department), Felix Rottenberg, Ed Taverne (University of Groningen),
Maarten Kloos (ARCAM), Adriaan Geuze (West 8),

The old phoros of key people from the Westerstein residents' life stories were
scanned and copied, using the STIP method, onro a forty-meree-high canvas,
which was then hung from the southern fa<;:ade of th e flats. At the opening, the
residents of Westerstein and the neighbourhood srood watching as a searchlight
moved over the canvas. As fragments of the life stories were read aloud, the
spotlight focused on the portrait that had triggered the memories. With the booklet
'The Memory of Wester stein' in hand, visitors could then 'read' the fa<;:ade a nd gain
access to the web of memories hidden behind it. This project was also temporary:
after a couple of weeks, Bouwen Woningtoezicht [the Building Authority] decreed
that the canvas had to be removed because it did not comply with reg ulations.
Months of negotiations resulted in a new technique for hanging the canvas, as well
as in a new location: the northern fa<;:ade. This had an unex pected result: there was
a drastic increase in the speed of the visual effect in which the viewer could better
discern the images as he moved away or lost himself in a pattern of dots as he
approached. Underground railway travellers could see the northern fa<;:ade as soon
as their t rai n eoeered Hoogvliet kilomet res away; the Westerstein residents' memories
form ed a picture and then dissolved again in a matter of seconds, li ke a mirage.

24 September
Round table on the Oeden
vlietse Park in the Informa
tion Centre. The following
people attended: jeroen
de Bok, Ashok Bhalotra,
Wouter Bolsius, jacqueline
Cornelissen, Chris Dijkstra,
Eric Feenstra, jon van Eenen
naam, Hans Elemans, Cor

Geluk, Frans de jager, Floor

van der Kemp, Annemieke

van der Kooy, Christian

Messing, Gabie Mulders, An

nuska Pronkhorst, Michelle

Provoost. Willem Reedijk,

Nikkel Reinhoud, Nelly de

Ridder, Wouter Vanstiphout,

jeanne van der Velden, Tieke

Verkerk, Mr. Vos and Caroline
_ -_ _ _ _ _- - - - The !BE wanted to bring up
the 'blank sheet' mentality of
the restructuring and com
missioned the landscape
architect Cor Geluk to react
to the plan by Ashok Bhalotra
with an alternative ou tline
plan. By carrying on discus
sio ns on two contrasting
urban planning approaches,
the IBE's intention was to
come up with new and
u sable ideas for the renewal
of Hoogvliet. Bhalotra's plan
refers to the multi-ethnic
society and civic pride, but
this is nowhere to be seen in
the architecture of the new
district. Cor Geluk says that
the stratification and history
of the landscape should be
the essential benchmarks for
any new design. For WiMBYI,
the resulting division was the
basis for reflection on a way
to settle harmoniously the
lack of clarity that had arisen
about Hoogvliet's urban plan
ning character by means of
the Logica project.

- - S.

Hoogvliet promotes itself on Witte de Withstraat, Rotterdam Centre.


... u'\.':!


Autumn 2001
Start of Logica projec t (in
collaboration with Maxwan
architects and urbanists)

September 2001
WiMBYI presentation in tour
ing Utopia Now exhibition.
Went to San Francisco, Milan
and Maastricht


By now, renovation work has also begun on the northern fa<;ade of Westers rein and
the canvas has been removed. A few guores :
"Mrs Ba stinck met her futur e husband at a dan ce class. The fir st period of their marriage Was
not easy. Her husband had been born in Dusseldorf and so ha d German nati ona lity, but he
had lived in the Net her lands since he wa s two. When the couple married in 1941, he st ill
had a German passport and was required to serve his country . He wa s assigned to the
Afrikakorps, wh ere he spent eight months in the desert, far away from his wife. But than ks
to hi s knowledge of the Dutch lang uage and cu lture, he wa s soon stat ioned in the
Netherlan ds. "
"Mr s van de Bo s cannot sit sti ll. She misses her respon sibiliti es . Now that both her husba nd
and another person from the flat she help ed care for have pa ss ed away, she can't stop
fidgeting . She ha s also stopped her work in the flat, and as a result she doesn't know wh at
to do with all her energy. In ord er to keep it in check, she plays marathon sessions of cards
f rom ten in the morning until ten at night, and she helps out in the canteen. She also hel ps
with the jumble sale and at the florist's. She's 85, but as she says herself, "I could stil l jump
over We ste rstein'" She doe s w orry that the worl(s planned will mean she might have to
move out of Wester stein. She's such a neatness freak that everything would have to be
st erili sed before it was moved: a horri ble job she's already dreading."
"Wil and Freek Brinkman have two children who bot h grew up in Hoog vliet. Wil Brink man
still ha s pleasant memories of their childhood. "During the summer holidays, you could send
your kids out for the day with a bicycle, a fishing pole, so me potato es and flour. It was safe,
you knew they 'd come hom e that evening without a scratch.' According to the couple, much
has chan ged since those days. They used to st roll through the neighbourhood i n t he
evenings to chat with their neighbours, but these days they take t heir car if they go
somewhere in the eveni ng. Th ey left th eir Hoogvli et home be cau se they no longer f elt safe
there. Wil says she felt so unsafe that for a long time she slept with a knife under her pillow.
Because they both were determined to stay in Hoogvli et, West erstein wa s the id eal place to
"Mrs Cijntje was born in San ta Marta, Colomb ia. She grew up with her brothers and sist ers in
her parent s' finca, a large farm that grew fruit, coffee and ri ce and raised horses and
chickens. Mr s Cijntje describe s herself in her youth as a girl who lov ed 'making fool s of th e
boys'. It wa sn' t ea sy for her to m eet boys. Her parents had an unusual way of keeping track
of her. When their daughter went out, they would spit on t he groun d . If she had n't returned
home by the time the spit had dried, she w as gro unded for a week.".

October 2001
The Lig hting Plan H00g vliet
w orkg roup starls Its d eliber
a tion s u nder M aarten Strui, s.
It w as set up in r e sponse to
the exp erimental ligh ting
a pplica tion s in lEA Emscher
park. Its ai m w as to Int rod uce
Ihe use of LED l ighting, new
fittings and e nergy-saving to
Ho ogvliet

10 October 2001
O penin g 01 the Europan
exh ibition in the Hoog vliet
Ver nieuwt inlor ma llon centre.
Europan is a European com
p etition for young a rchitect s.
Hoogvliet w as one of the
research loca tions. The Euro
pan site lies on the transition
from the Nleuwe Engela nd
distri CI to the green zone
along side the A J5, and IS part
01 the pe trochemical indu stry
h igh-r isk a rea. A p rogramme
of home/work unlls w as to
b e crea ted on thi s sile. M ore
tha n thi r ty p lans were drawn
up b y you ng architects from
all Over Europe. Th e two wi n
ning plan s w e re presented
and there was a debate mod
era ted by Wouter Vanst iphout
(IBE). The participan ts w ere
Wyt ze Pa tijn (chairman o f
the Eu ropan ju ry), Michelle
P rovoost ([BE), Ion van
Eenennaam (Woon b ron
Maasoevers) and the two
prizewi nners, Pa trick Maijers
(Ci m ka) and Stela n Bendiks
(Artgi neerin g)

23 November

2 001

Conclusion of a series 01
agreements in which the
hou sing wishes o f young sin
gle mothers w ere exami ne d
(comm issioned by Woonbron
Maasoevers in associa tion
with WiMBY!)

2 7 N ovember
W iMBYI p resentation at the
Interna tiona l Metropolis Con
ference in Ro tterdam


Pim Fortuyn asked Marco Pastors to be alderman for Urban

Development fo r his party Leefbaar Rotterdam in 2002. He
initiated the Groeibriljanten campaign in 2003, in which the
Heeriljkheid Hoogvliet participated. He was rorced to step
down following a motion of no confjdence in 2005, after
which he t urned to national politics. His party EenN L did not
win any seats in the parliamentary e lections of November

tlmberg: When did you have the feelin,g t hat you had
e u nd or control at Urban Development? Afte r all, it's a
ed business; t he issue of undifferentiated housing, t he
ring plans and their realisation .
In!l;. When I arrived, I saw that thero were 'too many rron:; in the
ilS no clear goal People didn't think. "If we start something,
~ I t " It was a terrible s'l tuatlon. Th~ department had no dear
and there was too httle political dir('ction under the PvclA
rty) Not enough action was taken and, moreover. every plan
"' ap pro'Jed lust "ke that, as long as the alderman liked It
was a great idea It was a V1CIOUS circle, and, intervened
fling out the fires heating up all those irons.
roeibriljanten campaign your idea?
y came about as a result of my COMlction thaI relatively small
"ol1s in a neighbourhood can lead to a big improvement. These of

to bo the good !Oterventions, and should also be see"



pie Ara rt from that, I was Irntated with the arrogance of the
cour ~ ,I . wlllCh was playing divide and conqu er and always thought they
knev. .' -:: t. That attitude is ono of ihe reasonS why people arc aonoyed
government. The solution LO this is simple. namely' letting
eClde themselves ,f somethng has to happen and in what form
w(jlt: '1 to wse the Groeibriljdntcn HS a way of l1stening to the voices calling
ow, ,Jest tor help, To dig il hole where people want it, and to keep
tr'I 1<I' ,' : they are ,( they don' t warll any inconvenience from the
CO f'.~'i~:!: tro ns , Then you 're unprov'"9 thl'19S , I was sensitive to that. Thai
1" power of the Groclbri/ja'1 tcl1 , it replaced the top down planning
b y . /> - c;o,lncll of Interventions lhOlt were meant to involve people. Actulllly,
tro., ,, t>I.i;briIJanf~n campaign was a suro success even befolelt started
T":-- ;t'ver nmenl was hardly letting Inhabitants CJ\press theil Viewpoints.
hc . I 4d their own ideas,about the right thing to do, Thlll maybe the case
bl. - ,j lhase Inhilbltants don't see itthat way. you overshoot the mark , That
b<ld situation. Groeibriljanlen created a client and rewarded the


flll r ,. (" r, part1cipation.

So ." fact that subsidy stimulated the people's ability to get things
d c':!(' independently. rather than through paternalistic action by the
9 0 \l" m ment?
",atter of c:ol'aboration betwect1 politicians and the c1tlzens to get
, ' II service to work differently; Good companies are continually
flttng and recreating themselves. otherwise thay go ba'lkrupt_There
o notion of sLlch a thing

with civil servants, so YOli have to use

native stimuli
th at lead to opposit ion from the Es,tabllshment?
u roeibfl/janren campaign led to conSIderable opposil,on from city
Itte council deparlmerts and the submunicpalilfe~ They were afraid
' 11 hunch of awful plans were being cilrried oul Thilt 's that sanle
tude of thinking you know beiter and belOg afraid of evcrythfng that
Id p05sibly go wrong , I set a cleat course \0 get what I wiII1ted ,
re are endless operational problom:; 'Inllolved in realising a
ei b rlljanten project like the Heerlijkheid Hoogvllet, ,a nd these




The Rotterdam photographer Ari Versluis and stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek

have been working together since 1994. Their most well-known work is
the series Exactitudes, a systematic documentation of countless
identities and types of people, inspired on the heterogeneous, multi
cultural citizens of Rotterdam. They stayed at the Tram Station during
the Heerlijkheid Festival of 2003 and not only took photo's of
Hoogvliet, but also scouted two boys who figured in their HEMA
commercial-campaign. As a result ofthe campaign two Hoogvliet boys
were present all over The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium for two
and a half years.


R novation of the Tra m

S~ tion starts. Architect Ben
Cohen Iron-: the De Ni)l arch!
lects fi rm (Rotterd<:m) c re a ted
the desig n for the lIllenor.
Van l.oVijnga orden headed the

3 December 2 001
fi rst professional cons ulta
tion. Members: Julie tte
Bekkering. Kees Chrlsti aa nse.
Bert van Meggeien. Hugo
Priemus. Ed Taverne and
Rutger Wolfson. The fol lowing
projects were presented a nd
discussed: Log ica, the Green
Seams, Ecolog ica and the
Tidal Channel

1 S eptember 2001
Annuska Pronkhorst joins the

1 October 2001
Simone Rots joins the sta ff

December 2001
FAT architects are g iven a
desig n briellor the He erlijk
heid Hoogvliet

1 December 2001
Wilma Kempinga joins the
!BE tea m a s head of the Ed u
ca tion Projec t

Hoog vliet gets a second un
derground ra ilway link a nd a
new station: Thssenwater

Jan uary 2002

House Guests. The artis t Li no
Hellings visi ts HoogvUet,
which results in the bookle t
Vrije tijd in Hoogvliet (Le is
ure in Hoog vbetl

31 January 2002
Wintery WiMBYI wa lk
through Hoogvliet

27 February 200 2
Felix Rottenberg interviews
Pim Fortuvn on the Slot
Rottenberg televisi on pro

Ma rch 2002
COmpletion of '[en getijden
geul door J-[oo g vli~t' [A TIdal
Cha nnellh rough Hoog vlietl
report bv BureaL. Stroming



THE BEAST SchoalPorasite

The Flower has six semicircular sliding panels, which can be used to divide the building into separate
workspaces for meetings or individual tutoring. The six compartments can be combined to create bigger
spaces or can be opened up into one large space with a flower-shaped floor plan and a round skylight in
the centre that provides unique light effects. The Flower is furnished with an epoxy floor in the client's
colour of choice. The building is constructed using wooden support elements coated in low-maintenance
steel plating, in the client's colour of choice. Due to its tough construction materials, the building can
stand up to rough treatment. The building's abstract, geometric shape is harmonious with today's
standard schools. The round shape allows the SchoolParasite to fit in easily amongst existing structures;
the school's outdoor spaces are thus not interrupted by a temporary building.
Desig n : Ba rend Koolhaas , Rotterda m
Contracto r: Verloat Hardinxveld Bouwsyste men, Albla sserdam


The Beast consists of nine large prefab panels made from sturdy, unfinished scaffolding planks. The
?uilding can be put together in four days after delivery to the construction site. Sounds can be produced
In this freestanding bu ilding without causing any interference to other school activities. The Beast has
a strong shape: it does not conform in any way to its environment, and could stand on a roof just as easily
as in a schoolyard. On the inside the Beast is set up like a simple theatre, with ascending rows of seats
for an optimal view of the stage. Opposite the stage, an immense picture window provides a view of
the surrounding area, and passers-by can catch a glimpse of what is going on inside. At the moment, the
sbtudents are using the Beast for rehearsals with the Antillean brass band and as refectory during the


Design: Onix, Gron ing en

Contractor: BV Bouwbedrijf Ko o i, Appingedom



The outer skin of the Chinese Lantern consists of 28 curved wall panels made of thin steel with an
insulating layer in the middle. These panels can be easily and cheaply mass-produced using a large
mould . There are limitless options for dividing the interior space, making it suitable for all kinds of
activities. The Tuimelaar primary school uses the Lantern as a kitchen and refectory; it is a comfortable
space where the children can eat breakfast in the morning and in which cooking classes are taught
during the day. The name of the structure refers not only to its shape, but also to the light it emits
through the inflatable 'ceiling cushion' at the top. This round, brightly coloured SchoolParasite i~ a
cheerful, festive addition to the existing school, to which it is connected via a separate structure. This
structure contains the toilet and pantry. A bench runs along the outside of the Chinese Lantern, which
allows the building to function as a kind of street furniture as well.


Design: Chri stoph Seyferth

Contra ctor: Bouw's Staalbouw B.Y., Barneveld



neighbourhood, could be allowed to 'degenerate' into an object of standard

consumption. But necessity knows no laws: if people wanted to keep up with the
explosi ve urban expansion, there was no time to give each school a unique design.
The standard design became the norm. The City of Rotterdam developed its own
school model, which it repeated at hundreds of sites throughout the city. At first the
schools were built traditionally, but starting in the 1960s they were built using
prefab systems. As a result, the construction time for a 7-classroom school was
whittled down to nme months. The deSign of these modular schools was austere,
but not indifferent. There were various models: the cross school , the H-school and
the bl ock school. Architects did not have much room to manoeuvre within the
strict government regulations and tight budgets; nonetheless they managed to take
advantage of every possibility for architectural variation. They chose bricks and
panels il l va.rious colours for the fa\=ades and used the sta irwells to create un ique
featu res: the H-school has two staircases that cross one another in a glass-encased
space, allowing the runn ing children to be seen from the outside, and the cross
school has a stairwell with an attractive skylight. The modernist-efficient style did
not allow any other architectural frivolities.
Even more influential than the austerity of the schools' exteriors were the
limitations imposed by successive government cutbacks on how the interiors were
to be arra nged. While education expertS a imed to replace classical education with
more social and community activities, the circulars from the M inistry of Education
made it as good as impossible to create the required spaces for such aCtivities (an
audiroriu m, community hall). The first' brede scholen' [community schools] were
set up abroad (in Scandinavia, for example) in the 1950s. These combined a
primary school , secondary school and a community centre. The Dutch standard
schoo!, on the other hand, consisted of an entrance hall, corridors, classrooms and
nothing else . Through the skilful arrangement of square metres and a creative
interp retation of the rules, architeCts managed to stretch the typical corridor school
structu re. Using sliding walls (which allowed twO classrooms to be combined into
an 'auditorium') , extra-wide corridors and temporary partition walls, architects
attempted to create an environment that nevertheless favoured a broadening of
pos~ibilities for education.

n the early years of Hoogvliet's restructuring, the borough and the housing cor
porations were primarily occupied with the construction of new housing and
had their hands full organising extensive demolition and construCtion projects.
Because WiMBY! had been given the task of transforming Hoogvliet into a lively,
dynamic urban distric t, we decided to focus primarily on faCtOrs other than hous
ing. Of the public services that must be well organised in order to give future value
to a district and to make it attractive to new inhabitants, education is the most
important. With a housing plan aimed at creating more single-family homes, this
was increasingly relevant: the quality of the schools and the education they offer
would always be a factor in a fami ly's decision whether or not to move to Hoog
vliet. The creation and construction of good schools is therefore an essentia l ele
ment of the restructuring process, which has the long-term goal of making Hoog
vliet a better place to live.
Yet we thought it even more important that the schools be good now, immed iately,
for current residents, and not only for future residents. Schools in disadvantaged
areas like Hoogvliet face extreme difficulties: the schools have quickly transformed
into ' black ' schools (schools with a high percentage of ethnic minority children),
m a ny students have a language deficiency, and the local inhabitants often move
away, resulting in a low number of children who finish their primary education in
one school. The buildings are often old, dilapidated and dirty, and though there are
long-term plans for new Structures for a number ofHoogvliet primary schools, to
date the restructuring has had a few unexpected negative effects on education: the
often ab rupt demolition and slow construCtion of new housing has resulted in
residents moving away and students leaving. This not only causes turmoil, but also
results in empty classrooms. The schools ate then allocated lower budgets , which
causes them to decline even further. Once the houses have finally been comp leted
and the ca ndidate-inhabitants come to take a look around, they find shab by, dismal
schools, which will not have a positive influence on their decision whether or not (0
come to Hoog vliet. It seems that when it came to education, a drastic system error
crept into the restructuring plans.
The obvious importance of quality primary education for Hoogvliet today and
tomorrow was the reason WiMBY! decided to evaluate the schools' infrastructure
and to have in-depth dialogues with Hoogvliet's primary school principals about
their problems, desires and ideas.

Constantly making adjustments

Standard schools
For the most part, Hoogvliet's schools date from the 1950s and '60s. JUSt like the
block s of flats , their main characteristic is the speed and scale with which they were
built. Standardisation, industrialisation and modular construction defined the
structure of both homes and schools. In the 1950s, th is led to the fundamental
debate about whether a public building like a school, which in pre-war urban
planning had primarily been seen as an important central element for a



As soon as the schools were put to use, the school principals continued to stretch
these possibil ities. From day to day, they improvised a consta nt stream of
conversions , adaptations and rearrangements, cont inually adding new layers to the
originally austere school buildings. In the 1960s and '70s, the schoo ls primarily had
to adjust to the tidal wave of new students they had to deal with, which sometimes
res ulted in classes of over 50 students. From the 1980s, more rapid and drastic
changes steadily began to take place: the Primary School Law was brought into
force in 1985, which removed the division between pre-school and primary school,
resulting in the former pre-schools moving in with the primary schools. During the
same period, the multicultural society slowly began to emerge in the Netherlands,
and in Hoogvliet in particular. There was an increase first in Surinamese and
Anti llean, and later Turkish and Moroccan residents. The demographic shift that
took place over only tWO decades can be seen clearly in the class photos: from 98%
nati ve Dutch children in the 1980s to 98% ethnic minority children at the starr of
the tv"emy-first century. The other factor that greatly influenced the use of the

school buildings was the conrinual developmenr of new views on education and
the associated functional demands. Besides a gymnasium, the old standard schools
had no classrooms for specific subjects. Music class, industrial arts, library: none
of these subjects had a sepa rate space. The recent transition from classical to
autonomous education, in which students increasingly work alone or in small
groups and the teacher assumes the role of coach, requires an entirely diFferent type
of space than a traditional classroom.
Finally, the transformation of primary schools into 'community school ' implied
new spati al demands: spaces were necessary for after-school activities and
neighbourhood functions. The 'community school' concept is a response to th e
dismal social/community context that had developed in troubled areas like
Hoogvliet in the 1980s and '90s. Schools were fa ced with a growing group of
students who often came from dysfunctional single-parent fa milies, had on ly a
basic knowledge of the Dutch language and sometimes came to school without
having eaten breakfast. A 'community school' offers programmes for after-school
activities and help with hom ework, but it also ensures th at children receive a
balanced meal. In addition, parents receive general suppOrt and language lessons.
This approach to strengthening primary education trom the inside out obviously
requires a thorough remodelling of the school buildings.
Spaces for study were created in corridors and cloakrooms;
standard classrooms were put to use as common rooms,
refectories, documentation centres, libraries, A-V studios or
computer labs. In spite of the teachers' and students' talents
for improvisation, it became clear that there was a limit to
how tar the old standard schools could be strerched.
The usual solution for a lack of space is to add portable
classrooms until the long-awaited expansion or new
construction is finally completed. That seems to be a logical
reaction to a lack of space, but the well-known disadvantage
to temporary classrooms is that they generally rurn out to be
tar less temporary than was originally planned . It is not
unusual for a child to spend his or her entire primary school
career in a portable classroom, which certainly does not h ave the qualiries one
Along the way, the
should be able to expect from a learning environment. They are noisy, too cold in
Notenkraker has grown winter, toO hot in summer and not always wind- and waterproof. They cannot be
into acommunity
recycled, and therefore place a burden on the environment. Furthermore, they are
school with much more not an adequate solution to the space problem because a temporary classroom is
varied spaces and a
noth ing more than a classroom, while the real need is for space for other
more varied use of
activities. An entirely different kind of drawback is that portable classrooms are
these spaces than
ugly, dreary and depressing environments which in no way express rhe
originally anticipated. importance of education, not only for children but for society as a whole.
Portable classrooms are the physical m anifestation of cynical, ineffective
bureaucracy and have a demotivating effect on teachers, children and parents.

Over the course of several discussions with school principals in Hoogvliet, Felix
Rottenberg analysed the problems the schools felt rhey fa ced. WiMBYI then

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decided to create a small yet concrete model project that despire its limited scope
cou ld still present a conv inci ng alternative to the cursed portable classrooms. We
~ ~. S;
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wanted to create prototypes of new temporary classrooms for three schools (the
(1) ~
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t::r",WC1>t::r Notenkraker, the JacobusschooL and the TuimeLaar). These alterna tive classrooms
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~C1> ~.
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primary school time in an artractive environment that is playful, beautiful and has
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so und spatial qualities. For troubled and neglected areas like Hoogvliet, such lofty
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the idea was that the firsr three School Parasites would form the initiative to create a
catalogue of alternative temporary structures that schools throughout the country
could consult and choose from. The School Parasites were designed to
accom modate the following three fun crions:




'Eati ng and cooki ng': a space with the cosy atmosp here of a living room, in which
children can eat and be caught cooking classes.
'Music': a small, theatre-like space in which a group of children can make music
withou t disrurbing others.




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The technical design of this project was ent rusted to the Rotterdam-based Parasires
Foundation. This foundation , set up by architects Rien Korteknie and Mechthild
Sruhlmacher, focuses on creating high-qual ity temporary architecture. They
developed the concept of temporary, m ass-producible and easily transported
buildings rhat can be hooked up (like a parasite) to the existing building's utilities
(e.g. water, gas, elecrricity, infrastructure)l. WiMBY! asked them to apply their
knowledge in developing Schoo/Parasites for Hoogvliet, but to make them
applicable in any standard school in the Netherlands.
The temporary quality of School Parasites was an even better fit [or the WiMBY!
programme because in addition to the long-term projects whose results would only
become visi ble after many years, we also wanted to achieve a number of projects in
Hoogvliet as soon as possible. This would allow us to show immediate results For
WiMBY! and the res[[ucruring projecr, while at the same time responding to a few
urgent need s and demands. In add irion , we needed proof [Q back up our argument
that schools cou.ld be built differently and better.




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Temporary structures offered the srraightforwardness and speed we were looking

for because they can be built cheaper, faster and most importantly with less
bureaucratic red tape. Temporary strucrures could fill in the void that pops up
between devising a project and rhe ultimate delivery of the com pleted produc[. In
the case of the SchoolParasites the final product would be the new school buildings,
but that wOLdd take another ten years ar least.
We felt that temporary structures would also offer the opportunity to use locations
a nd combinations that would otherwise be very difficult to achieve. A temporary
building can be used to experiment with new images, sites and activities, allowing a
parallel, more an imated reality to emerge during a limited period, in or near the
existing city. Though it later became clear that temporariness does not offer all
projects the sa me financial and procedural benefits we assigned them, the idea did
hold true for the School Parasites.

DeSign and construction

After our first tour of the three schools , we made up a wish list of about thirty
different uses for which the sc hools needed extra space. From this list, we
collaborated with the schools to choose three functions for which a School Parasite
would be developed. Though these functions were derived From the needs and
demands of Hoogvliet schools, they were chosen in such a general way that the
resulting designs cou ld also be useFul to other schools. From the starr of the project,

'Workspaces': a space in which children who need extra help have a n individual
workspace and wh ich ca n be used by teachers and support staFf.




We chose three young designers and archi tects whose work is at the cutting edge of
arch irectu re and industrial design. The Paras ite Foundation drew up the
specifications, carried out the preliminary urban design study and advised the
designers during the creative process. At the same time, they monitored the
feasi bi lity and reproducibility of the designs.
With temporary structures, the building method, system and materi als playa
crucial role. In a sense, the design process is the opposite of that for permanent
buildi ngs, in wh ich the buildi ng method a nd materials ate determin ed by the
building's design. For temporary, industrially produced buildings, the chosen
building method defines the design possibiliries ava ilable to the architect. Thi.s
required the d esigners, draughtsmen and builders to work closely together for the
School Parasites project. Through the intensive collaboration of these three parties,
the school prin cipals, WiMBY! and the Parasite Foundation, the three designs were
perfected over the course of a year, during which they went through various rounds
of architectural refinem ent a nd improvement, financial adjustments a nd cutbacks.
This process continued until a buildable protOtype had been reached. As a result of
the consta nt exchange between design and production, it seemed as though the
design process was for an industrial product more than for an archi tecrural





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Besides des ign and archi tecture, WiMBY! 's main challenges were at the regulatory
level and in overcoming bureaucratic obstacles. The SchoolParasites have a surface
area of over 50 sq. m., which is larger tha n a stand ard temporary classroom. The
designs appeared to meet all the requ irements for temporaty school
accommodation, also with regard to finan cia l requiremenrs 2 As such, we had no
reason to worry. But schools usually rent tempo tary classrooms from companies
wh o own the classrooms. In this case, there was no owner as of ye t: WiMBYI could
nOl be the ownet due to its mission and, es pecially, its temporary character. We
enquired whether Rotterdam's Dienst StedeLijk Onderwijs (DSO) [Municipal
Education Department) might be interested in rak ing over the property.
DSO was rather hesitant about the initiative and expressed their uncertainty by
hidi ng behind demands that they never clearly defined: the d epanment felt thar
there should be ar least three toilets in each SchoolParasite, one for boys, one for
girls and one for teachers. This would require a lot of space for jusr one classroom.
Even more unexpected and pecu liat was their comment that the classrooms should


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6 March 2002
Leefbaa r Rotterdam wins the
Rotterdam local elections.
MareD Pastors becomes
alderman lor Spa tial

11 March 2002
Launch of new WIMBYI

2 2 maarl 2002
WiMBYI presenta tion a t Ihe
Bauhaus in Dessau, G er

4 April 2002
Hans Elemans resigns as
chair man oj the borough
COUJlc1l. He is succeeded by
his Iellow pony member Kees
van Pelt

8 April 2002
The Jirst school exc ursion as
part 01 the C ampu s project.
The excursion includ ed visits
to: Jchlhus College {Ro tter
dam, Erick va n [ g ara at Asso
ciates), Haagse Jlog eschool
(The Hague, A telier PRO) and
the De Vljver schools complex
(Wa tering se Vel d, M arlies
Roh mer)

2 2 April 2002
Closmg debate connected
to the 'De G rote Proje cten'
exh ibition (NAl). Duri ng th is
debate Wi M BYI was pr e sent
ed to the outgoing m embers
of the admi nistra tion: Johan
Remkes, Rick va n der Ploeg
and jan Pronk, among ol hers

6 May 2002
Pim Fortu y n m urdered

13 May 2002
Final presen tation oj Logica
to the sta keholder s in the
restructu r i ng, given by Max
w an architects and u rbanists
in Heerenhuys (Rotterdam)

;h 2002
-reeTba(lT Rotterdam wins the
Rotterdam local eiecholls.
Marco Pastors becomes
alderman Jar Spatial

11 March 2002
Launcn of new W i MBYI

22 maart 2002
WiMBYl presenta tion a t the
Bauhaus in Dessau. Ger

4 April 2002
Hans lemons resigns a s
cha irman of the borough
coup:::i!. He is succeeded b y
his fellow p arty member Kees
van Pelt

8 April 2002
The first school excursion a s
par t of the C amp us project.
The excursion includ ed visilS
to: Ichthus C ollege (Rotter
dam. Erick va n Egeraat Asso
ciates). Haa g se I-Io ge school
(The Hague. Atelier PRO) and
the De Vijver scho ols compie x
(Wateringse Veld . M a rhes

2 2 A pril 2 002
Closing deba te connected
to the 'De G ro te Projecten'
exhibition (NAI). During th is
debate Wi MBYI w as present
ed to the ou tgoing m embers
of the a d ministration : l oha n
Remkes, Rick van der Ploeg
and Ja n Pr onk, among others

6 M ay 2002
Plm Fortuyn m urdered

13 May 2002
Final pre sentation of L ogica
to .he sta keholder s in the
restructuri n g , given by Max
wan a r ch itects and u rbanists
in Heerenhuys (Rotter dam)

have to decline the offer of a SchoolParasite due to the cos ts of its

management and cleaning, such as the monthly cleaning of the
picture w indmv. At the ti me the letter was written , however, the
foundati ons had already been laid and the ParaSIte was standing
in the contractor's workshop in Appingeda m, awaiting shipment
to Rot terda m. It was too late l The school board had to accept its
'loss' and take possession of The Beast, at no cost. And that is
what happened, to the great pleasure of the principal of the
]acobUsschool, who saw his long participatio n in the project
rewarded with a striking new building, which is now being
intensively used as a refectory, mini-theatre and rehearsal space,
by the student brass band and others.

The notarial deed of ownership for The Beas t has now been

signed by the school board, but the relevant public education

bodies have not yet signed the deeds for the other tWO Parasites.

not be round, only square or rectangular, while two of the three designs we had
submitted were round and the third did not have square corners.
Furthe.rmore, the municipal department found that the y did not have the necessary
financial means to participate lL1 the project. OffICially, the expendable budget fO r
the three Hoogvliet schools had already been used up and the schools had no ri gh t
to receive temporary classrooms. The assigned budget was based on the popul atio n
forecasts for the district, wh'ich were not good due to the high demolition rates and
slow speed of new construction. The OSO also had a problem with responsibility:
though the OSO does provide support to schools for the construction of new school
buildings, initiating and organising such construction is delegated ro the school
boards. As such, they and not the municipality should be the first point of COntact
for the construction and management of the School Parasites. In the end, the O SO
was prepared to pay for the underground structures (foundations) of the
SchoolParasites, just as they would do for normal temporar y classrooms.
While the COSt of developing the SchoolParasites (design costs, project management
and technical support) were covered by our own budget, as for any WiMBYI
project, in order to build the first three prototyp es we had to find partners outside
the standard network for financing educational facilities. We found them in the
Stichting Kunst en Openbare Ruimte (SKOR) [Foundation Art and Public Space]
and the Borough of Hoogvliet, who divided the cost equally between them. SKOR
decided to subsidise SchoolParasites for its cultural and architectural value, while
the borough was persuaded by the immed iate social impact that three high-quality
school buildings would have on the inhabitants of Hoogvliet.

The story continues...

After the School Parasites were completed, the DSO came to take a look. They
subsequently withdrew the objections they had expressed and we had ignored, and
declared that the buildings met regulations after al l.
The School Parasites were created in close collaboration with the ptincipals of the
three Hoogvliet schools, but the school boatds were responsible for their ownership
and management. The school boards also had to approve the project and accept
that each school would become owner of its SchoolParasite. The school boards were
only asked to take legal ownership of the School Parasites, and of course to manage
and maintain them well. This turned out to be an almost insurmountable problem
for the school boards. We overestimated their efficiency and level of commitment.
The school boards, who governed several schools in various neighbourhoods, were
more focus ed on increasi ng their sphere of influence, on regional regulations,
fusions and mergers, than on the daily concerns of the schools themselves. They
had no idea how to approach the introduction of something as unorthodox as the
SchoolParasites in a remote borough like Hoogvliet. Any non-standard project,
however small, seemed poised to bring the entire bureaucratic machine to a
screeching halt: the legal and (limited) financial consequences of ownership,
management and maintenance were repeatedly presented as insurmountable
The school board of the Catholic primary school the ]acobusschool, for which the
music parasite 'The Beast' was created, even went so far as to send WiMBYI a letter
of refusal, despite having worked to gether wi.rh us for years and despite having
already agreed to the project. In the letter, they claimed that they would regrettably

The th ree School Parasites have now been in intensive use for
almos t three years. Teachers and students are pleased with the
buildings, and keep thinking of new ways to use them. The first
three prototypes from our catalogue have done thei r job: the
question now i.s how they can make their way to schools in the
rest of the country. The SchoolParasites project has provided us
with a wealth of knowledge abo ut spatial needs in primary
education, particularly in areas earmarked for restructuring, and
about the many bureaucratic and technical obstacles to their
realisatio n. This has led to a variety of new research and design
ptojects. The first is the WiMBY! project for a flexible primar y
school, using the new school building for the No tenkraker
primary school (one of the SchoolParasite recipients) in the
Oudcland neighbourhood as a case study. The second is a
'preparatory study' commissioned by the eLienst JeugeL, OneLerwijs
en Samenleving (JOS, formerly OSO) [Department of Youth,
Education and Society] into the possibilities for redesigning the
1960s-cra 'H-school', of which there are thousands in the
N etherlands. This srudy is being carried out by the form er
project leader ofWiMBY! and the Paras ites Foundation. The
foun ders of the Parasites Foundation, Korteknie-Stuhlmacher
Atc hitecten, have applied some of their School Parasites
experience in a project for expanding the Toermalijn, an ' H
school' in Rotterdam Zuid. In addition , the SchoolParasites and
the ideas behind the proj ect have now penetrated through to the
municipal policy level: improving temporary accommodation
has been listed as one of the subjects in lOS 's educational
facili ties plan for the yea rs to come. 3
Will other schools dare to order a SchoolParasite instead of a
standard temporar y classroom? Are there other schools organised
enough to convince their school board that these Parasites
increase rhe quality of education and of the school environment?
Arc there school boards that recognise the imp ortance of

7 June 2002
O pening o f the Para site in
Lengweg, commissioned b y
Veslla (in a ssociation with
the Pa ra site f o u nda tion a nd
WiM BY !). 1t was designed
by Marcel Meili a nd M :ukus
Peter from Switzerland and is
intended as a neighbourhood
building . The d esign for this
wooden p a vilion comprises
ten large wooden paneis. By
sliding the wa lls and the roof
the Pa r a site can be entirely
opened up to its surround

13 June 2002
WiMBY! presentatior in the
Zaal de Unie lor Rotlerdam's
cultural institutlons

17 June 2002
'Groen in en om de stad'
(Greenery in and A round ihe
Clty), a conference on publiC
g reen sp aces. Allhis confer
ence, p resentation s were
given on the tidal cha nnel
(bureau Stroming), the g reen
setl1ng fo r the Al5 Ouurlink &
G eluk) and (he relatIOnship
between m a n-ma de and nat
ural g reene ry (Arno Strui k),
to the resid el1ts of Hoogvliet
and other s

July 2002
The Logica vo ting syslem for
the use of space goe s online:
'C hoo se a Hoogvliet for the
next ten yea r s'. Resideni s a nd
interested par hes can choose
their fa vourite L ogica model
on the WlMBY! website

6 August 2002
Ca roHen Dieleman carrie s
out research into 'A socio
cultural pro gramme for the
H oogvliet sch ools campus'.
A st ud y tha t inven torises the
so cio-c ultu ral programmes of
the three school commun ities
in Hoogv liet: Einstein Lyceum,
ROC Za dkine and Penta C ol
leg e, which toge ther will form
the Campus Hoogvliel


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architecrure, not only for prestigious large-scale new construction projects, but also
on a smaller scal e~ Do they dare break off renral conrrac ts with their familiar


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Or would they rather stick with what they know?
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MiSS, we don't want the ho lidays

to begin ...
Felix Rottenberg


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Frer lunch on a Thursday in the sprin g of2001, I walked through the upper
fl oor of the 'community school' the Notenkraker in Hoogvliet with Ja n
T rommel, the school principal.
It's raining cats and dogs. Through the window we see one of the tallest chimneystacks
in the Ne therl ands, a[Op the Shell refinery in Pemis. In the coming years, twO
thirds of the Oudeland neighbourhood, where the No teniuaker is located, will be
demolished and rebuilr. It will be a colossal proj ec t with immense consequences.
Something also has [0 be done about the Notenkraker's building, which dates
from 1962 and has tWO dilapidated floots containing fourteen classrooms. Not
enough [0 accommodate 236 children and modern school activities, so th e
corridors are regularly transformed into cubicles and tiny rooms. The twO
caretakets have become experts at this, but copi ng with the flagrant lack of space
remai ns a complicated business. And ye t, I never hear Jan Trommel or a single one
of his colleagues complain.
The teaching staff, parent contacts, care takers and parent volunteers make an
impression on me. Sometimes it seems like a school out of a Fellini movie:
everyw here yo u look, something is going on . Everyone is smiling, and above all yo u
see the impressive secretary Joke, residing behind her desk in a lilac sweater and a
lovely pearl necklace.
At lu nch, which includes sandwiches, hot dogs and pickles, I get fill ed in on th e
situation. As I eat an apple syrup sandwich for the first time in 25 years, I have
the school's daily concerns explained [0 m e in a rather cheerful fashion. This is a
'coloured school': jargon for a school with 98 percent ethnic minority stude nts.
Many of the children are from an Antillean or Surinamese background , co me from
Morocco and Turkey or are refugees from Angola and Bosnia.
Family situ ations are often troubled. The N o tenkraker has a high number of single
parent families, in which the mother is also dependent upon social security
paym ents. This is immediately evident at sc hool: the children are not dressed
war ml y enoug h and are not well fed.
No t m uch else is said about these issues, and the school provides lunch for th e
approxima tely 55 school-lunchers. One of the supervisors cheerfully encourages the
children during the meal, blowing a small red whistle and shouting: "Keep eating,
it's tim e [0 eatl "
The N o tenkraker was gramed 'com munity school ' status in 1996. This prevemed a
merger and allowed the children ro be offered a number of attractive activities after
3 o'clock in the afternoon. On the Thursday of my visit, a film will be shown,
computer games can be played and a PE-teacher from the Hoogvliet Recreation
D epartment is coming ro play football in th e gym.


T he school works ragether closely wi th [he Stichting Welzijn Hoogvliet [Hoogvliet

Welfare Founda[ion). Their employee Brug de Man spends three and a half days a
week a[ the school and leads rhe after-school activities as if he were a member of the
teaching staff. Because [he N otenkraker was also an rCT vanguard school for a
number of years, it has 24 computers. These are in permanent use by the pupils,
starting in kindergarten. "The kids love them," says Tram mel. "Don't forget that
hardly any of the pupils have a computer at home."
r ask myself what Jan Trommel wo uld wish for, keeping in mind [he compe tition
being held a[ [he time - ea rly 2001 - by the Minimy of Education, Culture and
Science, which focus ed on finding [he 'ideal school' and offered a grand prize of
100,000 guilders. Trammel wou ld permanently appoint all social workers and
assign more professionals ra after-school programmes. The library already played a
crucial role here. The No tenkraker's primary goal is ra ens ure that all of their
students learn to enjoy reading. One teacher ha s been given responsibility for the
project, and manages to create a permanent read ing festival with a minimum
budget. On Wednesday afternoons, [he children have reading [hearce. They invent
all kinds of activities in order to, as [hey say, 'make the road to reading enjoyment
accessible to everyone.'
For the rest, Trommel was a bit gruff about the competition. "Of course , [hey
shouldn't be having that competition. Something has to happen now. They should
just say to me, 'Trommel, here is a budget, use this to make i[ happen.' But then
give me my freedom."
Trommel and his colleagues weather difficulties and problems with flyin g coloLlCs.
There is a shOrt silence when r bring up [he school holidays as we are clearing the
lunch table. The chi ldren already stan asking how long the holiday will last before
Christmas. 'Miss, we don't want [he holidays ro begin.'
They miss [he Stru cture school ptovides; they don't have fun at home. There are
activities organ ised a[ the school during [he holidays, and the children are waiting
at the door well before 8:30am. They have to be sent home at 4:30pm. Trommel:
"We are constantly having ra shift our boundaries. Fortun ately, we have an
excellent [earn who can handle that. Teaching class in the coccidor, being satisfied
with a stool instead of an office chair. We will keep going as long as there is a real
prospect for improvement."
Hoogvlie[ people are Rotrerdammers. To Trommel , thar means: "Quit jabbering
and get ra work. The children are more than worth it. If [hat means giving up a
free day, you JU St make it work.".


am a product of urban
regeneration. In my
you t.h , m y ideals fo cused
not only on improving the
neighbourhood, removing slums
and alleyways , bul on a new
way of organising the city. More
hu mane, less schematic. We
resisted the practice of repla
cing inner- city residentia I
neighbourhuods with bu siness
disl ncts . We were aga inst the
idea that the existi ng city had to
disappear, against the idea that
social connections were worlh
The philosophy behind these
ideals was that cities contain
energy that can be positively
developed. PosiLive nows of en

ergy, social relation sh ips , trying

to make t heir way th rough a
sometimes negative physica I
enVLI'Onment. These social con
nec tions must be accepted and
maintained , but aL U1e same
time physical in tervent ion s can
be made to make the cily more
liveable . Take the Hoefk ade in
the Schildersw ijk district of The
Hague: it looked like a n utterly
depressing street , but it con
tained several tearooms that
had built up around a large
Thrkish com munity Build ing a
ka sbah in this street changed it
in a positive way.
I still believe in the philosophy
that the city mus t be main
tai ned as an organism . Existing
cities can be changed by recog

nising them as they are, and

m aki ng small changes with the
help of the people who live
there a nd who form t he social
connecti ons .
Now we are in a restruc turing
pha se and what really bothers
me is Lhat everything we
lea rned seem s to have van
ished. This proj ect h as lost its
ideals. Everything has been
abandoned but technical me th
ods we'v e lost contact with
the inhabita nts, opportunities
for public comment, outdoor
faci lities, attractive moving
costs, communication, etc.
Other things have gained domi
nance, such as the housing
corporations' obsession with

devel opment, which is in oppo

sil ion to the interests of the
residents. The big landlords
have created a sort of planned
economy, which is developed
behind closed doors with n o
input from the residents. They
have fo rmed a conglomera tion
of power, making decisions
without any consideraLion of
the basic principles [ just de
The corporations' desi re to cre
ale new developmen ts has led
them to opt for large -scale a em
olition, but it is clea r that thi s is
un necessary fo r many hundreds
of residences. It all boils do wn
to an instituti onalised mind- set
that ha s litlle to do with lhe
people directly affected.
Demoli sh ing 5000 homes, as in

Hoog-vliet, will have dra stic

consequences for social cohe


There was a lot of demolition

under the urban regeneration
project too, but with good rea
son those buildings h ad to be
made habitable. problems like
lack offoundabons and damp in
walls h ad to be solved . Some
buildings were knocked down to
allow more air to enter certain
neighbourhoods. for the good of
green spaces. but this was aI
ways done while keeping in
mind the existing city and its
population There have to be
good reasons for tearing down a
building. which development
considerat ions and rent charges
are not. Renovation is an alter
native to demolition. New con
struction must be applied stra
tegically. It appears as though
the ho using corporations' social
responsibilities have been mar

Social connections are an es

As I said , the way to restructure
s('ntial elemem of renewing an
is to maintain the existi ng
existing city. What can be done structures , correc ting them
to m ake a neighbourhood take
wilh smaller interventions in
respons ibility for itself? In my
stead of immediately opting for
opinion , it is necessary t o apply la rge-scale demolition Relation_
a ki nd of decolonisation: for ex
ships with society dnd stimulat
ample by giving 50% of the
ing empowel rnen l for private
neigh bou rhood to its i.nhabit
owners are important elements.
nts, by looking into possibil
No coun try demolis hes as much
ities [OJ renters to purcha se lheir as the Netherlands . and that is
propert y. Pu rchase subsidies
a luxury problem we have too
could provide a solution in this
much money. We mus t make
context. I also support the idea
sure tha t post-war reconstruc
of pI ivate owners (individ ua ls
tion com mun ities like Hoogvlie
or orga nisations) taking charge
are nol transfo rmed into VINEX
of cons truc tion or renova tion
dis tric ts ."
work. There is a great deal of
opposition to these kinds of ar
rangements fro m the housing
corporations, who believe th at
they can attain their soci al
goals th rough renta l properties
They are prepared t o transfer

owne rsh ip, but only th rough

rent-to-own contracts.

Anothe r problem is that people

can no longer be mobi.lised as in
the past. Du ring the urba n re
gene ration project there was an
intellectual . cultural upper
crus t wh ich took action and out
of wh ich coalitions were fo rmed
between variou s layers of soci
ety. There is no longer an intel
lectual vanguard in the post
war di stricts. which allows the
institutions to have their own
way. The inhabitants aTe n o
longer interested in attending
meetings for public participa
tion; white thinking and mid
dle -class interests determine
how the restructuring will pro
ceed. Native Dutch inhabitants
h ave still not accepted that they
are living in a multicultural cit
They need to let go of their previ
ous socio-culLural environ ment.

ee ngezins- en maisonnettewoningen
van cjrc.) t. 80 .000,- tot circa {13S.000, - kosten koper



The Dutch politician Adri Duivesteijn was among other things

alderman In The Hague, director of the Netherlands Architecture
Institute and a member of Parliament. In this last capacity he,
together with colleague Rick van der Ploeg, submitted a
memorandum (The Attainable Owned Home) to simplify home
ownership for lower incomes. Duivesteijn hasalways been
opposed to the far-reaching power of developers and housing
corporations. As the alderman of Spatial Planning and Housing in
Almere he is at this moment realising the biggest contingent of
private client houses ofthe Netherlands. In September 2003he
stayed at the Tram Station for a weekend and made this report.

'You're just like a

social worker, y.ou
on't know .anyth!ng
------- bout-budd,ng.

Hen k Molenaar was managing director of the Port Authority

of Rotterdam from 1972 tot 1992. He then became Special
Professor of Port Economy at the Erasmus University in
Rotterdam. Since 1999 he has been involved with W iMBY!,
currently as Chairman of the Board.

Felix Rottenberg: I was sure that Molenaar's moral support in Hoogvliet

would have a wonderfu l effect. It was part of the reaso n I committed to
Hoogvliet in t he fi rst place. Where does your interest in atypical processes
come from? Did you al ready have It when yo u were CEO?
Henk Molenaar' Precisely because it is atypical. Because sometimes you know that
if you approach a thing in the usual way, it will fail . It is exactly the other approach
lhat is interesting. Even though people may have doubts about it for a long time.
Rarely have I ever met a pe rson with as much managerial experience as you
have, who Is interested in non-institutional processes. Can you name a
process that has st aye d with you?
The changes that needed to be made after the oil crisis are a good example of a
non -i nstitutional but radical process in the Port of Rotterdam. The transfer of
goods declined d ramatically and a lot of the institutionalised processes were
concerned precisely with transfer The primary objective of simply hauling and
transferring goods had to be redefined as the more complex objective of
facilitating activities that generate additional value for the port. The port of

'register tons' had to become the port of 'register value' The big, long

established institutions resisted this change. It was not only the multinationals

that were orie nted towards mass production, but also the administrative and

political institutions. A small and inventive non-institutional group was needed

to devise and initiate the necessary changes. Non-institutional means no power

and therefore non-threatening. This was an experiment, but in the fi rm belief

that if we didn't think about this expe riment and sta rt it now we would in the

long run miss the boat, literally and liguratively. It was just like WiMBYI

You're right, that's WiMBYI in a nutshell. Describe t he process leading up to

the IBE [International Building Exhibitio n).

As its starting point, the steering committee of the IBE (the forerunner of the IBE

foundation) firmly took hold of the idea of demolishing old houses and replacing

them with new ones. Peter Kuenzli was a particular advocate of that policy. Right

at the first meeti ng of the foundation I Indicated that I found it a too one-sided

and technical approach and advocated a more 'social' one, in which the changes to

the built environment would not be seen as the goal but as the means. Consequently,

I didn't think Kuenzli was the right man for the job. Peter didn't understand this

and said to me: "You're just like a social worker, you don't know anything about

building", and I said, "You're fight, I don't know anything about building houses,

but can you explain what your plans wi ll mean for the people of Hoogvliet?" And

when he start ed to explain we disagreed more and more.

He thought I was too soft. Kuenzli started from a tabula rasa situation in which

an institution like the IBE could do whatever it wanted without taking too much

account of the tricky social cultural context. He wa nted to do an awful lot and

needed a big and expensive IBE for that.

Unde r WIMBYI, the IBE has been reduced to its core. The large-scale ISE

was stripped down.

Of course, there were also financial considerations. Kuenzli's plan for an institute

employing 80 people would have cost about 60 million euros. Herman Meijer

thought he could get half of that from the State. Ineke Bakker' told him she

thought it would be 3 mi ll ion maximum. The IBE was purely about restructuring,

about building new houses without stopping to think for a moment about who

would live in them.





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When I got involved with the project, when I met yo u and Crimson, I had
been asked to chair a preliminary consultation and I immediately understood
t hat we would have t o invent the solution. Experiment, regard it as research
into socio-cultural building specifications, and the houses would be built
wit hout any effort on our part. The housing corporations had already started
build ing, anyway. That led t o conflicts with Kromwijk about 'all the strange
t hi ngs t hey' re up t o.'
One thing fo r which we should blame ourselves is not building up enoug h
public backing. We haven't cultivated any supporters. That's something to
be critical about. Perhaps we should have conducted a pane l study among
the inhabit ants. We could have used t hat to virtually reinforce su pport for
the Campus or t he Heerlijkheid.
I would have advised against that; it would devalue your p lan. You cant expect
people to be superheroes and to make constructive contributions to every plan
made in their vicinity. The people who will visit t he Heerlijkheid in the future
don't need to know every motive behind it to make good use of it. Stop wishing
that of people. We just need them to use and like it. In your heart, you believe in
what you're doing. Your heart tells you it's right. You don't need a poll to tell you
that. Residents will always give conservative responses. You'll never get a res ponse
that will help you move forward. I don't see any va lue in gathering opinions.
How d o you convi nce the people in power? In the case of the Camp us, for
exa mple. Yo u just have t o accept that you'll have to do the rounds five
times befo re you'll be able to get anything done.
You have to wait until they begin to suspect that if they don't do it, they'll lose
their reputation. Politicians are restricted by rules. In that process, it was
possible to convince the people who wou ld eventually do the work. You and 1
want to make changes because we think it's necessary (and fun atthe same
time). But as long as the parties concerned don't think it's of existential value
there wi ll be resistance against change. For most parties concerned with the
Campus it's not yet a matter of life or death . That's why they hide behind
procedures, to stop change for the time being .
We did n't succeed, in all t he WiMBY! Projects, in making t his immanent
existential threat and the need for change clear eno ugh. We left some fu n
and interesting t hings behind, but the evaluating institutio ns, wh ich are as
yet not inclined or forced to change, still don't see why it is necessary for
t hem. I sometimes worry about the criticism that we d idn't succeed In
getting t his t hrough and didn't leave eno ugh of a mark. It could marginalize
t he example we've set.
That's a possib ility, which is why you have to emphasise the post-WiMBY! phase
and proceed in a new way, for example with the HeerliJkheid.
The Heerlijkheid will be a success. Greater Rotterda m w ill go there for a
walk and have a pancake afterwards. That's unique.
You know, you've done something very special there
That's what you always tell us. That 's the lesson you're teaching us. It's a
waste of effort to get annoyed about conservative attitudes. Get around it;
accept the delay.
Yes, because trying to get through it would kill you. Political structures and large
companies are always so powerful that a group like WiMBYI cannot pound its fist
on the table and make demands.

9 September 2002

c e n e 11

Second schooLs excu rsion a s

part of the C ampus projec t.
This excursion v isi ted : M on
tessori College Oosl (A mster
dam -Oosl. Archltectuurstudio
Herman Hertzberg er), Br ink
Colleg e (Lo re!!, Sneider Com
p ag nons) and Bre d ero Col
leg e (Am ster d a m-Noor d , Dick
v a n G ameren a nd Bjarne
M a slen b roek)


~ ;~

26 & 2 7 S eptem
ber 2002
WiM BYI p r esentatio n during
the 'Urban Mutations: perio

d isa tion , scale a n d mobility '

sy m posium a t ihe School

o f Arch itec ture in A arhus,

11 November
Handover oj Tra m Sta tion

26 November - I
December 2002
Wt M BYI week , Th ree sma ll
blocks of Ha ts arou nd the Saf
Ira a n p lantsoen i n Ho og vliel,

w hich were d ue lor d emoli

tion , provide the setting for a

week 01gu ided tou r s, ta l ks,

exh ibHions, g a therings, bra ss

b a nd p r oce ssio ns, p ho to ses

sions, film shoo ts and screen

ings, a ll foc using on Wi M BYI

an d Hoogvliet. The ex hibition

r e ceived a b out two thousan
v isitors, Hoog vliet Binnen
steBuiten w a s u nveiled: an
ou tdoor ex hibition by G erard
Ha d d ers a nd E d ith Gruson
p artly funde d b y Woon b ron
M aasoevers









=J O
gneR ,,!geed






nllu_ Inen plan

IItr..llt buller


2 8 N ovemb er
Hand over of the Light Plan o n
Stel conp lei n in the centre o f
Ho og vliet. The p lan compris
es 400 b rightly coloured re
flec tors tha t ma rk the p a rking
spa ces, II w a s desig ned by
Pe ter Tr ummer. Hando ver of
the Elema ns Pole, a ltghting
mast tha t reacts to passers -by
by c hangi ng the colour and
mtensity 01 its light, D uring
the d a y it generates Its own
energ y, Designed b y Gera rd


grlne voegen




In the office of the Old Architect

JIodern suburbs are always horrible and the people
or/IO live there are unhappy . \0 we must comp letely

WiMBYI Michelle and WiMBYI felix sit arrenrively before a massive cherry wood desk.
Behind if. the Indian architect leans back in his reclining armchair.

7 _
Don 't you think Hoogvliet is
already attractive as it iSI

I'll draw you an impression ...


Don't you agree it would be

a mistake and a pity to (Urn
Hoogvliet into a
pseudo-historic village?



... with boulevards

and squares where
nobody goes l

The architect fixes them with a penetrating but benevolent gaze.

Let me put it in simple terms...

WiMBYI Felix and WiMBYI Michelle have collected their coars and departed. The architect is still drawing enthusiastically...

At the office of Corporation Man


WiMBYI lit! in a dilapidated office with lYltem ceiling, formica table and a plastic cup of coffee. Oppolite her il the man from the houling corporation.

the Urban Planning Department

dl of council employeel trying to get lunch limultaneoully. The canteen is famoul for its meat rillolel. At a large table with room for

:III or 10 people, lome employeel lit lunching and occasionally grinning. WiMBYI and the Planner seek a quiet table.


Look, there'l lomething you'd

better understand, if you want to

work in Hoogvliet.

/ /

Hoogvliet il a village ..


People like to do thingl their

own way.



Experimentation il all well and

good, but keep your nOle out of
our affairs l


The Planner pushel her lpectaclel up a

litde and puts lettuce on her open
cheele landwich.

Like your group, we dilagree

with the architect.

We'd prefer lomething completely

differen~ but no one ever askl Ul!

----Even if my bOll approvel, how

am I going to tell my tenants?



You'd better get to

under-stand Hoogvliet, or ... :_ _ _

Wobody Wantl our opinion and they

~iYe us out of the loop. But we have
IUch good ideas!

Perhaps you can help us win back

our old pOlition ...

I Of course!

Imm, tasty rillole!




Complicated spreadsheets with blocks

of colour roll over the screen.

The architect opens his laptop.

In the office of the Young Architect

WiMBYI enters an industrial space with desks, architects, bool(cases and fluorescen t tube lighting.

There are four spatial options, producing 24

possibilities, 24 alternative futures for
Hoogvliet - an d they are all equally good.

WiMBYI is offered an espresso by the Surinami secre tary...

Peop le will have to choose the kind

of housing estates, roads, green
zones and parks they want. We will
use a binary questionnaire. Everyo ne
must make up their mind.

The tall, thin archi tect welcomes WiM BYI with a kiss.

WiMBYI takes a printo ut of the logica spreadsheets and departs. Work to do ...

Everyone is working against one

another. Nobody has the power to
make a master plan.

Please design us something that

puts some logic into all the

Hoogvliet plans.

And they will have to stick to it for 10

years, if they want Hoovliet to be distinctive
and lo~ical.

On tour
WiMBY' gets back in her car...

WiMBY' stands before the door

of another office .

WiMBY' stands before the

door, now slammed shut..

WiMBY' stands before the

door of an office.
Good morning, may I
talk to you about

Good morning.
may I talk to you
about Logical


WiMBY' sits facing Corporation Man 2.

The Logica printouts lie on the desk.

So the large-scale characteristics

of Hoogvliet are fixed, but
within them you can build
whatever you like'

But it's clear enough

what you CAN develop,
isn't it l

WiMBY' sits facing the Developer.

The Logica printouts lie on the desk.

WiMBY' stands before the

door of yet another office.
Good morning,
may I talk to you
about Logical

WiMBY' is out in the street once more .

Briefcase in hand, she wipes the sweat from
her brow, satisfied.

Of course, you can't
build things just

WiMBY' crosses another name off her list

of people to see; three more to go.

General meeting of the clans

Corporation Man 2 bangs his fist on the table.


Abzck room with a large conference table. Cigarette smoke curls in the light of swinging pendant lamps.

Don't tie me down . I know how to

build houses'

6 66

Aglass of whisky for everyone. Afew

people exchange some uneasy small talk.

But if you agree to thi s

structure, it leaves room for you
to build however you want'

The Chairman taps the table with his hammer.


The Architect stands up and speaks.



You have to choose from 24 different

models. And no cheating...


Developer empties his wh isky

glass in one gulp ...

What do you wantl

Keep the greenery
or build in it'

and snorts:

We're done' We agree on the

Existing Policy forever model. We
keep the greenery, separate housing
estates, wide roads and a ring of
woodland round Hoogvliet. And we
all agree to stick to it!

the greenery'
ng go my profiu!

The Planner whispers to WiMBY'

Corporation ~Ian 2 sits in silent satisfaction.
We did well together,
didn't we'

Corporation Man I poi nts to the map and reassures him:

But you'll still be able to
develop a project over


The Chairman opens another bottle of whisky...


The Developer and Corporation Man I

pat one another on the shoulders and drink a


The new logica clan, one year later

We've worked out a terrifi c new plan . We want to build a
big sports centre in the park... here!

The logica family still meets like a secret society in the smoke-filled conference room to hear one
another's plan s and check if everyone is sticking to the rules.

Would the new members please

introduce themselves?

Hull o, I'm here as a

replacement for
Corporation Man I.

The members fall silent.

WiMBYI hides her eyes, fearing
the worst...

Hullo, I'm
deputizing for the

Knives are drawn und er the table ...

Are there any new plans people want

to show the logica Committee l

Corporation Ma n 2 pla ces so me drawings on the table. Everyone takes a look.




WiHBY! stoically returns to her seat at the table ...

6 66
WiMBYI watches th e scene with sa tisfaction.

Our job is done here.

hat should we make or the urban developmenr master plan? How is it

possible [0 create such a plan when there are no clear commissioning
aut horities, the governmenr no longer takes responsibility, and the m arke t
players always give their own building projects precedence over cohesion on a large r
scale ~ In shorr: how do you keep things [Ogether and make choices in a market
oriented urban planning environment? Is the time-hono ured master plan still useful
now that the government is no longer the only party steering urban developmenr,
now that it has [0 share power with priva tised corporations, autonomous deve/opers,
munici pal services that functio n like companies and lo bby groups? Even t he once so
unam biguous, hierarch ically planned Hoogvl iet is now drowning in an administrative
quagm ire and urban developmenr static. Under the current conditions, a master
plan is as necessary as it is improbable. If there is [0 be any chance of success, it will
have [0 employ a completely different se t of [Ools .

In 200', the plan to completelybuild upthe Oedenvlietsepark wasthe immediate

cause for the Logica project. On the right:the former park, inthe middle:the
meanwhile demolished apartment bui ldings, on the left:the new houses designed by
Kuiper (ompagnons.

When Wi MBY! was set up in 2001 , the Woonbron Maasoevers and Vestia housing
corporations and the submunicipality of Hoogvliet had been enthusiastically
worki ng for a co upl e of yea rs on an unparalleled restructuring of the bo rough, in
which ro ug hly a third of all housing supply was ea rmarked for demolition . Designs
had already been completed for the constructio n of all-new streets and neighbour
hoods , the [Own cent re an d infrastructure. The picture that emerged after having
added together all of these hastil y made plans was inconsistenr at the very leas t.
Several projects had been developed that conflicted spatially: while one aimed at
creating an ecological area near the A 15 mo[Orway in which Scottish High land
catrle could graze in comfort, another saw the sa me site as a loca tion for
community recreation in the form of a colossal indoor sports centre; while one
red esigned the Groene Kruisweg as a Med iterranean-style bou levard, the same road
was d rawn as a hi gh dyke in the plan for the nearby new town centre; while some
wanted [0 keep the green parkways, others urban ised them by buildi ng huge service
fl ats i n the middle of the parkways. In almost all the plans, fl ats were [0 be
demolished to make room for detached ho uses, implying an enormous loss of
public gree n spaces. At the same time, Hoogvliet was being publicised as a
prom inent green community! The result of all these plans co uld charitably be
described as lively variatio n, but in real ity it meant that the largest and most vital
spatial elemenrs had been sacr ificed . Furthermore, it was clea r that the large-sca le
changes Hoogvliet wou ld make had abso lutely no foundation in an overarching
idea or urban vision. The role of the once so autho ritati ve and infl uential Dienst
Stedenbouwen Volkshuisvesting [Planning and Public Housing Department) had
been reduced [0 splicing demolition and new cons truc tion plans [Ogether into
master plans .
In this situation, in which Hoogvliet's greatest attractio ns - its openness and
green ness - were destroyed in sweeping mo t ions, a neighbourhood by Ashok
Bhalotra formed a bone of contenrion in the eyes of cer tain desi g ners in

Rorrerdam's Planning and Public Housing Department and at WiMBY! Right in

the middle of the Oedenvlietsepark, a lovely, mature park, he designed a dense
neighb ourhood with a central pond surro unded by terrace houses, courtyard ho uses
and apartment blocks. Not only would the park have to disappear, but the concept
of freestanding blocks in a green environment was turned inside out by placing the
green space in an enclosed, introverted position. Consequently, Hoogvliet began to
resemble a run-of-the-mill VINEX neighbourhood. WiMByr saw this as a
mediocre view of the restructuring projeCt people had in mind. We invited
landscape architect Cor Geluk to provide a second opinion. His sketches clearly
showed that better alternatives existed, but the debate surrounding the merits of
each plan brought something much more important to light: the power of
persuasion is one thing, but respect for timing and the processes already underway
are more important to the organisations involved. WiMBY! made the mistake of
bringing a fundamental critique to the table that wo uld require starring from
scratch , while the Woonbron Maasoevers housing corporation had already made an
enthusiastic start on their plans for the Oedenvlietsepark. We learned a clear lesson:
the restructur ing project was like an express trai n at full speed. It could not be
S[opped, and if we didn't jump OUt of the way it would run us over.
We needed a new approach, but our convictions remained firm: what Hoogvliet
needed was a kind of cohesion , something that could bridge the existing contrasts
and confliCts by creating a common starting point and vision for the future. We
needed a new kind of master plan that took into consideration all the projects
already begun and that didn't try to start again from the beginning. In short, what
Hoogvliet needed was a kind of logic, which had to be applied in order to fine-tune
the running motor of the restructuring process.
We asked Rients Dijkstra from rhe Rorrerdam-based firm Maxwan Architects and
Urbanists to give shape to this idea. We started with the question: how does one
design a plan without determining everything beforehand, how can you integrate
freedom when the main large-scale structures are already defined ? How does one
develop a large-scale master plan in a shifting context where no one has the final
word? The result came in 2003 with the document Logica. Een stedenbouwkulldige
handleiding voor Hoogvliet [Logica. An Urban Planning Manual for Hoogvliet)'
which argued that Hoogvliet's spatial quality could be guaranteed by selecting a
few strong characteristics, designing (and maintaining) them in compliance with
high standards, and sustaining this over an extended period, a decade at the least.
This argument was based on the hypothesis that distinctive cities are beautiful
cities, and that having character implies that in the midst of all the urban variation
and dynamism, certain features are found throughout the city: the boulevards of
Paris, the avenues lined with palm trees in Los Angeles, the grids in New York and
Barcelona. Now it was up to Hoogvliet to decide what its characteristics would be.
Together, these character istics would form a spatia l framework for determining tbe
image of Hoogvliet. Within th at framework, there was complete freedom for
development. It was, in short, a comb ination of establ ishing suict guidelines and
allowing a high degree of freedom; it was a way of inserting logic into Hoogvlier's
i.mage without making a complete design for Hoogvliet; it was the choice of doin g a
few things well instead of everything by halves. Rients Dijksrra continually
emphas ised that the resuuccuring would require a united front. As long as there
was no coherent vision of what Hoogvliet should become, the variou s new building

campaigns would only result in a chaoric, nondescript , generic city in which

Hoogvlict's strongest feacures would be sho rt-changed.
What are the characteristics that make Hoogvliet special and distinguish it from
other (Owns or boroughs) It is divided into nine sepa rate, recognisable districts, the
apa rm lent blocks are surrounded by abundant green spaces and u ees, the districts
are sepa rated from one another by parkways [green seams] and the entire New
Town is enclosed by a greenbelt, ensuring a rural setti ng. These are Hoogvliet's four
most important features, distilled by Maxwan in the Logica project. Some have
been planned and others arose by chance, but the y are all part of Hoogvliet's
history T hese four features were not made sacrosanct, but they did become the
subjecr of a digital survey: are they still significant (and thus to be reinforced) or
not (ro be replaced with an alternative)? This resulted in a system of 24 models for
Hoogvliet's future, all of whic h were attractive, conceivable and pracricable some
requiring a bit more (or less) effort than others.
Logica is not a 'grand design', but simply offered a number of choices: a decision
had ro be made abou t the fate of each of Hoogvliet's four main characreristics. The
negotiations for this process were carried OUt by the Logica Council, made up of
representatives from all parties involved in Hoogvlids renewal: the
Submwl icipality of Hoogvliet, Wijkaanpak, the Rorrerdam Development
Corporation, the Department of Planning and Public Housing (dS+V) and the
Woonbron Maasoevers and Vestia housing corporations. Over the course of several
meetings, the council weighed the pros and cons of each possible choice and made
final decisions. Should Hoogvliet maintain its neighbourhoods nestling in wide
green spaces or should the green spaces be co ncentrated into a few parks? Should
Hoogvliet keep the greenbelt and develop it into a beautiful park wieh pavilions,
cycle paths and an ecological area, or should the greenbelt be transformed into an
economic development area, a busy ring along the A15 motorway? Should the
neighbourhood s keep their individual charac ter, or sho uld they f10w together into a
single urban entity) Should Hoogvliet mai ntain ies characteristically New Town
street hierarchy, with wide parkways and narrow local roads, or should all roads be
given the same status, resulting in a kind of grid ciey? Or was there a thi rd option,
in which a ring road along the greenbelt would become the primary traffic
Structure so that the parkways co uld be made into a spider-shaped park? These
choices we re analysed in terms of finance, urban design, traffic and housing by the
Logica C ouncil, and were also presented as a survey of preferences on the WiMBY!
website. T his allowed the public to make choices, just like the stakeholders, in the
end selecting one of the 24 models through the process of elimination. The fantasy
versions of Hoogvliet created on the website varied greatly, from the most
metropolitan version with a densely built buffer around a dense urb an centre,
broken up only by a few small parks, to the most pastoral vers ion, with a ring road
hIdden in the greenbelt, surrounding a quiee town with a sp ider-sh aped park at the
centre of neighbourhoods nestling in green spaces.
The four choices made by the Logica Council resulted in a mode'! called 'Bestaand
Be!eid voor Altijd' [Today's Policies for Tomorrow]. They had chosen to maintain
each of H oogvliet's four main characteristics: the greenbele, the neighbourhoods
nestling in green spaces, the clear, separate identities of the neighbourhoods and the

November 2002



>", 0

The SchoolParasites re~et

n 1lonourable mentlon in tf,"
2002 Job Dura Prize, whose .1;
theme w a s 'Building for th
Young' a n d they were pre:
sented at the exhibition 01th
same name at the NAI






05-WOGOB 1V1



08-WOG 1BOV1

Logica presentation a t the

'Cities and M arkets, shills in
ulbande,;,elopment' congress
organrzea b y the Internation.
a l Federa tion lor Housing and
Plan nmg, VIenna , AUstria

8 January 2003

__ 0
grin erllnd


grnll aull.r

'Ca mpus in de stad ', the, first

im pression on paper of lile
Cam pus i::>y M ax wan archi
tects an d urba nists


February 2003


House Guest i n the Tra m

Station : laap Huisman. HIs
visit r esulted in a n article on
WiMBY I and Hoog vliel in Vrij






10. 12 A pril 2003

The F ifth Urban Planning Si
ennale in Barcelona . 'rheme:
C on necling the C ity/Connect
ing C illzeosW i MBYI provided
a rl 01 Ihe Dulch entry Ul lhe
lor m of Ihe Heerlijkheid Hoog
vUet proj ec t




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18 April 2 003
.reene vallu

Light Pla n symposium. 'fa

mark the d eparture of the
chai r man o[ the borough
council, Hans Elemans, a
sy mposium, w orkshop and
xhibihon were organised on
the theme o f 'the urban plan
ning of Light in Hoog vllet. The
first 01several new lighting
a pplications w as unveiled.
The desi gn w as commis
sioned by Denkta nk in as
sociation with WiMBYI

7 May 2 003


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Presenta tion of FAT ArchI

tects and their design for
Heerlijkheid Hoog vliet CIt the
1st Ro tterdam International
A rchitec ture BiennaJe

May 2003
FAT Architects n omina ted
for a Biennale A w a rd (Corn
munica tion ca tegory) for
Heerlijlr..hoid Hoog v liet



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Building in the greenbelt is allowed;
not in large-scale continuous volumes
(above), but it's all right to build
scattered objects of limited size

The combination of the four choices made led to the

final model 'Bestaand Beleid voorAltijd' [Today's
Policies for Tomorrow].

The Green Seams are the parkways of Hoogvliet; to strengthen

their quality the greenery needs better design and the districts
have to proclaim their identity at the edges of the Seams.

street hierarchy with an inner ring road and secondary roads. Though it wasn't the
most daring choice, it was still quite surprising because until then, no one had
valued Hoogvliet's existing characteristics - everyone assumed that the
restructuring would. require starting with a blank slate and making a complete
metamorphosis. In any event, the project caused a shift in mentality: people began
to appreciate what they already had; worked tOgeth er to create a common vision for
the future, and the blank slate approach was dropped. In addition, Logica gained
legal status as a tesult of being incorporated in zoning plans.
Strangely enough, the Logica project turned out to be rather controversial. Some
critics called it 'populist planning' because the design avoided making decision s,
which were left to the 'market' or 'public opinion'. Others called it a modern fo rm
of advocacy planning, only possible within the protective comext of the welfare
state. But in ac tu al ity, Logica was the result of a situ ation in which government
influence was reduced to a minimum and in which it was necessary to come up
with new kinds of planning and other tools in order to stand up to market-oriented,
chaotic management structures. It was an experiment in post-welfare state
At the same rim e, it was founded upon a clear belief in the value of planning and
the need for hierarchy. It just doesn't have faith in the kind of top-down planning
embodied by big-picture plans that, once approved by all the stakeholders and
inhabitants, no longer bear any resemblance to the original idea. Logica was a
process in which consensus building ran parallel to the creation of a master plan; in
which choices were choices a nd not visions. Furthermore, Logica subjected itself to
strict self-discipline: it was abo ut general themes, not details; it was about space, not
a schedule; it was planning, not urban design.
By now, Logica has been in use for a few yea rs and - tOgether with the
restructuring, which has emered a new phase - the need is arising for it to be
extended to the regionalleveI. There will be a Logica #2, which will focus on the
motorway infrastru ct ure around Hoogvliet (for example the extension of the A4) ,
the region's housing program me and the relationship between Hoogvliet and
Spijkenisse and Rotterdam. The Logica Council still meets, now for the fifth year
running. In another fi ve years, we will be able to make a real evaluation.

Sc ene 11


5 June 2 003
Multiple urban pLanning
design study for the Camp us.
Lo!vers va n Berg en Kolpa,
Sp eesUk Doepel and Pa ul
Toornen d were Inv ite d to
submit a desig n

5 June 2003
WiMBY! a t the Woningbeurs
Hoog vliet Informa tio n Centre

11 - 13 June 2003
House Guests in the Tra m
Station. The Da n ish MAM De
sign firm stayed a ! the Tra m
Station , in preparation for the
pu blication of How to build
a future , in which Hoogvliet
fea tures as a model project

August 2003
The educational outli ne for
the Ca mpus was complete d
by Edith Hooge on commis
sion to Penta College, ROC
Za dk ine a nd Einste in Lyceu m

16.17 August 2003

Heerlijkheid Festival in the
centre of Hoog vliet, including
performa nces by the Riplels,
Def Rhymes, Traliasi and
'Idol ' Dav id

Logica's elaboration
After Logica's board of editors had chosen the model 'Existing Policy for Ever', the
conservation of Hoogvliet's four great spatial characteristics was laid down in
zoning schemes. However, mere preservation is not enough: all parties right away
expressed the desire to improve the quality of notably the green seams, ma king us e
of their spatial and recreative potentialities as much as possible. Although, as to
their size and scale, the seams form an impressive structure, their layout for vario us
reasons leaves something to be desired. Like in so many post-war districts, one has
economised on the green space's layout to such an extent that the possibilities of
parks, public gardens and parkways were not used to the full, which all makes th e
outcome rather poor. Recent economising on the green areas' maintenance has
deteriorated the situation further.
That is why, as a follow-up to Logica, WiMBYl commissioned Maxwan architects an d
urbanists in 2004 - in collaboration with Lola Landscape Architects - to come up
with a draft strategy in order to enhance and embellish the green seams' layout,
planting and visual image. At the same time, one has to start out from a limit ed
budget, mainly coming from the maintenance budgets that will in any case be
available in the next years. The Green Seams Plan must be able to serve as a
guideline for all of the seams' maintenancing and refurbishing over the follo wing
years. In reaction to these starting-points, Maxwan has presented four simple
interventions .

September 2003
WiMBYI presenta tion as part
of the 'At Home in the City'
projec t, orga nised by the
;:;._ ...,-.. Glasgow Institute the light
house , Glasgow, Scotla nd

3.4 September

House G uest Ad ri Duijvestein

in the Tra m Station.
Duijvestein was intef\newe d
a nd produce d a series of

9 September 2003
Final presentation of the mul
tiple urban planmng desig n
study for the Campus, by
Speeslik, Lo!vers va n Bergen
Kolpa and Pa ul Toomend

27 November

Co-housmg excursion to
three ho using p rojects d
veloped for client colleclives:
the Kersentuln (Utrecht),
Kwarte l (Culemborg) a nd De
Toekomst (Amersfo ort )

Small-scale nature reserves (wild flower beds)

The introduction of special, new vegetation in the central reserves and roadsides will result ina varied
appearance ofthe seams. At present, 75 percent ofthe green seams consist of grass. Rubb lefrom Hoogvliet's
torn-down tenement buildings can make the soil arid, which is needed for a rich and flowering natural
vegetation. These chippings (forming the flowerbeds)will be laid out in winding patterns, based on the
turnjng circle of City Services' mowing machine.

The planting ofthe red Cornus alba (called 'Tartarian dogwood') in tubs will make
for a colourful embellishment of the crossroads, particularly fo rthe pedestrians
who are now at the mercy of inhospitable spaces, motor traffic and the wind. In
winter, When all is not so green, the Cornus will colour t he seams crimson at these
crossings. The bushes are trimmed into shape as low, rotund, deep red and
aesthetic elements.


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Hundreds of extra trees, grouped together, are added to the trees in the seams,
which at present are mainly planted in rows. This will make the seams' vegetation
richer, greener, more diversified, and more attractive for non-motorists too, and
thus nicer to cycle and walk through. The groups of trees will enter into a
relationship with the surrounding small parks and buildings. The motorist will
experience an alternation of shady tree dusters and light open spaces. The trees
for these clusters can be provided by the Hoogvliet tree bank and tree nursery.

Bicycle network

!he fo urth and most radical proposal is the bicycle network. All sorts of roads (motorways, cycle tracks,

Ootpaths) cut across the green seams, so that the green tends to get rather patchy. By moving the cycle tracks

to ~he fringes of the green seams, it all becomes more surveyable and the cycle tracks link up directlywith the

adjacent neighbourhoods.This will not only improve social control, but will offer a better connection as well to

:he more finely meshed network of cycle tracks in the various neighbourhoods.This also is a solution to the

ack of connections within the regional bicycle network running through Hoogvllet. Public amenities such as

~portsfields are linked to this network.

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Gre en ery always goes down well. The designers of postwar Hoogvliet knew that, and
so do propert y developers and housing corporations. Out of the four highest scoring

cha ra cteristics of Hoogvliet described in logica, three related to green space: the
green ri ng aro und Hoogvliet, the green borders between the districts, and the
abu nda nt gre enery within the districts. The housing corporations and municipalities
have jointly decided to preserve and reinforce these ha llmarks.


pring for an abundance of green space is at odds with the urban regeneration
project, which involves the demolition of 5,000 Oats and the construction
of the same numb er of new d welli ngs, half of them in the form of houses and
preferably with fro nt and back gardens. The implications of this regeneration
project for public space are already evident in the first demolition/new construction
loca tions in Hoogvli et. Despite estate agents' billboards bearing slogans such as
'livmg in a green zone', the high concentration of dwellings, park ing slots, streets,
kerbs a nd fenc es has effectively ba nished the 'green feeling' that formerly

charac te rised the postwar district. The Green Space Study conducted by Lola
Landscap e Architects on a commission of the Rotrerdam Plan ning and Housing
Depart ment entailed a rchive and field research into the preconditions fo r a 'green
feelin g'. I n order to preserve and enhance rhis feeling, we drew up a number of
rules to be followed by all designers operating in Hoogvl iet.






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To give a more specific interpretation to the term 'green space' in this study, the
latter was divided into seven categories of green ery compo nents: fro nt gardens ,
collective gardens, strips of low greenery, rows of uees, tree-lined canals, parks and
periphera l plantations. For each category, a minimum size and planting quality
Was established to ensure that the green space concern ed can make a substantia l
Contribution to the image and experi ence ofHoogvliet. On rh e basis of rhese


categories of greenery, the following rules were formulated in order (Q maimain the
'green everywhere' feeling in H oogvliet after regeneration of the districr:
1. The nansverse profile of each sneet and each foo tp ath must comain at least One
green componem which results in an asymmetrical (s un oriemed) design of the
rransverse profile. Furrhermore, at least one green componem must be consrructed
with each new building. This rule is m eam ro provide the foundation for the 'green
everywhere' feeling. You must be able (Q see a green co mponenr ro your left or ri ght
wherever you go in the districr.
2 . The suucrure of the built fabric must be open, i.e. with out long, conrinuous
facades or closed corners, so allowing open views and physica l passage between
blocks of buildings. This rule aims ro ensure that you will not only see the greenery
of the sueet itself but also between buildings.
3. Preserve all large, healthy trees. These constiture the most tangible, valuable
green heritage of the postwar districts . To d ecide what co nstitutes a large, healthy
uee for the purposes of this rule, a uee evaluation system was se t up in
collaboration with a local action group (,The Tree Knights'). Besides technical
aspects, the system takes imo accounr the emotional an d hisrorical value of each
During the pilot phase in which these rul es were tested , their application proved to
have major co nsequences for the parcelling plans, but little impact on the rotal
number of dwellings . A lengthy succession of adjustments a nd readjustmems ofte n
made it possible ro reconcile existing plans with the rul es of the green space srudy.
In a few cases, th e incorporation of existing trees resulted in a new, more inform al
parcelling suucture. The Green Srudy has now been accepted as official policy in

eun Castelein gradu ated at

the Utrecht Sch ool of the
Ar Ls in 2002 wi th a study on
Hoogvliet that even t ually led to
a feel-good branding campa ign
for the local residents. Since
then h e has felt a fas cin ation for
th e meLhods an d the effects of
bran di ng. His work focus es on
th e interaction between arch i
tecture and commu nication .
Teun's latest activity - as a Mas
ters studem at th e Sa ndberg
Institute - has been selling the
fro ntage of the institute for ad
ver tising.

Peter Veenstra

The people of Hoogvliet have a
h ighly developed no -nonsense
men Lality. Take the long way
round ? Not us l Cou n tless infor
m al shortc uts h ave gradually
developed into beaten path s
that th e residents use Lo full
adva ntage. To trans for m their
collec tive activi ty into a visible
fea tu re of p ublic space, all these
paths were given a brownish
orange surface reminisce nt of
an athletics track . Taking short
cuts is a Sporl , and Hooglviet
m akes this ac tivity even sportier
th an it was. Long live the rebel
liou s suburb I

Haagvliet could use a little more
colour A special bright pink
hairstyle was designed specially
far Hoogvliet , and will help cre
ate a sense of commun ity.



The spaciousness of Hoogvliet is

one of its most important quali
Lies. But how can we make this
space 'n icer', a more inviting
place to be, without making it
feel fu Uer? Proposal to embed
reclining seats into Hoogvliet's
areas of concrete paving slabs.
Phone the indicated mobile
numbe r and the paving slabs
will ri se, temporarily forming
a comfortable recli ner for
"t...->~ snatching a few minutes of
sunbathi ng.

Scene 12


The Meeuwenplaat quarte r

houses some of Hoogvliet's
mos t independent-minded in
habitants , and is thus one of the
most intriguing areas to walk
through. The residents have
their own very distinct fe eling
fo r u rba n design. Proposal: to
rescue this dist rict from demo
li t ion and simply h and it over to
the residents. The municipality
will remove all the asphalt and
concrete paving, leaving the
bare grou nd fo r the locals to do
with as they please. It'll be fan
tastic l Long live Meeuwenplaat
fre e State.


The deceptive cycle of destroying original landscapes,

the building of cities and the reappearance of the
or iginal landscape, but then as a simulacrum. The ab
surd and fickle way in which man obliterates his sur
roundings, builds over t hem and then reclaims them.

If you have a low opinion of

yourself, you'll never amount 1.0
anything. What Hollywood can
do, so can Hoogvliet l And tha t
will be pJain fOJ all to see in
giga ntic letters . As you drive off
the motorway into the town.
Hoogvliet's filmic ch arac ter will
be apparenL It's a happy ending
for l loogvliet, a nd the residents
are the stars .

A poplar tree is born and dies in what later became
Hoogvliet, along the Aveling near what was ca lled Zalm
plaat, an old polder that lies between the Oude Maas
River and the tidal channel. This poplar represents all
the poplars in Rotterdam: high, fast-growing trees that
l i ne hundreds of streets especially in the older work
ing class areas. Often they are all that remains after
these areas have been demolished, but then they too are
eventually cut down.
Surpri sing l y, these trees have a very bad PRo Without
exception it is claimed that they are dangerous, ug l y
a nd inferior, and that the best thing to do i s to cut
them down before they s imply fall down or drop their
b ranches. This story appears to be so credible that
e v eryone believes it. The poplar is the only tree not
protected by the 'Tree Knights', an organisation f or
tree preservation. The poplar is the only unpopular
tree and the only tree that does not form an obstac le
to any project, whatever it may be. Nevertheless it
i s also a folkloric tree. The poplar is also a tree
t hat tells a story of Rotterdam due to the fact that
it is constantly disappearing. During the film it is
inv isible , we see on l y what it sees. And the memory of
t he city is wiped out again .
Th e inhabitants of Hoogvliet are a constantly changing
organ ism of groups of young optimistic people with



_ __ '0 '

children who move to Hoogvliet in the first wave of

the pioneering generation. They arrive when the houses
are all still new and everything is as it should be.
The first wave of optimistic settling is followed by a
period of relative peace that is suddenly followed by
ageing inhabitants moving away to try their luck else
where and the arrival of the poorer new inhabitants of
Hoogvliet who come, not for new houses, but for older,
cheaper housing, and the development of a frustrating
tense relationship between the old newcomers and the
new newc o mers. Once again it takes a new wave of build
ing or wave of renewal to drive away the old and the
poor and attract a new generation of positive newcomers
to Hoogvliet. The inhabitants of Hoogvliet undergo a
predictable cycle, a cycle that corresponds with the
time scale of a tree.
The area surrounding Hoogvliet is flat and is a combi
nation of sand flats in the bend of the Oude Maas Riv
er. Any suggestion of a relief that once existed here
h as been covered over with soil and then filled with
new housing estates. Where the tides, dykes and trees
once formed an obstacle or reasons for building and
use, a completely new type of structure now covers the
landscape, that of land exploitation, traffic plans and
ot her paper tigers. These determine where building
should or should not take place and even what the land
scape will look like or what it will not l ook like. Why
was the idea for a tidal channel approved despite its
being an extremely expensive reconstruction o f some
thing that has disappeared for ever? Because a house
that overlooks the water is 12% higher in value than
one that d oes not.
Light begins to appear out of the darkness and close at
h a nd we see blades of grass and frogs making their way
through them. Gradually we tear our eyes away from the
grass and look higher to where we see reeds, mo re frogs
and the long thin legs of a heron, weeping willows and,
as the landscape wi dens, a ribbon of reeds growing
along the water's edge. The water rises and falls with a
rhythm that is as regular as a heart beating. As the
tree grows higher and the view of the landscape widens
- in between everything is filled with water, the tree
becomes half submerged and we see people sitt ing on the
roof of their house, the water recedes and life contin
ues - we see farmer s dragging their belongings out of
the house on the dyke and driving off in a cart. Later,
trucks loaded with sand arrive, trees are c h opped down
and houses demolished. The water continues to recede
and at a certain point ceases to rise; dead fish lie
scattered on the river bed. A bulldozer appears and
further on a block of flats is under construction. New

people arrive in cars and buses and unload their be

l ong ings, children play in the river bed, bulldozers
f i ll the bed with sand and build a road.
By n ow the tree has grown so high that it is at the
level of people living on the third floor and it sees
them watching television. The chi ldren have grown up,
have long hair; every now and then we hear a loud bang
and a great burst of fire is visible on the horizon:
She l l ha s arrived.
The tree continues to grow, the buildings age, as do
the people, and there are fewer chi l dren out on the
street. At a certain point coloured children play on
the street and black men are seen riding about on bicy
cles. The tree has become so high that it can see the
next river over the rooftops; there a new t own is de
v e loping, a finer, newer town with houses instead of
blocks of flats. In the foregr ound half of the flats
are uninhabited, and a black girl holding a baby leans
out over the walkway smoking a cigarette.
The tree notices wildly gesticulating men in raincoats
with maps replaced by men and women in work clothes and
l ong hair, who also hold maps in their hands . The bull
dozers reappear, a block of flats is pulled down and a
b ui lding sign appears depicting neat single-family
dwe llings . Busloads of people disappear and cars with
young people in them arrive. New h o uses mushroom and
ch ildre n o n colourful bicycles and wearing hard hats
whiz past the tree . A few dozen metres away the bull
dozers are digging a new road; water reappears in a
c h annel and o nce again we see reeds growing . A heron
f l ies past heading towards the reeds. At the water's
edge hou ses appear with boats tied to a jetty. The tree
l ooks down and right in fr ont o f him men are breaking
up the road once again . A series of black and white
flashbacks takes us back to its youth, when it was
three metres high and a heron stood next to it as small
frogs leapt into the water and Dutch country boys sat
fishing in its shade.
At a certain point the image starts to shake and we
hear the snarl of a chainsaw; black and red flashes
fi l l the screen. The image tilts ove r onto its side and
with a loud crash the tree hits the ground. The last
image i s filmed through the grass; a frog sitting close
b y watches the tree and a heron lands. In the distance
b at hers are playing in the water; they feed the ducks
f r om their postmodern wooden platform. The image gradu
a l ly darkens and finally becomes black.

Ti daI ( han neI

The tidal channel separated the village Hoogvliet from

the sandbars Meeuwenplaat andZalmplaat, 1880.

oogvliet lies on the Oude Maas tidal river. Since time immemoria l a section
of H oogvliet, an early medieval village built on a dyke, was cut in two by a
branch of this river that was a tidal channel. The result was that for
centuries Z almplaat and Meeuwenplaat formed separate islands in the river. The
tidal channel served as an overspill for the Oude Maas River when it had to cope
with large quantities of water. This system of tides meant that the channel became
dry or completely inundated a couple of times a day. At the end of the fifties the
age-old tidal cha nnel had to make way for the building of a new town called
Hoogvliet. Like the picturesque centre of the town, which could not be saved in the
new pla ns, the tidal channel did not fit in with the urban concept of the new
satellite town either. The channel was filled in at the same time as the new
Westpunt housing development was levelled up . Water management was no longer
coorrolled by nature. After the flood d isaster in 1953, in which large partS of
Hoogvliet became inundated, a h igh dyke was built along the Oude Maas River as
part of t he Delta Plan . Since this time Hoogvliet has therefore faced away from the
tidal chan nel. However, parts of the old channel have been preserved along t he
banks of the Oude Maas River in what is now known as Ruigteplaatbos and
southwes t of the Zalmplaat area.
D uring the restructuring of H oogvliet, the Stroming ecological consultancy played
wit h the idea of re-establish ing the historical tidal channel. T his was not based on
nostalgia but on the bel ief that a tidal channel could provide an integral so lution
to a num ber of act ivities and water considerations which had presented themselves
in connection with the transforma tion of Hoogvliet. These problems had so far
been examined as separate matters. Therefore, to compensate for the restructuring,
at least 7.5% of all future suburbs/areas would have to comprise open water and
another 28 hectares would be added to the tota l existing water surface in
Hoogvliet. Tn add ition to th is a development proposal for Hoogvliet included plans
to generally improve the ident ity of the satellite town and for Hoogvliet to face the
River M aas once more. Delighted with the idea that Hoogvliet cou ld become a
tidal landscape once again, in 2002 WiMBY! commissioned the organisation to
investigate the idea of a rea l fl owing tidal landscape and to envisage it in a plan .


Usi ng a combination of eco logical awareness and technocrat ic energy, Stroming

proceeded to create a modern variation of a tida l channel with a total length of 5.3
kilometres. The channel genera lly followed the historical co urse of the old stream
excepl for a few differences. An exact reconstr uction of the channel yo u see, wou ld
mea n that sevetal houses would have to be demolished and th is shou ld be avo ided if
the plan were to be made feasible. The tidal channel was woven through H oogvliet
along the route of the oversized traffic routes. Moreover, the channel was designed
in such a way that it was very much subject to existing natura l wa ter management


processes and therefore had to be able to absorb the Oude Maas River's average
tid al flow. T he plan also assumed a cha nnel with an average low tide channel of 10
rneeres wide and a high tide channel of no more than 50 metres wide. At low tide
the [Oral water surface of the channel wou ld be in excess of 4 hectares and at high
tide as much as 21 hectares wou ld flow into th e river so that the requisite wa ter
storage would be amply met. Sho uld the water level become dangerously high, this
could be reg ulated by way of closable inlets at the channel mouths so that excess
water would not flow into the whole of H oogvliet.
Besides the fact that the tidal chan nel would solve complex watet ma nagement
processes in a way that was both inventive and efficient, the mai n advantage of the
plan was that it wou ld restore the age-old relatio nship between H oogvliet and
the water and the natural surroundi ngs once more. Bringing back the tidal channel
would give Hoogvliet a unique chance to exploit itself as a town in natural
surrou ndi ngs by literally bringing the river back into the town . Consequently, in
Stromil1 g's design the tidal channel was presented as an ecologica l back bone of
the town, a rich and varied natural la ndscape in which kingfishers, beavers,
mergansets and vario us t ypes of fis h such as sea trout, sticklebacks a nd sturgeo n
would have their habitats. Moreover, in additio n to the development of the natural
envito nm ent, the tidal channel also offered special recreational opportuniti es for
the inhabitants of Hoogvliet; the gently sloping banks wou ld provide a place for
fishin g, picnics an d even paddling, whi le asp halted quays would be perfect for
walki ng, skating or cycling.




















Although the plan for the new tidal channel mea nt considerably changing the
physical surro undings, there were sufficient arg uments to assume that the opera tion
could be made technica lly and financia lly feasible . Along the banks of the tidal
chan nel an area wo uld be crea ted for attractive new residential areas, fo r houses
with a spectac ular view of a vas t river la ndscape . The increase in the va lue of tne
land in the immediate vicinity of the tidal chan nel wo uld quite logica ll y result in
the rapid recovery of any investments made in building the tidal chan nel. Once it
had been concluded, the proposal for the tidal channel was immediately offered by
W iMBYI to the relevant sta kehold ers in Hoogvliet for adoption, where it was
greeted with gteat ent husiasm . Both the subm unicipality and the municipal
planni ng departments, as well as the corporation and project developers saw the
attracti ve image ofHoogvliet as a natural a nd recreationa l [Own clea rl y before
them. T his was a unique chance for Hoogvliet to fina lly distinguish itselHrom
other boroughs as a natural [Own on a tidal river and moreover, with a litde
persevera nce, it appeared to be both technically and fina ncially fea sible. H owever,
as so often happens with a- t ypica l plan s, the project became bogged dow n in the
concept phase. In t he midst of all this enthusiasm nobody had declared themselves
willi ng to actuall y embrace the plan and to take responsibility for its further
execution. In this projec t, to use a modern official term, no one had 'problem
ownersh ip'. And so the ambitious plan to bring back the tidal channel to H oogvli et
quietly died a nd is now stored in a file box where it has been gathering dust for five
years .

The location of the tidal channel in its

current state (on the site of the Aveling).

Design for atidal channel in Hoogvliet,

bureau Stroming, 2002.
. __________


Mogelijk geulprofiel ter hoogte van ZalmplaatiMeeuwenplaat

smalle ... ersie. profiel bij gemiddelde standen onccw ijl igd t.o.v. brede versie









linkeroever: grotE"r e opperv lakt e onder invloed getij

gunstig voor vO~ J: ls en rnoerasvegetatie




::_::: :.:: :.:.-:.:.-:.:.-:.:.-:.:.-:.:.::.:.-:.:.-:.:.-:':'-8tm.illa - I{l.-'-~ -~ lliAi..:2:ii!iL :.:.-:.:.

99% on~e'5cfi(1j~ng l<lagwater

aktilnd (mete r)

Talk in the series: 'Awoke ...
New Engagement in Archi
tectu re ', a l the Aca demy of
Architecturo in Arn hem

First stage 01 approval l or the
construction of the Second

31 January - 6
February 2004
The 'Groeibriljan ten'
subsidy was introduced by
the a lderman for Physica l
Infrastru ctu re, Marco Pastors.
His in tention w a s to g ive Rot
terda mmers the opportu nity
to ha ve some influence on
their own neighbourhood
by subsidising ci lJ zens'
i nitiallves that were b rought
to completion i n cooperation
with the markel and whic h
w ould lead to physical resu lts
within lour yea rs . The Heer
lljkheid Hoogv liet was one 01
the candida tes and WiMBY I
ca mpa igned so that people
w ou Id vote for 11

9 February 2004
La unch o f the Cam pus web
site: www.w im!camp us

12 February . 3 1
May 2004
'De Grote Verbouwing '
exhibition (NAIJ. WiMBYI par
ticipa ted, showmg a model
in the form of a low-rise block
of Ha ts with a n en tra nce hall
(de signed by Edith G r usonl

17 February 2004
The Heerlljkheid Hoog
v liet is awa rded the status
of 'Groeibrilja nt". The p rojec t
r ece ives 750,000 subSid y for
the con struc tional elements
and the fitt ing and furnishin
of the Villa

March 2004
School Parasites go i nto p ro
duct ion

April 2004
SchoolParasltes d elivered to
Ho og vliet site

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!Vtt ft,en Kromwljk I'" II trcltned econol1"i.:>t and t,as been

Woonbron housing corporatiof'l since 1997 As a
"Jldtr 'W i') CI memb~r of the board of Wi MBYJ, which.
'her Wlt"1 Woonbron, undertook such projeatc; as th e
fPpw. Westpunt, die Maisonette bU ildings and t he M ulti.
rctioncll AccommooCltion, for the 'communi ty school' in

Wh at d Id you fi nd when you first had dealln95 with 1100gvliet1

realisod -h<Jt Hooqll ,Elt was a vII age 1101 c lown It held"
"1(1et ''ilia.:; \( t ted by 8 re~tde.".s' COMrT\lttel:' fr{J:n HoogvliE't , <.lll of tl1.:,
"" l it !:! se' Clllzcr ~ , f r,ey J- JI c ~lcrlsed thl' prob erT'S ." Hoogvl etll'd , iooh
'''elr " gf'!iC':l Th'\Y S<llr/ ' we ilr' not b.::d peope , wf! hovtl oflnerJ ~lIel\er tc;
"'oy people I" Hoogvl:el. but Il ls degenerdttng ~ M.-"eo'ler l!lere '11101(> D

I Ttlnec;li.,tr:ly


hOMe!, un ::Ic..;upied e" o

tr J ~ produced d.1ngcrotlS stt..JDllor'>


erer' l being rrade, ilnd so ulbar re"lcwai were created, people '111 1\0
'-ad to move hou,;e- :'lq.... '" and '"9i1 II TI 'E' restde'l1tt; also said they saw people
radm:!!y movong awOl,,!, from Hoogtlliet bec".J~ !hs)' saw no i JtllTe t07 the>IT:SE'lIlOS
!..t . c~e tv'Iy relllU1'1sf1IP With tlte m.,abltarls Is stili b.JSed on thiS anatys.l
Could you describe the situation leading up to IBE? When did it start?
What preceded It?
an ME" ,er r'31yed a d;:>OSIVl' !'O;" l-IC'stened I... lh~ story ill1d W3S I"\a:l1l)1
ntC1tc~ted If tr.t' oot.tlon of the rnL,abltClrt5. a ... ~ whe,tile - f-tOOgll, .:>t wou;d
050 ils tlOO~ to poop', fr.::lm RottNdam IF we ~oulJ fInd gooj a"swors to
l'')( 1 Is~ue~ WI:! could qu ahead WIth oUr pia ~s. \le'Jer .. approach wa!. all"\051
rb!Jrar; hiS motto was 'hF.ip lh~m but don t ill'!"lMt'! ('11\ Hlerr ' He drafted the
I\rchitcc t4lre Papt'r to~ethcr wrth PctN l<,,Jenz.i C'ld trerc Int1od.rced I1Is Idell
f OT l"tor'lOIIOnal Arc. r 'tel tural f xhibl\;on ~ r Hoc.glllit't t had to b"com(' \
~e ct w,th Irtlenatlui"al allure When'll" rEad U'E' P~Op05il' WE' lHlW "t as ar
opportunity. There wert' d .. .rbls regard .nQ r('';t ,Jc"tunng d "J) to t1,8 faC't that
I'<. :!O 0

10ng-ter""l affol:r It would (nt'lll., numb(ll 0' po, 11c:.:J1 c;hangcs ""1d oJn

,nil>! tI H'!;\Jlt If " vl/iViil COj1tll'jlty HOtl'1vItN



woud be p:acctl in ttlE' spotlight

'Her Kue'l1lt 'ilia!> appoInted quortermute:" and he warted II") u~dE'n!lk(! or;

. rban metamG p~o~ , s project In liooqil, ot

but wait a minute, Kuenzli called It an urban metamorphosis project
nd we have Just said that Hoogvllet is really a village. Kuenzli saw IBE as
a grand oparlltlon inspIred by the lessons lenrned from ISA in Germany,
'>d3 lriteresteCl in the Irldge of the otlOP;I$ 10 the prc.!>pertu'i, II' whith
HOO~II"C"t , was Ihe .r:()'1tr,ll pOlllt of u m,J(" 1)1~gel ;;rE'"J ,(lr~ '111.'.5 cor-nrc tea
Yes ,

vern' d."c"'~lons. to the po't, ,c.enc:e t"re IJrbar ecoromy ll1\d Ihn t.;!;_lol
nat I : (.~ t'lC"ind l f.lilt was ar Intrig.JI"9 mage We raaJly .vanted 1C1 't:clk"
1:0';!; c f II It cOl.'ld not be llilowed to fall I'Iad stt~ed to





nd then there was a changing of the guard. Crimson and myself shifted
the emphaSis to an acupuncture method.
I :iE w.:.s r ':; 10riqC't what It onc(- was No rT>llttot wtoat W,M BYI d .d, I had lost my
enthUt.!ssM Tre- "\ew :;1 'rT'l'l'1uddowT' 0'" \'10 .tlt'lg!1r had ,""ternal'!)"
~ no IDnger brmi;Jrt .lny $pN;lal .::tld1d VJluu B4It, ac~cptcd it-at .t
n Jld rot beCOMe wl1at we had plan.,ed We ll.Jd 1C;3t Iht' o: toPU$, '1owcve r . J
~_ dt:!o.,d tt)e acupun.-ture even t'1ouHh It didn't "o3Ve dS rn'!jth ;:Jded valu
.1<11 plilO. Two things rt'Ma ned interrlltlon8, attc!"ttlon dl1t1 being L
'a(::tP, a r,+1fT'~bt", That wa<; "llso ~in~ a.,d I .. cot'ptcd It ff1c-(> were
rnorlt'l ~ut:"h tiS fOlrnultltlrg the three , con~ far Haag\,': CIt th
H(ll'flijl<twld th{ , CS'T,PUS <lnd ttl,., Tral. f-il~torv (we" tllollq ',,1 lSi 11 pty ''')[" lIn
" . ' ",I dId ""It MJte, 11iS1 And t"o O()';tNbaker '100 M("t('r~ )"tlt <o;,;(1.,(\tl
I llV.., I W,-",.-b, In .. 1:.: 39,',1 prOjoct IrJ Huqwll(;ti Wil5 (lIsp., p~.rt o II Eo,
llql, en p.,,,... 'l:"~ ' Iy hGd ";- .ll;"ty l' ..lll w't~ (he' 01 -,tcrbc:o

Trial Factory
Very close to Hoogvliet, hidden behind a narrowbut dark wood, lies the largest
petrochemical pl ant in Europe, the Shell refinery.


Thin gs were very different in the past; at that time the proximity of the port to the new
residential areas was a matter for (elebration and there was an open park with sports
faci lities and (ycle paths where there is now a buffer lone.

~ ~\ \ ~ ~\ ~

An explosion on the Shell siteat 4.23 in the morning on Saturday 20 January1968 was the symbolic end ofthe
optimistic relationship between the town and the port. The industries in the Botlekarea became da ngerous
and dirty; fewer people from Hoogvliet went toworkthere. Aphysical separation was impossible, but a visual
one was, almost...

The delicate relationship between the port and the residential areas was meticulously
defined bythe 'danger and discomfort boundaries', with their accompanying restrictions
fo r both parties. More than half the area of Hoogvliet was covered by this blanket of
statistics and regulations.



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After almost 30 years of voluntary isolation, the petrochemical companies in the port of
Rotterdam have to acknowledge that they cannot find sufficient people to operate their
increasingly complex installations. They need highly trained people, people who start their
specialised education as teenagers and gain practical experience in the factory.

The petrochemical plant has been a closed bastion for more than a quarter of a century; an
immense installation of pipes and tanks which one never sees anyone entering or leaving.
The plant appears to be run by computers in bunkers deep under the ground. The refinery's
flares still make the people of Hoogvliet shudder.











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System error: the petrochemical companies need welltrained process

operators who know howto run a real working installation. The present
instaJlations are so sophisticated, compactly built and automated that
there is neither the time nor space to educate trainees. Result: the
influx of operators stalls.








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Missing part: a real working petrochemical plant

made specially for training purposes. ATrial Factory,
where young people are not only trained but also
attracted back to petrochemicals, because they are
(001. Asymbol for a port that, after thirty years, is no
longer ashamed of using symbols.


3 .


In Spring 2002, WiMBY! brought together the engineers from the process course at the
Mar itime andTransport College, the former director of the port authority, the futurologist
Ru dolf Das and the architect Kamiel Klaasse of NL Architects for a design workshop.

There is one place where the two incompatible sides of the port city - the residential areas
and petrochemicals - come close: Hoogvliet, which is the Janus head of this port city. (an its
painful position, with the sharp contrast between town and industry, be used to attract the
Trial Factory? Welcome into My Backyard?

By combining the best futurologist of the 60s with the sharpest architects of the 'Super
Dutch' generation, we hoped to be able to restore the street cred to technology, progress,
the nostalgia for progress, and industry.



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Rudolf Das 500n had his answer ready: install a big concrete cylinder betwee"n Ho~gvl'i~t and
Shell, put the installations inside it, with a lightly constructed roof over the top that can
easily be blown off so that any explosion would be directed straight upwards, and put the
school buildings around

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from tho tmporf.

Armanl bovttque,




4. NL Architects

Selectod by Oroog Design , interior and

product design collective , Amsterd am

I'tloto: KOGS IIIt'EUK!L

W111p-smart In taut black rubber, NL Architects'

new project outside the Dutch city of Utrecht Is
unlike anything you've ever seen: As Inviting to
the eye as to the tOllch, it looks like a lunar
hybrid of an inner tube and a slippery sex toy,
The building. a heat-oxchange Slallon, speaks
In an entirely new and wickedly subversive
architectural vocabulary. The Amsterdambased
partners, Pieter Bannenberg, Kamlel Kleasse,
Mark Linnemann, and Walter ven DUk, Incor
porated Into the station's polyurethane skin a
habitat fo r bat s, a rockcllmbing wall where
the toeholds spell a secret message In Braille,

1~7fit.~~-; ~_/$'~~1.. ~
lk't" ~

end a basketball hoop with 8 glass backbO

that serves es the strUCWre 's only windOW, II
the future of building design Is aboUt IrfI'J,tlof1,
etnclency, and ecology, but not at the ~ .
pense of style and humor, then NL's building
otters e knowing gli mpse of where we are
headed. Unt il t he station Is put into ~rVlce
supplying heat to eleven thouselld ho uses,
most of whi ch are ye t to be built, "It Jusl sits
in the backyard of a fa rm, with meadoWS.
cows, and trees,' the archlteq!S noll! But 10 a
few years, after the city arrives, 'Il II' II be a I8C'
ti le part of the public domain. '
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Nl Architects came to the same conclusion: by putting the installation in a sturdy casing, the safety
risk would be limited and the school could be brought much closer to the inhabited world. In addition,
NL Architects turned the Das concept upside down. They put the school on top of three cyli nders of
different strengths and thicknesses. Why three? Because not all the installations are equally
dangerous, and the casing does not have to be equally strong everywhere, and because it is more

-----,I I

Paarse lij" = mogeli)k va n derden /

Ie betrekkenl

Groen ;:: veil'ge rufmte

Oranje ;:; bevellllgde ruimte


Rood ;:: exira bcveiligde" -.

green: safe zones

orange: secured zone
red: extra secured zone

Paar.1Itn =moge{Ij~ 'Ian de(den


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The architecture of the Trial Factory is a direct translation of the special

requirements for a training installation. Whereas in a 'real' petrochemical
plant the installations are packed in on each other as compactly as possible,
for the Trial Factory they have to be carefully laid out so that the students and
teachers have the clearest possible overview. The chemical processes should
be open and accessible, placed in a logical order and grouped by safety risk.











The architecture of the Trial Factory is also a direct consequence of the wish to make
something no one has ever yet seen, something that is just as attractive and frighteningas
the reunification of the port and the city, petrochemicals and Hoogvliet. Taking the example
of their own design for aflower vase, NL Architects stuck the parts of the factory together
counter-intuitively: a school on top of all the pipes, a knowledge centre on top of the school
and on top of the knowledge centre a park with trees, benches, dogs, flowers and incredibly
large holes from which flames occasionally flare up or clouds of gas escape.


In modern petrochemicals there is a sharp distinction between the dirty reality of the pipes, tubes and
boilers, the 'pipery' that hasn't changed in decades, and the constantly developing techniques by which
they are monitored and operated: the increasingly clean digital world of networks and computer screens.
In the Trial Factory these two worlds would be housed in separate spaces, but with many, often
unexpected, visual connections. The cylinders containing the pipes regularly break through the slabs in
which the school and the knowledge centre are housed. The slabs themselves are oriented towards the
outside by means of spectacular panoramic windows and through-views, looki ng out at Hoogvliet and
the landscape of the Botlek area, but here and there a window would also look out on to the steaming
and sweating pipes in their concrete casing.











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The Trial Factory balances on the stark contrast between industry and town, between
Hoogvliet and Shell. They will have to exploit this delicate position as well as possible and at
~_ _ _ the same time symbolise it as clearly as possible. What is the best landing site?



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The most obvious is the classic mot;;-rway location in Hoogvliet, at the viaduct over the A15,
directly opposite the head office of Shell Pernis and next to Macdonald's. Thi s is already the
place where youngsters hang out and is therefore the best catchment area for the Trial

Amore sublime location, but less fun, would be at the Beneluxplein, where the A4 reaches the A1S and will probably later
be extendedtowards Belgium. An austerely designed, light-grey concrete monument, whose surreal outlines stand out
sharply against the petrochemical skyline, would do the most justice to the mega-aesthetics ofthe Botlek: without scale,
inhuman and awfully beautifu l.

It seems romantic and even melancholy, but it links up with the sharp rise in interest in ecology, global warmihg,
rising sea levels and diminishing biodiversity: aTrial Factory immersed in the luxuriant woods betweenHoogvliet
and the industry. What was once a buffer now becomes acentre, abrain park, acampus for the young engineers
and operators who learn the profession here and reflect on the future of the port. Perhaps, because of climate
change, the building may after several years be overgrown with new native climbers and creepers. Then the Trial
Factory would be an ancient temple in the jungle.

Are port managers French philosophers?

e creation of the Trial Factory seemed inevitable; a coalition of architecrs,
WiMBYI and the engineers from the Maritime and Transport College itself
worked on it. We were advised by the former director of the port authority and
his network. The project answered all the questions, from the concrete questio n of
well-trained process operators to the broader qu es tion of a new symbol for the port.
Representatives of the port aut hority and the processing indu stry used images of
the project in talks and presemac.ions, booklets a nd posters.
They were nevertheless shocked when we asked abou t the next phase, that of
implementation. We might have known: the project was called creative, innovative,
a marvellous vis ion of a new port, an icon, a symbol. It seemed less important that
it was in the first place a building, a school. The adminiStra tors of th e huge school
communi ties, the directors of the petrochemica l compan ies, the board of directO rs
of Shell, the representatives of the companies in the Europort and the m a nagers of
the porr authority appeared unconsciously ro be followers of Barrhes and
Baudrillard: semioticians and post-structuralists in double-b reasted suits

surrounded by nasks of coffee and tea. In the conference rooms of the Europort,
the cult of f'empire des signes and fe simi/acre was practised every day. They had
always conceived of the Trial Facrory as a sign of innovation, not as an instrument
ro achieve it; they saw it as playing a pan in the hypeneafite of the POrt, nor in its
They dealt wi th the impossibility of breaking away from the reality of the pon,
which is focused entirely on quantity and annual accounts, by creating a virtual
port of booklets, slogans, jargon and images, full of creative innovations. The
transition we had suggested, from the hyperreality of the drawing board ro the
reality of the real POrt, was a painful and embarrassingfoux pas.
The Trial Facrory could only exist if the various schools in the Europon were to
invest together. But why would they collaborate with other schools with whom they
had already been fighting a grim Struggle for pupils for yea rs'
The Trial Facrory could only exist if the POrt authority, as a public body, were to
take the first step. But the POrt authority does not wa nt to make any unprofitable
investments and leaves the initiative to industry.
The Trial Factory would only be able to exist with the suppOrt of Shell, which
would thereby redefine its ties with Hoogvliet. But the director of Shell Pernis has
such a tightly defined job that the only thing he can do is refine oil. His Board of
Directors is so far away from Hoogvliet and the Europort that they consider
concrete local projects irrelevant.
The Trial Factory was not built. Instead, a few simulation and trial installations
were set up, scattered dozens of kilometres from each other all over the port, to
which students are taken in minibuses. The managers are still using images of the
Trial Factory in presentations abroad.
In 2006 Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, declared a
second Industrial Revolution, a postindustrial revolution. All the countries of
Europe and their industry were ro work together to red uce C02 emissions by 20%
within just a few years by means of drastic Cuts in energy use; this would bring
about an unprecedented development of high-tech knowledge and ecological
expertise that wou ld not only safeguard Europe from the manipulations of oil
producing countries but also once again make it a forerunner in the field of science.
All indu stries, especially those in the energy an d transport sec tors, will have to
change from dumb to smart; the y will have to replace old school with new school
and will have to anract the elite. The POrt of Rotterdam will have ro change its
image from simply that of a huge container transshipment port and oil refinery intO
a Silicon Valley of innovative energy and transport sciences. T hese are the visions of
the new management of the port authority that took office in 2005.
So perhaps now is the time for the Trial Factory'

tough grou
underst- ,.

Jacqueline Cornelissen originally trained to work in the

!>Oclal se~Vlces s(,ctor. She has been a member of the
Ddgelijks Bestuur [Town Council) of Hoogvliet' since 1998
and .. also responsible for the Urban Planning and Education

Felix Rottenberg: You were our pacesetter in Hoogvllet. during the

time we were operating here . When d id you enter polit ics? How did It
JacquE'lme Cornelissen: I joIned the IBP (Inltiatiefgroep Boomgaardshoek
en Platar, a local Hoogvliet political' party) in 1987 and wound lip on tne
council a year later. I did not consciouslv decide to enter politics . I was
living, behind the underground rotation Clnd there were plans lO hold a fair
in the car park
That was a NiMBY! reaction! Which often leads people to take action.
The residents had started a petition, but I had just 111{:11 made an
appointmc,nt with the Council. They pusheo me forward as their
spokesperson, The'Chalrman of tpe Submunicipal CounCil Hans Elernans
heard me speak ilt one of Its meetings and asked me SOOn afterward if I
wa"'ted to enter politics I was 28 at t~e time Eventually, wound up JOining
the DageliJks BestUU'r In 1998.
Have you always been interest ed In spatial planning and the physica l
Yes. I was interested . It was somethl'lg concret' and you had dire!:\
contact with the residents you represented, ~(ou could achieve more than
In the 60cial sector.
Our paths crossed quite often during the Campus project. That
project has been analysed to death. There 's no dynamism left. What
c:ould we have done to prevent that?
Occasionally, this country falls victim to mediocrity. That's not your fault
The striking thing about that process is that It'S 1111 about power, Both ill
the JOS (Department of Youth. Education and Society) ,as well as the
school boards. I'm not sure how It happens. that kind of thing leaves me
Why did we accept it?
Because we wanted to l'lVolve everyone In the process as much as
possible, We wanted to reach a consensus.
There are currently no good schools in Hoogvliet. They will have to be
built on the Campus. For many parents, good education is a reason to
settle in a particular area. How important is the Campus as a reason to
settle in Hoogvliet,i n your opinion?
Very Important. Right now, people are sending their children to school in
Spijkenisse And moving there, or to certain areas of the south of
Rotterdam or 5ch,edam. Education IS extremely importilnt to those
people. who want their children to remain in their own SOCial milieu
Hoogvliet Is like a villaye, which can be pOSitive ill the sense Ihilt everyone
knows each other, If you send your chlldlen to school in Spljkenisse you
lose sight of them; you don't know what they're up to once they 've crossed
the bridgE! ! would estimate thnl education in Hoogvliet counts for 20% of
t"e reason people decide to live there
We still have seven years of trial Bnd error to go before the Campus is
built, and even that will be a stripped-down version . It won' t be a
super Campus .
If 01l9oes well, 1M four years we will have a Campus with all of the features
we ever dreamed of. Not In ~evcn years, 1IS you prediCt. The Woonbron


Hoogvl iet

etween 2001 and 2006 WiMBY! was the driving force behind an amb itious
educational project known as Campus H oogvliet. It was conceived as a
collabora tive undertaking involving three secondary schools in the Rot terdam
boro ugh of H oogvliet: Penta College (VM BO), ROC Zadk ine (M BO and HBO),
and Einstein Lyceum (MAVO, HAVO, VWO and Gymnasi um).' All three schools
had plans to expand , and in the end they opted for collaboration. T his m ade
possi ble joint facilities which wo u ld not have been feasible for any of the individual

hools. However, all three were determined to retain their identity and their sm all
I The Campus was origina lly conceived as a com pacr build ing near the
~::~vliet shopp ing centre, but on the basis of the Logica study carried out in 2002
[see p. 153-1 74], t hose plans were altered and a larger site was chosen, next to the
Men o station Za lmplaat. That deCISIOn ensured that the Campus would have a
regional role ro play and that a n und er-used merro station would regain its former





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The proposed collaboration wi ll make possible a smoother transition from one

school type to another. Recent innovations within preparatory seconda ry vocationa l
education, such as practical lin ks w ith both the business world a nd trade and
industry, arc intend ed to stem the outflow of students. But the Camp us is more
than an ed ucati onal project. It is ai m ed at stimulating local develop ment, so that
the neigh bourhood will also benefit fro m th e innovative school program me,
through COlll mercial activities , housing, and a variety of ancill ary services . Plans
include a city restaura nt, a sport hall and fitness centre, a cu ltural comp lex for
young people, a neighbo urhood centre, housing in the direct vicinity of the
Campus, and businesses that rely on the schools. These facilities will shape the
interaction between the Campus and the neighbourhood: students will ca rr y out
service tasks for residents, a residential hotel will provide wo rk slots and learn ing
positions, and companies will offer internships and h ire students. Hotel residents
will enjoy a pa rk-li ke setti ng, while taking advantage of such amenities as a
restaurant, and sport and fitness faci lities in the direct vicin ity. The Cam pus is
designed to provide an efficient, inviting, and safe residential area conducive to
learning and wo rk, in prime urban and architectural surrou nd ings. The added
value for the people of H oogvliet is self-evident, and these facilities will serve ro
attract new res idents. Instead of a compact, la rge-scale school complex, the C amp us
will be a cluster of buildings w hich reflect the identity a nd the intimate scale of the
schools, against the lea fy background of H oogvliet.

A covenant has now been agreed upon by all th e parries involved. The housing
Corporation W oonbron will act as develop er, a nd th e OMA (Offi ce for
Metropoli tan Atchitecture, co-fo unded by Rem Koolhaas) h as been asked ro draw
up a m..."lstCt plan for the Campus. Consideri ng its previous hisro ry and the delaying
mechan isms at play over the past few yea rs, it is ve ry m uch the question whethe r
this means that the Campus will now be rea lised without furthe r ado.

Michelle Provoost fin d Wottter Vanstiphout: How and when did you become involved in
the Campus?
Fel ix Rottenberg: It was some time in the au tum n of 2001 that the chairman of the

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In the past few years the schoo ls , the borough , and the lOS (Department of Youth ,
Education and Society) have wres rled wit h numerous complex issues, not least of
which was the process of give and take which is inherent in a project like the Campus.
Progress h as been made, but it has been slow. WiM BY I was involved in the project
in the person of Felix Rottenberg, who charac terises his role va riously as th at of
drivin g force, m anager, butler, producer and animal trainer. For five yeats he
manoeuvred his way through the quicksand of educational bureaucracy. The following
interview focuses on his experie nces during this long and difficult process.

January 2003, definitive location decided upon

In Janua ry 2003 the schools and the borough of Hoogvliet opted for the Zalmplaat rather than the
Unie location .The aim of the workshop was to exam ine the possibilities of the new site.



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Hoogvliet borough council, Hans Elemans, ca lled me and sa id : 'Felix, we're

wo rking on getting three schools to merge. Could you manage to get to the meeting
of the steering group? ' H ans thought I cou ld help in som e way. H e felt that what
they needed was a ' heavyweight', someone who wou ld aim higher, and spearhead
the whole thing into a super-Hoogvliet project. After talking with WiMBY!, We
came to the conclusion that the chosen location - near the shopping cemre - was
ac tually not a very good choi ce. After all, if it's going to be a supra-regional project,
shou ldn't it be better connected ... '
At that point we hadjust started working with Logica.
So it didn't take long to figure out that the schools would have
order to give them access to the metro.


be relocated, in

A nd was it immediately clear to everyone how important the Campus was for the
Yes. I had no trouble impressing that fact on all the parties. I raised the project ro a
higher level, formulated it in different terms, and tried to give it more depth , more

character. I wanted them to think: "Right, that's exactly the way we see it". This
was before the whole notion of a campus had taken shape. Three or four years
before, th e concept of the brede school or 'co mmunity school', which is linked to
neighbourhood faci lities, had made its emry into primary education. It proved to
be a real magnet, and the idea was that the Ca mpus would do the same thing for
secondary education.
In 2003 we had thl-ee sketch plans drawn up. These were supposed to get the discussion
Yes, and the re was also a memorandum on educationa l innovation and how it could
best be achieved within the Campus concept. Then someone raised the question of
whether the C ampus would fit in with the regional strategy worked out by the
school boards, and that brought up all sortS of linkage problems. I met with the
schools and spem a whole morning there, going over things - it was quite
invigorati ng. They ended up seeing the Campus in a much broader context. They
realised that it did fit in with the regional strategy and the reallocation plans for
education . We und ersrood each other. But later we became embtoiled in an endless
series of sessions with the JOS, where we were treated like children. At one point, I
had ro leave th e room- I fe lt physically unwell. We were being endlessly strung
along, and getting nowhere fast.

January 2003:first sketch

The next step was to make the concept of the Campus more concrete, and to give people an idea of what a
cluster of schools would mean for the thenrather lackluster surroundings of the metro stationZalmplaat.
So WiMBYlAsked Maxwan Architects & Urban Planners to come up with the initial sketches.
While in this impression the three schools are combined, each individualschool is still recognisable. They
are set in park-like surroundings, and are easily accessible by Metro. The campus features every
conceiva ble facility for the students, as well as many which appea lto other segments of the population.
These include music studios, workshops, a sport school, a swimming pool and skating rink, a public library
and multi-media centre, a playhouse, a restaurant with a practice kitchen and a store, as well as achurch
and aday-care centre.

/fyou look at all the parties and their delaying tactics - the schools as well as the civil
servants- what do you think their motives were for sabotaging the process, looking at it
ji-om the angle o/system analysis?
It was a power stru ggle. Nobody stood up and sa id "Hey, we have shared interests
as far as the main goa l is concerned: excellent educational facilities, with everything
that th at emails." What we were seeing was a territorial struggle that begga red
descript ion l It was almost like China: the provinces battle each other, but when
they hear the enemy approaching, they don't waste any time joining forces.
Everyone kept switching allegiance. It sounds senseless, but actually it's not: the
name of the game is power, pure power l One minute you're negotiating at the level
of rhe city council and the commissioners, and the next thing you know yo u're back
with the directors. Sometimes it was rotal chaos.


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But even though Penta College is we!! organised, that doesn't necessarilymean that its
school board has reserved a special place for Hoogvliet in their regional planning, or that
they actually intend to invest in the Campus. Does it really make any difference to them
whether the site ofthe Campus is Spijkenisse or Hoogvliet?

september 2003: concluding presentation of the three spatial conceptions of the Campus
Lo(vers Van Bergen Ko/pa

The departure point ofthe plan put forward by lofversVan 8ergenKolpa was curriculum innovation, the
ultimateobjective of the Campus. They came up with an unusual proposal, whereby the curriculum is split into
five study profiles: nature, technique, care, culture, and basic curriculum. Each profile Is housed in aseparate
buildingwith its own public space. This means that students from the three different schoolsmingle with one
anotheron the basis of ashared preference for technology, care or commerce. The individual identity of each
schoo lis reflected in its 'home base', consisting of acanteen, staffroom, administrative offices, etc. Thjs results
in a/ca rpet' of green spaces dotted with clusters of buildings, each with its own form and character. The various
programme segments are interwoven, so that the end result is an integrated urban model with arural touch.
Public, collective and private merge; learning and working blend, alternating with recreation.

They're convinced that they're better - that they have more to offer - and they're


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But it taught me a 10,t, especially ~bout how complex the situa tion is. Something
else r learned is that confessIonal educa[)on IS better orgamsed . Not only does tha
mean that the quality is better, it's also more autonomous . According to 'anti
revolutionary' doctrine, this is known as sovereignty within your own walls. T he
act as if the y're sovereign, and that's the way they're organised. 1 Internally the) h:ve
an excellent management system. For example , CVO (Christian Secondary
Education), represented by Penta College, has six schools, and it
steers and coaches the six principals. It's a balanced ed ucation system, a quali ty
system that gets good results, and that means they're in a position to make
demands and extend their territory.

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May 2003. Wanted: three spatial concepts of the Campus

WiM8Y! asked th ree architectural firms - SpeeSlikDoepel, LofversVan8ergenKolpa, and Paul Toornend - to
develop their own urban vision forthe Campus, exploring the spatial and functional potential of the program;e
and the location, on the basis of the provisional Programme of Requirements put forward bythe schools, and e
g g:: existing spatial planning programme for the area as awhole.
() 5" The Campus is related, first, to the neighbourhood known as Meeuwenplaat, then to Hoogvliet as awhole, and
~ finally to the region. The main issue we asked the Flanners to add ress was how the educational faci lities coul the
~ g- best be integrated into the surrounding neighbourhood. Should there be acl ear line of demarcati on between
?Campus and the residential areas, or should we strive for afusion of the educational functions of the Campus
~ with the rest of the neighbourhood. The three firms were asked to come up with aspatial vision that would
highlight the possibilities, advantages, and disadvantages of the various scenarios.







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not making any concessio ns as far as the merger with the other two schools is
concerned, because then they wouldn't be able ro meet th eir Own quali ty goals. At
that point, I put a proposal ro the publiC scho ol board (Einstein C ollege and ROC
Zadkine): "C ome on , guys, Penta college IS Just over the bndge in Spij ken i ~se _ i
other words real close . Give Pema general control within the Campus , and
exchange that for comrol somewhere else". That was last year at the spring talks . S
I walk imo one of those chain hotels with a European name _ the mod~rn vers ion 0
of a village hotel, where the white wine is sweet and there's Some stupid old Picasso
poster on the wall. But okay, all these guys are sitting around the table. And finally
there was a breakthrough. That was when we knew how we were going to solve th~

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H ow often did that happen - a sudden breakthrough?

Oh, about 21 times, I'd say. You think you've solved something, and then later on
things begin ro stagnate again. After the breakthrough , rhe CVO was supposed to
up the text, but things went wrong. It's always about competition . It starred

with the 1917 Pacification Agreement between the public schools and the
denominational schools, which from then on had the sam e rights j In Holland
this is so simple and has been carried to such ridiculous lengths: when a broken
window is fi xed in state school A, the same amount is paid to private school B in
compen sation!Even though the system has since been refined, and the school
boards are now independent bodies, it's a problem that continues to fester. As a
result, the public administration no longer has any say in the matter. This causes
enormous fru stra tion among commissioners in the larger citi es , who have ro steer a
careful diplomatic course. But expenditures - especially in Rotterdam _ are always
handled the wrong way, a nd that can drive you to distrac tion. The situation was
like this: Commissioner Van der Tak had no authority over the JOS, which
conducted itself like an independent emity. The cru x of the matter was that they
had a say in how money was spent, again according ro State regulations . They
starred playing power politics, and instead of using their power as a tool in rhe
negotiations, they kept it for th emselves, becoming their own estate agent. Instead
of speeding things up, they slowed everything down.
The JOS became a gigantic drag on the process. The real role it played is still
not clear. I suppose you could call it obstruction. T ha t's the way they saw it in
Rotterdam. It's a ki nd of mathematical formula that auromatically leads ro
delays and complications. Ami-dynamics always mean s lower rather than higher
quality. Add to th at the concept of school-board s-at-a-dista nce, the Kafkaesque
conduct of the JOS services , the private agendas of all those concerned, and the
various 'competition viruses' that were going around, and you end up with a
formula that reads: school governors at a distance (sg) + Kafkaesque (k) +
competition (c) + ex tra competition between the corporations (cc) = delays and
a decline in qu ality.


de campLlIl

A nd is the result more or less inevitable?

Yes , it is. The only oth er way of doing things is th e Piet Boe khoud method _ he's
head of ROC Albeda - an edu cation al innovator who regularly comes up with
unusual, even bi zarre ideas' That's how he gets results, and th at's why peopJ<: want
to collaborate with him. H e says 'Okay, this is the way it's going to be.' But we
didn't happen to have a Piet Boekhoud here in Hoog vlict ...


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The ad hoc formation SpeeSlikDoepel examined two optionsfor interweaving the campus and the surrounding
residential areas: 'Combi-cluster' and 'Recycling'. In the Combi-cluster option, the shared functionsare
thematised in three clusters: culture (cultural centre, auditorium and teens' club), sport (swimming pool, sport
hall, fitness facility, and skating rink), and knowledge (library and media centre). Basedon the identity of the
three schools, Penta College i.steamed with Culture, ROC-Zadkine with Sport, and EinsteinLyceum with
KnOWledge. The three school buildings are groupedtogetherwith the residential structures, whichtake the
form of a 'vertical garden city'consisting of blocks with gardens on each flo or.
The second option, Recycling, explores the possibility of creating aCampus while retaining the existing
residential blocks. This would entail enlarging the houses by joiningthem together, and reserving the ground
floor forfacilities and shops.The schools would make use of the flats as well (at any rate, the shell). By roofing
OYer the space betweentwo flats, a location can be createdfor communal areas, like a sport hall or auditorium.

We '/Ie talked ttbout the schooLs, and the foct that t:?ey're constantly competing with each

.. tve've talked about the poLltlczans, who can t manage to steer things in the nght

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directioll , but you aLso had the two possibLe project deveLopers - there was reaL
ompctition there, too.

~es, Vesria a nd Woo nbron both wanted the comm ission to develop the Camp us.
The best solu tion would have been if they'd said , "How abo ut if we do it together?
We could set up our ow n development company, or maybe there's someone OUt
there who can do it better?" That would have been the best way. But that was
unthinkable. So we're back to the ma t hematical formula of sg + k + C + cc = massive
delays and plu m meting quality.
Does that mean that because it's a mathematical formula, there's no way out?

VCOlziO'l'f ~JO'l

What do you do when yo u get the chance to start all over? Yo u have to make yo ur
move in Minus Squ are One l In other words: reverse every thing , the whole wo rks .
You take aillhose people off ro a hotel for a day and a h alf: not-roo-expensive bur
with a good chef. You have them sign a covena nt and then you'd say, "But now I'm
not just YOllr butler, I'm also your dictator. And otherwise, no go." Then you start
developi ng a work ing method a la Koolhaas. But that wasn't o ur role, or our style.
We weren't interes ted in flying in and setting things rig ht in a jiffy.


openhQU groan

Bitt all aLong we've tried to centraLise things as much as possible . ..

Yes, but always on the principle that it was up ro us ro bring about the synthesis .

And in a ny case, th e Christian schools would never have gone alo ng with such an
authoritarian central outsider.


And yet we did get cLoser to the ultimate goal.

In acwal fa ct, it's been one long, outflanking manoe uvre rowards the centre, which
doesn 'r necessarily mean that it's a co nti nuo us process in th at direction - sometimes
there's a step backwa rds. It's a highly complex process, but the goal is slowly coming
Now I have the feeling that it's going to work . O n ly much, much later. Sothat
coming generations will still have to go ro school in Spijkenisse. A nd that mean s
rhar 20% of the people who have ro choose between Spijkenisse, Ro tterdam South,
and other areas, won't be going to H oogvliet, because the educational facilities they
offer there are limited and just not good enough .
The borough says those schools can be realised w ithi n four years, but I don't buy
th ar. It's just not going to happen. The Camp us is in the rear guard of school
innovar io n, even though we starred OULin the vanguard. The fac t is that this
project is simply too big for the parries in H oogvlier.

Now there 's a steering group, and they've decided that they can go ahead and stt.trt work
on a design . Does this make you feel that you may have left the project too soon?
No. At some point or other, my talents were no longer suitable for the job . The
schools are very pleased w ith what I've accomplished. I'm not thinking in terms of
honour or pride - I need to be able to learn from a process, thar's the only way I can
give. Ifl perform th e same trick for the tenth time, then I'll be mediocre, roo.
Koolhaas and the O MA w ill have to m ake sure thete's no going back. Bur it's
conceivable that at some point the design won't cut ir in the confl ict of interes ts
between the schools, and that means they'll join hands and both rejecL t he design,

Paul Toornend
Paul Toornend'sdesign focuses on the rural nature of Hoogvliet. He puts forward the idea of building a new dYk
between the Oude Maas and the Aveling, so that the existing plans for atidal basin can be implemented HePI' te
. open floor plan and neutral fa~ades, they'll .be Suitabl
identical buildings on top of the green dyke. Thanks to their
all conceivable programmes. Three of them are developed destined for the schools and theirjoint fun ctions wh'l efor
other two will be commercially. With their luxuriant greenery, the fa~ades will be acontinuation of the artificia: ethe
landscape. Toornend sees the schools as uniform buildings, unchanging and capable of being incorporated into a
programme, from (ampus schools to regular schools to buildingswith atotally different fUnction.
Alarge number of dead-end roads, paths and routeswill be added to the existing area, forming acohesive Spatial
pattern of roads connecting neighbourhoodswith each other and with the surrounding landscape. (ollective garden
and allotments form asecond pattern that, together with the building sites, creates adifferentiated, small-scale s
neighbourhood with a variety of public, collective and private spaces.

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just like those Chinese provinces. That's why it's so important for him co do a good

job on t h.e intake , reviewing all the priorities and subplans. So that people feel

they've been heard. If they think they've been pressured into accepting a concep t

that is brilliant but do esn't reflect their input , then all hell is liable to break loose.

What do you think th e OMA can contribute to the Campus?

Well, Koolhaas founded not only the OMA, but also th e AMO, and they've come

up with some really solid studies . On shopping, for example. So I'm hoping that

their Campus study will be another one of those, this time with the focus o n the

various new deve lopments in ed ucation. N ot an easy job, since every thing is

con sta.ndy evolving. There are interesting things hap pening at Einstein - a nd at

PE NTA, coo, but different things. Which means th at you have co come up with a

study that homes in on the developments in teaching: the new atmosphere, the new

Ways of tackling subjec t maner, and so on. And then somehow shape it co fit an

urb an context. That way H oogvliet will have an educational complex that takes

pride in what it does . While the O MA ca n do this, they're used co au thoritarian

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clientS who are strong on control. This means they' ll have to make sure they create
[he necessary co mm itment, so that there's no go ing back.
The real problem here is mediocrity. I see W iM BYI as something that was created
[0 put itself out of a job. It's time to phase ourselves out. Saying you're going to
phase you rself out is in itself atypical. The fa ct that you're innovative means that
yOU come up with all sorts of ideas - th at's what innovation is all about. But it
doesn't mea n that everything is actu ally operationalised. In the narrow-minded
climate of Holland, people figure that if something isn't actually realised, then
you're not earning your keep. That makes us controversial. I believe we've
accomplished a great deal at the school. You've all played an important role in what
we've managed to do , es pecially whete the spatial sketches are concern ed. We've let
quite a few genies out of the bottle. And we've kept the ad m ini strative engine
going, to ma ke sure things didn't go from bad to worse .

2004, BVR Report Campus Hoogvliet, a new way of learning

Early in 2004 progress on the Campus came to a halt. Atthe request ofWiMBY!, BVR-Advisers conferred with all the
parties involved in (ampus Hoogvliet. The objective was to make the transition from a concept for the spatial
clustering of educational institutions to a joint development perspective. What became clear from the exploratory
talks was that there was agreement on a number of basic principles, but that certain obstacles remained. A
breakthrough was needed in order to arrive at a declaration of intent agreeable to the various parties involved.
In the second half of 2004 a joint workshop was held, during which the (ampus was constructed to scale with theaid of
building blocks, in order to provide insight into the spatial and programmatic aspects of the (ampuslocation. This gave
shape to the interrelationship between the schools, together with their core and supplementary activities_ It also
provided insight into such concepts as mass and volume, so that guiding conclusions could be formulated .
The outcome of the BVR-Advisors initiative was a draft declaration of intent agreed upon by the schools, the city of
Rotterdam, and Woonbron, in which all parties committed themselves to collaborate on the realisation of Campus
Hoogvliet, as well as a draft educational vision focusing on 'natural learning'. These agreements prompted the decision
of Woonbron to halt the leasing of flats at the Campus location.

April 20, 2005. Agreement of Intent

The Rotterdam alderman of Education Leonard Geluk
with 'Campus Hoogvliet' t-shirt, after the Agreement of
Intent for the founding of the Campus wassigned by all
parties involved: Woonbron, the Rotterdam
municipality, the Hoogvliet submunicipality, Penta
College, Einstein Lyceum and ROC Zadkine.

On e a/the most ji-ustrating things about the whoLe process was that things reguLarly
ground to a haLt, and had to be resta rted.

Master plan for Campus Hoogvliet, 2005

The architectural firm of VanBergenKolpa in Rotterdam was commissioned by the Department of Housing and
Urban Develo pment to produce a master plan for the (ampus, to be based on their previous design dating from
2003. The plan takes the form of an orthogonal grid featuring school buildings, cultural centres, sports facilities,
and various housing areas.The individual identity of the schools is reflected in the three buildings, located on
KnOwledge Square and Practice Square. The park, devoted to culture and sports, is centrally located within the
Compl ex, and across from Campus Avenue is a resid ential area consisting mainly of houses with gardens. Asite
has been reserved for a residential hotel, in the vicinity of the Metro station.
The sports complex and the building dedicated to cultural activities are the icons of the Campus, and together
the.ydetermine its image. They're educational buildings, but they're also among the facilities open to Hoogvliet
reSIdents. The various components of the Campus are scattered throughout the entire area, lending a suburban
flavo ur to what is essentially an urban complex. The buildings alternate with a variety of green spaces, providing
ares tful background for both students and residents.

Commission awarded to the OMA, February 2007

In February 2007 the housing corporation Woonbron awarded the OMA acommission to
draw up a master plan for the Campus in Hoogvliet. The OMA made it known that it regards
education and school housing among the most interesting and pressing problems facing
society today. In addition to coming up with a volume planfor the complex, the OMA will
also take responsibility for designing one of the buildings.

- - - - . , ...- .


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You're right, it would have made a great canoon: another consultancy wi th another
plan, and every ti m e it was back to square one. In the end you're at the mercy of the
latest mathematical formu la.
Yo u can't just say ' WiMBY', would you please ta ke over and coordinate the who le
project? T hat's impossible, unless all the panies say: "Felix, will you do it?" They
thought it was a good idea for me to manage the whole thing, but a manager ac ts
on behalf of h is boss. When I see a manager in a restaurant, I can 't help thin king
'He's happ y that h e's got a job, but actua lly he's superfluous'. That's how I felt.
Sometimes I exceeded my brief: r pretended to be a projec t owner, telephoned the
mayor of Rotterdam, and broke into the office of the edu cation ald erman. Th en
other people had to come in a nd set things right - that was parr of the formula. .
And in the meantim e the whole cartoon went on and on: new people were called In
to take over, since no one was prepared to accept Rottenberg as administrator. It's
like something our of the Middle Eas t!
But okay, the schools wo uld never have gone along with WiMBYI in the dri ver's
seat. The power struggle flared up again and again: so it was time to call in anoth er
consultant, etc. , etc. Each of them made way for th e nex r one. Th en last year I had

my fin al session at Woonbron . Everyone was singing from the same song sheet. But
then in wa lked a new man from the JOS, who turned our to be someone our of m y
worst nightmares . H e was stocky and reminded me of my Polish grandfather,
except th at he wore glasses. A week later he phoned me and said, "I still wa nt to
know exactly what the story is." And what did he do? N ot only did he not ask me
what the sto ry was, he started telling m e what I ought to be doing, since he' d don e
it before, somewhere else! I said, "There's JUSt one thing I want to know. Are you a
civil servant? " H e said, "Oh , no. They hired me as interim manager." That was
when [k new for ctrtain that it was all over. I'm out of here. "Listen ," I sa id, " this is
total mad ness . There yo u a re, cooking up plans of your own because you're the
expert, because you kn ow besr. But you're supposed to se rve l You're supposed to be a
civil servant l "
Since they couldn't find anyone at the JOS, they immediately called in a consultant
so he could reinvent the wheel - at an hourly rate. At that point, I'd had eno ugh.
I'm thinking, this isn't Africa, fo r Pete's sake. They're not going hungry, they have
schoolbooks and clean drinking wacer. But if you won't see that, then I'm ou t of
here. At that point, I had simply had enoug h
At that point, I thought to myself: And now things have gOt to change. W e need
One an d on ly one body that accep ts own ership of the problem, and that is
'Woon bron . Then I transferred all my res ponsibilities . I h ad invested a lot of time in
the p rojccr. I gave a lot of myself and gave generously -always worth on e more try.
But [here are li mi rs , and at thar point it was over and out. I'm rired o f bein g part of
rh ar Mi dd le E ast game - and th ere it's abour really important things.

2 April 2004
SchoolPa ra slles presented at
the AVS talr (Algemene Ver
on!glng voor Schoolleiders
- School Heads Associa tion)

24 May 2004
Opening of SchooJPamsites
in Hoogvhet
Repon on the SchoolPara sites
broadcast on children's [elevl
sion news

June 2004
To uring W1MBY! model o n
show in the Hoog vliel Ver
nieuwt lnforma tion centre

June 2004
Car boot murder in Hoogvhel.
Passers-by raised the alarm
when they noticed Ihe pun
gent smell

3 June 2004
WiMBYI presentation a t C\
deba te in De Ba lle (Amster
dam) on design and socia l

911 June 2004

House Guests in the Tram
Station. The G.AN.G_roun
dation drew up a pla n iOl a
coach excu rsion; ExpedItion
HoogvlieL Hoogvliel as the
ultimate para llel world City',
organised during Jhe l-leerlijk
heid Festival in 2005

C ha nces have been missed. That's not a d isaster, but it is a shame

for those kid s in Hoogvl iet.
Ed ucation is close to my hean - it alw:lYs has been! Because no
one knows bener than I do that those fantastic parents who ma ke
a conscious choice to send their kids to the primary sc hool that's
best for them, and to a great secondary school, are givin g wem a
chance to develop their talents to the maximum. Jan Tro m mel,
p rincipal of the primary school the Notenkraker, is an example of
a fantastic schoolmaster. He says that his job hasn't changcd, th at
it's always been abo ut empathy for children. \'\fhich means yo u
have to create an empathetic process. An d that's what r ve always
done. But when it's obvious that the other parricipants are only
interested in their own cause, you ca n pretty well forget abo ut an
empathetic process. Then it's time to say, "Enough is cnough. I'm
an innovative strategist, not an occupat ional therapist. "
Over and out...
This is my final word on the subject. Co rnelis van Eestercn once
sa id , "Po Llr une construction collective, c'est nous, ce n'est pas
moi, c'es t no LI S, parce que nous trava illons ensembl e pOLlr LIn e
construction collective." It sounds better in French than il does
in English. And that's what we do at W iMBY! There comes a
point when yo u think, "Okay, guys , do it yoursel f. We can't help
YO Ll . May be we don't have wha t it takes. So long. Au revoir!" .

21 & 22 August
The Heerhjkheld festiva l on
the site of the I-Ieerlijkheid ,
wi1h perfO! ml,lllCe S by New
,ystem, Julian 8 0 S and Ge
rard lolin

21 & 22 August
House Guests in the Tram
Stlltion . The photographic
portners Ari Versluis & E::lIie
Uy ttenbroek stay in the Tram
Sta tion. They shoot a series
of Polaroid photos dUrIng the
I-Ieerlijkheid Hoogvliet Festi
val. O ne of them is used in a
HEMA advertising campaign

September 2004
iMBY! pres&nlation 0 1Osl
chool 01 Architecture, Oslo,



ll over the v,rorld , more and

more people are movmg to
cities: more lhan half the
global population now lives in
an urban area. This means that
more and more rural people,
sma!. far mers who still know
how to sow and harvest, are
liVing in cities. The first work-

ing-class neigbbourhoods still

made room for gardening, so
tha t wor kers who came from
the counrryside could grow
their own vegetables and keep
chickens. But space fo r such
activities has disappeared from
new housing developments in
recent decades . Tn the new
veiopmenls , the public space is
divided into collecl ive, uniform
secLions per inhabitant , catego
rised as district and neighbour

hood green spaces, public pa rks

and dog toilets. The m anage
abili ty a nd m aintena nce costs
or such public green spaces are
This evolution can also be seen
in l-loogvliet. The borough con
tains a great deal of a nonymouS
public green space, whose
maintenance is primarily a
queslion of budget. The closely
trimmed expanses of grass
evoke the image of a well~ or-

ganised rity. But that organisa

with the question of whether
tion is under greal pressure : the I-Ioogvliet's publ ic green spaces
gap between privileged/wealth
could playa role in an informal
and underprivileged/poor con
economy. The goal is not to pri
Unues to grow. Though we are a valise the publi c spaces, but to
highly developed Western coun open them up 10 the new social
try, we should look at the exam ac l ivities expected to develop,
ple of the slums in the third
focused on sel f-s ufficiency a nd
world Not to roma nticise the
the informal economy.
image, but to learn something
from it. The world's biggest me
tropolises show how the world
is evolving, and they no longer
follow the western model of the
manageable city. Inhabitants of
the slums are left to fe nd for
themselves. There is no govern
ment or insu!ance company to
look out [or them , so they lake
matters into their own h ands .
This leads not only to crime and
violence , but often also to a
thriving informal economy
which fu nctions in dependen tly
of ins pection depa rtments ,
tandards and norms .
The resea rch beh ind the 'Cli
mate Mac hi ne' project deals

Ton Matton (1964)was trained as an urban designerat

the Technical University of Delft. Together with lucas
Verweij he fo unded Buro Schie in Rotterdam, in 1991.
Matton is active in the field of urban design, architecture,
design, ecology and public art. In 2001he founded
Matton Office, which has amobile headoffice and an
annex in Wendorf, Germany. Since 2003 Matton is a
professor in art, architecture and design at the Art
Academy of Hamburg. 'Surviving the Suburb'is one of Ton
Matton's projects, he describes himself as a 'VINEX

ba~er's smock, (he home

working, or could notJind work .
baker gains access to a clientele that This system, also called taxation,
not only values homemade quality,
does not ex ist in the informal econo
ut also appreciates social rontact.
MusiC ..."
(heavy House)
my, If you become ill in the inJormal
The cordiality that the cake and pie
economy, that 's your bad luck . Un
radiate Jrom inside the smock refers less you have a social nerwork of
voiceover "Good after noon and wel

come to the 'Surviving the Sllbln b'

to that social aspect. The smell of
fr iends orfamily to take care of you .
ThrsE' social networks seem to be
fashi on show We will bp presl'nting
f reshly baked goods, in the intimae
oj an 1mbuttoned smock.
much stronger in the inJormal econo
r clothing line inspireci by the infor

my [he1l1 in the formal economy.

mal economy. These jackets will help

The cookies... our model Greta dis

People have no time in the formal
you survive in the global village,

plays them in the lining on the lefL ecOtlomy, nor do they feel the need
where you can bllild up a meaning

and the cake, which Greta displays

to build up n social safety net: that's
ful existence Jor yourself in a wel

why they pay insurance premiums.

fare stale that can no longer provide
on the right,
As such , the social network is often
are pucked in easy to use Jolded
for your welfare.

a business network, made up of

, axes, specially designed for this
frien ds who are friends because you
Our f irst model is Gre ta .

do business with them, but who you

Greta is wearing tl black plastic

The model descends from the cat

drop as soon as they get sick, can no
smock from VB Schwa mmgum

walk, distributing cookies and chat

longe r lUork, or simply become less
l'l1ikonfektion Leipzig, tran sformed
ting pleascmtly with the audience.
successful. No premiums are paid in
by iris Knabe nsch uh and Hanna
the informal economy, but people
Cha rlotte Muller into a shopkeeper's
invest in t1 network they can relv on .
smockfo r street vendin
Voiceovl'T: "Thefo rmal economy
had an und"rlying social goal (now
Greta appears in a baker's smock.
The Baker's Smock is ideal for the
forgotten by many) to provide
securit y Jor the people. A secure
woman Or man who radiates the
'riendliness and wa rm th of a social
Voiceover: "Barter is an element of
income; secure healthcare. If many
networ~ . In th is case, barter is an
people voluntarily contributed part
the informal economy, emphasising
its social aspect. You are all familiar of their monthly income to a CO/1l
acceptable fo rm oj payment "
with advertisements like, 'Who will munalfund, everyone would be
It's nol only people that are
repair my !Juner? I'll bake them a
guarameed help when they needed
t ravelling in a continuous
cake us th anks ,' or 'Who will trim
it, if they became III or had an acci
stream all over the globe. In the
dent that preventf'd them from
my hedge ? I'll knit a sweater in
exchange '

passage from the 'Surviving the

suburb' fashion show scrip

In this

Voiceover: "Meet our model Ramon .

wa,<.e 01 lravelling people , batt.
In this jacket , Ramon is seHing pro
r,arure and the climate are also
duce from his aHotment garden,
globalising (global nalure and
which ha s now become much morE'
global warming) .
Climate cha nges cause dramat
than a hobby. The stltchrng all the
IC fluctuations . The rise in tem
outside of the jacket shoLUs the out
perat ure of one or more de
line of all apple. On the inside, Han
grees, predicted twenly years
na and Iris haul' transformed lhe
ago to transform the Dutch cli
lining into a display of fresh fruit
mate into a pleasant Southern
and vegetables . secured with Velcro
French climate, was based on
so that it won'r be damaged or
average lemperatures . It now
appears that we are headed for
The allol me nt garde ner offers his
much more ex treme forms of
wares in handy meal-sized portions,
weather. The yearly averages
freshly harvested f rom his own gar
wlii correspond to those of
den. The selection changes daily,
Southern f rance, but on a daily along with the seasons, but can be
basis the weather will be some planned by the indiuidual garden er
times colder, sometimes warm with a clever schedtlle for sowing
er, sometimes d r ier, somerimes and harvesting. Early potatoes, late
wetter. The weather will change potmoes, sweet potatoes, cassava,
more drastically A dry period
'bintje' or 'eigenheimer' potatoes'"
will be followed by m onsoon ;
Siberian cold will a lternate with Mus ic
tropical hea l.
Added Lo this are intluences of
Thank s to the global village,
the city, a huge block of stone
people from all over the planet
heated from within , where rain are now living in l-loogvliel.
water runs off at high speed and They rec ognise some of the eli
is led away through pipes,
where lights are on 24 hours a
day and where the air is heavily
charged with diesel fumes .
A model appea rs, praising his goods
like a street vendor. "Apples for sa le,
fre sh vegetables I "

mate changes caused by global

warming because Lhey onginat _
ly come from similar climate
zones Antilleans an d Poles
know how to cope with what by
Dutch sLandards are extreme
weather situati ons ; they know
what w ill grow well under SUch
condilions .
In prepara tion for these increas
ingly dramatic ex t remes, and in
order to get an advan ce idea of
the changes in vegetation, we
<lfe b uilding climate machines
in Hoogvliel. These machines
will ma ke Hoogvliet's climate
ideal for growing naps like cas
s ava , yardlong beans , planLain s,
coriander, sa! tron , rice and
maize. The climate machine
will ensure Ihe proper condi

(Iimate Machine


snippers chips
o~ o

I .2


15 ""'lor

1 4 of ll1eer

bestaande lanraampaJen Existing li g hting fixtures.



K limaatakke r Ave ling

Climate fi eld Aveling

Klimaatakker Kool v isweg

Climate field Koo lvisweg

... .tTP BE
r-J.tCEiI... HctE


MOil...E O~ THE>E1\ITS WE R..E
M,/ ".tNt::> O ~

Climat e fi eld Tosca laan.

K l hna atakker Toscalaan

























9 September 2004
SchoolParasites wins 2004
Dutch Design P rize in the cat
egory of Produc ts for Public

10 26 September

House G uest in the 'I'm

Station . The artist Wend eJ len
yan Oldenborg h stays in the
Tram Station and while there
organises the art project 'A
certain BrazilJianness ' a t the
SchoolPara site 'Het Beest'

November 2004
WiMBY! presenta tion in the
'Utopia of Everyda y Life' se
ries at the Oesterreichische
Ge sellschaft fuer Architek
tur, Vienna, Austria

4 November 2004
Unveiltng of the work 01 ari on
the facade 01 the Westerslein
service Hats a nd la unch of the
b ooklet Het Geheugen van
Westerstein [The Memo ry of

n in!
pring of 2002, we received a visit from Peter
(what's in a name1n , direcror of the Vestia housing corporation's
Hoogvliet office. We had been holding regular sessions with all our
stakeholders and all the other major parties developing, building o r undertaking
someth ing in Hoogvliet, with the goal of finding opportunities for collaboration.
In these discussions, we sought areas of overlap between the needs and desires of
our partner organisations and the focus areas set OUt in the WiMBY! prospectu s.
Our objective was ro have a tangible effec t and to carry our projects, bur becau se
WiM BY! had been defined by its found ers and financial backers as a purely R&D
organisation and therefore not authorised to build , it was necessary for each project
to form a coa Liti on wi th a party th at had the power to realise the project. The Vestia
housing corporation, owner of almost eighty thou sand properties, was one of these


December 2004
Construction of touring
School Para sites exhibillon
(deSigned by Edith G ruson)

Woonbron Maasoevers
c hanges its na me to Woon

Touring SchoolParasit~
exh I bltion at ARCAM (Am

25 29 January
Presentation of School
Pa rasites at (he Nalionale
Onderwijs Beurs (National
EdUcation Fair) in Utrecht

17 February 2005
W1MBYI win.'> summ
proceed ings regarding the
t:opyright on School Parasites

On that particular Monday afternoon , the plan for the H eerlijkheid Hoogyliet had
JUSt been completed and ' happened' to be lying on the table. Tbe park's location
near the motorway is ideally accessible, making it rea listic to think that in addition
to the 80% Hoogvlieters visiting the H eerlijkheid, we can expecr a further 20%
from Ro tterdam and the surrounding areas. The Heerlijkheid's explicit objective is
to gi ve Hoogvliet a more urban, animated image . During our discussion with Peter
Hoogvliet, an importarrt question came up in relation to Hoogvliet's role in the
regio l1: how can we ensure that visitors to the Heerlij kheid do not see Hoogvliet
merely as a place to visit once, but as a potential place to live? How can they be
tempted not JUSt to Stop by, but ro stay' At that momerrt, Hoogvliet was still the
'sinkhole of the housing market', one of the least desirable spots in all of Rotterd am.
How could we attrac t new residents, Peter Hoogvli et wanted to know. In addition,
he was worried about the effects of restructuring on social cohes ion in the
condemned neighbourhoods; social structures had been upturned or
disappea red, and as a result alienation loomed on the horizon. It seemed unlikely
that this would be restored through the cons truction of single-family homes. At the
end of this open brainstorming session , Peter Hoogvliet left us with a location in
Meeuwenplaat, a plan for approxi mately 250 homes and twO clear, interrelated
questions for which we had to find a du al answer: How do yo u attract new
residents and how can you repair the imminent loss of social co hesion in
Hoogyliet? With. the key wo rd s 'h.ip' and 'social str ucture' echoing through our
mi nds like an inca ntation , we got to work on making a plan Ves tia could not


Something about the ques tion seduced us , even if it was only because it seemed
(0 be an impossibility: a housing concept that wo uld attrac t urban
Rotterdammers (0 H oogvliet. On the other hand, the ques tion repelled us due to
its Richard Floridaesque undertones of the 'creative class' as a panacea, and due to
the highly suspicious nature of a cosm etic projec t a imed at concealing the
devastating consequences of the demolition /new construction project. The
ambition to m ake Hoog vliet 'hip' seemed laughable, but we had promised to do
our absolute best when alderman Herman Me ijer, the godfather ofWiMBY', gave
us the task.
Wasn't this exactly what Peter Hoogvliet was asking? W ere we really going to t ry
to anract new creatives from outside Hoog vliet, while all the building plans in
Hoogvliet we re expli citly aimed at ' building for the neighbo urhood ', at new homes
for existing H oogvlieters? W hy, for that matter, should Hoogvliet be made
attractive to o ther population groups) Should H oogvliet become hip at all?
Yes, it should, at least ifby ' hip' we mean urb an and attrac tive (0 different types of
people, people who wa nt to define their own lives and who don't choose to come
live in H oogvliet because they are frightened of the big city. In the best of cases,
Hoogvliet is currently seen as boring and non-descript: estate agents leave OUt lhe
name if they want to sell a house there, and young peo ple grab the first opportunity
they get to escape. Hoogvliet's negative image stem s not only from its proximity to
industrial sites, but also fro m the idea that the people who live there are boring
commuters and conservative pensioners. Furthermore, Hoogvliet's ethnic minority
residents get more m ed ia attention for causing trouble and problems than for t he
energetic, extroverted aspects of their (Antillean) culture.

The mouldable SOCiety

We further interpreted Peter Hoogvliet's request as a challenge to develop an
altern ative to the oversimplified logic that seems to typify all restructuring
projects: demolishing cheap rental units and building more expensive houses in
order (0 raise the number of middle- or high-income households. This kind of
approach has linle to offer in terms of a neighbourhood 's vitality or social
Structure. Only lim ited added value is brought to a neighbourhood by unifo rm
ho useholds w ith no socia l relationship to their surrou nd in gs, having two parents
who commute (0 work elsewhere, using their two cars to pick up and drop off the
children at school and o ther ac tivities located m os tly o utside the neighbourhood.
Such peo ple usually spend their free time either in the confines of their own home
or outside the neighbo urhood. Striving for dive rsity is understandable and perh aps
even necessary, but by stating this goal in purely fin ancial terms it becomes a
euphemism for the cold-hearted sanitising of th e res ident population. We asked
ourselves how new housing projects could be used to introduce rea! diversity to
H oogvliet.
From the oLltset, Wi M BYI to ok inspiration fr om H oogvli et's modernist heritage .
We wanted (0 rediscover not onl y its urban design, but es pecially the ultra
optimi stic belief from the 1950s and '60s that society could be moulded that
inspi red that design , a nd allow it to play a role in H oogvli et tod ay, updated for the
twenty-first century. O ne of the components of moulda ble f Ioogvliet is the idea of
collecti vity, wh ich was ex pressed in the 1950s through the design of housing units,
collective gardens and shared entry ways and which took shape on a larger scale in
the way the neighbourhoo d unit concept was organised. Just as we later did for the

The location of the Co-housing projects in the

district Meeuwenplaat, where until recently
afew hundred walk-Up apartment buildings

urban regeneration plans for the Westpunt neighbourhood, we looked for the
answer to Peter Hoogvliet's question in a realistic update of the collective ideal and
the set of instruments with which it could be realised. If we wamed to int roduce
collectivity to urban planning, we knew it would have to be witho ut the top-down
planning our predecesso rs had used in the 1950s. Changes in socie ty long ago
outdated the idea of imposing a sense of community and unity from above, while
the whole concept of 'collectivity' was increasingly seen as a millstone arow1d lhe
neck of individually minded citizens.
We knew we wou ld have to develop a new kind of collec tivity, based on free choice
and personal responsibility: an extremely ind ividualistic form of collectivity.
After a cursory survey of professionalliterarure and websites, we arrived at a
concept that seemed to be the perfect twenty-first century version of the modernist
neighbourhood unit concept in which the paternalistic aspects of an imposed sense
of community were replaced by a bottom-up approach that allowed the residents of
a neighbourhood to define their own meaning of collectivity: co-housing.

Co-housing is not a commune

The co-housing concept, which developed sometime in 1960s Denmark and since
then has found followers primarily in the USA , gives concrete shape to the term
'Intentiona l Community': a small group of residents (be tween 20 and 40 famili es)
consciously Opts for a form of community. The home itself is not collective (it is not
a group home or commune), but the extra facilities and outdoor space are. Th is
places a great deal of responsibility on the residents, who themselves decide what
kinds of facilities and outdoor space the y want to have and who also organise the
maintenance of their collective facilities. There have not yet been any examples of
this specific model in the N etherlands, though in some ways it resembles the
concept of a woongroep [commune] or of Centraal Wonen . In America, dozens of
such projects have been developed and many more are in the works.
A typical aspec t of such projects is that they each have a unique character: the
residents find one another through a shared conviction, such as a religion, or a
lifestyle, as in the case of ecological groups or naturists; they may also have a
common profession (anists) or hobby, such as Dying or gardening. Co-housing
projects almost always include a collective space dedicated to the com munal
activit y. Such spaces may take the form of a prayer chapel, a meditation room, a
workshop or a restauran t: of course, the list of possibilities is en dless because it
depends on the preferences of rhe residents, who are responsible for maintai ning
and managing this central space. Another striking element of co-housing projects is
that they each nave a list of rules: the residents collectively decide wnich rules the)'
want to follow. N ew residents are also expected to follow these rules: a binding
contract exists between the m embers of tne co-housing group. Though it may all
sound extremely limiting and oppressive, experience has shown that the residents
view these self-imposed rules as a form of security and clarity. Being able to define
one's own rules is seen as the ultim ate freedom and autonomy, and certainly not as
something oppressive, which would almos t certainly have been the case with a set
of rules imposed from above.
We propo sed that Vesria make a co-no using cluster of the 250 new homes the
corporation planned to build in Meeuwenplaar: three or four neignbourhoods, each
with its own theme. This way, they would create a type of residential district that

was new ro the Ronerdam area, making it attractive ro non-Hoogvlieters. In

addi tion, the bonom-up organisation of such a project, in which the residents
create, help design and later manage and maintain their own living environment
would have a hugely positive impact on social cohesion in th e neighbourhood, as'
well as having a potentially inspiring effect on surrounding neighbourhoods. In
co-housing, unlike many urban regeneration projects, resident participation is
absolutely essential and not juSt a cosmetic layer over what is otherwise a
conventional row of houses.

trepreneurs. There is a tradition in and around Ro t terdam of

theatre-makers who
foFten in unexpected niches of the city) come roget,her in unusual
buildings ro work rogether and ro share each other s spaces, rools
and clients. The Utopia group on the DW L site was an early
example of t his. N ow, a few decades later, this formula has become
extremelv successful and economically important, as well as vital ro
rhe image of what would otherwise be a rather mediocre residential

Four clusters

The (great) distance ro 'the centre' was almost an advantage to these
u[Oups. We thought that we would be able to draw a similar group
~o Hoogvliet by offering them a k ind of shared accommodation based in a
number of large bui ldings that could simultaneously be used as showrooms
for their own and others' work: a residential ne ighbo urhood cu m atelier
cum exhibition space, located near an underground station.
We were aware that the members of these clusters would not all belong to
the higher-income category, but on the other hand they would have
someth ing ro offer in terms of cul tu re and economy. Furthermore, these
groups requ ire things of their homes and environmems that are currently
unava ilable in Hoogvliet, and in some cases even the whole Rotterdam area.
It was exactl y these different kinds of housing demands, stemming from
other work ing methods, tastes and lifestyles, that had the potential to
make Hoogvliet more interes ting. We hoped this would increase diversity
and collectivity in H oogvliet.

Based on an intuitive interpretation of what was missing in Hoogvliet, what would

fit in with the WiMBY! programme and which groups could convince even us to
consider Hoogvliet as a place ro live, we came up with four possible clusters. For the
first co-housing group, we sought Rotterdammers who had a cultural link to the
city, bur wanted ro combine the adva ntages of city life with those of the easily
accessible 'village' of Hoogvliet. These residents would greatly value a comforrable
lifestyle with lots of priva cy, bur from an opporrun istic standpoint would be wil ling
ro take on some communal responsibilities in exchange for a collective creche,
auromotive body shop, gym, offices or guest rooms and a spacious site. In terms of
architecture, this group would probably choose the newly built equivalen t of a
renovated warehouse or loft, cha racterised by ' low design': neutral, spacious,
industrial, unfinished, perhaps even with some cons truction ro be completed by the
residents themselves .

Logo's for the

eco-group and
the musicians,
DUS Architecten.

Second, we thought of Rotterdammers interested in ecology and nature: people

who would like ro have a (vegetable) garden and a few chickens or a goat in the
yard, even though they may not know much about gardening or animals. These
residents would place less emphasis on comfort and luxury, and more on being able
ro invent th ings themselves. They would not shrink from tak ing on major
responsibilities for creating and managing their own environment. Possib.le
communal facilities wou ld be a dining hall and kitchen, a chicken coop and
a parking lot outside the living area. This kind of ecological co-housing
group would probably not wind up choosing a very modern style of
architecture, bur would rather opt for something pictu resque or wooden,
Qrdered from a Swedish DIY firm or an American cusrom catalogue.
For the third cluster, we thought at a time when the maisonette blocks in
Oudeland had not ye t been announced as a possib le location _ we had fo und
a good site for realising an older idea th at had been developed with Vesria's
competiror, Woonbron Maasoevers housing corporation: housing for single
Antillean mothers. For this gro up, the need for a safe outdoor space in
which children could play wo uld dominate all else, followed by t he nct:d
for space for classes and education, shared meals and parties. Tho ugh the
Antillean culture would certainly be a facror in this co-housing group, .
there was an obvious possibility of combining the group with other ethnIC
minority single parents because they generally have the sa me requiremt:l1tS
for their home and living environment. In this case, the architecture would
take the form of a safely enclosed housi ng block with lots of glass, sun
rooms and outdoor space, with a closed-off, well-organised indoor play
area and a communal space for meetings or parties.
For the fourth group, we thought of a village comm un ity for creative

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Would an idea like this work in Hoogvliet? It was true that the site in
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Mee uwcnplaat was ideally located: within walking distance of the metro
station, making it poss ible to reach the Cools in gel in the centre of
Rotterdam within 30 minutes; within walking d istance of the future
Campus, and thus close to quality secondary education in the
neighbourhood; and finally right next ro the Oude Maas and the attractive
green woods around Hoogvlie t. But how to find people willing to serve as
the core of a new group of residents, who want to help launch a project like
this and take risks for it ) Had we ident ified the right res idem groups? We
decided to test th e four clusters WiMBY' had devised . Our first
investigation took place near home: we went around ro friends and
acquai ntances, Rorrerdammers who belonged to our newly designated
'target groups': potential candidates for moving ro Hoogvliet. We asked them what Logo's for the
conditions could convince them to make such a move and what k ind of living
environment would be the deciding factor. They didn't mince
words: one thought it was fake pioneering, another thought that the target groups
naturists and
Were too exotic and that there should be more 'normal' target groups, etc. Vestia
had never participated in such a proj ect befo re and worried about its feasibility, but group offriends,
DUS Architecten.
they liked the idea. In order to show our critics that many of the 'experimental'
aspects of co-housing had already been tested, in the autumn of 2002 we invited a
number of experts in the field who confirmed tha t nothing about the project was
Impossible or des tined to faill. They emphasised that in co-housing, absolute
freedom is not a good idea: in fact, the presence of (self-defin ed) rules and






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It was decided to PUt our theories to the test by simply getting started and seeking
our individuals willing to move into a co-housing project in H oogvliet. Two
experienced firms were called in to conduct this expedition: in early 2003, D e
Regie and Steunpunt Wonen (in collaboration with DUS architecten) were asked [Q
identify possible target groups and to define rhe housing requirements for each
group. Based on that list, they would th en make recommendations on how to
organise the recruitment campaign and how to proceed with fucure residents. With
regard to the latter, the co-housing project would be very different from Vestia's
standard procedure, in which houses are usually built in a top-down process and
are then offered for sa le to unknown buyers, meaning that the houses have to be as
'normal ' and average as possible. But in this case the res idents would be creating
and defining the neighbourhood as a collective group, with the assistance of the

housing corporation. It would be a completely n ew experience for both the residents

and for Vestia.


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regulations accually increase the attractiveness of such projects. Our advisors also
commented on the value of organising collective projects fo r lower- and middle
income individuals, instead of always aiming for the upper layer of the markl.:t, in
which gated communities have become popular. In add irion , they warned us and
Vestia not to underestimate the importance of marketing: not only would we
have to overcome the fact that the co-housing phenomenon would be unfamiliar
to our fucure residents, we would have to overcome Hoogvliet's bad reputation as

Based on their experience with projects of this kind, De Regie and Steunpunt
Wonen added a couple of new clusters to the list WiMBY! had drawn up. T he first
new group was for nacurists, the second for professio nal musicians: for very
different reasons, each group elicited a fair amount of res istance from its
neighbours, resulting in a potential need for a co-ho using neighbourhood.
Teams from Steunpunt Wonen then visited places where they expected to find high
concentrations of individuals from each target grou p, in order to 'recru ,it' residents.
After a few trips to th e conservatory and by contacting well-known musicians they
knew, it became clear that there was indeed interest for a musician's co-housing
group. A core gro up of ten professional musicians came together who wanted to act
as promoters for the group. The nacurists turned out not to have much interest , but
the second WiMBY!-defined group of ecologically-minded Rotterdammers was a
success: not only had ads at the Groene Weg (the o rganic supermarket in the centre
of Rotterdam) resu lted in a few candidates, but we also discovered simply by
googli ng that there was an eco-working group in the area with plans to build their
own community, whose headquatters were located at the edge of Hoogvliet! We
contacted the group, and came away with anot her core group dedicated to the
Within no time, we had created twO resident groups who enthusiastically got
started on the process of collectively defining their dream neighbourhood, under
the motto 'Create Your Own Neighbourhood ' and with help and support from De
Regie and Steunpunt Wonen on organ isational and financial matters. There vns a
striking difference between the individualistic musicians, who wanted to live ..
together for primarily functional reasons, and the eco-gro up, for which collectiVitY
and partnership were the ma in focus and a goal in th emselves.

DynamiC groups
We started the process of becoming a res ident by drawing up a plan .
This was relatively simp le for the musicians: the group consisted of
rofessional mu sicians from Rotterdam whose home was not suitable
~or dai ly practice, reh ea rsa l with a band or giving lessons to stu dents.
Either they had neighbours who were bothered by the music or had
difficulry with street noise that interfered with their music. For them,
Hoogvlier's quiet surroundings and proximity to central Rotterdam
made it the ideal locatio n. The biggest unique selling point of the
single-fam ily homes in this co-housing project was that each home
would have its own sou ndproofed music room , wh ich could be used
day or night w ithout bothering anyone.
The eco-group was united by a different common theme: it was made
up of residents who were interested in a more ecologically sound way of
life, with a focus on social interaction between the residents and on the
possibilities for communal and individual spiritual and mental development.
They emphasised creativ ity, fre edom and the possibility of building,
convertin g or expand ing their own homes. The m ain communal facilities
this group needed were a vegetable garden and an assembly space or
meeting house.
Once the lists of requirements had been formul ated , they were presented to
architects by the residents, Vestia and WiMBYI After group deliberation,
Maanje La mmers from the Rotterdam firm 24H Arch itects was chosen for
the musicians an d the eco-group chose the Opmaat firm from DelfL
The design process was rather tumultuou s for the eco-group, mainly

due to their greater, more intense involvement in defining the look

and atmosphere of their future neighbourhood. It started with group

meetin gs during which they gathered ideas for their 'Hoivan Heden'

[Modern Farm] by looking at pictures of all kinds of experimental,

self-built, recycled, underground , tower-shaped and ro und buildings.

[n the meantime, Hoogvliet had passed a new building regulation

which clearly stated that rectangular modernist 1960s-era a rchi tec ture

should remain a guideline, eve n for new constructions. Using this

tegulation and other development plans, regional agreements, etc.,

the planners from dS+V (Department of Planning and Public

Housing) drew up restrictive conditions in order to prevent the area

from being built up with an 'amorphous growth ' of rambling or

round form s. The project would have to become an orthogonal

compositio n of housing blocks and the lines of sight would h ave to be

maintained throughout the ent site, as would the dozens of listed

trees. or course, the irony was that it had been WiMBYI's Logica

project that had drawn attention to Hoogvliet's ex isting large-scale

qualitie~, but that now that these had been set down in a variety of

planning docu ments, they served to restrict freedom on an urban

plannin g m icro-scale . It was also ironic that the interest of protecting

Hoogvl iet's trees wound up opposing the interests of an ecological


Finally, Vestia had to explain to the eco-group that the ideas they had

Signing of contract between the

residents and Vestia.

gathered from thc self-construction world were not feasible on the scale of the GO
residences the co-housing project would include. It's not very surprising that in the
wake of this growing list of limitations, a number of the group's members decided
ro abandon the project because they felt it had lost its freedom. The remain ing Core
group workcd with Opmaat to develop a neighbourhood of 60 apartments and
single-family homes in a relatively informal architectural style, using colourful
wooden fa~ades. The residents primarily influenced the way the lots were divided
the colour scheme, the architectural form and the materials used, for example l ha~
the homes will be built with sand-lime bricks and have wooden fa~ades . The
homes, both for sale and for rent, will be grouped around two open spaces des igned
and set up by a landscape architect together with the residents. There will be a
'community centre' and numerous spaces suitable for collective use, all of which
will be maintained by the residents. Parking will be on the sueet and in a few small
resident parking lots outside the living environment. Many of the old uees that
have stood for 40 years will be kept, giving the neighbourhood a green, wcU
established atmosphere from the very start.
The musicians, who had chosen co-housing for fu nctional rather than collective
reasons, were less involved in the design process than the eco-group. Nevertheless,
Recruitment of new
they provided input for the design over the co urse of three workshops with the
residents for the
architects. They had clear ideas and preferences with regards to atmosphere
musician group in
(intimate bue modern), the materials to be used (sober and authentic) and their
music cafe Rotown in ideal architecture, for which their references primarily included a lot of wooden
structures. The architect then went on to present a series of sketches and new
designs, upon which the group commented. This process resulted in a village
like complex with wooden fa~ades and steel music hues. To this group of
mu sicians, the home itself was less important than the mu sic rooms, wh ich
received the most attention. The functionality of these rooms was paramo unt:
the first design, in Cor-Ten steel and coloured concrete, gOt the group's full
and enthusiastic approval, but in the end they agreed to a different, underground
design that was made for budgetary and acoustic reasons. The various
characters and desires of the individuals in the two groups led to very
different styles of architecture. Maartje Lammers grouped the 38
dwellings in the musician's co-housing project, which has now been
baptised the ' Veld van Klanken' [Field of Sound), into four short curved
rows arranged in a circle. In front of and behind the hou ses are gardens in
various sizes, and the fa~ades are made of white-painted wood. It waS
initially thought th at the individual music rooms would be built in the
back gardens , but in the final design they were grouped tOgether in a
'music village' on the inner courtyard, and each room has a skyligh t. T he
courtyard is freely accessible and covered with grass, where a bandstand
can be set up for communal initiatives, performances or concerts. Eight
of th e homes have an indoor music room. This project also contai ns dweLlings
both for sale and for rent. And in this case as well, the group decision-making
process inevitably resulted in a few losses: some residents left the project
following arg uments , others found a different place to live during the three
year-long process. Others have just recently presented themselves after having
seen one of the presentations or publications dedicated to the project. In shorr,
the groups are still very dynamic.

Co-housing is spreading
Around the site of the twO co-housing groups , the idea of new collective ways of
living has continued to spread, resulting in twO projects being developed to the
west and th e north. On the western edge of the site , Vestia is developing a series of
single-Family nomes with the theme of'neighbourliness'. The homes, designed by
Van Bergen Kolpa Architecten from Rotterdam, display the lightest possible versio n
of collecriv it>,: three modules or 'stamps' consisting of three sho rt rows of single
family hom es, each with its own back garden, grouped around an open space that
the residents may choose to interpret as a com mon square, orchard, sports field or
vegetable ga rden. Each 'stamp' is completely surrounded by a hedge, which also
encloses the communal parking lot. The bottoms of the houses' wooden fa~ades are
covered wit h hedges. The residems of these for-p urchase houses are still unknown
and as such they have not participated in the design process, but after moving to
the project t hey will become members of a neighbourhood and will therefore also
take on the corresponding rights and responsibilities.
To the north of the co-housing site, Vestia is working for the Pameijer Foundation
(a foun datio n th at offers social assistance to people with a mental or physical
disabili ty) to develop a housing complex for young people, some starters and some
young people in need of assistance. In addition to the rooms on the upper storeys,
there will be a 'living room' on the ground floor and an arts-and-crafts room cum
workshop cum recreational space outside . Van Bergen Kolpa has also designed this
Both projects contain elements of collective livi ng, but they both come under the
above-mentioned, tOp-down type of collective projects that are designed without
input from the residems . The residents only come later, after they have bought a
house in one of the 'neighbourly' modules or are given a room in the Pameijer
Foundation's complex.
Despire the inuinsic differences between the projects , they [epresem four islands

adrift in the rigid 1960s urban structure, in which social cohesion and a sense of

commun ity are given a new interpretation. The right-angles and straight lines of

the road structure, the large trees and the openness and lines of sight through the

reside ntial districts create a spatial environment that is still clearly rooted in 1960s

urba n planning. Between the dwellings there is a view of the dyke running along

the Oude Maas. Tarbotstraat, along which all the co-housing projects are located,

is being designed to become the most attractive residential street in Hoogvliet, with

t rees between the parking places that will create a pleasantly green impression all

year long.

Soon , the four projects sta nding along this street will provide a sample of twemy

first cemury interpretations of a fifty-year-old hou sing concept. They will show

various forms of collective living, demonstrating different degrees of collectivity,

involvement and community, with twO bottom-up planned co-housing groups and

rwo top-down planned projects. We invite these four groups to lay the initial

foun dations for a new community life in Hoogvliet, which thro ugh shared values,

spaces and faciliti es may flourish in what remains of the neighbourhood

com munity imposed from above in the 1960s. They will be the seeds of a

com mu nity life that will have inestimable value for Hoogvliet's future .




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m; :

9 March 2005
Inhabitants of Hoogvliet
protest against the establishment of a reception centre for
addicted ex-prostitutes from
Keileweg in the Oudeland

5 - 6 April 2005
House Guest in the Tram Station. Ton Matton stays in the
Tram Station. He draws up a
plan for 'climate fields' as part
of his Surviving the Suburb
project. They will be laid out
as from spring 2007

14- 17 April2005
House Guest in the Tram Station. Arnold Reijndorp stays
at the Tram Station

17 -18 May 2005

House Guests in the Tram
Station. Typisch Dennis stays
at the Tram Station, shoots a
series of photos and cooks a
dinner in his caravan

20 April 2005
Declaration of intention for
Campus. On signing the declaration, the parties involved
express their desire to succeed with the Campus plan.
They are the governors of the
schools concerned (Einstein
Lyceum, Penta College and
ROC Zadkine), Hoogvliet borough council (J. Cornelissen),
Rotterdam borough council
(alderman L.C. Geluk) and
Woonbron Hoogvliet (P.C.

26 April 2005
Debate on Nieuwe Logica
voor Westpunt in the Information Centre. Multiple
study brief into the Westpunt
district, for public and expert
commentators. The designs
were done by ZUS, Studio
Sputnik and Wingender

8 August 2005
House Guest in the Tram
Station. Jeanne van Heeswijk
stays in the Tram Station and
gives a presentation of her
project Face Your World to
those involved in the Campus

ovv much is


Lloyd Beaton was born in Paramaribo and moved to the

Netherlands in 1972. From the age of 13, he lived in the
Westpunt neighbourhood of Hoogvliet. As one of the
founders of the Stichting Kleurrijk Centrum Rotterdam
[Foundation Colourful Centre Rotterdam], he and his
colleague Jose da Silva will become manager and
programmer of the Villa, the cultural centre in Heerlijkheid

Felix Rottenberg: What do you remember about your youth in

Lloyd Beaton: The great thing about Hoogvliet was the street life. People
d idn't just live in their neighbourhood, but on the street. At first most of
th e people living in Westpunt were white Hoogvliet people, but they
started leaving at an increasing rate, leaving primarily Surinamese, Cape
Verdeans and Antilleans. There was a clear difference between north
Hoogvliet and south Hoogvliet. But the atmosphere on the street was
great. I moved to Rotterdam later because the urban setting attracted me.
Eventually I started doing socio-cultural community work.

Do you recognise the Hoogvliet that is seen as a ghetto?

Not as it has been depicted in the press. I never felt it was that way. Yes,
sometimes things happened, but nothing complicated. You did see the
houses getting more and more dilapidated, and that nobody did anything
about it. In the end, they were quick to decide to demolish buildings in
Hoogvliet. But it's bad that the people who had lived in those buildings
had nowhere to come back to. They moved to Pendrecht [district in
Rotterdam South] and places like that.

Did you blame the government for allowing the borough to decline?
Oh, you quickly got the impression that that was the fault of the
foreigners. They were the ones who had let the neighbourhood go to pot.
But in fact, the houses were just marked off by the housing corporation .

You have built up an extensive network amongst Hoogvliet's youth.

What's missing in Hoogvliet for that group?
You should ask them, but since you're asking me: there's no cinema, no
dance club, no rehearsal space. Rehearsal space is especially needed: right
now they're doing everything at home. You need to provide facilities that
will bring out young people's potential and talent. There's a lot of talent in
the youth of Hoogvliet, but you have to give them the chance to express it.

Do you feel as though the submunicipality supports your plans for the
Villa? You're doing pioneering work there; you're taking a risk. Is
there anyone from the submunicipality who supports you?
No. Only half Hoogvliet submunicipal council is even interested in the
Heerlijkheid. I had a conversation with the woman in charge of the culture
portfolio and she thinks that the Villa should become a reception hall . A

place for noisy parties, not for culture. Having a cultural centre in the city
centre has been a vital issue to the borough for years; it's a prestige
project. Which is in competition with the Villa. Neither party has yet
commented on how to solve this.

The Heerlijkheid and the Villa have been a process of give and takeWhat help was WiMBY! at the time you were involved with the
In the beginning, it wasn't clear to me what WiMBY!'s function and role
actually were. The penny dropped during the Groeibriljanten campaign.
While preparing the application, I suddenly realised that WiMBY! had
brought all the local Hoogvliet initiatives together in the Heerlijkheid.
WiMBY! brought all those different groups together. That is the power of
the Heerlijkheid. And WiMBY! helped me personally, as well. At least that's

2BA1 2as

how it felt. I was used to doing everything myself, and a management plan

had to be made for the Villa. I was planning to take care of it myself, and
then they hired the Anderson Elffers Felix consultancy firm, who worked
with me to create a management plan. That was offered by WiMBY! We
went to the Triodos Bank for the capital, and then suddenly WiMBY! had
arranged for Vestia to invest in the project. I really got the feeling that 1
could rely on them in case of emergency.
What would have happened to the Heerlijkheid if WiMBY! had
presented the plans for the Heerlijkheid to the various parties and had
then said, there's the plan, now sort it out for yourselves?

Without WiMBY!'s help and involvement, it may not have been possible to
keep all the parties together.

cene 16


How do you hope to see the Heerlijkheid and the Villa functioning in
six years?

I hope that by then all the big events will take place in the Villa. That it will
have proven itself and have gained recognition, even in Rotterdam South .
That it will be a family park. That people will be able to dance there every
Friday, and that there will be a lot of festivals . It has to be a real success.
What dangers lie in wait?

That the structure won't be maintained, that the cultural differences

between the various participants with activities in the park will gain the
upper hand. The Heerlijkheid should radiate a sense of unity. But the most
important thing is that the council must give the Villa the chance to prove
itself. They are not yet sufficiently committed to the Villa. They see it as a
place where the Antilleans will go, but not the white Hoogvliet people. But
that's exactly not the goal, which is why we've tried to make the Festivals
attractive to as wide an audience as possible, with acts for everyone. When
has a stand-up comedian ever followed the Rotterdam Philharmonic
Orchestra on the same stage before? Never, before the Heerlijkheid
Why were those Festivals such a success? Thousands of people

How much is there to do in Hoogvliet, really? Something has to be done

about culture, people aren't used to it.










any hundreds of new primary schools will have to be built in Dutch urban
neighbourhoods over the coming years. In terms of scale and ambition,
such a project can only be compared to the situation in the 1950s, when
thousands of versions of a few basic models for standard schools were built
throughout the Netherlands: attractive, light, modern and spacious schools, for
everyone, wherever they lived .
If only it were that simple. In the 1950s, schools were still just schools classrooms
along a corridor, with a gym and a teachers' room, and a schoolyard where parents
dropped off and picked up their children every morning, noon and afternoon. The
schools of the future, however, will be 'community schools': schools combined with
before- and after-school care, a library, community centre, social services,
healthcare and welfare agencies. In Germany, these are called Ganztag Schule, in
reference to the fact that they can provide care for students throughout the entire
day; in America they are called Community Schools, in reference to something
else - that they are places where a community is formed, protected and





It is hoped that introducing the community school in the Netherlands will solve a
number of contemporary problems: unsuccessful integration, insufficient parental
involvement in children's education, language deficiency in children and parents,
health and nutrition problems. The schools also offer courses in Dutch and child
rearing, thereby fulfilling an important role as a tool for emancipation and
development in a neighbourhood. In a way, the schools are asked to do the
impossible: to educate children, while at the same time solving all the other social
problems. The community school concept implies a huge increase in the complexity
of the school and the school buildings. This complexity makes the school even
more vulnerable to changes and shifts in practical demands for its use. At the same
time, due to low budgets and complicated regulations it has become increasingly
difficult to build new schools and school principals are required to wait longer and
longer for new buildings. Finally, all of this is happening in a society where the
traditional agreements on responsibilities between the government, employers and
citizens are constantly subjected to upheaval. In the 1950s, the national government
was responsible for the organisation and management of school buildings, but these
tasks have now been delegated to the local authorities. Yet local councils are
increasingly moving away from their urban planning and accommodation tasks;
corporations have started building schools in order to make neighbourhoods more
attractive to middle- and high-wage earners; school boards have become
autonomous, powerful bureaucracies in fierce competition with one another, who
see their teachers and pupils as bothersome and insignificant details .

Rather than waiting until these upheavals settle into a new clarity with clear
authorities and lists of requirements, we decided to involve the various parties in
experimental study of what the community school concept could mean in terms an
of content and architecture. Despite the currently dismal administrative and
financial contexts, a number of very interesting schools have been built in recent
years. This can largely be attributed to the determination and ingenuity of the
architects. This is why we decided to get started as soon as possible on our search
for the flexible primary school.
In the Oudeland neighbourhood, where more than half of the existing housing
(flats) will be demolished and replaced by freestanding single-family homes, the
submunicipality wanted to build a community school or a Multi Functionele
Accommodatie (MFA) [Multipurpose Accommodation] on the site of the
Notenkraker primary school to house various schools, welfare agencies, child care,
etc. This MFA was to become the new heart of the neighbourhood.
It had not yet become clear what kind of a neighbourhood it would be, because the
plans for the demolition and new construction of Oudeland had not yet solidified.
It was also unclear who would ultimately become the developer and owner of the
complex. To us, this situation presented the ideal background for what would
literally be an experimental project. Three architecture firms were asked to deal
with the assignment in three fundamentally different ways, resulting in a
functional, financially and architecturally realistic proposal. We hoped this would
allow us to take a leap forward and to generate knowledge about building
community schools in the twenty-first century, from which everyone in the
Netherlands would benefit. It was also crucial that this experiment would lead to
the realisation of a new school building in Oudeland.

The New


r1 mary

The first hypothesis we wanted the architects to develop and test was that of excess.
In order to create schools that were able to cope with the usually rapid succession of
educational viewpoints and users, we wanted to step away from the modernist
principle of purpose-built architecture, which still reigns in the Netherlands, not
only as an economic principle but also as a form of professional ethics. We wanted
to change over to a building with quantitative excess, designed with a certain
degree of flexibility and abstraction so that it could accommodate various
functions: a kind of under-designed excess. Furthermore, if schools are being asked
to fulfil a broader task than just education, they could be financed without an eye
to profit by parties who have an interest in increasing the value of the surrounding
areas, e.g. the housing corporations. School buildings then become an investment
in a neighbourhood's attractiveness and quality oflife. This also means that schools
could go back to being public buildings with a striking, monumental and long-term
presence in a particular district, with a longer amortisation period than the
surrounding homes and shops.
With this in mind, NL Architects interpreted the MFA not as a building but as an
urban development structure with a shifting, open usage plan. They designed a
star-shaped building whose arms linked the various sections of the site with the
surrounding neighbourhood, sometimes bridging water. On the roof, they planned
a basketball court, school gardens and a few pavilions. The schools and social work
facilities were housed in the various arms of the building, each with its own
entrance. Because the building had a roof that was open to the public, a very

Primary school the Notenkraker, 2002.

striking and unusual form and because it created new routes through the centre of
Oudeland, it transcended the functions of education and social welfare, becoming
an element of the neighbourhood as a whole. The spaces dedicated to the school
were not made-to-measure, but there is so much room in the building that activities
can always be accommodated.

Design by NL Architects for a Multifunctional Accommodation on the spot of the former Notenkraker.

The second theory was that the unpredictable nature of the educational viewpoints
and numbers of pupils, combined with the changing needs of additional
programmes, requires a building that is capable of keeping up with a constantly
changing set of requirements. Creating a school building with a fixed basic
structure plus a flexible construction kit for its completion allows its users to
expand or retract the space according to the dynamic spatial needs of its users.
Atelier Coolsingel defined the fixed basic structure for the building as a winter
garden surrounded by various buildings, two for the schools and one for social
welfare and other functions. In theory, these buildings could also be removed or
given another function in the event that they lost their educational function due to
a drop in the number of pupils. Because the growth of the school and the other
facilities would be accommodated by filling the winter garden with more and more
building volume, the building would become more compact as the number of users
T he third theory combined the range of tasks currently fulfilled by community
schools in the Netherlands with the huge number of existing standard schools from
the 1950s and '60s. These schools were all built according to the same spatial and
structural principle. If there are over a thousand community schools to be built, it is
worth developing a method for transforming a standard school from the 1950s into
a community school, ready for the twenty-first century.
Onix based their design on the architectural shell of the existing school the
Notenkraker, a standard 'H-school' from 1961. They made an analysis of the
building's technical possibilities, based upon which they developed an architectural
strategy for fulfilling the new requirements of a community school. Following
the study, Onix concluded that it would be considerably more economical to retain
the building's shell rather than to demolish and build new. The architects advised
investing the money saved in facilities and features that would not be achievable
within a standard budget. They applied a 'cover' strategy: a schoolyard that would
wrap under, over and through the shell. 'Covering' the building - loosely, not too
tightly- would create a variety of new spaces for extra school and social welfare
facilities. Furthermore, the building would be given a whole new look and become
unrecognisable as an old school from the 1950s, though the odd brick wall,
concrete beam or set of windows would remain as quirky archaeological reminders
of the building's first incarnation. The 'cover' method could also be applied to other
standard schools of the same model. Just like the original standard architectural
design, this method could conform to the specific possibilities offered by each site
while still offering the benefits of standardisation.
The three completed designs and their cost estimates became the focus of a series of
meetings between local government officials, housing corporations, school
principals, school boards and welfare organisations. The three possible scenarios
confronted the potential clients with the consequences of making particular

choices. Only by imagining what it would be like to use a particular building

design could they decide whether to share certain spaces or whether to create
certain partnership agreements within the community school. Only now were
the housing corporations and urban planners able to see the consequences for
the neighbourhood presented by an introverted building or a building that
reaches out its arms like a starfish. Because each design had been based on a
different set of financial, organisational and educational considerations,
comparing the three designs created an opportunity to discuss these aspects
using concrete examples.



The project for the flexible primary school provided us with a wealth of
information and raised new questions, some of a technical-financial nature,
others bureaucratic or purely emotional. To start with the latter, both Onix
and WiMBY! were shocked to discover that the many technical and financial
benefits of their otherwise highly prominent, striking design did not
outweigh a taboo held by the school boards against re-using the old standard
schools. Even the idea of re-using the shells of the school buildings evoked
disapproval and disgust from both school principals and school board
NL's design had the opposite effect. The iconic character of the building, its
excess, its eccentric form and unusual rooftop evoked such enthusiasm,
especially amongst the teachers, that the discussion of how it could be used
in practice hardly got off the ground. Two aspects contributed to this: the
teachers had already felt a sincere pride in their school for decades, which
was finally given affirmation in a flamboyant building. On the other hand,
their enthusiasm was also a cunning strategy for upping the ante in the
presence of the school board, thus forcing the bureaucrats to make serious
investments. The future users' enthusiasm contrasted sharply not only with
the mollifying, reasoning words from the urban planners about the design,
which would be a radical step for the school and for Hoogvliet, but also with
the sealed lips and pockets of the school board members.
The design by Atelier Coolsingel revealed a number of concrete paradoxes
and problems. One was of such a fundamental nature that it applied to all potential
expansions and retractions of the structure. As spatial demand grew, the building
would grow with it: consequently the open space, which in this case was located
inside the building, would slowly be filled. This meant that as the building's need
for space increased, its available space would be reduced, becoming smaller and
more intensely used. The logic of a building that grows with its own spatial
demands, which had seemed so solid on paper, was condemned as soon as it was
simulated in a test situation.


.. _

.1:. 1


Design for a Multifunctional Accommodation by architecture office Atelier Coolsingel.

Jct l


Generally speaking, this project provided a great deal of information about the
devilish complexity of building educational facilities in areas undergoing
restructuring. The number of residents - and therefore of pupils - falls during the
restructuring, but plans for new schools are developed during that same period.
The school boards allocate budgets based on population, as a result of which the
schools are short-changed. This creates a vicious circle that threatens many schools,
including the school in Oudeland discussed above. The most significant conclusion
we can make is that schools should not be seen in the old-fashioned, functionalistic

manner as neighbourhood facilities based on an existing population and built by

specialised municipal departments. The speed at which entire neighbourhoods can
decline, the shifting responsibilities for urban renewal and the schools' steadily
increasing social role and set of responsibilities require an entirely new approach.
Schools should be regarded as icons and prerequisites for a successful urban
neighbourhood; the parties with the greatest interest in a successful neighbourhood
should (be able to) assume their responsibilities and not treat school buildings
merely as real estate with the same amortisation period as a home or shop, but as
obj ects with a much broader, long-term profitability and benefit to public interest.


----m:s-- - ---;L
Design for a Multifunctional Accommodation by Onix Architecten.



Noten!<raller lvoorschool
Stlchting Welzljn

Gesloten g&meenschappelijk prograrrma
Open ~schappelijk programma

The Notenkraker primary school, upon which this study was based, is still awaiting
concrete plans for its new building, while the housing corporations, municipal
authorities and school board continue their endless negotiations about who may do
what, where, when and with whom. Numbers of students have fallen drastically as
the school building has started to show increasingly alarming signs of deterioration.
Sufficient numbers of new parents will only enrol their children once the new
homes for the new residents of Oudeland have been completed, and then only if
they are met by a fresh new school building. Will this school still exist in a year?
W ho wants to live in a neighbourhood without a primary school?

18-21 August 2005

3rd Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet
Festival on the Heerlijkheid
site. The programme included
Gordon, t~e wind section of
the Rotterd<;;rms Philharmonisch Orkes~nd DJ Satisfaction

i ' ...

24 August 2005
~~ /It' "'

Groene Voegen design study

by Maxwan architects and
urbanists (in association with
::V..tort Lola Landscape Architects)


September 2005
Closure of prostitutes' lega l
working area in Keileweg

November 2005
Building starts on the Condor
flat complex by Zeinstra van
der Pol in the Nieuw Engeland district

26 November
2005 - 2 February
Touring WiMBY! model in the
Shrinking Cities exhibition in
Leipzig (Germany).

9 December 2005
Foundation stone laid for De
Groene Schake! home for the
elderly by VMX Architects in

13 December
Design study for Multipurpose
Accommodation (MFA) in
Oudeland completed. The
MFA project includes a study
of the systematic renewal of
the school building. NL Architects, Onix Architecten and
Atelier Coolsingel present
their designs to the parties

13 February 2006
WiMBY! presentation at
Harvard Graduate School of
Design, Cambridge, USA

4 March 2006
Opening of the FAT: All You
Can Eat exhibition at art
gallery Stroom in The Hague,
with the model of the Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet

Jan Trommel is principal of the Notenkraker public primary

school in Oudeland, one of the first 'community schools' (see
also Scene 16, p. 287) in the Netherlands. He worked together
with WiMBY! to develop the SchooiParasites concept. The
Flower School Parasite opened at the Notenkraker in May 2004,
a flexible building full of independent study spaces that,
thanks to its sliding walls, is ideal for a wide range of uses.

relix Rottenberg: When did you start working at the Notenkraker?

n Trommel: In 1967, I had just started working as a teacher 18 months
-:fore. It was a school in a working-class neighbourhood, with primarily
,t1ve-Dutch pupils . I started with a class of 34 children from working-class
+ lmdies. Most of the parents worked in the port or at Shell. The situation
'Vas stable until1985, after which there was a demographic shift among
the pupils. The classes became more coloured . I wasn't as conscious of the
'hange while it was happening, but looking back I can see it clearly. There
were more and more Antillean children and Chinese refugees, and later
Had the children been traumatised?

That's something we've only seen in the last eight or nine years. We
started getting children who had escaped from Ghana, Angola, Zimbabwe
and Ethiopia, who had really been through a lot in their short lives. So
many terrible experiences.
Describe an average group 6 pupil (aged 9-10) from your school. He
enters the school and then ...

The pupil lives in a flat. He has spent the night in the same room with his
brothers and sisters. If he's unlucky, he's been woken up a few times during
the night. Sometimes he comes to school without having eaten breakfast,
because there was no time or nothing left to eat. I always stand in the
schoolyard to watch the children coming in, to see how they look and who
brings them to school. These kids almost always enter the schoolyard with
a smi!e on their faces, in spite of their less than ideal home situation. It is
terribly unfortunate, but the home situation really makes itself felt at the
school; it takes up a lot of our time. It affects the children's performance,
which results in lost talent. Cognitively, they can get along fine.
Are the children fed breakfast at school?

No, but we do provide sandwiches for the children at the cost of 1 euro to
the parents. Usually they can afford that. And parents who are still
attending school themselves receive a contribution from social services for
their child's lunch. 40% of the children eat their lunch at home. But the
remaining 60% do not stay at school: many children wander around the
school and buy crisps and chips at the shopping centre. We are trying to
solve that problem by creating special schedules, in which they arrive at
school at 8 am and remain under the supervision of a teacher until 3 pm.
Your neighbourhood is right in the middle of a restructuring project.
This means that your school has to focus all its energies on children
with difficulties. The change in colour of the pupils has been primarily
unidirectional. Do native Dutch children still come to your school?

No, we've become too 'black' for that. [Schools in the Netherlands with
high concentrations of ethnic minority students are commonly called 'black
schools']. In 1996, we discovered that the outside world saw us as a 'black
school'. But I never had any problem with that. Half of the children have a
moderate language deficiency, and our wonderful library is very important
in remedying that. Our school is as black as night, but we've never had any
problems. You so often hear that the teachers at these kinds of schools are
threatened with physical violence, but we've never experienced that. That
gives me faith.

Do you have enough manpower?

It is too rid1culous for words that I've lost ten teachers because my school
is losing pupils because homes in the neighbourhood are being demolished.
You are able to do less and less, while you actually want to do more.
Imagine that someone like Joop van den Ende [a wealthy Dutch media
tycoon] came up to you and asked you what you needed. What would
you say? What would be given the highest priority?

I would want truly excellent teachers, teachers who are not Just good at
arithmet:c and grammar, but people who work with their heart. The
perfect situation would be to have one teacher for every 15 pupils. Right
now, my teachers each have over twenty pupils. I need four more teach e rs,
and then we'll be able to manage.
Your school is under the jurisdiction of the Openbaar Onderwijs
Rotterdam [Rotterdam Public School] board. Do they take your school

I don't believe they are aware of the real problems facing the Notenkraker.
Is that something you talk about with civil servants or public officials?

Of course. The Notenkraker is also known internationally because it is one

of the first 'community schools' in the Netherlands. We've had people visit
us from Japan to see how a 'community school' works. I didn't invent the
idea of the 'brede school', but we saw that we were not able to offer
everything the children needed in the 1000 hours we had . So we started
organising activities. We financed extra after-school services with funds
from the Grotestedenbeleid [Urban Regeneration Policy]. But that money
has been used up. It may sound crude, but I've noticed that politicians
can't score like they could before with the Notenkraker. They're looking for
something new. That makes me feel horribly bitter and disappointed .
In 2010 you will receive a new building, in an MFA (Multifunctional
Accommodation) along with another primary school and other
neighbourhood services like before- and after-school care. Did you
have any influence on the design of the new school?

Not for the outside of the school, but for the inside I did . Especially during
the first phase of the project, in which WiMBY! was involved and in which
three preliminary studies were made in 2004. That was interesting . Now
the project has headed down a different path. I now get the feeling that
WiMBY! and the associated designs have been set aside in order to start
all over again. It's really a shame that they didn't pursue the initial path .
But I'm only one of the six parties who will eventually be housed in the
MFA, so I don't have much of a say. Each party has its own needs and
You should form a coalition with the other five parties!

Sure, but I also have to be careful. I've had such an advantage from
WiMBY!, but I have noticed that other schools are jealous of our
SchooiParasite. We have something they don't.
The SchooiParasite functions so well. It is a wonderful thing . It is the most,
effective way of evaluating the ki rl'd s of spaces needed in educationeveryone who sees it says so. I've learned that it is possible to look at
school buildings in a different way. The School Parasite also had an
important effect on my own innovative powers.

Some people think the School Parasites are great, but that they
remained too marginal if you consider all that WiMBY! could have

There's nothing marginal about the content of the project! It's extremely
valuable. The outside of the structure is less important, but I can do so
much w1th it. I really needed that space. I now have a space in which six
students can work in small rooms. They th ink it's fun to work in small
groups and then, full of pride, to come up with results. That Parasite is
such a treasure.
Then why don't those other schools request a SchooiParasite?

It has to do with taking initiative. You have to want it.

Do you see the creation of the MFA as a kind of dream? Are you
getting the palace of your dreams? What will be lacking in the new
building that you need?

The building will not provide the amount of space we need. The library will
not be included; it is being dropped, though it is crucially important for
chOidren w;th language deficiencies. The JOS [Youth, Education, Society]
department decided that there wasn't enough room. And the Woonbron
housing corporation will no longer be offering an extra incentive, even
though the idea behind investing in the MFA is that it will have a positive
effect on attracting people to come live in the Oudeland neighbourhood .
Furthermore, the new building will not have a parent's room. That is
important for involving parents at the school.
Sometimes I get downhearted about the MFA process. At meetings, l'rn
always criticised for bringing up the timeframe. But I'm the one who will
benefit most from the MFA being completed on time. Until then, I'm stuck
in this dump. I have to move to temporary accommodation in 2008 while
we wait for the new location to be completed in 2010. And I have to leave
the SchooiParasite behind .
You have to take it with you!

It is invaluable to us. But l'lllose it after the temporary location because I'll
be getting a new building. That little structure has been vitally important
to my school. I'm trying to apply the lessons I've learned from the Parasite
in the new building, so we will have lots of flexible walls and spaces.
You have no trouble living under Spartan conditions. Does it ever
make you angry?

No, not really, but it is hard sometimes. I fought tooth and nail against the
idea of bringing the centre for ex-prostitutes from the Keileweg to the
Fidelio building in Oudeland . Why do politicians do things like that? This is
the poorest and most vulnerable neighbourhood; the people here can't
afford lawyers. Of course I want those people to get help, but why can't
they go to Tussenwater or another better neighbourhood? Oudeland
already has so many problems. They didn't listen to us, didn't do anything .
Now it seems there is enough room for the ex-prostitutes, so the flats are
being used to accommodate homeless people from Rotterdam. It
infuriates me.
The School Parasites process is exemplary of WiMBY!, it's outside of
the norm. People think, 'Who are those weirdos?' We're atypical; we
don't fit the mould. And that creates jealousy.


Certain Brazilianness' is a place within WiMBYI 's House

project in several stages,
Guest programme in October
in which open production 2004. Its location in Rotterdam's
methods are tried out. What we postwar satellite town, Hoogunderstand as 'a certain Brazil- vliet- where major demographic
ianness' does not describe a
changes have caused planners
national identity, but is the reand housing co-operations to
sult of a certain condition. Artrestructure entire neighbourists and writers articulated this hoods- offered a setting exemcondition, typical of the Brazilplary of the changes many Euian subject, in Brazil's modernropean cities are going through.
ist movement in the 1920's.
For this event, our group was
They accentuated the plurality
extended to include some musiof the national identity and arcians from the Rotterdam hip
ticulated it by negation rather
hop scene and the Brazilian artthan by description. The main
ist Ricardo Basbaum, whose
concepts we learnt from looking work had already played a large
into Brazilian cultural producpart in informing our ideas. We
tion in the 20th century were
chose to put hip hop music at
the productive potential of hetthe heart of the production beerogeneity, plurality or even
cause of its overwhelming presconflicting elements. But also
ence in these areas and its own
that every identity is instable
participatory nature.
and how resonances can be a
The Polyphonic Stage was set
basis for relationships .
up as a 'movie machine'. The
'A Certain Brazilianness'
large window of the chosen loused these notions as a guide.
cation - one of the School ParaInviting several collaborators
sites WiMBYI had realised earinto a process that takes prolier that year - acted as a production itself as an active rejection screen, showing directly
search method and a live expeto the street the material that
rience, it attempted to transwas being produced inside. A
form the attitude towards hetgiant monitor in a schoolyard, it
erogeneity and conflict into a
functioned as an attractor for
cultural drive. It uses the meta- more participation. Inside, an
phor of film as a basis for activ- open jam session took place,
ity, drawing on the language
which was the basis for all the
and roles in a film production to scenes in our 'polyphonic movset up situations that lead to
ie'. To host the shoot, the small
new relations. Three performaParasite had been transformed
tive stages have taken place so
into a set, designed by the parfar. In these active encounters
ticipating architect Milica
the participants were performTopalovic
ers as well as viewers and lisParticipation was open and
teners, creating the script and
encouraged and what happened
cinematic material during the
during the five-hour session of
event .
evoking and recording exchanThe first of these performative
ges and musical productivity
and productive stages was the
became the material for the
Polyphonic Stage, which took
'film without a frame'. This

'film' has been developed as a

website, which was presented in
the same location in Hoogvliet
one year later.
Crew I cast: Ricardo Basbaum,
Winston Belliot, Manon de Boer,
Mario Campanella, Gio Doemoeng, Corinne Gambi, Milford
Kendall, Maria Moreira, Imogen
Stidworthy, Milica Topalovic,
Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Ari
Versluis, Florian Wiist.

By focusing on relations between people and their behaviour in public space, Wendelien van Oldenborgh
produces work in which social conditions are at the centre. She uses cinematography as a production and
presentation method and works with participants, who take part in creating the script. Following
exhibitions of her work in various institutes in Europe, she recently worked on the projects: 'Maurits
Script', a co-production with Casco (Utrecht 2006), 'ACB-Sound Track Stage' in Museum Boijmans Van
Beuningen (Rotterdam 2006), 'The Basis For ASong', (for 'Die Regierung' by Ruth Noack en Roger M.
Buergel) in Witte de With (Rotterdam 2005), and the website, 2005.

estpu nt


The project for the Westpunt district is an example of'conceptual architectural

conservation~ This explains why this project- a brand new development plan for an
area that is going to be totally demolished- nevertheless qualifiedfor a Belvedere
subsidy due to its meticulous approach ofcultural heritage.


Hoogvliet.ln the foreground the district Westpunt.

lthough the houses and tenement buildings here mainly date back to the postwar reconstruction era, Hoogvliet isnot what one might call a 'place of
pilgrimage', even for true architecture fans. The majority of the
accommodations are the same system-built walk-up apartment blocks that have
proliferated all over the city of Rotterdam. Therefore it is all the more surprising
that one part of the Westpunt district is, due to its design and genesis, connected
with the post-war era's international modernist avant-garde through Lotte StarnBeese (1903-1988). She was a well-known town planner who, in the service of the
Rotterdam Municipality, designed many post-war districts. She became
internationally famous as a member of both De 8 and Opbouw, as a student at
Bauhaus in Germany, and also because of her contributions to various ClAM
conferences and her work with Mart Starn in the USSR. As the designer of the
Pendrecht area, which is regarded throughout the world as an important milestone
in modernist urban planning and housing construction, Lotte Starn found her way
into the history books. Seen from an angle of architectural history, Westpunt is
Hoogvliet's most international section, the area with the greatest historico-cultural















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From 1947 onwards, Lotte Starn-Beese made the plans and designs for Hoogvliet in
its entirety, and later on also for the separate neighbourhoods of Zalmplaat, NieuwEngeland, Oudeland and the centre. Of these, only the middle part ofWestpunt,
between the Tijmweg and the Lavasweg, was carried out according to her design;
the remaining districts were elaborated by her co-workers at the Planning Department.
She drew this middle zone in 1957, consisting of three immense, elongated
repeating patterns (stempels) in which low-rise and high-rise buildings are combined
around three large collective open spaces. Due to the twist in the direction and the
bayonet shape introduced into these repeating patterns, the large spaces have
acquired a rhythmicality that has a dynamic effect both spatially and visually.
In the area, the spatial and social housing ideal of the fifties is still discernable:
living in a garden city. The limited possibilities in housing construction have been
compensated by the freedom in the urban development's layout, and in Westpunt
this latitude has resulted in the almost picturesque concept of the town planner. In
comparison with the design for Pendrecht, where the dwellings are positioned in
strict orthogonal repeating patterns, Westpunt has a far gentler and more flowing
Apart from its historico-cultural value, the middle area ofWestpunt is also
worthwhile because of the neighbourhood's outstanding beauty, which is partly due















rhe design's spatiality and openness, but also to the way in which the green areas

:~d the trees have matured in the forty years of their existence. Because of this, it

has qualities that could never be paralleled by any new housing development
roject. Although the houses here are largely run-down, this green basic spatial
~rructure ofWestpunt still remains impressive.
The owner of the houses in this area is the housing corporation Woonbron, which
at rhe outset of the restructuring had decided that all ofWestpunt's 650 homes
should be torn down and replaced, with the exception of the singlefamily dwellings. There was a new urban development plan, designed
by the Planning and Housing Department and Kuiper Compagnons,
proposing to dig a canal straight through the area. On either side of
chis, quay residences were to be built, adding an 'attractive residential
ambience' to the Hoogvliet housing stock. However, this showpiece
fou ndered on the fact that the site's soil is seriously polluted by the
sludge dredged out of the harbour and used to level up Westpunt
polder in the fifties. Due to the inevitable soil sanitation, digging a
canal right through Westpunt would have meant an unacceptable
investment. So, a new plan had to be drawn up.

Greenery, trees, communal gardens and parks define the structure of Westpunt.


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Woonbron's requirement programme emphasised respectively accommodating a

new parking standard of 1.8 car per home, building a great deal of single-family
dwellings with gardens, and creating an appealing picture that would be just as
attractive to prospective residents as the idea of the cancelled quay residences had
For WiMBY!, the essence of the task was somewhat different. We could not
stomach the tabula rasa approach of the area, but it was simply a given. We referred
to the neighbourhood as an 'urban planning monument', yet all of the buildings
were going to be pulled down. This meant that in this area any 'ordinary'
conservation of historic buildings was out of the question, it had to be a conceptual
one- to wit a preservation and reinterpretation of the principles on which Lotte
Starn-Beese's town planning was based.
The first of these principles is that of collectivity: Lotte Starn's urban planning,
with its adoption of the housing unit, collective gardens and its hierarchical
neighbourhood idea, creates an ideal collectivity among residents. The singlefamily terraced houses, the hofjes [courtyards with senior-citizen housing] and the
galleried flats were designed in such a way that all sorts of individuals as well as
people at different stages of their lives could live together there, emphasising their
mutual connections, with a place and a possibility to gather and meet. By now this
interpretation of community has lost much of its popularity and effect, though in
some novel form a reinterpretation of it might well become an important feature of
the new Hoogvliet.
As a second important principle to be retained, we named the open spaces between
the repeating patterns and also the interlinking green areas with their high planetrees. Westpunt's buildings are no monuments, but the spaciousness in between
them is most certainly worthy of becoming one. These areas have by now attained a
special value, offering a truly beautiful and moreover very rare starting-point for a
new district. In doing so, they form a stepping stone to the more untamed nature of
the vast park along the river Oude Maas [Old Meuse].


In the plan 'WP 90 XXL' by the design office ZUS, the green collective gardens in the area are turned around 90,
are combined and are enlarged to XXL proportions, thus giving rise to a new oversized park connecting Hoogvliet
with the Oude Maas. The park's spatial dynamics are enhanced by laying a winding footpath through it ('Lotte
Stam-Beesepad').ln the park, there are a number of residential buildings situated on mounds. At ground level
each housing block has a different kind of collective space. Parking solutions are under the mound, also at
ground level. A'skin' of a transparent gauze-like material has been folded around these housing blocks, on the
one hand emphasising the area's original cohesion and on the other defining the communality of the mound.
The development gradually intensifies towards the neighbourhood's outskirts, by which a high density is
proposed at the fringes. Conversely, in the middle area, the development seems to blend into the greenery.








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Familie vaninsnedes

Wingender Hovenier
In Wingender Hovenier's design, new compositions of housing blocks were made within the contours of the existing
repeated patterns (stempels), as a variation on the same typological theme. This family of building types stems
froma redefinition of the single-family dwelling. Subsequently the blocks were repositioned, with the old sites of
the trees, green spaces and the existing infrastructure as a normative structure. The housing blocks are planned
around the trees, so that each block has a cut-away in a different place, containing without exception a beautiful
old tree. ln this plan, the collectivity is filled in unempathically: the front doors simply open onto the same inner
court where the residents also park their cars. By emphasising the blocks' horizontality and avoiding staggering,
one reaches a great cohesion in all of the region's architecture.


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Studio Sputnik
Studio Sputnik came up with two different strategies, of which 'Stadstuinen' had the greatest power of
persuasion. This model suggests a winding stretch from Hoogvliet's centre to the river, forming a guideline.tora
zigzagging ribbon of housing hundreds of metres long. The plan contains apartments as well as single-faml~
dwellings. Parking is simply arranged in the streets. Due to the zigzag-shape we get mirroring housing bloc ~~r
each around a spacious collective garden of which the layout can be realised in various ways. Thus, among ot
things, Sputnik has drawn a French garden, a kitchen garden and an English landscape garden. The gr~e~
link up with the present green areas around them, and thus are of additional value to the vicinity's exlstm9

Now the question was what opportunities there were to modernise the housing
stock in the area, preserving its garden city qualities. This almost seemed
impossible as the contemporary housing programme, with its many single-family
dwellings, has a far bigger 'footprint' than the old tenements and would practically
take up all of the green space\However, in Westpunt this space is precisely what has
to be retained. And if one would replace the housing unit by terraced houses for the
individualistic urban dweller of today, the loss of collectivity would be just as
obvious. And this was a quality we not only wanted to keep, but wanted to improve
on besides.
In order to explore what possible solutions might be realistic in view of this
dilemma, we asked three firms of a very different nature to come up with a plan:
the Amsterdam firm Win gender Hovenier, and the Rotterdam firms ZUS and
Studio Sputnik. They were given the task of designing a contemporary translation
of the garden city idea, without lapsing into standard solutions. What we were
asking for here were innovative ideas: the plans had to offer solutions for contemporary
residences in green surroundings with ingenious typologies; smart solutions to both
traffic and parking were absolutely indispensable, and the same was true for the
management and maintenance strategies for the many square metres of green space.
Because of these circumstances, the task had typological, traffic-technical as well as
82~>-cnrn . . .
c c - (JQ "=' 0.. . landscape aspects. To this, a great number of preconditions were added as regards
0 3 ::::. ~ 1:0 ,....,
q ~ c:: (") ~ (") P'"' urban planning, ensuing from the existing plan documents, notably those of
~. ~ ~ ;: : ;- r-o o to Logica. This in the first place stipulated that, in the design, the district's fringes
o.. =r o E; - :::s (!) should be clearly pronounced, so that they contribute to the neighbourhood's
o = r . :::s,...._<
appearance, and secondly that the green seams, on which Westpunt also verges,
-...... "=! !:l
c P:> :::s
remain green. Apart from this there was the Green Study, which entailed an
1:0 P:> ..... (!)
o-'g 0'@ !:l (!) ~ inventory and evaluation of the trees in Hoogvliet with the aim of conserving
::!?. (!) >- :::s ...... !:l (!) valuable specimens. This meant that the architects had to 'plan around' trees that
OH,O'Tj(l)CI:J(l) had been registered as monumental. Finally, Belvedere added an extra requirement
;; g [. g ~ ~ ~ to the subsidising 1: they suggested to make use of oral history so that the ideas
V> ::r g 0.. ;$. !:l P:>
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c 0 crvo(l) 0 about collectivity and social cohesion would not remain mere static historical data
;:::;" -@ c:: ::s ..-.. < in the requirement programme, without actually becoming discernable in the final
c :::s
P:> s 0 (!)
~ao(i3g:(tl n~ plan. We greeted this suggestion with approval, as it might certainly be interesting
- & o.'< g ~
e:(l)s?_......._'""'(l) to hear from older Westpunt residents how the housing unit used to function and
~QE.z<-;...g whether it really worked. So around twenty people were visited and interviewed by
0 ;:::.. (!)
~ =r
~ ...... ::::. <o(l) ~ WiMBY! We asked them about the use and perception of the collective gardens
. ;::; :::s '--' ':7 ':7 0"
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between the dwellings, how this use had changed over the years, how much contact
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one formerly had with one's neighbours and what the developments in this respect
had been during the last years. People were also asked about the routes they took
::!?. < 2 ;[ 0 3
...... 0 (JQ '" ,....,
through the neighbourhood - which areas does one go through and which does one
0.. - 0 (!) in fact avoid? We also asked them about the district's identity and that of Hoogvliet
0 . . . ~~.1;1 ~ - does it in fact have one and, if so, in what way has this changed?
: ;: g. . . . ;::; 5" 5"
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g_<:' ,...., '< The appreciation ofWestpunt's open spaces, peace and quiet, and the 'sense of
,...., freedom' this actually provides generally appeared to be decisive as to why people
live there, but it also became clear that the greenery nowadays had merely become
something to look at. In the 'olden days' one occasionally tended to play, take a
stroll or have a picnic in it, but today that is no longer the case. This was caused by
the green areas' neglect, the drug dealers in the district, the many temporary

Zonder haar roots in het

modemisme te \'erloochenen
zal Westpunt op toek gaan
naar een mense!ijke maat.






Dage:liJ"kse ontmoetingen
in de wijk zorgen \'borde

Gee:n kunst omdat het moet,

maar lc:unst a1s inten-entie in
de opmbare ruimtr. Kunst die
niet alleen bezondu is. maar
ook gebruikt kan worden.


Het zijn m 'et'lS belangnJke

collecti~ activlteiten.

.. _,....,.,.......,..";.,.,_,..,



Ultgavo van Sputnik on ZUS [Zones Urbalnos Sonslblos) No.001





Lotte Starn-Beese

Welcome In My Back

Architect en

I k.lop\k11a t'Cfl n.JOriop, op modtm!.


Cblltutl ( Lot td I. An lUI SU.nH lftw ( Rdsicill. Silrdf-,

I'Moptn, IIMdoor ill tid{ijll; h~
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kUbfthoe iiOOf;\ilttlidlop~kncht kan

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puont~~>i~ ),ldbdlulp lliii Wi),Utfl

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28ju11"'ri 1903 Krimpen~~a~~dm u.d, t6 _.~

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donderdag 1 maart 2007


www.\\ !
online vanaf2008

7 March 2006

2 .

- - -------------------:::-:-=:=------:;----;,:--- Pvda gains political majority

WP typologie i~ the Rotterdam local elec-

----------------------------------------~~----~~----- tlons


10 March 2006


The football legend Johan

Cruyff, together with Pieter
D e .h o f. . .
Winsemius, opens the Cruyff
~r.'~~~~ij~~~.;~zijJ;~~~~r~J.,f:~~~~e~~,:~~ Court grass-plot at Toscalaan
:::ij~ei~~~~e~:~~ ~;~~~~c:~";~r~~~~~~~~~o~~~ in Hoogvliet

Lotte Starn-Beese park

Oankzlj de van bet voormnlig steden

bouwkundig plan ''an Loue StamBeese voor
We5tpunt heeft het 10 hectare tellende gebied een
unick bomcnbc-stand, De-t.c grocnstructuur wordt
ook door WP next aangegrepen alt drager van de
tuekomstige v.ijk. Hiermee wordt teven11lnge7-et
op l..'t>n goede ''crblndlng van het centrum met het
omringende Rulgplnntbos, dut 11inds clnd ''origjaar

~~:~u;~~u~ ~:"h~~!~:=~~i:,~~~~~:~ ~o:;:'~:'

May 2 0 0 6

uitdaging biedt

the designs for the Villa and

the HobbyHuts

:n;.i~~e :~t 3e~nh~~;,~:~Jc~~~k=e~hi~~~~~: Building inspectors approve

een Natuurmonumcnt isgcwordcn.


Bijzondere hoven


cr S.1!11Cil CCII gc~.clligc pi~

-====-==:=: 31

Vanun de ambitie om unleke woonmilieus te

crWren, zullcn cr nangrcnr.cnd nan hct park hoven
worden gcintroducecrd, Ze :zijn vcrbondcn met de
hoofdstructuur, r.odat cr ccn gctrnptc open bare
rulmte structuur onllltuot. De hoven bleden de
mogclljkhcld tot ht'l: makcn van ccn gcmcen
~e:huppelijke tuln, ul blljft dit Jn llttorkc mute
afhankclljk van de uitclndclijkc gcbrulkcrs.

May 2006

Minister-President J.P.
Balkenende visits Hoogvliet

~L_J A:;I June 2006

WiMBY! presentation at TU
Delft, Delft School of Design

11 June 2006

Het appartementt Gerard Hadders' 3D-metre

high work of art, The Memory
of Westerstein, is moved
~,:,:~~~~~~~:~~~~~~~~~~'~e7te,~,~: !e,~oa;~~~:~~ to the other side wall of the
woningcn hebben.een dir~te zicht.~~atie m~~ Westerstein service flats in
C'::~~:~~~~:::~~~~~~~~J~:~~:e~~~~~;~:';;~~ Puitstraat in Hoogvliet

20 June 2006
Festive signing of the rental
contract for the Villa Heerlijkheid by Erik Staal (Vestia)
and Lloyd Beaton and Jose
da Silva (Stichting Villa de

!:!.lc~t~a~~~~ r!!!~~!?;k l1

ruimtc voor cen nantalspt.>clnal ontworpcn plekkcn.

Olt :zljn plckken die bedoeld :zljn voor ontmoeting en
gcmccnschnppclljke nctlvitcltcn. Nuast de bcJtoande
school valt hicrblj tc dcnkcn ann ccn kas om tc
tulnlcrcn of cen thcchui met ultkljktoren,
ZitJMKim1 4 II'P nt<Xt .'lt.~.,


3 July 2006


De He e h . e Felix Rottenberg interviews

Dcwoningenst!nzij~n ziR;!~rijtr.Zc Erik Staal in the Tram Station
hebben een VOOltuin en cen pnrkeerplaats op 5 J
I 2006
tcrrein. De achtertuin is misschien

:~~~~~~~~;~:~~~~~~~ ~~~~v::~~~~~~~~~!~~r~if~!e;~~ Felix Rottenberg interviews

Jeanne van der Velden and
Herman Meijer in the Tram

t e t u1nen
P riVa
Om aan dewcnstevoldocn van de tockomttigc
bcwoncnJ van Wc8tpunt zljn cr ccn nnntnl groepen
wonlngcn met ccn clgcn tuln. Via hct tulnhck Is er
direct toegang tot hct park en een aantal tuinen
glr.'..egcnd worden met ccn bcl!tanndc monumcntalc

16 September




De vriJStaande



Harvest festival in the Tram

Station, as part of the 'Surviving the Suburb' project by the
House Guest Ton Matton

16 September

!~7~:'n:e;l;:~~~d~~=~1~ee~ ~~:~~~t~a~~ 1i!~"d~ 2 0 0 6

~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~e~~:=~~:~~f ~~;:~';!:~~~:~~~ Planting of the first tree

~~a~~~ij~~~:;~~~~;k~;;~i~::~~~~~:~~c (Sequoiadendron giganteum)

in the Arboretum at the Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet

lk on!JIIulllng 1.11! nlctlanACr het J)llrk tloonmljden, Om cen continue J)llrk tc kuuncn
garnndercn, zijn de doorgnnndewcRcn vnn noord nanrzu!d In het nicuwc plnn
\'erdwenen. Ue bcbouwln~ 11Rtab bandcn ten noorden en ten 7.Ulden \'an het park.
I>C'1.e gcblcden worden re~htMtr~ckll \'annr de ht'lltanndc lnfrnstruetuur ontsloten.
Parkeerterrclnen llggrn ann de1.e beftaande trarcn. Ynnnf de parkcencrrclnen zijn dc
wonlngen te \'oct te bereiken. lllt gcldt met name: \'OOr de hofwnnlngen en de \'rljttannde
wonlngcn, lk rljtjCII hehbcn mlnlmMI cen flnrkcc:rplua!Ji op t'lgcn terrctn.

rUk bomcnn550rtlmcnt. Als hct ann l.ottc Stom -llccsc hadgc llll:

~~~~~~:c s~~~~~~~;~:~edl~=~f~':~~~1~:~{kz~~=~:{;~:n 11


4...-WP sfeer

residents for whom the neighbourhood is merely a transit situation, the lack of
occupancy, the vandalism, in short: the sum of the reasons to restructure and the
effects of the estate's demolition. This was also why Westpunt was a traumatised
district, with residents agreeing to a minute's talk about the situation in the past,
provided they could then carry on for an hour about everything that was wrong
there at present. Although this made the 'oral history' a bit disappointing from a
historical perspective, and hardly produced any new insights as to how these
concepts of housing unit and of community thinking worked out in practice, it
certainly provided a penetrating insight into the residents' experience of the
restructuring's full pressure and what this meant for the neighbourhood they built
up together. Apart from this, it also resulted in the planners actually coming away
with a residents' list of wishes (lots of green, please; more places to meet people

in het buitenland

Tijdens de ontwikkeling
van het project in 4 fasen
wordt er in elke fase een
speciale functie in het
ontwerp van het park
programma's bevorderen
de sociale samenhang in de
wijk en maken van het park
een samendoen-park. Op
deze pagina zijn een aantal
sferen neergezet die in
het park hun plek kunnen





De tigweide, waar de jaarlijkse zomerbarbecue wordt gehouden, waar geflaneerd wordt en gekeken naar de joggers
die In allejaargetijden voorbij sjokken.

Although - in order to smoothen the way towards implementation as much as

possible- the plans were always required to be very realistic, the process
nevertheless stagnated after the three designs were done. The discussion of the
plans, which was carried out in public at the Information Centre on April 26,
2005 2 with the input of all sorts of external experts, made it clear that more thought
might have been given here to a number of fundamental aspects- to wit: is there in
fact any collectivity left in Network City? And, if so, what is the scale of the
collectivity we should aim for in this area? Should we pursue it on the scale of a few
neighbours or on that of the area as a whole? Does 'collective' mean that there can
be no room for private gardens or public spaces? What kind of a housing
programme is appropriate in this area, what housing types belong here, and what
are the target groups that the future plans are aimed at? Is there any room for new
idealism in urban planning? Is there a market for the reno-spaciousness of the
The debate's main conclusion was that, if in the future one would truly want to
conserve Westpunt's qualities, Woonbron should first select a number of strategic
points of departure. This choice would have to be based on the four design themes
emerging from the studies, to wit: shaping the connection between the centre and
the green belt, conserving the green areas and trees, ascertaining the target group as
well as the housing programme, and finally the degree of collectivity. Our guests'
advice was: the principal will have to formulate a choice as regards each of these
priorities. Previous to deciding which elements in the design studies might be
eligible for further elaboration and realisation, a number of decisions would have to
be taken.


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Wonen aan de purkrand maakt de betrokkenheid van de bewoners bij bet park natuurlijk grater. Het park isje
achtertuin. Dan wilje natuurlijk wel dat het een knap park is,je loopt er zo vanuitje woonkamer oftuin in met
hark en schep.

wp next Is een uitga.\'t van Sputnik i.s.m.

ZUS [ZoneA Urbllincs ScnslblesJ naar nan
In opdracht wn Woonbron en Wimby!
urr. WP next Is ccn tll!ISCnproduct en moet
niet bcschouwd worden ab t-en volwaardlg
a:tcdcnbouwku ndig on twerp.

This finally happened in 2006. By that time, the restructuring ofHoogvliet was
halfway, and, after the large number of apartments that had already been realised,
Woonbron concluded that Westpunt's housing programme should focus far more
on 'earthbound' houses. The housing programme was reformulated, and the
corporation, advised by WiMBY!, granted the assignment's follow-up to ZUS and
Studio Sputnik, assuming that, as during the first round they had come closest to a
solution, they would do the same now again, this time as a team. In the spring of
2007, the firms presented their new urban development study in the form of a
newspaper, WP Next. In this, the qualities of the park design from the previous

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plan by ZUS were combined with Studio Sputnik's housing diversity. Lotte StarnBeese's green areas were all linked up, together forming an elongated green axis
connecting Hoogvliet's centre with the green belt along the river. Along this route,
there are a number of collective facilities, like a teashop and the municipal
greenhouse where residents can grow tomatoes or flowers. Housing is arranged in
ribbons along the park's northern and southern fringes, thoroughfares have
disappeared. The plan provided for four housing types: the hoj(housing around
courtyards), the apartment building, detached residences and town houses.





Stempel[repeated housing block pattern].








North-south roads for through traffic have

dissappeared, the apartments are oriented
towards the park.

What does not recur in the new design is Lotte Starn-Beese's sensitive composition
- in which all the various parts of both the developed and the green areas were
geared to one another, together not only forming a spatial composition, but also a
social unit. The new design's scale is larger and somewhat coarser, the area's
largest scale unit now forms the core of the design's idea, instead of the carefully
directed hierarchy between small, medium and large. In the new design, the green
axis takes care of the cohesion. Along this, there are homogenous islands with
accommodations, each island having its own character. However, Lotte Starn's
urban planning, with its 'boring' architecture, surprisingly enough still remains
more complex and more ingenious from the angle of urban design and social
engineering: all of the blocks and terraced houses in her plan were designed in
cohesion, forming one big corresponding physical and social structure, from which
not a single part could be deleted without reducing the effect of the whole.
On the other hand, the new plans are most certainly highly inventive in solving the
issues formulated by Woonbron and WiMBY!: the green space and the trees are not
only preserved quantitatively, but also their dynamics remain, albeit in a different
form. The open space loses its indefiniteness, the lack of clarity as to the greenery's
collective or private status is solved by a clearly public park, indicating the way from
the centre to the river for everyone. The area's orientation is turned around 90,
which has the consequence for the infrastructure that the north-south roads
through the park are scrapped. The typical turn of direction characterising the
original development is repeated in the new blocks and this contributes positively to
how the park is experienced.
The collectivity, which in the first round was either too stuffy (ZUS) or on too
large a scale (Sputnik), is now approached in a more realistic way and has been
divided over smaller units, like a neighbourhood with single-family dwellings, a
row of town houses or a hof The residents' desire for meeting-places has been
realised by positioning special small buildings in a number of spots, like the
municipal greenhouse or the hobby club. Not only for the residents from the
neighbourhood themselves, but also for visitors from the rest ofHoogvliet or
Spijkenisse who take this stretch when walking down to the river and the
woodlands of the Ruigeplaatbos. Here the stempel pattern is repeated as a formal
type, detached from its socially structuring principle, adding a visual dynamics to
the fringes of the park. Along the district's other edges, bordering on the green
seam (towards the centre) and the green belt (riverside), one has very rightly chosen
for a denser development with apartment blocks, in order to house young people
among others. In this way the neighbourhood's borders are marked out, clearly
putting the district on the map for the outside world too, as Logica's study had

Thus it becomes clear what the outcome of 'conceptual conservation' might be: all
is different, all is new, but- due to the interpretation of collectivity given in the
new Wesrpunt, the composition's spatiality, and the use of open spaces, green areas
and trees- the new Wesrpunt district still has the same roots as the old one.
Moreover, it is the question whether, without the historical 'dead weight' of the old
Wesrpunt, one could have planned on a site like this with as much experimental
fervour and reflection. The result will now be a district that does justice to the
principles and underlying intentions of socio-modernist urban planning; nor so
much out of respect, because the area is ofhistorico-culrural importance, but from
a pragmatic-idealistic point of view: because these principles are still relevant. The
key question remains unanswered for the time being- in the new plan, the
contemporary housing programme has now effected a synergy with the parking
policy, while the ratio between collective and private has been restyled, yet this
reinterpretation will nevertheless later on result in an entirely new area. Will one
then notice that this area is a reinterpretation of the old district, adding a selfevident new layer to Westpunt? Or to put it differently: are trees, open spaces and
elusive principles enough to provide an effect of historical stratification?


1 found myself
talking to a p_ack
of butter: the

Erik Staal has been the director of Vestia since 1991; as a

result of various mergers this housing corporation, which
started off in The Hague, has become one of the largest
Dutch concerns in the field . Staal has been a stakeholder
member of the Board of Directors at WiMBY! since 2001. He
has been actively involved in realising the Villa in Heerlijkheid
Hoogvliet; in addition to this, Vestia has realised four new
'co-housing' projects for which WiMBY developed the

Felix Rottenberg: Where were you when IBE started in Hoogvliet?

Erik Staal: I was still in The Hague where I was already director of Vestia.
We were involved m negotiating a merger. Through the imminent merger
with the housing corporations in Hoogvliet I came into contact with the
leader of the council, Jacqueline Cornelissen . Hoogvliet council was
initially rather sceptical about the arrival of Vestia. Jacqueline was very
concerned about whether a large corporation like Vestia would be
interested enough in Hoogvliet.

In your opinion what are the patterns in an area like this that make it
so difficult to achieve an autonomous quality?
You have to make an analysis of the policy-making bodies and their calibre.
Then you have to determine the powers of attainment in the organisations
involved . I am also concerned about Rotterdam council, wh1ch does not
provide the quality you need on an official and administrative level to
facilitate autonomy. Moreover, the basic approach taken by companies is
not always focused on the result to be achieved but more on the fact that
no mistakes may be made. This is sometimes taken to absurd lengths,
while in my view this only leads to a project taking far longer to get off
the ground. My concern is that not all the parties involved are resultorientated. In many organisations work is just work and not an assignment
to be proud of. I like to see people working together as a team and putting
in a lot of effort. Few people are prepared to join the fray and this costs
time and energy.

WiMBY! is going ahead despite quite a lot of bureaucratic opposition

because Hoogvliet is unable to pull itself out of the swamp. As a
subsidised organisation, WiMBY! needs money from corporations
because all the development funding has already been earmarked.
WiMBY! had a reliable partner in Vestia but it often took some time
before the people there showed any alertness. With your abilities as
a person, as well as your financial independence, you can achieve quite
a lot. You took quite a risk regarding Vestia's collaboration on the
We saw that the Heerlijkheid was a unique concept. It wasn't completely
clear what precisely would emerge and this flexibility did involve a certain
amount of risk. This somewhat tested the patience of the external parties .
Nevertheless I was enthusiastic about the Heerlijkheid because I want
Hoogvliet to become a district that attracts people. I see the Heerlijkheid
is an added value.'
The WiMBY! project in Hoogvliet has not proved entirely successful in

that it does not have the hip zone Herman Meijer wanted. What's your
We were bogged down by a lack of decisiveness. Everyone was enthusiastic
about WiMBY! but when the time came to actually execute the plans
nobody was prepared to take responsibility. I did not have a discussion
partner and found myself talking to a pack of butter, the authorities'.

These problems occur on a large scale.

'You all have to work together and make a clear plan, and th1s also applies
to the municipalities. This is already happening in The Hague and will
happen in Rotterdam . You. have to invite the most important parties, lay

the board 's programme on the table and then comment on it, make
suggestions for improvements and finally accept responsibility for certain
matters. This is a way to solve the complex situation that has developed in
recent years in which nothing actually happens .

In this way you clear away this noncommittal approach. People can no
longer duck out of sight. However, so far this hasn't been achieved in
The reason for this is that there was a sort of search, an attempt to find out
who in fact was in charge. The submunicipal council said it was in charge
but then nothing happened . This is also true in education.

Young generations often find themselves attending schools with poor

accommodation. Why doesn't Vestia focus more attention on this?
I agree with you, there should be more good investment in social real
estate. Until eighteen months ago this was forbidden by the VROM
[Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment], but we just
went ahead anyway. You should spend some time sitting in a lecture
theatre, just for fun. This will give you a very clear picture of the quality of
education, of the drive of teachers . It is terrible. The ability to mobilise in
education is below par. It already starts with the 'bishops' who manage
education and whose main concern is when they will be given power. I
would like the best schools to be placed in the worst suburbs, but we are
still a long way from that . In other countries it is ccmpulsory for secondary


Fashion Architecture Taste


school children to do volunteer work because it is good. This is a very

different mentality. Here teachers no longer call their problem pupils to
account often enough .

In the Netherlands we are at a stage where we seem to be bogged

down; we are in an impasse in which few people achieve anything.
What will we see in 2090 as we sit in a cafe in heaven and look down
on the world and Hoogvliet?
A point comes when you are up to your neck in something and something
has to happen. My concern is about when today's youth, aged between
eight and sixteen, determine the street scene and social life in ten years'
time. They are superficial and are no longer interested in anything . I think
the crux lies in the fact that school only generates learning production and
no longer influences behaviour. And it is precisely this that is so necessary.
Which is why my hope lies in 'community schools' where you can also
contribute towards their social behaviour. Teachers today cannot do this,
they're often a little burnt out.

Do you think WiMBY! could be successful in other cities?

It does bring people and things together, even administrators. It is very
effective in that it brings inspirational creativity to a place where it would
otherwise never have been.

.-...l-. ......

Stichting Vestia C.roep

Korteknie Stuhlmacher Architecten


Download the photo of the realised Villa as from
:January 1, 2008, at:


The Villa completed, December 2007.


e Heerlijl<hei d
Chronicle of the origin of the Hoogvliet Heerlijkheid,

Park De Heerlijkheid under construction, with in the foreground the ecology playground and in the background
the Villa.

e Heerlijkheid was born in the summer of2001 in the mortuary-like

nformation centre adjoining the equally lifeless 'town centre' ofHoogvliet, as
n idea for a temporary summer holiday village that would relieve the long
wait for the built results ofWiMBY! Each year stages, terraces and gardens would
be set up on an attractive green site and then dismantled and stored away at the end
of the summer. This would happen a few years in succession until, thanks to the
restructuring efforts of the housing corporations and the developing WiMBY!, the
renovation of Hoogvliet had given this type of leisure and cultural facility a
permanent place in the satellite town. The kind of thing we had in mind was a
rustic local version of Rotterdam's Parade, a temporary arena for the local cultural
activities and talents of Hoogvliet, for Hoogvlieters and day trippers from the area.
We imagined that this would be a quick but cheap and cheerful way to help
Hoogvliet in its slow progress towards losing its image as a deadly dull dormitory

Since then the Hoogvliet Heerlijkheid has grown into a major project in which
many millions of public and private money have been invested, all kinds of
municipal services have become involved, to which employers and local associations
have contributed and into which WiMBY! has poured a substantial part of its
time and resources. It consists of a park with a square, a lake and a hill, various
buildings, items of furniture, new islands and a whole series of new foundations,
associations and permanent staff members. Hoogvliet will in due course have a
cinema, an arboretum, a hall also suitable for parties, a restaurant cafe, a boathouse
and a nature playground, plus an annual multicultural festival lasting several days .
It will only be completely finished and fully functioning in 2008. Instead of a
temporary facility the Heerlijkheid has become WiMBY!'s sustainable contribution
to the new Hoogvliet. How could this project get so out ofhand?

2. Storytelling through architecture

Inspired by the imaginative architecture of the temporary shops erected in the
bombed districts of Rotterdam in the 1940s, we wanted to attack the Heerlijkheid 's
temporary buildings in such a way as to depict the dreams and recollections of a
Hoogvliet undergoing drastic restructuring, as a life-size setting for recreation and
cultural activities. We were thinking of small buildings in the form of halfdemolished blocks of flats with a large tree growing out of them, the old dyke
village ofHoogvliet, the spectacular skyline of the Shell plant, the colonial
architecture of the Antilles, or a collage comprising a mix of all of these. Of course
everything was two-dimensional, made of wood and cardboard, poster paint and
rice paper, tiny lights and distorting mirrors. Meanwhile we had visited India,
where wedding parties were held every evening opposite our hotel. In the space of a
few hours the people there managed to use scaffolding tubes and wooden fence
posts, hundreds of metres of cloth, hundreds of lights and dozens of throbbing
generators, to erect (and later demolish) entire palaces, pyramids, Taj Mahals and
futuristic complexes. Each evening produced another brand new building; all,
without exception, were staggeringly beautiful. What the Indian wedding palaces
had in common with Rotterdam's temporary shops was that they revealed the
architectural and urban fantasies of their makers, amidst the unapproachable
reality of the 'real' city. This was what we wanted to do, too.
There was only one firm of architects with which we could work on this project,
and that was FAT (Fashion Architecture Taste), based in London. The firm was
known for its artistic projects, for a blue house in London, for a 'monumental'
cycle shed in Scheveningen and for the interior design for Kesselskramer, Holland's
most trendy advertising firm, for which they changed the inside of a church in
Amsterdam's Jordaan into a spectacular interior reminiscent of something between
a western village and a pirate ship. Why FAT? Because they believed in Las Vegas,
Dunkin' Donuts, gypsy caravans and video clips and had no time for theories of
architectural space but all the time in the world for taste. They were the only people
who openly loved the postmodern architecture of the 1980s, declared Venturi and
Scott-Brown as their idols and took as their slogan 'To kill the modernist within'.
But behind this cloud of ironic references, pop-art taste and provocative bad taste,
they took a serious approach to architecture as a form of communication, as
something capable of expressing nostalgia, sentiment, conviviality and a longing for
a better world. In one firm they represented all the conflicting ambitions and
intuitive ideas we had for the Hoogvliet Heerlijkheid project.
WiMBY! went round all the associations, clubs, foundations and small businesses
in Hoogvliet which were pressed for space, attention or new members, and whose
activities would contribute to the attractiveness of our pleasure garden. The
enormous expanse of Hoogvliet, its monotonous housing and its deadly standard
shopping centre, meant that local cultural life lay dormant and hidden, tucked
away in garage storage spaces and old classrooms, in neighbourhoods listed for
demolition. The clubs that used these places paid hardly any rent, but would not be
able to stay there much longer. We also met Hoogvlieters who had been trying for
years to get something off the ground, but whose amateur status made it impossible
for them to obtain the necessary support from the local authority or other
municipal departments. In the discussion groups for single Antillean mothers (see
Maisonette Blocks) it became apparent that they desperately missed a hall for
parties. Later we came across a Surinamese local government official who told us



that he and his friends had been working for years on setting up such a party hall in
Hoogvliet. Thus after a few weeks' ferreting around we had managed to find the
following users: an association of former dockworkers who built and demonstrated
model boats, a riding stable that was looking for new premises, a group of activists
that called themselves 'Tree Knights', who instead of being protectors of
endangered trees now wanted to become founders of an arboretum, a group of
pigeon fanciers, the sport and recreation department that was looking for a new
sports fields for trendy sports such as panna football and basketball, and the group
of Surinamese men that wanted to start up a cultural party hall. We also discovered
that the only pet cemetery in the Rotterdam area was about to close its doors, and
that the animal protection society was looking for an alternative.
The pet cemetery grew to be an important symbol of the Heerlijkheid. What we
wanted was to create a place with which Hoogvlieters would have some kind of
sentimental link. In the often soulless spaces of a satellite town a thing like that
never happens spontaneously. People who walked their pets in the park, older
Hoogvlieters for whom a pet was an indispensable protection against loneliness and
social isolation, would suddenly have a destination, a piece of holy ground, a lieu de
memoire. We also appreciated that a pet cemetery would make an effective sound
bite in communications about the project.

3. The V.V. Animo sports fields

Meanwhile a location had turned up. The local council drew our attention to the
former VV Animo sports fields, where a project developer had been trying for years
to create an immense sports centre, a huge building by the motorway, with a ski
slope, sports halls, a climbing wall and even a platform for ballooning. The project
evoked loud protests and legal actions from people living in the neighbourhood,
was delayed, and ultimately failed to go through.
This was a cunning political move on the part of the council: the nuisance caused
by the Heerlijkheid would be nothing compared to the nuisance that would have
been caused by the sports centre, which meant that any resistance to our project
was neutralised in advance. With a new location the character of the project began
to change. The former sports fields were neglected, filled with rusting stadium
lights, hemmed round by an impenetrable buffer of greenery and bordering on a
roaring motorway and the stinking petrochemical installation of Shell Pernis. The
challenge of turning this into a pleasant spot, a place to which Hoogvlieters would
find their way of their own free will, became more and more intimidating. One
feature of this area was a sad piece of ground, surrounded by ditches, with an
abandoned car park, overgrown with scrub. For some unexplained reason it had
once been given the name Hobbit island, and was all that remained of a long
forgotten attempt to create surroundings suggestive of a fairytale wood. We were
not the first to try something here.

4. An architectural style exclusive to Hoogvliet

Meanwhile FAT's architects were looking for 'a Hoogvliet style of architecture'.
With a cartoon and collage technique derived from the studies of the Levittowns
and Las Vegas done by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown in the 1960s and
70s, FAT investigated Hoogvliet's front gardens and passages. Like their American
predecessors, they believed that they would come across noteworthy combinations
of decorative elements, garden furniture, works of art and trimmed and cultivated


plants, that would show how the Hoogvlieters viewed themselves and their
surroundings. In one garden they came across an orange football flag celebrating
Holland's pride, a flamingo reminiscent of a Miami beach, an anchor and hawsers
suggesting a nostalgia for the port and a picturesque Bavarian village in pebbledashed concrete. FAT attempted to sublimate the same combination of pastoral and
industrial, mediagenic and rustic, into an ornamental architecture that could only
have originated in Hoogvliet.
Though still without a firm programme of requirements, FAT put together a series
of elements which would combine to make the Heerlijkheid. The first element was
a concrete tree trunk barbecue capable of repeated combination with something
else, such as a miniature golf course or a car park. The second was the word
HOOGVLIET, in large Hollywood letters, on a hillside. The third was a pool of
water shaped like the Netherlands, with an apron and beach huts. The fourth was
an open-air cinema on top of a stable. The high point was the fifth element, a pet
cemetery on a small island, inspired by the island on which Lady Diana was buried
in Althorp Park's pleasure garden.

5. Slower and dearer = faster and cheaper

We discovered something curiously paradoxical about our project: in the original
concept we tapped an acute need on the part of potential participants for new
places to do their things and for a splendidly festive way to do this together. As far
as they were concerned we could not start soon enough. However, during our trip
round the local authority, building firms and Rotterdam's development company
and town planning department, we discovered that lightness, temporariness and
cheapness were actually obstacles to putting our idea into practice. If we were to
make any progress we would have to make it more permanent, slower and more
durable. One of the first pieces of advice from the development company's leisure
economists was to make an extravagant master plan, not per se realistic, but
exciting enough to make people enthusiastic, and then carry it out step by step.
FAT went to work on combining the elements previously devised, the list of
potential participants, the site and of course the architectural style they had
developed specially for the project, into a 'master plan'.
The first plan included a riding school, a lake shaped like the Netherlands with an
island in the middle to be used as a pet cemetery, a large party hall, a climbing wall,
a beach, 'Hoogvliet' in Hollywood-style letters containing the dovecotes of the
pigeon fanciers, a large car park paved in a renaissance pattern, a series of carports
with thatched roofs, a music pavilion, allotments and a group of'hobby huts', small
low-cost temporary buildings for small companies, hobbyists, yoga teachers and
people who cast objects in bronze.
The party hall, that for strategic reasons we intended to call 'The Villa', displayed
something of the architectural style that FAT had developed for Hoogvliet. Their
first draft was a diagram in which they combined the visual qualities of the Basilica
of San Marco in Venice with the ultra-cheap technology used for commercial
premises in Rotterdam Rijnmond. This approach led to a simple utilitarian box,
enclosed in a double fas;ade containing cut-out silhouettes suggesting an industrial
skyline, shifting into the contours of tree crowns, interrupted by geometrical blocks
of flats and finally pierced by church towers. The whole was crowned by an arched
roof, red on one side and yellow on the other, so that the sun seemed to be always
rising and setting. The building suggested a kaleidoscope through which people

The Villa combines the functionality of an

industrial hall with the visual abundance
of the basilica of San Marco in Venice.


Design for Villa De Heerlijkheid, FAT

Architects, 2002.


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Urban plan for Park De

Heerlijkheid, FAT Architects,

nether/antis shape take with sunbed salons


Design for furniture for Park De Heerlijkheid,

FAT Architects, 2001.

stable and outdoot cinema




would see Hoogvliet, with all its contradictory characteristics combined to make a
decorative pattern.

6. Populism in architecture and town planning,

May 2002

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From the very beginning of the Heerlijkheid project we had steeped ourselves in the
possibilities of an architecture that would bear a direct relationship to popular
culture instead of relating only to theoretical discussions inside the profession.
With FAT we investigated the relationship with a series of architects and town
planners from the 1970s and 1980s who had left the great halls of the university to
seek a new visual frame of reference on city and suburban streets. These people also
wanted to the residents and users of their architecture to be directly involved in its
design. There were of course Venturi and Scott Brown's early studies of Las Vegas
and the American suburb and the designs of Charles Moore who became world
famous in the 1970s with his Piazza D'Italia, a crazy neon-lit version of an Italian
square designed as a symbol for St. Louis' Italian community. Later, when the same
Charles Moore was commissioned to design the Waterfront of Dayton, Ohio, he
worked with the local television station on the organisation of a Designathon, which
would allow the population to decide for itself what the city should look like from
the river.
There was also the work of the Belgian architect Lucien Kroll. Under, on and by
the inaccessible flats ofPereigne in northern France, he designed and realised- on
the basis of an extensive diagnosis of the residents' hopes and fears - an alternative
structure of village streets, huts and other buildings. We began to see the
Heerlijkheid as the imagined lost heir of an extinct tradition: an architecture and
urban design which gave residents and users a role in its realisation and which made
use of the same symbols and signs which people encountered in their daily lives.
The intention of this architectural philosophy was to create an environment in
which people recognised something of themselves. Populism was described by the
architectural theorists Alexander Tzonis and Liane Lefaivre as one of the eight
tendencies that would determine the character of architecture in Europe after the
May 1968 revolt. For them it was the most radical of all architectural tendencies,
because it assumed an equal distribution of resources, power and culture between
all levels of the population. 1
In the week that followed the murder of Pim Fortuyn on 6 May 2002, Crimson
was presented with the Maaskant Prize for Young Architects in a Rotterdam town
hall which resembled a besieged fortress. The town hall was surrounded by fences
behind which lay hundreds of thousands of floral tributes. The town hall had
become the symbol ofFortuyn's legacy: this, after all, was where his heirs, members
ofLeefbaar Rotterdam (including alderman Marco Pastors) had governed since the
municipal elections of March 2002. The parliamentary election was to be held two
days later, with Fortuyn's party doing extremely well in the opinion polls, in spite of
the loss of its leader. In our gala speech we drew a connection between the
alienation from politics seen by many as the origin of the rise ofFortuyn, and the
alienation from the built environment that we saw in Hoogvliet and other workingclass districts. We drew attention to the parallel between the optimistic arrogance
of the ruling coalition, which took no regard of the massive discontent and
frustration of large sections of the population, and the equally optimistic and
arrogant attitude of the wave of world-famous Netherlands 'Super Dutch'



f' '



designers. We accused our own generation of only being interested in what was
newest, cleverest and most modern, ignoring the shabby and badly maintained
districts that provided homes for millions. We went on to make the mistake of
proposing the reintroduction of a kind of architectural populism. We used the
design for the Heerlijkheid as an example because of its communicative character,
its recognisable visual imagery and the indispensable part played by the Hoogvliet
Our reintroduction of a progressive 1970s-style architectural populism went down
badly in a situation dominated by a panic fear ofFortuyn and Co.'s right-wing
populism. A hitherto friendly museum director hissed that we would no doubt
want to erect a giant statue ofPim Fortuyn in the Heerlijkheid. Moreover a number
of Belgian and German periodicals published an article by Bart Lootsma, one of
the Netherlands' most important architectural critics, which displayed a horrifying
level of paranoia. Crimson and WiMBY! were accused of gradually introducing
Pim Fortuyn's agenda into architecture and urban design. One of us was
'unmasked' as Pim Fortuyn's architectural adviser; a connection was drawn with
the fact that Fortuyn had allowed himself to be sponsored by large firms of
builders. Another 'pointer' was that another Crimson member was said to have had
a relationship with Gerard Spong, Fortuyn's lawyer. Our contacts with Carel
Weeber were interpreted as being aimed at the scrapping of urban design via 'Het
Wilde Wonen' It says something about the hysteria that reigned during the first
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weeks after Fortuyn's death that conspiracy theories of this kind were constructed
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by both left-wingers and right-wingers, mostly based on untruths and unverified
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rumours. The WiMBY! project was presented as camouflage for what in fact was a ~~(l)~~~
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fifth column conspiring to give Hoogvliet- and subsequently Rotterdam - into the OOC'l(JPo
hands of the same real estate magnates who had helped Fortuyn. We received
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to Pim Fortuyn's extreme right-wing government. Fortunately after a few months
the dust settled. Bart Lootsma left for Austria and the museum director for Bavaria,
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Netherlands .



7. Compensation from the Ministry of Waterways

and Public Works, winter 2002
The 'master plan' for the Heerlijkheid was first presented to the residents of
Hoogvliet during the WiMBY! week in November 2002. Thousands ofHoogvlieters
and Rotterdammers moved past the model and artists impressions of the park,
letting us know at the tops of their voices which elements they were happy with and
which not. Partly thanks to the populism controversy, the plan began to enjoy a
degree of international recognition. It was presented at the 2003 Town Planning
Biennial in Barcelona and in the same year was nominated for one of the prizes
awarded in the communication category at the first Rotterdam Architecture Biennale.
The reaction of the local council to the plan was surprising. The Al5 was due to be
widened in a few years and the Ministry of Waterways and Public Works would
have to bear the cost of the soundproofing measures and greenery required to
counter any increase in pressure on the environment. Normally compensation
provisions of this kind only come into operation when the work begins, but
Jacqueline Cornelissen, chairman of the spatial planning committee, wanted to
receive the money immediately to allow it to be spent on restructuring Hoogvliet.
34 7

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She urgently needed a plan which could be used to get the money from the
Ministry. The plan would have to require a budget somewhere in the neighbourhood
of what would be a realistic compensation amount and would of course have to
provide the required compensation measures. In the first instance the designers of
the town planning and public housing department were not happy with this
approach; they had been working with Juurlink and Geluk, the landscape design
firm, on preparing an ambitious master plan for the whole of the north side of the
buffer zone around Hoogvliet. Immense sloping fields, suitable for public events,
and soundproofing ecological mounds would ensure that the whole of the north
side would, as it were, be canted up, to protect it from the noise and dust and the
risk of explosion from the other side.
However, the local authority and its project leader had a clever scheme. What they
wanted was to use a simple compact plan to get the money from the Ministry and
then simply to maintain the rest of the green buffer instead of demolishing and
putting up new buildings. That plan became the Heerlijkheid. Thus the 'master
plan' for the Heerlijkheid had to be adjusted to fit the Ministry's budget and the
environmental tasks prescribed by government. This meant that the plan suddenly
gained a budget that was many times higher than anything we had ever imagined.
The plan therefore had to be more expensive, to enable it to act as a magnet for the
Ministry's money. This however meant doing violence to the strategy chosen by the
local authority's designers; instead of a large-scale, broadly based, integrated
approach to the whole green buffer zone round Hoogvliet, they suddenly saw an
island of eccentric design and curious activities that threatened to break up the
structure of their landscape. A somewhat stubborn planning department was
invited to work with the London architects and WiMBY! to develop FAT's concept
into a proper piece oflandscape design. The invitation was accepted.

8. The second master plan, summer 2003

Revised urban plan for Park De Heerlijkheid with furniture,

FAT Architects, 2004.

The conversion of FAT's master plan, which had actually been intended as PR
material, into a proper master plan turned out not to be a question of creativity or
skill in applying design techniques. The environmental restrictions imposed on the
location by the presence of the A15, the Shell plant, the container depot by the Eem
Dock and the gas main which ran under the area, were so severe that there was only
one configuration in which the various elements could be distributed over the site.
The Villa moved over to Herikweg, the lake shifted to the west and was shaped like
the Netherlands and the pet cemetery was moved to the Hobbit island and merged
with the Arboretum, so creating a rustic and densely wooded 'buffer' between the
Heerlijkheid and the adjoining residential area. The field for public events moved
behind the Villa and the west side was taken by 'De Ruigeplaat' [The rough slab],
the island kingdom of the ecologoly playground to be set up by the Ark
The Villa itself would be located on a colourful elongated square that would also
contain a cluster of hobby huts together with a number of green mounds and
patches of asphalt or artificial grass to be used for all kinds of sports. The north side
of the Heerlijkheid would become a large green 'growth hill', whose size would
increase as more and more rubble from the demolished flats was dumped on it and
which ultimately would become a natural ecological barrier, grazed by Highland
cattle, between the Heerlijkheid and the adjoining infrastructure and industry. One
important element, the riding school, disappeared from the plan, because the

environmental restrictions simply would not allow any other buildings than the
Villa. The second master plan was unveiled during the first Heerlijkheid Festival in
the summer of 2003.

9. The first Heerlijkheid Festival, August 2003

It became increasingly clear that the Hoogvliet Heerlijkheid was on the way to
becoming a serious and costly plan, though with the special property that it
was dependent for its functioning on a group oflocal amateurs and volunteers.
Moreover it was based on an idea, as yet quite speculative, that together these
activities would amount to more than the sum of their parts and that the architectural
concept we had had developed would actually be able to attract the people of
Hoogvliet and visitors from outside. Now that it was no longer just a temporary
summer holiday village capable of being readjusted each year, speculation and
optimism were no longer enough. Somehow or other we would have to try out the
formula in real life. Accordingly, in the summer of 2003 we organised the first
Heerlijkheid Festival, on the so-called Stelcon square in the Hoogvliet town centre,
opposite the old church.
Sam Jacob designed a series of entrance gates, a large stage, fountains and a number
of symbols. The materials used were canvas, wood and scaffolding pipes and the
result consisted of bright red cut-outs following the contours of the flats, the trees
and the old church. We also arranged to let those participating in the Heerlijkheid
do their own things: the model boat association gave a demonstration, the arboretum
foundation and the animal protection society handed out information; the riding
school - although no longer included in the master plan - provided ponies for
children to ride, a group of Hoogvliet women organised a fashion show, and the
sport and recreation department organised a panna football tournament. The
future operators of the Villa organised a two-day music festival. Performers ranged
from the Hoogvliet line dance association to Def Rhymz, from the Rott~rdam
punk girl band The Riplets to Replay, and from Trafassi to the Anja Winter Trio.
One really striking thing was that the festival mainly drew the public when there
were black artists on the stage. Members of Hoogvliet's white majority appeared to
be much more difficult to get away from their homes (or the shopping street) than
members of the black minorities. The result was a square that emptied rapidly as
soon as a white band began to play, but filled up with equal rapidity as soon as the
MC's steel drums began to sound again.
Despite the fact that the Heerlijkheid Festival was the biggest festival that had ever
been organised in Hoogvliet, that it attracted the entire regional press, that from
that moment on the Heerlijkheid became a household word and that there was not
one unhappy incident, we received a well deserved warning from the local authority
and the people living in the neighbourhood that we had to make sure that the
Heerlijkheid remained recognisable to all Hoogvlieters, including the indigenous
inhabitants. This was precisely the reason why we held the festival, and we decided
to repeat it the following year, when we would put more effort into achieving the
magic mix for which we aimed with this project.

10. De Groeibriljanten, 2004

Apart from a small commotion in intellectual Netherlands, Leejbaar [Liveable]
politics was chiefly a harsh reality for those who wanted to do something in
Rotterdam. And we wanted to realise the Heerlijkheid. The park would be

constructed by the local authority with money from the Ministry, but for us the
core of the H eerlijkheid remained its ' furniture', the collection of separate
temporary elements designed in the Hoogvliet style. The money paid to
compensate for the Al5 made no provision for this. Normally we would have
appealed to the network of sympathetic and culturally involved officials responsible
for all sorts of different funds. Alderman Marco Pastors however had different ideas
about this kind of thing than the social democrat councillors who preceded him.
Instead of initiating or supporting cultural projects through the local authority's
departments and the town hall, he passed the buck back to 'the people'. He
arranged for a competition to be held which he called the Groeibriljanten, after the
diamonds that people can take back to the jeweller every so often and exchange for
a larger stone (at extra cost) until their value is multiplied many times over. The
population of Rotterdam were called on to send in projects that would contribute
to the liveliness, security or activity of the district. The local authority would
contribute 50% of the cost of the winning projects and support their realisation by
giving them priority within the authority's departments. The ten winners would be
chosen by an Internet election and a professional jury.
We called together the participants, the arboreal activists, the Surinamese party
organisers, the animal protection society, the model boat builders and the
ecologists, and prepared a business case for the Heerlijkheid, for which a
Groeibriljanten contribution of 750,000 was estimated. To gain votes, posters were
made, an Internet site was launched and an e-mail campaign started. The
competition made a welcome test case for our project. If nobody found the
Heerlijkheid thrilling and exciting, there would be no point in building it. We had
to compete with the widest imaginable range of projects, devised by the widest
imaginable range of entrepreneurs, foundations, residents' associations and artists.
We knew that the jury would not look too favourably on projects which were
already receiving too much support from local authority subsidies or housing
corporations and did our best to present our project as being as autonomous and
'popular' as possible. The names of the 10 prize-winners were to be made known in
the same reception room in the town hall where the fatal populism lecture had been
given more than a year before. We were one of the winners.
We had money to lay out a park from the Ministry; through Groeibriljanten we had
the money to build park furniture, bridges, pavilions and the double elevation of
the Villa. But an investor still had to be found for the real cost of building the
Villa, the park's most important feature .

at Channe l: ar chitecture, art, and design.

lh ttp://Y.'WW.fat.eo. uk/

11. A real building

all content Fat ttd. 1995 . 2002

35 4

With the Villa too we ran up against the same paradox as earlier with the park,
namely that it is easier to arrange the financing of a permanent expensive building
than one that is temporary and cheap. The programme of requirements that we
prepared for the Villa with the help of the party organisers and the Stichting
Kleurrijk Centrum [Colourful Centre Foundation], was a strange hybrid of an
ultra-cheap party hall and a local cultural centre where bands could perform and
exhibitions and theatrical performances be held. A party hall was necessary because
Hoogvliet had a crying need for a room in which people could give their own
birthday parties, end of Ramadan parties and wedding receptions, where they
would be allowed to bring along their own food . A business of this kind would only
be profitable if the rent was extremely low, and therefore the building very cheap.


However, the short depreciation period meant that a temporary building would
quickly become too expensive. But a permanent building would require an investor
and a zoning scheme that would permit a building accessible to the public on a very
sensitive location. In that last respect we were fortunate; at one time the only place
where environmental considerations would allow the Villa to be put had been the
site of the VV Animo club building, a building that with some creativity could be
said to fall in the same zoning category as the Villa, namely socio-cultural with
subsidiary catering facilities .

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Meanwhile the local authority too began to become restless and intimidated by
the rocketing cost of the park and the Villa. They began to urge us to go no
further with this ambitious plan and to invest the Groeibriljanten money in a
small pavilion. Suddenly the impending realisation of the Heerlijkheid brought to
light all kinds of internal tensions within the local authority and between the
'partners' involved in the restructuring. A 'cultural centre' at the edge ofHoogvliet
would mean that the ambition to build a theatre in the town centre would face
competition, at least that was the fear of the chairman of the local authority
committee responsible. These obscure political manoeuvrings made us furious and
even more determined. The realisation of the Heerlijkheid and the Villa became a
personal matter.
By now we had the money from the Groeibriljanten, the promise that a park would
actually be built, a business plan for the Villa and a zoning plan that would allow
a serious building. The only thing lacking was a project developer or an investor (or
both). We enlisted the support of Marco Pastors, the Groeibriljanten alderman,
who offered to arrange for the local authority to act as guarantor for a low interest
loan. Thus armed and accompanied by Andersson Elffers Felix, our strategic
advisers, we visited the idealistic Triodos bank, which had just beco;ne involved in
the developers market. The Triodos bank, which invested in undertakings that
were socially and ecologically sustainable, saw the Villa as a first step in its new
direction. This meant that the Stichting Kleurrijk Centrum would join with
WiMBY! in the development and ownership of the building. The Triodos/Pastors
model was exciting bur obviously also intimidating; it meant that the entire risk
would be borne by these novice entrepreneurs, and that in a submunicipality whose
support was shaky, to say the least.

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Thanks to the old zoning plan we were able to offer possible investors a building
that they could write off over 30 years, making the whole thing almost profitable,
despite the low rental. Who would be interested in such an investment? The first
name to occur to us was that of the Woonbron housing corporation, which had a
significant long-term interest in the attractiveness of North Hoogvliet, since it
owned almost all the houses there and was investing hundreds of millions in its
restructuring. Although the first reactions to our proposals were encouraging and
cautiously enthusiastic, Woonbron came back sometime later with the
announcement that for unspecified reasons it had been decided not to invest in the

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At the same time we were in discussion with the Vestia housing corporation,
Woonbron's competitor, which held sway in South Hoogvliet, some kilometres
away from the Heerlijkheid. It seemed unlikely that they would have any interest in
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held by their competitor. Not surprisingly their first reaction was very hesitant, bur
they asked to be kept informed about our progress with the banks, Aldermen and
building firms. The local authority branded our attempts to realise the Villa despite
the lack of support from Woonbron as hopeless. What the local authority -like
ourselves- underestimated, was the spirit of competition between the two housing
corporations. While Woonbron saw the Oosterbaken, Ashok Bhalotra's soaring
residential tower block, as an 'icon' for Hoogvliet, Vestia wanted to show that it too
was in a position to produce an icon for Hoogvliet, and not surprisingly chose a
cultural icon, the Villa at the Hoogvliet Heerlijkheid.
Thus it happened that Vestia took us completely by surprise by announcing that
they were prepared to act as the sole developer, owner and landlord of the Villa.
They did however require us to accept the obligation to work with them on
producing a profitable business plan for the Villa and an affordable design; they
were not prepared to lose money on the project, at least not too much.

13. First delays, spring 2004

From 2003 onwards a group oflocal authority departments were working on a
start-up plan for the Heerlijkheid under the leadership of a project leader supplied
by the Project Management Bureau and commissioned by the Hoogvliet local
authority. Together they had 1,800,000 to spend on laying out the basic landscape
for the park, in accordance with the draft prepared by Sam Jacob and worked out
by the designers of the town planning and public housing department. The start-up
plan had to be completed by March 2004 to allow work to begin at once. Almost
immediately it became apparent that plans of this kind have an extremely ritual
character and that nobody seriously assumes that anyone will keep to them, nobody
that is except the most inexperienced, namely ourselves. How does a delay come
about? For example by the design process taking hardly any account of financial
restrictions. The result was a first design by the departmental designers and Sam
Jacob that was crammed full of notions, large and small, hillocks, rivers, gullies,
paths, avenues, summer houses, aprons, bridges, materials, exotic plants and
anything else that came to mind. This plan cost one and a half times as much as
the available budget. At that point there began an endless and exasperatingly slow
process of shifting, cutting, trimming and economising. Combined with the time
that it took to make each new recalculation, this meant a loss of time measured in
A second phenomenon was that of separate privatised local authority departments
working side by side, each of which persisted in sending in bills for meetings and
calculation sessions to correct errors brought about by this inefficiency. Apart from
costing time, this process cost money which had to be recovered by economising on
the plan, which therefore had to be reworked in new designs, which cost more time
and money, and so on. In this way the local government departments reproduced a
situation that is normal in the private sector: market participants who are primarily
concerned with their own businesses. The difference here however was that the
departments, unlike contractors, were not working to fixed agreements about costs
and finishing dates. It therefore demanded an almost superhuman virtuosity in
manipulating and intimidating on the part of the project leader, himself an
employee of a local authority department. The client - the local authority- paid,
but got no guarantee of any kind on cost, planning or the quality that might be
expected of the product delivered.

Outlook Tower by the pond in Park De Heerlijkheid, FAT Architects, not realised.


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As from 2001, FAT Architects designed an extensive catalogue of

furniture for Park De Heerlijkheid. This page shows the elements that
were not realised.

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group would stay around to hear the other's idols. A

year later we had the opportunity to try this out at the
third Heerlijkheid festival.
This third festival, plagued by rain and DCMR
[Environmental Protection Agency) inspectors who
almost closed the whole thing down because of the lack
of a fence at the side of the sound barrier and fat
separation filters in the drain for the water from the
snack stalls, came closest to the programme that we
ultimately want to achieve in the definitive
Heerlijkheid. Ineke van Dort from the Ark Foundation
had already made a test version of her ecology
playground. With the help of children she had made
huts and strange animals out of wattle and daub, and
grilled marshmallows over an open fire. A wind
ensemble from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
played in a tent, their music almost drowned out by the
lashing rain. This year the great bridge builder, the
'father of all Hoogvlieters for 30 minutes and 7,000'
was Gordon, the fleshy and schmalzy R&B singer from
the Albert Cuyp market. The certainty that the
Heerlijkheid would come one day was confirmed by
the unveiling of the site notice by alderman Pastors.

The departments began their curious game almost immediately after the Hoogvliet
local authority had commissioned them to design and lay out the park. The result
was that in February 2005, one and a half years later, when the start-up plan was
officially complete (although it would subsequently be changed a few more times)
there was already a forecast delay of one year.

14. Heerlijkheid festivals 2 and 3, 2004- 2005

In 2003 we had learnt our first social (or possibly ethnic) lesson. Although for a few
days we had changed the town centre of Hoogvliet into a heaving mass of sweaty
people, the success of a single group, the young black Rotterdammer, was the thing
that threatened to turn those people against the park. The Heerlijkheid had to be
for everyone, and that was something that we would prove at the second festival.
Another thing that we had to prove was that it is possible to lure thousands of
people to a place, far from the centre, far from public transport and right on the
edge ofHoogvliet. On the advice of a number of (white) Hoogvliet organisers of
blues concerts, we decided to take extreme measures. Once again we organised a
two-day festival consisting by day of the same combination of eating, pony-riding
and model boat demonstrations and in the evenings of musical performances on
the great stage. But on the first day we gave the stage to the white Hoogvliet
organisers, and on the second to the future arrangers of programmes for the Villa.
Moreover we decided to book Gerard Joling, 'the Camp Crooner', well-known from
radio and television, a star we might confidently expect to be able to break through
any barriers of generation or ethnicity.
On a football field hemmed round with poplars, against the spectacular
background of the Shell plant, the festival began. On the first day there were blues
concerts, aimed at the white festival-goers; the public consisted exclusively of the
bands themselves, plus their supporters. The next day the stage was programmed
'black': from afternoon to evening the grounds were chock-full.
In the evening of the first day Gerard Joling gave a half-hour
performance with a supporting band on a CD that he had brought
with him. Already, hours before, a remarkable sight could be seen
of the arrival of Hoogvlieters, old and young, a striking number of
whom came over the rough ground on crutches, wheelchairs,
rollators or scootmobiles. Later on however they were joined by
hundreds of young Antillean and Surinamese Hoogvlieters and
Rotterdammers. Darkness fell. Gerard Joling had by now arrived
and was changing in a caravan. Arrived on the stage, his voice
faltered in face of the shouting of the first of dozens of catcalls to
the general effect of "Hurrah for Hoogvliet". He had no idea that
he would be playing to a coloured public, though certainly to
legions of the elderly. The performance was an enormous success.
We had scored a political point, and once more had the submunicipality and the residents of North Hoogvliet behind us. Nonetheless
we were left with a feeling of doubt about splitting programmes
into black and white. It was more a political compromise with the
Hoogvliet Leitkultur than a deeply passionate choice; it also
underlined the fact that the whites could only be got out on their own terms. The
conclusion we drew was that we would have to provide a clever mixture on the same
stage, changing hour by hour, to appeal to different target groups, so that each








14. The Villa, 2005- 2007

The task of making the Villa a profitable building,
despite the non-profit organisation of the Stichting
Kleurrijk Centrum, turned out to be a long drawn-out
process, during which the design of the building was
repeatedly subjected to drastic changes. This had
everything to do with the strange fact that a design was
already available, even before there was a programme
of requirements. We began with a group of users and
an idea of a building, with no idea of the financial
implications. When the calculations had been done it
turned out that the building was - of course - too
expensive for the rent that the user would be able to
come up with. Vestia's proposal was to look for more
tenants, who would spread the risk between them.
A first trip round Hoogvliet came up with the
following: Wil van der Lek, the Hoogvliet musician,
music teacher and producer, and his company Tricks &
Licks, were housed in a condemned building in the
Nieuw Engeland district. He was interested. The
second serious candidate was a Rotterdam entrepreneur
who wanted to open a Hoogvliet branch of his
commercial day nursery, to be accompanied by fitness
facilities and a bar. These new functions would be
combined with the party hall and the cafe restaurant of

8. 9 & 10 Septem
ber 2006
Kick-off in the WiMBY! final
campaign at the lOth Venice
International Architecture Biennale, on the theme of 'Cities.
Architecture and Society'

13 October 2006
WiMBY! presentation in the
touring exhibition 'The Memory
of the City: cultural history and
urban design' at the Faculty of
Architecture (TU Delft)

25 October 2006
Presentation of Co-housing
project at ArchitectuurCases,
organised by Air. The theme
was 'IndividuaL collective or
public. New experimental forms
of housing in Rotterdam.'

2-3 November 2006

'Hoogvliet Halverwege' [Hoogvliet Halfway] congress

1 December 2006
The 99-metre high Oosterbaken
block of flats reaches its highest

December 2006
WiMBY! is nominated for the
2006 Job Dura Prize for the
Co-housing and Heerlijkheid
Hoogvliet projects. That year's
theme was Safe Space

17 January 2007
At the press conference, it is
announced that WiMBY! is part
of Rotterdam, City of Architecture 2007

5 February 2007
Felix Rottenberg interviews
Marco Pastors in the Tram

12 February 2007
Felix Rottenberg interviews
Martien Kromwijk, Lloyd
Beaton and the trio comprising
Bernadette Janssen, Annemiek
van de Kooy and Esselien

13 February 2007
Foundation stone laid for the
Villa in the Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet

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the Stichting Kleurrijk Centrum in a building that would give the same
general impression as before, but would have to be a lot cheaper per square
metre. This led to a remarkable expansion of the first concept; the simple
basilica-type building with barrel vaulting on top of a box was stretched
into a complex box with various rooms in and around an elevation
following the contours of the vaulting, but without the layered elevation of
the earlier design. The Design Review Committee gave a moderately
positive opinion on this outline proposal but advised us to give the
building more depth, to stay closer to the architectural effect
originally intended.
At the precise moment at which we wanted to take negotiations
with the day care entrepreneur to the next stage, it turned out that
the environmental standards in this area meant that he would never
be able to obtain a licence. We found ourselves back with two
businesses, one of which (Tricks & Licks) was also beginning to
show signs of instability. We started a second search, this time
amongst cultural organisations in Rotterdam, which might perhaps
be interested in a drastically renovated Hoogvliet. The first reactions were vague,
although the art house cinema Filmhuis Lantaren-Venster showed a slight interest.
Meanwhile we made further adjustments to the Villa, partly to follow the
recommendations of the Design Review Committee and partly to satisfy the
increasingly complicated requirements of Tricks & Licks. This led to a completely
new design: a box with a layered elevation, containing a floor with free space
available for rent by a tenant as yet unknown, topped by the barrel vaulting and a
collection of small units containing the practice rooms
and studios of Tricks & Licks.
In the autumn of2005 the Villa went through a serious
crisis when Tricks & Licks found even the minimum
rental price that Vestia wanted to charge too high, and
angrily abandoned all negotiations. By then the BAM
Group was also involved in the process, so that each step
could be examined immediately to determine its
financial consequences. It looked as if any economising
or change only made the building more expensive and
more complicated. The situation began to be quite grim,
with weary architects, an annoyed Vestia, poker-faced BAM builders and a worried
However, at the same moment the advances ofLantaren-Venster began to become
more serious, raising the prospect of an art house cinema in the Heerlijkheid. For us
this had enormous symbolic value; it showed that our strategy of creating a mixture
of black and white, Hoogvliet and Rotterdam, high art and low art, had caught on.
Apparently it had also caught on with Vestia. Board level approval was given for a
building with two tenants, one certain and the other uncertain. Vestia saw the Villa
as an investment (though not financially profitable) in the cultural personality of a
major urban district, a gift to Hoogvliet. The building shrank yet again, finally
achieving its definitive shape: a box containing a party hall, a cafe restaurant with a
small stage, and a two-screen cinema and a small office on the first floor. Round
the box would be a sculptural wooden double elevation, inside which once more
appeared the famous cut-out patterns, faithful to the Hoogvlietstyle of

architecture. The entrance section was a giant polyester structure, a cross between
the crown of a tree and a pink cloud.
In December 2006 a building licence was issued, and in February 2007 the first
pile was sunk; the whole thing is to be finished by December 2007. By now it is
certain that Lantaren-Venster will occupy the cinema so that Hoogvliet will have a
cinema for the first time in its life .

15. Participation and culture, 2005 - 2007











'Dragged away from the gates of hell' is an expression often employed on the
occasion of handing over a project after a difficult process. The word 'hell' however
suggests a heroic epic which is hardly appropriate to the case of the Heerlijkheid.
'Dragged away from conference room EP3779', or 'from the front door of Caprice
62' would be more appropriate. The Heerlijkheid park will, it now appears, be
handed over in the spring of2008, complete with the Villa, a hobby hut for the
model boat builders, an arboretum, a ecology playground and a motley collection
of bridges, huts, lampposts, benches and more eccentric park furniture designed by
Sam Jacob. So the park will be two years late, and the Heerlijkheid will have failed
to survive the whole process unscathed, the greatest mutilation being the loss of the
pet cemetery.
The cancellation of the pet cemetery and the delayed completion were the price we
had to pay for the chosen realisation process: working in consort with the local
authority, its officials and the residents. But however tempting, it would be absurd
to reflect on a different, authoritarian, top-down process with which perhaps we
might have avoided such problems. The entire park has been bottom-up and local
from the very beginning, in heart and soul.
After the definitive start-up plan was ready, project management of the park was
handed over to the local authority, which managed the 1,800,000 from the
Ministry and found that it had to be both client and cost controller for the
execution of the start-up plan. The various components of the park would be joined
together in that plan; we had already worked for a number of years with the various
participants in the park on translating their wishes into programmes of
requirements and cooperative arrangements. The participants would ultimately
have to take over the ground from the submunicipality and come to an agreement
about the use and management of the park. Thus it was logical that execution and
setting up a management structure should now pass over to Hoogvliet itself.
Yet this period was one of the most chaotic and uncertain in the whole history of
the Heerlijkheid. This is shown very clearly by the planning for the Hobbit island.
The 'Tree Knights' action group, notorious for opposing dozens of building
projects throughout the region, were to be responsible for managing the arboretum
on the Hobbit island. Thus they would share the island with the pet cemetery and
were already on their way to establishing a close link. Our contribution was a joint
pavilion designed by Sam Jacob; a small romantic ivy-clad construction that could
serve as a hall for the arboretum and also as somewhere to say farewell to a deceased
The pet cemetery was to be run by the animal protection society. For years the
director busied himself with preparations. But the board decided to go over
everyone's head and negotiate a reduction in the cost of the ground with the local
authority, on the apparent assumption that they were indispensable and so could
state their own requirements. The stalemate into which these negotiations






















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37 3

Stichting Ark:
Natuurbouwspeelplaats Ruige Plaat
op de Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet

Sketch for ecology playground the Ruigeplaat,

design by Sigrun Lobst, 2005.

The model-boat builders club and their future Hobby Hut, design
by FAT Architects, 2007.



developed ultimately led to the departure of the animal protection society.

To keep the pet cemetery for the Heerlijkheid we went with the development
company in search of new contractors. Soon a contractor from Brabant turned up,
who after the death of his Alsatian had become engrossed in the business of pet
burial. He had a detailed business plan, but also insisted on having a small
crematorium on the island itself or in the nearby industrial area. This appeared to
be no problem for the submunicipality or for us. The 'Tree Knights' however were
against the idea right from the start. As later became apparent, their concern was
not with the crematorium but with something quite different; they no longer
wanted there to be a pet cemetery. They wanted the whole island.
It was fascinating to see how village-style politics got under way, behaviour that
could almost be termed picturesque, but nonetheless crushed everything in its
path. Its ingredients consisted of old promises made in smoke-filled backrooms,
sometimes decades ago, tacit loyalties between councillors and residents, a shared
mistrust of outsiders and a fierce and unyielding stubbornness on the part of all
involved. The result was that the pet burial entrepreneur withdrew, offended and
amazed. WiMBY! could not accept that the 'Tree Knights' got the whole island.
One half of the island was therefore sown with grass and subsequently taken over
by a public works yard which would serve the park from a festive building designed
by Maarten Struijs, the public works department architect, in cooperation with
Sam Jacob. The building also gave the arboretum a handsome and striking
reception pavilion.

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The endgame of the Heerlijkheid was another example of the paradoxical effect of
time and money on this kind of process. Constant economising on the park to keep
it within budget in fact made it increasingly expensive. Each attempt to cut
something out meant that design decisions had to be taken, which in turn meant
delay and more process costs. Moreover, as the plan was developed in greater detail
it turned out that crucial information was missing, because each department
expected one of the others to provide it. So, for example, nobody had marked any
height dimensions on the plan. Consequently, only a few months before the first
pile was sunk, it turned out that the Villa would stand on a sloping piece of ground,
a fact which had of course been left out of account in the building plans. Once
again, extracting this information cost much time and money.
The stoical attitude of most of those involved showed that this was a perfectly
normal state of affairs. There only exception was Jacqueline Cornelissen, the highly
energetic, impatient and slightly inflammable chairman of the local authority's
spatial planning committee. This councillor turned out to have an endless
repertoire of dirty tricks with which to keep things moving, like intimidating
council officers, moving funds around and convincing her fellow councillors. She
had after all promised that the project would be realised, and her emotional
commitment saved the Heerlijkheid time and time again.
This however would never have been enough to achieve what would otherwise have
been a doomed project. The Heerlijkheid became an unpredictable, improvised,
freakish and paradoxical process. Time and time again clear plans were available
showing how things should proceed, and each time those plans were abandoned.
Yet the nature of the core of the Heerlijkheid project was such as to ensure that the
project would stay alive: ultimately its realisation became unavoidable. The core
was the original idea about leisure and culture, local associations, a Hoogvliet style
of architecture, the image of Hoogvliet, and a few more vague notions. This idea



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was not first worked out in an integrated design and subsequently dropped on
Hoogvliet. It was offered for adoption, bit by bit, to a seemingly unrelated and
unimpressive band of participants. This led to a complex process in which
everything was designed four times for countless combinations of users. In
summary therefore, the realisation of the design for the Heerlijkheid could be
described as unrealistic, unpredictable and completely inevitable.



What is your profession? I don't mean your formal profession, but

After working as director of the Housing Company of

Rotterdam, Peter Kuenzli founded Gideon Consult and was
involved in many urban development projects including
Leidsche Rijn, Enschede and Doetinchem . From 1999-2000
he was the 'quartermaster' of the Rotterdam-Hoogvliet
International Architecture Exhibition.

your craft.
I would say I am a municipal architect, I oversee the building of cities. I am
not a pure designer, but I have a thorough knowledge of design in the
Netherlands and I can link it to economic, cultural and social trends. I also
do this with my projects in IJburg, Doetinchem, Enschede, AI mere and
Let us turn to Hoogvliet. Who devised the IBE in Hoogvliet?
I think I may say that I am the spiritual father. Joost Schrijnen (director of
the Planning and housing department department) asked a question: how
can we make a laboratory that will bring the development of Hoogvliet to
a higher level. This ambition was expressed in the Architecture Paper
drawn up by Rotterdam city council. I was asked by Joost Schrijnen and
alderman Herman Meijer to think about it because of the work I had done
in Leidsche Rijn. I soon contacted Crimson, a group of really fantastic
people. I knew them from publications and I truly believed that Hoogvliet
was also an architectural-historical task.
You brought them in, but you had a dialectic relationship right from


the start didn't you?

That was the whole idea, this is one of the most important things I do,




namely bringing people together. This explains the name of my company,

Gideon Consult, creating a Gideon group. I believe strongly in small goal-


oriented groups of people in which everyone has a unique speciality.

This is followed by a process of institutionalisation and lobbying for

funding. Did you envisage an IBE like that in Emscherpark, where both
development and execution were united in one organisation?
I talked to Karl Ganser several times; he is the manager and driving force
behind IBA Emscherpark and a man with a very good record. It was one of
my examples of how, from a social point of view, you can develop an area.
This is also what I wanted in Hoogvliet, this type of approach.
I wanted to bring Hoogvliet, which was an outdated satellite city with an
impoverished and underprivileged population, to a higher level. We
explained this in WiMBY!'s prospectus. By making a link with Shell,
infrastructural development and nature compensation you can create a
coalition that is able to generate a flow of money and attract attention
from various sides. In my view this should help the population. That would
be the driving force for all the resources available there. It would enable
the project to become far larger than if it were initiated only by housing. In
addition, I realised the importance of not simply steering everything on
the basis of hardware but also of software and 'orgware'.

It is really Marxism in reverse, isn't it?

The long-term view of social development and the wishes and ambitions
of the end-users of the city very much directs urban development, or at
least it should. Piling up bricks is perhaps the easiest part of the process,
but it is very important to do it well. Building a good city has a permanent
effect on the social climate. This was intended to result in renewal in
Hoogvliet too. Looking back this was probably going a bridge too far. To
find a position where you can truly influence the building process.


In Hoogvliet you have three important owners, namely Vestia, Woonbron


and Rotterdam city council, which owned the land. More remotely, you

But somehow you let it go wrong in the initial stages because

also had the Department of Public Works and Shell. They all invested in

somewhere you sensed that the people who commissioned you would

Hoogvliet. None of these parties was really keen on having to deal with

not allow you to do what you wanted.

At the same time these busybodies asked you to become involved.

operate and realise the ambitions we had formulated in the prospectus.

I think you are right. I did wonder whether you could get everyone to co-

It was a good example of repressive tolerance. The reason I finally left

Whether all the stakeholders would really do what they said they would. In

Hoogvliet had to do with two things. To realise complex processes you

today's Netherlands strategy has become a matter of policy, of content.

need one hundred percent coverage on the one hand, and on the other

But content always requires organisation and means. If you don't bring the

hand you need at least 3 or 4 years to get th ings done. The mandate

two together you have no strategy.

must be large, but important things cannot be achieved in just one year,

You did Leidsche Rijn and Roombeek and they were atypical.

nor with limited means. The people who commissioned me, the various

Hoogvliet appeared to be atypical but is becoming increasingly

departments, the housing corporations and the local council did not


give me the backing I needed at decisive moments. I saw them asking

themselves whether they should continue with me or not and this irritated
me: you should do this gladly, or not at all!

If you had stayed, what would we have seen in Hoogvliet after seven
I had several ambitions I would have liked to have realised. The ambition to
enter into a real coalition with the nature movement and the people. There

Yes, it appeared to be atypical. It started out as a unique ambition. And it


is tru ly a great pit y that it has sunk to its present level. I think that by


right that I am not the right man for acupuncture.




Have we reached a final stage, is thisthe final stage of mediocrity?

How does one escape from the terror of mediocrity?


I am hopefu l. There is a tendency, especially in Europe, for politics to

ach ieve more and more in the short-term. With the result that there is a

were so many good people in Hoogvliet, from Jacqueline Cornelissen to


the World Nature Fund and the 'Tree Knights'. That would have been so


powerful. I would have liked to bring them together.

resorting to acupuncture you gave the right reaction. And you are also

What would have been the result?


Hoogvliet Garden City. More active use of greenery, a green and blue

growing pol itical decisiveness when it comes to interfering in organisation

and means, and to opposing institutional interests. I truly believe that this
will be the new line. The fact that you have had to resort to acupuncture
has everything to do with being afraid to break down institutional

environment that would in its very pores connect with the heart with the


city. That in the long term Hoogvliet would change from being the

I'm afraid we agree on too much. Finally I would like to ask you, when

backyard of Shell and Pernis to becoming a truly beautiful suburb. Many

you look at other countries, don't you feel that all this is simply

people now live in Hoogvliet simply because they don't have a choice, and
I wanted people to choose to live in Hoogvliet.

because we are unbelievably spoiled? We are extremely rich, in

I would then have liked to really thin out the northern section and give

achieve any sort of focus.

education too, but our general laziness makes it very difficult to

private commissioning a good chance, and then link this to the green

I'm afraid I don't agree. I think that if you wish to maintain well-being

zones. We did this in Roombeek (Enschede). There, building your own

house is no longer elitist.

and a quality of life at this level in Western Europe and in a world of

I would have liked to develop the combination of learning, working and

management and have to continue to achieve. In some places the level is

increasing global competitiveness, you must have incredibly good

living even further. Around the underground and around the amalgamation

really dropping. You cannot allow yourself to say that we now belong to

of three schools. I saw flats becoming vacant and wondered whether one

the top 20 and things are not so bad. There is simply not enough sense of

couldn't create a suburb around this underground station that combines

these elements.

Let us say that with your present knowledge you had negotiated

That is the Campus! How would you have intervened there?

about IBE with the same partners in 2000. Would you have backed out

Well, to do this really well you have to create maximum creative

even sooner?


competition on the market. You have to introduce something in which the

No, because at the time I thought things looked pretty hopeful. My

best people win, the best plan, the best developer. IBE should have been
in a position to organise market competition.

greatest disappointment was definitely the attitude of the city council. I

failed to convince the alderman of Land Policy. This was the biggest failure

I would like to put a proposition to you: I think that a creative thinker

factor in the project. And this caused trouble with the various

like yourself would have gone mad in Hoogvliet. After all, it is a closed

departments. The OBR (Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Rotterdam- Rotterdam

building market and it would be hard to find other investors here. The

Development Company) for examp le, was a complete waste of time. They

local council has no independent reasoning power and there is on-

were never prepared to discuss the price and the contro l over 'their' land

going competition between all the school managements in Rotterdam.

development. You need the type of leadership that quickly recognises an

WiMBY! cannot make an independent stand here, not even with you.

opportunity when it sees one and then grabs hold of it. This actually

382 383


happens every now and then. But it is precisely this ability that should be
developed in a city like Rotterdam. It is a fine city and you can do so many
wonderful things here. We have to get that back.




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girls and young women actually require of their homes? And the young people? To
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more important to these women than the home itself. These surroundings should
above all be safe for them and their children. This is also what makes Hoogvliet
attractive: it is quieter and less criminalised there than the centre of Rotterdam,
according to the women taking part in the workshop. In order to move on and
develop themselves they want to take courses or find work, but practical difficulties
and the care of their children often stand in the way. The lack of employment in
Hoogvliet forces them to commute and this is a hindrance to combining a job with
caring for their children. 3 By living with other young mothers in a block, a
courtyard or a small neighbourhood, they would be able to organise practical
solutions for their shared problems. A form of collective living, with a protected
communal inner area and a place to cook together, to study and use the computer
and space for the children to play under their mothers' supervision; these are the
main elements in the Antillean mothers' ideal environment. 4 They certainly do not
want a home to live in with their mothers and would prefer no childless families in
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always the children: traffic that moves too fast, drug dealers hanging around on the
street and the heroin needles on the ground.
WiMBY! rounded off the workshop with a practical proposal: wouldn't it be very
easy to create this sort of environment by reserving two blocks of flats , including
the collective gardens between them, closing it off to improve safety, starting up a
Digi-garden (playground with computer workshop) and arranging a communal
place in the blocks? Of course it's pleasant to organise a workshop, the certificate
the participants receive afterwards is nice, but in the end it's about making
something happen on the ground, something concrete. It is important to achieve an
example that moves the markers so that it is proven that there are no arguments for
not doing anything. After all, you can't live in hot air.
But the timing of this proposal was not ideal: the corporations had an agreement
with the submunicipality regarding the programme of demolition and new
building, which was quite ambitious in scale, and this, with all its far-reaching
consequences, had been communicated to the residents ofHoogvliet. The reuse of
old flats was not advisable considering the desire to change the image of Hoogvliet.
To tinker with the demolition programme at this moment might have been seen as
doubt or hesitation, and that was unacceptable to the partners in the restructuring

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This gave rise to a problem when it came to the target groups, single parents and
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than a new building in accordance with the wishes these groups had formulated
themselves, even if it was the most expensive option. However, this resolution soon
floundered for financial reasons and in addition there did not appear to be any
suitable building location available for the Antillean mothers in Hoogvliet. For the . ?;:s<>-(1)><
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(a form of collective housing around a square or courtyard), new building also
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The blocks of maisonettes as a location for the single
parents and young people

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Several years after the workshops, in 2004, the opportunity to reuse the flats built
in the postwar reconstruction period took a new turn. The recession in 2002 and
2003 had shown up the vulnerability of the grand scale ofHoogvliet's restructuring ~
plan. The tempo of new building stalled, rehousing became very difficult, blocks of 8
flats due for demolition, which had stopped being let out, remained in use for
longer and at the same time a lack of housing arose in Hoogvliet, in this case for
young people. Now .that the machinery of reconstruction, which had. previously
rumbled on so mercilessly, had slowed down or halted, the opportumty arose ror
other options. In the Oudeland district there were four blocks of maisonettes in a
row whose demolition could reasonably be postponed because they had recently
been renovated and would certainly serve another ten years. But in the meantime
these blocks had been used to rehouse socially problematic and financially weak
residents whose homes had been demolished. In the Woonmonitor, which regularly


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recorded how satisfied the people of Hoogvliet were with their housing, this part of
Oudeland came off pretty poorly. Noisy neighbours, nuisances, rubbish bags in the
street, youngsters hanging around, vandalism that cost tens of thousands of euros
every year, and so on. Something had to be done. If these blocks were occupied by
groups of young people and single mothers, they would have a positive and
emancipatory influence, but first they had to be made ready: re-enter WiMBY!




19 February 2007
Felix Rottenberg interviews
Rients Dijkstra in the Tram

2122 February


Klingons and hybrids get the blocks ready for

colonisation by the new housing collectives
For WiMBY!, the reuse of these blocks of maisonettes was a unique opportunity to
examine what the possibilities were for this sort of building in the future, a type
that had been built all over the Netherlands in the 60s and which were demolished
in large numbers during restructuring 40 years later. For many people, especially in
the corporation world, blocks of flats like these represent everything that is wrong
with modernist housing and are the direct cause of all sorts of backstreet problems.
Whether this is true or not, rumour alone was sufficient for any new groups of
inhabitants who might start a housing collective in these blocks to be infected by
the buildings' negative image. So it was necessary to tackle the architecture of the
blocks, their social programme and their image in order to show that this sort of
building can be given a new life once again.
WiMBY! did not need to search long for architects who would be able to triply reevaluate these blocks in this way, and gave the brief to Harmen van der Wal and
Duzan Doepel (ADDKrill). In this project the challenge was tore-programme the
blocks, which contained small homes intended for the uniform families of the
postwar reconstruction period, for the new collectives of single parents and young
people, but perhaps also for the elderly, temporary occupants like trainees and
people on secondment, free spirits (who are now often called 'creative types') and
'pre-yuppies', because there was insufficient housing in Hoogvliet for these groups




February 2007
The Office for Metropolitan
Architecture is given the brief
to draw up a masterplan for
the Campus

In the ADD Krill design the maisonettes were stripped and their image and
programme was thus removed, while the arrangement and the useful potential of
the homes and walkways was expanded. The aim was to create a neutral container
ready for colonisation by the groups of occupants. ADD Krill: "The prescriptive
housing etiquette of the postwar reconstruction and the nineties was erased from
the buildings to make way for a neutral basis that enables the groups to shape their
housing wishes independently and build up a self-regulating and self-controlling
system." 6
The design study had three basic principles. Firstly, the narrow walkways, which
were originally used only for circulation, were transformed into spaces for living.
This was done in two ways: by locally adding bay windows, which were called
'klingons' 7 to the walkways to broaden them at crucial places and create new routes
by means of extra staircases. The second option was the broadening of the
walkways to two metres over their entire length.
These walkways are after all the spaces that connect together the adjoining fourteen
homes that together form a collective. This makes it a space for the children to play
in, for meeting other residents, etc., but two metres is also wide enough to pass one

Foundation stone laid for the

constructional elements and
the Hobby Hut in the Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet

28 February 2007
Felix Rottenberg interviews
Henk Molenaar in the Tram
Sat ion

5 April2007
City council of Rotterdam
approves the construction of
the Second Maasvlakte by a
large majority

25 May 2007

Opening of WiMBY! exhibition at Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam

..........~~:-- 6-78 July 2007

Fourth Heerlijkheid Festival,
opening of Park De Heerlijkheid

1 October 2007

H l,c:-J Foundation stones to be laid

for the Co-housing projects in

October 2007
WiMBY! leaves Hoogvliet.
The Tram Station will become
a tea room, a restaurant, an
office, a small hoteL or what?

December 2007
Handover of the completed
Villa in the Heerlijkheid


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Design proposals for the transformation of

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collectives, ADD Krill, 2004.
Below right: the collective space on the
location of the former storerooms.


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another without any uncomfortable or forced situations arising.

Secondly, the f1oor plans of the homes were changed so as to give rise to 'hybrids'
along the walkways. In the ADD Krill model the 'hybrid' is an intermediate space
between the communal and private space, a zone one and half metres deep with
sliding glass doors on both sides. This space can as desired be used as an extension
of the walkway (then it functions as a veranda) or as part of the house (then it is a
conservatory or draught-excluding porch). The third major change is the conversion
of the storage spaces on the first f1oor into a communal space whose function and
supervision is to be determined and implemented by the occupants themselves. It
may be a creche, a computer workshop, a communal living room or a games room.
Lastly, the arrangement of the green areas around the blocks will be dealt with;
playgrounds and small parks will be laid out, bur also kitchen gardens and do-ityourself areas.

entrance gate and permanent monitoring. WiMBY! wonders whether this will not
lead to a further increase in nuisance incidents and the pressure on Oudeland,
which is already the most problematic district in Hoogvliet, and points out
alternative locations in other neighbourhoods that have greater resilience, but to no



The keywords with which the architects approached this brief were emancipation
and empowerment, as well as self-respect and respect for others. The design
has a highly idealistic slant and elaborates on the wish for the development of
the individual and community that also underlay the design of this sort of
neighbourhood in the fifties. But this time it ensues from a realistic analysis of the
specific circumstances in Hoogvliet and the desire to take seriously groups which,
although they are obviously part of the population, cannot find any suitable
:;: ?<' housing or a home that makes 'self-realisation' possible. The project also analysed
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,;E s; and named the dangers of the proposed forms of collective housing. Possible
disaster scenarios were anticipated by the suggestion of thorough supervision,
management and other forms of help. And although the design is permeated by a
highly positive view of diversity and multiculturalism, proper account was taken of
the mutual compatibility of the groups when the programme for the buildings was
defined. The mixture of widely differing groups was organised so that a variety of
relations might arise: the elderly looking after the young mothers' small children,
young mothers who work and clean in the short-stay facilities or help the elderly,
etc. The result is a lively, active and proud neighbourhood with the potential for
much mutual interaction.










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How the prostitutes from Keileweg in Rotterdam did

not end up in Hoogvliet




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The conversion of the Fidelia block is complete, but it is hard to find occupants for
the 24-hour supervision they offer. Most of the prostitutes have found sanctuary
elsewhere or have remained in their old profession but in another city. The
'nuisance-making' male clients have as yet also stayed away. The block has been
converted, but the homes are still standing empty.
WiMBY! continues to ask questions about the realisation of the project for the new
housing collectives, but the atmosphere has been spoiled. The caretakers in the
neighbourhood warn that no support will be found among residents for the arrival
of the Antillean mothers and young people. The image of 'whorish types' and
'problem youngsters' attaches itself to these groups without any justification. These
prejudices can only be combatted by offering an active counterbalance, bur that has
not happened as yet.
Serving the 'lower end of the market' remains one ofWoonbron's main concerns,
but for the time being this brings no concrete results for the Hoogvliet housing
programme or the young mothers, the young people and the others for whom
the project is intended. What is more, it is not only a matter of offering
these groups the possibility of emancipating themselves, and- as the VROM
council expressed it in their new advice for a change of policy in urban renewal in
20069 - to make it possible to move up the social ladder. Offering the opportunity
for emancipation to young people and single mothers requires more than just a
suitable and affordable home, and requires more than just financial and spatial


The project is thwarted by other plans

Immediately after the victory ofLeefbaar Rotterdam in the 2002 local elections,
the Leefbaar councillor Marianne van den Anker announced that she wanted to
abolish the prostitution zone at Keileweg in west Rotterdam. Ten places around the
city would be provided where, after undergoing psychiatric treatment, the addicted
women could be supervised 24 hours a day by social workers. 8 It is not easy to find
such places, and everywhere they are designated there is uproar among the
residents. In 2005, Martien Kromwijk, the director of the Woonbron housing
corporation, offered the Fidelio block, one of the blocks of maisonettes in
Hoogvliet. The ground f1oor, which is right next to the Notenkraker primary
school, was converted into housing units not only for the former prostitutes of the
Keileweg, but for others too ('nuisance-makers', men and women with multiple
problems) who need very intensive supervision. The homes along the lowermost
walkway are combined to form a housing group, cameras are installed, plus a big

Because of the urgency of the Keileweg problem, Woonbron and the council chose
the Fidelio block anyway for the IntensiefBegeleid Wonen project and as a
consequence WiMBY! 's plans for the maisonettes were cancelled. The arrival of the
new occupants caused some disquiet in Oudeland and the local residents were only
reassured by the promise of more surveillance and security in their neighbourhood.
They were only informed at the last moment and felt they have been caught
unawares. To introduce into the neighbourhood more new residents who have a
poor image (single Antillean teenage mothers, young people) is a risky undertaking
the corporation dares not venture into at the moment. It is thought that the local
residents will confuse the two projects, even though in the one case it involves ill
and addicted prostitutes and men with criminal or psychiatric backgrounds and in
the other a collective initiative by young mothers from Hoogvliet. After all, both
cases concern a group of deprived residents starting a housing collective on one of
the storeys of the block of maisonettes. WiMBY! can do little to prevent the
suspicion of possible confusion or opposition among a group of immediate
neighbours whom no one has ever asked anything. The dust first has to settle, and
then the project can be resumed, Woonbron assures us.



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10. At the request of the Woonbron housing corporation, the pseudonym
'maisonettes' has been used instead of the actual project name, which
would be recognisable to the local residents and might thereby cause

Since 1996 Jeanne van de Velden has been chairwomen of

the 'Tree Knights', an association that was in1tially involved in
the preservation of trees in Hoogvliet, but gradually
developed into a feared, but also respected, action group
that focuses on nature conservation in the Rotterdam
region . Jeanne van de Velden was one of the driving forces
behind the foundation of the arboretum in Heerlijkheid
Hoogvliet. As the child of a father who was an active
member of the United Trade Union Federation, Jeanne van
de Velden was brought up on campaigns. "My father was an
amateur boxer and was grouped with the strong arm boys
during harbour strikes . At the age of ten I would also
organise strikes if there was something we didn't agree with
at school. I would bring the whole school to a standstill."

Felix Rottenberg: When did you move to Hoogvliet?

Jeanne van de Velden : In 1961 . My husband and I had no other choice! We
had just opened our haberdashery shop in Delfshaven when the neighbourhood was demolished. The loveliest, oldest district in Rotte rdam! It
still makes me furious! A new shopping centre was opened in Hoogvliet
and my husband and I decided to buy shop premises there and start a
shop that sold everything to do with fashion : fabrics, haberdashery and
sewing machines. My husband was a sewing machine mechanic.

Where did your husband train for that?

In the Graz concentration camp in Austria, where he was imprisoned for
distributing newssheets for the resistance movement. He was sitting there
in his cell waiting for the death sentence when they were looking for




someone to fix sewing machines. My husband had never repaired a sewing

machine 1n his life but immediately said that he could because it would get
him food . He was taken to a room full of broken sewing machines and he
just set to work. After the war he couldn't find work, as nobody wanted



anything to do with you if you came from a concentration camp. He was


even turned down by the National Health Service, so we just started our





own business. All these experiences only made me stronger in my struggle

against injustice .
In view of your character it is strange that you didn't go into politics!

You are concerned with every tree that goes down in Rotterdam and


this has gradually led to you having a fulltime job at the age of 72. As


a socially committed inhabitant of Hoogvliet and a thinker, you







probably have your own, very clear views of the restructuring plans.
I certainly do . Initially I wondered whether everyone realised what they
were involved in. It was all very intensive, very large-scale and ve ry shortterm, and I did not

appro~e of that. The

local council and Rotte rdam

council, and also the housing corporations, were all very inclined to overassess their abilities. I didn't have the impression that they really knew
what they were doing. They completely destroyed the social coherence in
certain neighbourhoods and old people in particular suffered as a result .
Things have worsened for them and they have lost the social connections
w1th their old neighbours. I talk to them regularly and only those who put
up a fight are still together. And this problem was not sufficiently
But were there aspects of the restructuring you thought were

successful? How would you rate Hoogvliet today?

It has been doing well in recent years. Hoogvliet has a good name now. If
I had to rate it today, I would say more than satisfactory. It has become a
lot cleaner and this is very important for a district. The council has also
become better at listening to the wishes of the inhabitants at meetings.
They now really serve the Interests of the citizens.

And what do you think of Hoogvliet's new look?

I think that certain aspects are very good. Some of the replacement
houses have been well built but I think the Oedenvlietse park is a huge
flop . It is messy and the houses are ugly. Bhalotra's plan was no good
anyway and the whole approach was quite wrong. The green zones are the
pride of Hoogvliet and Bhalotra made a plan in which all the trees and



I (0



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3 4:~/

Felix Rottenberg
At five o'clock in the afternoon of 19 January 2001, official cars, taxis and a remarkable
number of standard Toyotas crowded in front of the drive of the Delta hotel in
Vlaardingen. The mayor of Rotterdam leapt gracefully inside, the chairman of the spatial
planning committee left behind his briefcase full of official documents and bumped into
the former European Commissioner. By the door stood Peter Kuenzli, 'admiral' of the
Hoogvliet International Building Exhibition (I BE), awaiting his guests with a cheerful
grimace. "It looks promising. Almost everybody is here", he said. In the large conference
room facing the water a wintry chill spread through the room: the heating was not
working. No photos were taken that afternoon, which was a pity, because the mist and
cold meant that the assembly of 26 people reminded one of the black and white shots
taken by Erich Salomon, the famous German photographer, who in the 1930s succeeded
in using a 35mm camera without a flash to record the world's great statesman.
In the Delta hotel Kuenzli had called together an interesting group of national thinkers,
statesmen, architects, senior civil servants, councillors, residents and activists from
Hoogvliet. Indeed almost everybody had turned up. Kuenzli was able to arouse their
expectations and explain in spellbinding terms that this was not going to be the
umpteenth gathering on the subject of town planning in Greater Rotterdam, but a unique
consultation. While he was carrying on his exposition, a small group of latecomers
turned up, including Adriaan Geuze. "Hoogvliet" interjected Geuze, "is a district ohne
eigenschaften". A tremor passed through the hall. Kuenzli laughed. Professor Priem us
wagged his finger( ... "That's right ... which is why we need to be very precise about
defining the position of Hoogvliet on the world stage"). The Hoogvliet IBE Constituent
Consultative Committee, as this group of plotters was called, was immediately rid of the
official pleasantries which always dominate the first hours of such meetings.
"'8 O;(') "'c Kuenzli wasted little time in identifying the approach IBE Hoogvliet required of all those
~ . c;i :; present: all institutions and individuals at whatever level of scale should be prepared to
move outside their own fields of activity and be open to intensive interaction . For, he
;:;l reasoned, only in this way could the Hoogvliet IBE present itself as an authoritative,
~16 r:;; practically relevant, international research centre.

puts on combinations of experimental thinking and experimental execution. Kuenzli

discussed it with Martien Kromwijk, with whom he had worked for many years at the
Rotterdam Housing Corporation. As director of the Woonbron housing corporation,
Kromwijk was at that very moment in discussion with a number of older residents of
Hoogvliet, who were worried by the stagnation in Hoogvliet. Kromwijk got Hans
Elemans, chairman of the local authority enthusiastic about the potential of an IBE. Joost
Schrijnen in turn called in Henk Molenaar, retired director of the port installation, who
looked like the ideal patron for an IBE exercise in Hoogvliet. If a computer programme
were to present the phases in the development of the network of the Hoogvliet IBE in
animated form, it would show that Molenaar, Meijer, Kromwijk and Elemans were
supported by three more outstanding linkmen, Jacqueline Cornelissen, Marco Pastors and
Eric Staal.

1 . The acupuncture tactic - Henk Molenaar

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Kuenzli did not say this without cause. The negotiations with those taking part in the IBE
-corporations, state, municipality and local authority- about the course and method of
operation of the organisation had by now taken on an uncertain character. Generosity
was certainly in evidence on paper, but not in practice. In fact it was a lost opportunity
that during the two-day consultation the assembled wise men and women did not
discuss in detail what moral and functional guarantees were necessary: what were the
golden rules, the rules that must not be broken. Or, if they were broken, a Mushawara
obligation 1 would inevitably apply.

.. 5-5

But a brainstorming session mobilises optimism. At the end of the Vlaardingen meeting,

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& Henk Molenaar, chairman of the Hoogvliet IBE Foundation, a former director of the

municipal harbour installation, summarised in his inimitable way the unavoidable

dangers and atypical urgency ofWiMBY!: "The trick is to stop relying on hierarchy,
:E ~ authority and prejudice in programmes, but rather to move in the direction of
5 3 personalised relations in networks."

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The construction of the Hoogvliet IBE network began at the town hall in Rotterdam. Joost
Schrijnen, len de Klerk and Peter Kuenzli passed on the idea to alderman Herman Meijer.
The Emscher park process, the transformation of the old abandoned industrial site in the
Ruhr, was a recent example of an lnternationale Bau Ausstellung, directed by the inspired
freethinking despot Karl Ganser.
A project like that gets visited and is infectious. Kuenzli was wildly enthusiastic. IBE is a
household word amongst town planners and architects, because of the emphasis it


It would seem that Henk Molenaar shares in WiMBY!'s thinking from the sidelines, but
he is in fact a centrifugal force, particularly when it comes to putting power processes
into perspective and pushing the envelope. His knowledge of the practice of the
government bureaucracy required to serve a port economy, extends not only to
Rotterdam, but also to every other significant seaport, old or new. Molenaar sometimes
reminds one of an ironic Chinese Taoist master. His analyses combine knowledge of the
emotional and rational mechanisms recognised by systems theory with his own intuition.
Almost subconsciously he cultivated the awkwardness of his discussions with Peter
Kuenzli. Something was wrong somewhere, but he still had no idea what was missing.
"Then one day Peter Kuenzli said to me 'You're an idiot', and I replied 'That's right, I've
not the slightest idea what you're talking about. Please explain your plans a bit more
clearly". What separated them was a dormant mental and ideological conflict, marking
the dividing line between different 'schools and styles' of urban renewal. This conflict
characterises the strength but also the awkwardness of WiMBY! to this very day, because
the method to be used was that of acupuncture, but would be judged on its suitability for
a large-scale IBE.
Molenaar had no doubts about Kuenzli's professionalism, but found his ambitions
inappropriate to the scale and seriousness of Hoogvliet's problems; Kuenzli's thinking was
too megalomaniac, too impatient. But it was Kuenzli who put Molenaar in touch with
Michelle Provoost and Wouter Vanstiphout's firm, Crimson. Almost in passing these
architectural historians instructed Molenaar how he, a retired municipal harbour chief,
should interpret the town planning history of Hoogvliet in the light of the rise of pre-war
ideas about garden cities and new towns.
During the months of negotiations on the scale of the I BE, renamed, thanks to
interference by Crimson, 'Welcome into My Back Yard!', whence WiMBY!, Molenaar
anticipated that Crimson's 'young people' would have to form the vanguard ofWiMBY! In
fact they made ideal curators, pleasantly naive and cocky, aware of new unofficial
networks and a rising generation of thinkers and designer-executers, national and
According to WiMBY!, what Hoogvliet needed was a kind of acupuncture . Molenaar picked
up this word which Vanstiphout let drop on one occasion. The social and cultural
renovation of Hoogvliet would call for sparkling interventions, unusual projects and
processes, with much variation and many changes in rhythm and size, but always on a
scale to suit Hoogvliet, experiments in execution and a series of striking public works.
Joost Schrijnen shared Molenaar's observations about the indispensability of Crimson to
Hoogvliet, to serve as a necessary intellectual axis for WiMBY! Molenaar pushed,
shoved, waited, but never forced, a tactic bearing some affinity to acupuncture. Pricking
with a pin at precisely the right moment automatically liberates new energy and creates

a new balance, allowing space and tolerance for initiatives that are unexpected and

2. Octopus thinking - Martien Krornwijk






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The burden of restructuring Hoogvliet was born by two housing corporations, headed by
two very distinctive personalities, Martien Kromwijl< at Woonbron and Eric Staal at Vestia .
Their head offices on Rotterdam's Weena were separated by a single thicl< concrete wall, a
literal symbol of their minimal cooperation. The regal Eril< Staal resided in a modern
refined hi-tech office, with a fashionable pond in the courtyard . Kromwijl<, a social
entrepreneur, received in a simple long narrow office room on the ground floor. Kromwijl<
was indispensable to the launching of the Hoogvliet I BE. When some impasse threatened,
he was the one who applied the necessary massage, generally by telephone. The first
words from his mobile were : "Martien Kromwijl< here, what can I do to ensure that best
use is made of this inspiration .. ." He acted as self-appointed referee between bickering
parties, calmed Peter Kuenzli, put up with Henl< Molenaar's 'Inspector Colombo-lil<e'
speculations and lobbied alderman Herman Meijer. Kromwijl< and Elemans were the ones
who sorted things out when Kuenzli had to be succeeded by Rottenberg as mandate
l(romwijl< found it a pity that Kuenzli's visions were given insufficient support; Molenaar
had no wish to understand them and had cut Kuenzli to the quicl<. What Kuenzli had in
mind was a metamorphosis of Hoogvliet precisely along the lines of the plans prepared by
Woonbron and the ideas thought up by Kromwijl< and Elemans . After all, Hoogvliet was
almost a symbol of a ghetto in the mal<ing: the IBE would give a new 'quality impulse',
put Hoogvliet squarely in the limelight. This 'octopus in the bid bool<', with Hoogvliet as
the centre of Europe, a l<ey point on the Almere-Antwerp axis, was something that
Kromwijl< found 'an intriguing image'. But as a matter of common sense he had to
conclude that it would still be possible to set in motion a substantial campaign for
Hoogvliet with the assistance of Rottenberg & Co, though in a different way. Kromwijl<
mainly allowed himself to be convinced by Elemans . When the last obstacles had been
removed, Kromwijl< made an enthusiastic phone call to Rottenberg, WiMBY!'s new
mandate holder2 , in his watchtower in the Amsterdam skyscraper.
Under Rottenberg's leadership the WiMBY! organisation went into hiding for a short
while. There was a pause, during which Rottenberg formed a small flexible worl<
organisation based on Crimson . Kromwijl< lost touch, his infatuation with WiMBY! began
to evaporate. The cutting bacl< of the Kuenzli programme was something that Kromwijl<
found painful and unnecessary. He found the acupuncture process too small-minded,
insufficiently ambitious . After the summer of 2001, Rottenberg invited l<romwijl< to a late
lunch in the formidable dim sum restaurant in the Doelen. Michelle Provoost later
attested how inside ten minutes the two men were sitting across from one another lil<e
fighting cocl<s. There were painful silences; the Chinese waiters , already taciturn, stared
down at their shoes. Kromwijl< was irritated by Rottenberg bringing up the subject of the
Oosterbal<en and particularly the Oedenvliets pari< . "That is really nothing to do with
WiMBY! How is your agenda doing, are things still going swimmingly?", he asl<ed. "Will we
really get Hoogvliet on the international map? Are you sure you're not getting lost in an
intellectual exercise?"
Sometimes it has to be accepted that despite mutual appreciation things can go wrong
with the clear synchronisation of visions: mismatches do occur. After the afternoon in the
Chinese restaurant at which Kromwijl< lost his love for WiMBY! (and the WiMBY! delegation
sensed that unmistakably). on the return journey in the train WiMBY!'s Amsterdam
mandate holder recalled a poem by Pierre Kemp : "II< heb nag een ziel en die hebben zij
ool< in de vaas van haar tors, maar de vaart van woeste gedichten met strijd, vuur en rool<
zijn niet van de bloem en haar aard ... " ["I too have a soul, as has it in its narrow body, but

the tempo of fierce verse, with its battles, fire and smol<e, is foreign to a flower and its
nature ... "]
The cooling of the love between Woonbron and WiMBY! was not without consequences,
though it is true that they were not immediately visible. There seemed to be a tacit
gentleman's agreement in force to tolerate constructively and go on worl<ing together,
even as the awkwardness was increasing . But that was in conflict with the absurd and the
unexpected that formed an integral part of WiMBY!'s wide R&D assignment to search for,
investigate, experiment with and encourage unusual applications . With Woonbron this
became more and more difficult. WiMBY! continued to carry on a permanent discussion
with Jon van Eenennaam, the development director of the Hoogvliet branch, but it had
much too little effect on Woonbron's operational processes . WiMBY! and Woonbron
behaved towards one another lil<e deceived former lovers. Enlightened self-interest
prevented conflicts, but none of those involved managed to achieve a breal< through . In
the end things were dealt with pragmatically : for example on the occasion of the
umpteenth impasse concerning the Campus, WiMBY!'s mandate holder promoted the idea
of simplifying the approach, whereupon he suggested that Woonbron tal<e the lead as
project developer to the greatest possible extent. This had indeed become possible
because in the summer of 2006 Kromwijl< and Rottenberg, seated on a terrace by the
water belonging to a restaurant in Westland, spent hours exchanging new visions of
urban transformation. That had been very useful, but as is often the case with lost love,
diplomacy prevailed, so that the mental and ideological differences in opinion that
hampered their cooperation -the same fundamental differences as existed between
Molenaar and Kuenzli -were not expressed too bluntly.

3. Disposing with informality - Erik Staal

The chairman of Vestia's management board was good at l<eeping silent, a man offew
words who avoided the use of adjectives . He mal<es a habit of applying system theory in
all its simplicity, so that the person he is speal<ing to tends to lay problems before him in
the shape of mathematical formulae . Staal would then peal them lil<e an onion, to get his
hands on the core. Consequently he heard a description of the Hoogvliet situation with a
smile that slowly grew broader: "Hoogvliet is of course a case of mediocrity+ lacl< of
autonomy+ a size that is neither big enough nor small enough +competition from
Spijl<enisse = permanently behind". "Yes", said Staal, "there is a shortage of guts in the
Netherlands, a lacl< of flexibility and the courage to tal<e risl<s . Add to that the fact that
local government departments in particular are not always oriented to achieving results,
and what you get are the impasses in getting things done in Hoogvliet". Staal, with
Vestia, tried to be consistent in lool<ing to see what solutions might be found for these
impasses . In fact he himself, in his blacl< leather jacl<et, was their embodiment. If you
don't moan too much, but simply concentrate on finding a solution, a heap of ballast falls
away and gears can be changed more rapidly. And if nothing worl<s, withdraw. WiMBY!
certainly profited from this approach . Vestia was bold enough to go ahead on the basis of
a draft for the Heerlijl<heid pari< which was still not fully worl<ed out in all respects. Staal
and his site director Peter Hoogvliet were quicl< to appreciate the uniqueness of the
Heerlijl<heid plan, and saw the speciall<ind of added value it could have for Hoogvliet.
When the development process was in the doldrums WiMBY! could breal< in on Vestia's
management, for example when the contractor's estimates for the Villa, the Heerlijl<heid's
party hall, came out much too high, Staal, in discussion with Peter Hoogvliet, cleared
away the inability to come up with smart and economical solutions, which blocl<ed the
process .
Vestia could allow itself to do this l<ind of thing. Its sphere of activity in the Randstad, lil<e
that ofWoonbron, was continuing to expand. As one of the largest corporations in the
Netherlands, it wasted little time on pointless cooperative projects which produced

nothing worthwhile. It resigned from Aedes, the housing corporations' association, and
refused to take part in the 'exaggerated flirting and dancing around', as Staal put it,
which went on in Rotterdam.
Is it effective for a relatively free R&D club like WiMBY! to work on such a task in Hoogvliet
with two organisations, Woonbron and Vestia, involved in its execution? Two brothers, so
different in character, who hardly ever look one another up to discuss strategy or chat

level of the Mayor and Aldermen . "Then I said : HANS, YOU ARE THE ALDERMAN . HOW IS THIS
POSSIBLE? " But then some deadlocks turned out to be quite impossible to break . For
example when Meijer suggested that Rotterdam, which is to say the city council, the
Aldermen collectively, would have to ensure that the city had the best education in the
country. "Then everybody looks at you incredulously, though they're delighted that you
said it. Then comes an immediate 'but', meaning that what they really think is that
things go the same way everywhere, and you are never entitled to any more than the

According to the Staal method, this should not immediately be seen as an obstacle: the
thing to do is to make the best of a bad job and take advantage of every chance and
opportunity. It is interesting to note the difference in the nature of the involvement of
the two 'brothers' (and indeed their legal predecessors). Martien Kromwijk operated in
close consultation with the political nerve-centre of Hoogvliet. With the local authority's
Hans Elemans and Jacqueline Cornelissen and with Marien de Lange from the
department responsible for spatial planning, public housing and infrastructure, he
devoted himself energetically to ensuring the maximum application of the ISV [urban
renewal investment budget] funds available to Hoogvliet. This also explains why
Woonbron, with Kromwijk as advocate, wanted every building project to attract
attention. Esseline Schieven from the Rotterdam Development Corporation came up with
an interesting characterisation of the difference between the two corporations: "Martien
Kromwijk thinks in grand gestures. Every building project in Hoogvliet must make a
splash. The more unusual the architecture, the better. Vestia was initially treated by the
local authority with an unavoidable degree of mistrust, and began somewhat diffidently,
but gave innovative commissions to WiMBY! in connection with such matters as Cohousing and the housing block the Groene Schake!. Without WiMBY! Vestia would
have gone down under the violent pressure and grand gestures ofWoonbron and the
local authority."


4. The primacy of the alderman - Herman

Meijer and Marco Pastors
WiMBY! restarted in the autumn of 2001, in the same week that Pim Fortuyn announced
his aim to become Prime Minister of the Netherlands. It often rained on a Monday
morning when WiMBY!'s mandate holder travelled to Hoogvliet. It is a stiff journey by
public transport, requiring three changes, comparable to a weekly trip to a suburb of
Delfzijl, all the way in the north of the country. From door to door, to the Hoogvliet
information centre, it takes two hours and forty minutes.
But the walk along the dyke from Hoogvliet's bleak metro station to the shopping centre
always had a chastening effect. Those ten minutes offers a presentation of the whole
history of Hoogvliet. Ideally the walker would have been able to rent an iPod with
appropriate software from a newsagent by the lifeless little shopping centre near the
metro station, with a recorded commentary by the guide of his choice. Herman Meijer,
a Rotterdam alderman between 1994 and 2002, with a beautiful, somewhat sing-song,
acquired Rotterdam accent- he was born and bred in Tilburg- could have recorded a
telling account of the history of the annexation of Hoogvliet as a relatively inaccessible
colony of Rotterdam, which people always thought might have done better to belong to
Albrandswaard or Spijkenisse. Meijer once delivered a striking sentence: "I think the
annexation was a good thing. Hoogvliet was one of the first attempts to build a satellite
town . If Hoogvliet had become an independent municipality, it would never have got
where it is today."
Meijer is never mealy-mouthed; he spent twelve years on the council. He had no need of
anyone to tell him about the lack of dynamism of struggling departments, administrative
tangles and endless delays, that regularly drove self-willed Aldermen like himself to
despair. The compartmentalisation and fear of the rules penetrates all the way into the

If Herman Meijer had remained an alderman, WiMBY! would have been happy to host a
hearing of the united forces of obstruction which were responsible for the endless nitpicking round the painful development of the educational campus; a variant on a
parliamentary or municipal enquiry, in the waiting room of the former tram station where
WiMBY! had its office , the best place to discover the real truth.
In the winter of 2003 we therefore turned to Marco Pastors, Meijer's successor. We arrived
at the town hall with a strong delegation, a model and a specially prepared animation
on a laptop . There were three people from WiMBY!, professors Molenaar and Vanstiphout
and mandate holder Rottenberg. Alderman Lucas Bolsius, who was after all the City of
Rotterdam representative on the board of the IBE Foundation, acted as host. He found it a
good idea to take up with a so-called 'double alderman' 3 the question of how some
'acceleration' could be mobilised for the campus. We were given coffee and biscuits and
arranged to give Bolsius a foretaste of the presentation. After half an hour the mandate
holder began to pace restlessly up and down; Henk Molenaar, who was also competent in
the highly individual Rotterdam parlando, asked the alderman where his colleague was .
After some awkward telephoning it turned out that Pastors had no time available, being
too busy with a committee meeting. We left and went out into the snowstorm.
Marco Pastors' Groeibriljanten initiative speeded up things for the Heerlijkheid. The extra
budget worked like a catalyst on calling up interest in participation from another
financier. We now got into discussion with Pastors and brought him up to date on the
ritual dances which the department responsible for youth, education and society (JOS)
required us to go through in connection with the execution of the plans for the Campus.
"It's awful", sighed Pastors, "we're going to do something about this department in the
next session". Looking back on his period in office Pastors described the slow drudgery in
almost the same terms as Staal: "We have taken the business of checks and balances too
far. People dare to take on too little . Administrators are badly in need of personal
courage ." Pastors criticised the local authority system, since "having two political layers
on top of another in a single area, just for fun, is absolute nonsense. It's just asking for
trouble. There needs to be a single administrative head and a single elected leader and a
strong organisation which would make use of the all-important information from the
different districts . Everything depends on the strength of the leadership provided by the
Aldermen. Of course you can blame the local government departments for everything
under the sun, but the political leaders can always intervene, speed things up and force
choices to be made." This is something that we at WiMBY! called 'radical elegance', but an
administrative system with eight committee chairman on a single board attracts all kinds
of allergic reactions and viruses, making administrative processes murky.

5. The aldermen of the satellite town - Hans

Elemans and Jacqueline Cornelissen
The rise of the IBP, already for more than 16 years the dominant political party in
Hoogvliet, has never been written up. It definitely deserves study, because this was a
local political movement which was way ahead of the game in setting up local and
'liveability' parties. Moreover, in contrast to other local liveability movements, IBP has



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been a constant factor in Hoogvliet right up to the present day. Hans Elemans was the
pioneer and pacesetter in the IBP, a party set up by the citizens of Hoogvliet. Elemans was
literally a 'Reformed' member of the local PvdA [Labour Party]. In his twelve years as
chairman of the Hoogvliet local authority he built up a significant measure of authority in
the Greater Rotterdam region. He was an avant-gardist in his clear treatment of the
trouble caused by Antillean youths. He was brave and socially driven, and this demands
untold energy.
It is natural that after three sessions such a talent will hand over the torch, otherwise
after such a long period of service an inventive councillor would threaten to become some
kind of deputy manager. A year before his departure Elemans dined with WiMBY!'s
mandate holder and the Mayor of Spijkenisse in the restaurant of the Westin hotel
opposite Rotterdam's Central Station. The light in the dining room was subdued. It felt a
bit like East Berlin in 1965 and the steak could have been more tender, but the worst
thing was the total uselessness of the meeting. The Mayor of Spijkenisse guarded his
town like a fortress, so proud was he; any attempt to close the gulf between Spijkenisse
and Hoogvliet was ignored . WiMBY!'s ideas, enthusiastically supported by Elemans, for an
informal A4 town in which Hoogvliet and Spijkenisse would form a virtual axis, the Mayor
found 'very interesting', i.e. something that need never be referred to again. The look in
his eyes made that quite obvious.
Next day the mandate holder phoned Elemans and told him that the dinner with the
Mayor reminded him of an absurdist scene from a Bunuel film. Elemans got the joke
immediately, and explained that from time to time he just had to maintain diplomatic
relations with the grand Duchy of Spijkenisse: "That's the way things are".
Elemans had no immediate successor, but he did have a powerful ally in the shape of
Jacqueline Cornelissen, who since 1998 has been chairman of the local government
committee responsible for education and spatial planning. Cornelissen is an uncrowned
pupil of the Jan Schaefer 4 school, a loud and emphatic presence, blessed with spatial
insight and strategic intuition. Her efforts and accessibility were superlative, and a special
bond developed between her and WiMBY!'s mandate holder. For six years the two of them
had regular telephone conversations, of varying length, to exchange thoughts about
irritations, breakdowns and ingenious solutions. This turned out to be a pleasant and
productive method of cooperation.
It was not however sufficient, because a local authority alderman can never march too far
ahead of the troops without inviting jealousy. The authority's offices are not a flexible
project organisation, being just as bound by standard procedures as the heavyweight
municipal departments. They became entangled in endless fights with 'Greater
Rotterdam' and followed the same practices within their own domains.

Marti en Kromwijk has correctly stated that it was extraordinarily charming of Herman
Meijer to offer an International Building Exhibition to everyone involved in Hoogvliet.
Thereafter Joost Schrijnen was of course the ideal official to get things going. He was
familiar with the internationaiiBE tradition and had himself been an indispensable
innovator in Rotterdam, in the footsteps of the urban developer Van Traa.
He was well aware that an IBE would need to swim against the current, upset established
processes and create disorganisation to evoke a distinct individual quality and then get
it put into practice- not to mention the need for perseverance.
What it boiled down to was bringing together a unique group of personalities with a
'can do' approach to the task, who would not give up or walk out in the face of obstacles
and intrigues, and would keep on coming back as predictably as weeds. Such a group
would need to be skilled in the art of finding ways round.
It followed that the appointment of Henk Molenaar as patron of the IBE was an act of



crucial importance, a political decision of the first water. Molenaar had already been head
of the local authority and had nothing to lose . His moral presence was the foundation on
which WiMBY! could build . Molenaar and mandate holder Rottenberg developed a role
play in which the Amsterdam mandate holder operated one day as Minister of Defence for
the Republic ofWiMBY! in Hoogvliet, and another day as a dove of peace . When
Rottenberg was forced by illness to drop out for a long period , Molenaar and Rottenberg
jointly kept an eye on troop movements by telex and field telephone; the Krimpen-Mesch
league (in South Limburg, where the mandate holder, disguised as a crippled stable hand,
was looked after by a former farmer's family) stayed alert.
The team from Cri mson carried out WiMBY!'s tasks with much verve. Wouter Vanstiphout is
a masterful thinker. His wide orientation and knowledge of popular culture provided a
permanent sto rehouse of ideas making it impossible for stalemates to get a grip on the
WiMBY! agenda . Michelle Provoost shares this talent with Vanstiphout and combines it
with great technical insight and ingenuity. She could be determined while still remaining
elegant, particularly at times when WiMBY! was being blamed for a major lack of strategy,
even by those officials most predisposed in its favour. From America , where she spent a
year at Harvard after gaining her PhD, she remained intensively involved and was our
most w ise and valuable adviser : her e-mail analyses helped us through the deadlocks.
Simone Rots was a perfect manager and diplomat, whose expertise kept everything and
everyone together. Annuska Pronkhorst stayed cool in the face of growing resistance and
kept an eye on the execution of the Heerlijkheid w ith military precision . Without he r
perseverance and that of Wouter Vanstiphout the Heerlijkhe id would have died on the
WiMBY!'s interpretation of an IBE in Hoogvliet provided fantastic insights, lessons and
special results . Nothing was ever enough , nothing was ever fin ished. But the best thing
was that WiMBY! was temporary, transient in nature, which made it intangible and
surprising in the eyes of partners and professionals . But the people who thought that an
innovation club generously financed by government wou ld behave decently and properly
should never have commissioned the combination of Molenaar, Crimson and Rottenberg.
With all their limitations and shortcomings they were able to cope with all the
understandable and explicable opportunism, egocentrism, expediency, lack of courage,
and mediocrity, that these days form an inevitable part of living and working in this
world of ours . WiMBY! was given and grasped a unique opportunity, was able to give out
hundreds of commissions, make discoveries and transfer knowledge, make compromises,
accept humiliations and react to opposition with good humour. Our thanks to everyone
who worked with us- or against us . We found it a great pleasure .

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Vries, R. de, 'Beter wonen met Wimby'. In : Metro, 5 juli 2006 .
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'Je kunt voor stedenbouwkundige spelen op website over Hoogvliet'. In: Rotterdams Dagb/ad,
30 juli 2002 .
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pp . 28-31 .
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vernieuwing en /eefbaarheid, september 2004, p. 5.
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vooravond van een renovatie' . Rotterdam, 2004.

WiMBY!, Nieuwe noodlokalen voor naoor/ogs Nederland/Provisional classrooms for primary
schools . Rotterdam, 2004.



Organisation and sponsors

WiMBY! projects

WiMBY! Board

Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2001
Project architects: One Architecture
(Matthijs Bouw, Donald van Dansik with

Cees Jan Asselbergs

Lucas Bolsius
Martien l<romwijk (treasurer)
Henk Molenaar (chairman)
Cees van Pelt
Ed Taverne
Erik Staal

Sofie Saavedra)
Design poster: Minke Themans

Didactical plan: Edith Hooge
Schools involved: Einstein Lyceum, Penta

Hoogvliet Inside Out

College, ROC Zadkine

Process management: Hilde Blank (BVR),

WiMBY! Week

Felix Rottenberg (mandate holder)
Henk Molenaar (business manager, ad interim)
Michelle Provoost (programme director)
Wouter Vanstiphout (programme director)
Simone Rots (programme manager)
Liesbeth Meijer (office manager)
Annuska Pronkhorst (project manager)
Nikkel Reinhoud (business manager, 2001-2002)
Margreet Andrea (office manager, 2001-2003)
Hind Belhirch (office manager 2003-2004)

Client: WiMBY!
Period: November2002
Project management: Jan Duursma
Design exhibition: Traast & Gruson
(Edith Gruson with Evert Ypma)
Design fa~ade art: Gerard Hadders
Design poster I invitations: Minke
Themans and Floor Houben
Production: Kan Het Wat Zachter,
Dereumaux XL Prints
With the cooperation of: Woonbron
Hoogvliet (Jon van Eenennaam, Ab
Fie ret, Floor van der Kemp and Monique
de Wit), Submunicipality Hoogvliet,
Wellfare Foundation Hoogvliet, Margreet
Andrea, Krijn Soeteman, Daan Schipper,
David Baars, Teun Castelein, Harrie van
der Louw (Loeder Events), lnformatiecentrum Hoogvliet Vernieuwt,, Citytec, Residents of





Professional Council
Juliette Bekkering
l<ees Christiaanse
Bert van Meggelen
Joost Schrijnen
Ed Taverne
Michiel Wagenaar
Rutger Wolfson
Hugo Priemus

Financial contributors: Woonbron

Hoogvliet Inside Out

WiMBY! is made possible by

The Memories of Westerstein

Submunicipality Hoogvliet
Planning and Housing Department (Rotterdam Municipality, dS+V)
IPSV (Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, VROM)
Vestia Rotterdam-Hoogvliet

Client: Vestia Hoogvliet and WiMBY!

Period: 2004-2007
Concept and design: Gerard Hadders
Graphic design of book: Gerard Hadders
Production: Bart Heijne, Dereumaux XL
Interviews: Eli en van Heiden with Hind

Project sponsors

Production: WiMBY!
Financial contributors: Elise Mathilde
Fund, Rabobank Hoogvliet, Foundation
Bevordering van Volkskracht, Vestia

Youth, Education and Siciety Department (Rotterdam Municipality, JOS)
Art & Culture Department (Rotterdam Municipality)
Fund Werken aan Wonen
Groeibriljanten (Rotterdam Municipality)
Rotterdam Development Company (OBR)
Prins Bernhard Culture Fund South Holland
Rabobank Rotterdam
Shell Pernis
Elise Mathilde Fund
Job Dura Fund
Foundation Art and Public Space (SKOR)
The Netherlands Architecture Fund
Foundation Bevordering van Volkskracht
Foundation Christelijk Voortgezet Onderwijs Rotterdam
VSB Fund

Hoogvliet, WiMBY!

Campus Hoogvliet
First phase: design study
Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2002
Concept: WiMBY!
Project architect: Maxwan architects
and urbanists (Rients Dijkstra)

Second phase: multiple design

Client: WiMBY!
Period: june - september 2D03



Project management: WiMBY! with

Wilma Kempinga
Architecture offices: Speeslik Doepel
(Duzan Doepel, Bart Spee and Andre va n
der Slik), Lofvers Van Bergen Kolpa
(Willemijn Lofvers, Jago van Bergen and
Evert Kolpa with Lo"lc Fumeux), Paul

Esseline Schieven (OBR)

Others who were involved: Riek Bakker
(BVR), Hans Beekman (Urban Education
Department), Wim Blok (Public Education
Department), Jacqueline Cornelissen
(submunicipality Hoogvliet), Marjan
Dekker (Urban Education Department),
Carolien Dieleman, Jon van Eenennaam
(Woonbron), Gert-Jan Enzerink (Penta
College), J. Evers, Henk Fledderus (Penta
College), Erik Geraets (submunicipality
Hoogvliet), M. Hage, Oily den Hartogh
(ROC Zadkine), Thijs van Heusden (Urban
Education Department), Peter Hoogvliet
(Vestia Hoogvliet), Bernadette Janssen
(Planning and Housing Department),
Louis Jongejans (Einstein Lyceum), J. de
l<reuk, 1<. Lammers (Einstein Lyceum), Wim
Littooij (Association of Christian Secondary
Eductation), L. Oortwijk, J. Paul, Kees
van Pelt (submunicipality Hoogvliet),
Elizabeth Poot (Planning and Housing
Department), Esseline Schieven (OBR),
Stefan Steens (ROC Zadkine), Sjaak van der
Tak (alderman for Education), Maja Roder
(Einstein Lyceum), I. van Rotterdam,
Caroline de Via am (Planning and Housing
Department), Henny Westdijk (Planning
and Housing Department).

Regt (Woonbron), Jacqueline Cornelissen

(submunicipality Hoogvliet), Allard
de Wolf (Youth, Education and Society
Department), B. Laanbroek (Youth,
Education and Society Department), Fred
Lentz, Rita Wapperom (Planning
and Housing Department)

Fourth phase: design Campus

Client: Woonbron Hoogvliet and
Development Company Rotterdam (OBR)
Period: 2007
Architect: OMA (Rem Koolhaas and Floris
Consultant: WiMBY!

Client: Vestia Hoogvliet
Period : 2004-2008
Concept: WiMBY! in cooperation with
Vestia Hoogvliet
Urban plan: Planning and Housing
Department (Jeroen de Bok, Bernadette
Janssen, Bart Wubben)
Completion: autumn 2008
Feasibility study: DUS architecten,
Steunpunt Wonen, De Regie
Involved were: Vestia Hoogvliet (Eric
Binnenweg, Peter Hoogvliet, Joost Lobee
and Margriet Smit), Hofvan Heden,
Residents Group Musicians

Musician Houses
Architect: 24H Architecture (Maartje
Lammers, Boris Zeisser with Gerben Vas,
Amelie Kaltenbach, Sandor Marks, Nora
RittmUIIer, Bruno Toledo, Albert Jan
Vermeulen and Carlijn Timmermans)

Hof van Heden

Architect: opMAAT (Hiltrud Potz and
Pierre Bleuze)

Third phase: master plan

Client: Planning and Housing
Department and the Campus Steering
Period: 2003-2007
Project architect: Lofvers Van Bergen
Kolpa (Jago van Bergen and Evert Kolpa
with Sander van der Poort and Maria
Project management: Rita Wapperom
Consultant: WiMBY!
Others who were involved: Jeroen de
Bok (Planning and Housing Department),
Anton den Engelse (submunicipality
Hoogvliet), Bernadette Janssen (Planning
and Housing Department), Ebbe van
Tonningen, Esseline Schieven (OBR), Jon
van Eenennaam (Woonbron), Martien
l<romwijk (Woonbron), Wim Blok (Public
Education Department), H. Van Vlodrop
(ROC Zadkine), Wim Littooij (CVO), Felix
Rottenberg, Henk Molenaar, Peter de

'Neighbourliness' and youth

Architect: Van Bergen Kolpa Architecten
(Jago van Bergen and Evert Kolpa with
Carine Erades and Sander van der Poort)

Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2002
Research: Bureau Stroming (Gerard Litjens,
Wim Braakhekke and Wouter Helmer)

Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet
Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
Design podium and grounds: FAT
Architects (Sam Jacob), Traast & Gruson
(Edith Gruson)
Programming and production :
Foundation Colourful Centre Rotterdam

(Lloyd Beaton and Jose da Silva), WiMBY!

with Maartje Berendsen
With cooperation of: Ronald Bijnaar,
Mark van Brekel, submunicipality Hoogvliet,
Elien van Heiden, Kan Het Wat Zachter,
Youth Council Hoogvliet, participants of
the Heerlijkheid, Mikail Pirau, project
Heel de Buurt, Rogo Entertainment,
riding club Hoogvliet, Sports & Recreation
Hoogvliet, Wellfare Foundation Hoogvliet,
Tricks 'n licks, volunteers
Financial contributors: Submunicipality
Hoogvliet, VSB Fund Rotterdam, Art and
Culture Department Rotterdam

Tidal Channel
Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2002
Concept and design: Bureau Stroming
(Wim Braakhekke, Gerard litjens,
Alphons van Wind en and Wouter Helmer)

Green Seams
Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2004-20D7
Concept and design: Maxwan architects
and urbanists (Rients Dijkstra), lola
landscape Architects (Peter Veenstra)
Consult, production and maintenance:
Public Works Hoogvliet
With the cooperation of: Annelies Bleeker
(submunicipality Hoogvliet), Herman
Broers (submunicipality Hoogvliet), Rien
van Diessen (Public Works Hoogvliet) and
Maaike l<ampman (Planning and Housing

Greetings from Hoo~vliet,

Free Time in Hoogvhet
Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2001
Concept and production: Lin a Hellings

Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet

Verstraate), Sports Stimulation Hoogvliet

(Harrie Vendeloo and Roos van Harten),
Arboretum Foundation Hoogvliet (In eke
van Dart, lia Mets and Jeanne van der
Velden), Ark Foundation (In eke van Dart),
Foundation De Villa (Lloyd Beaton and
Jose da Silva)
With the cooperation of: Maartje
Berendsen, Henk Beugeling (Animal
Protection Rotterdam), Fire Brigade
Hoogvliet, DCMR, Rien van Diessen (Public
Works), Catja Edens, Jacqueline Gerritsma
(AEF), Jan Groeneveld (BAM), Rob Groote
Bromhaar (BPM), Peter Hoogvliet (Vestia
Hoogvliet), Arjenne Jetzes (Vestia Estrade),
Bert Jonker (OBR), Bert Kandel (OBR),
Martijn Kleinveld (Public Works), Wil van
der lek (Tricks 'n licks), Joost lobee (Vestia
Estrade), Martin van Marion, Ben no van
Marum (AEF), Lisette Mattaar (AEF). Jan
Oosterman (OBR), Marco Pastors (alderman
for Spatial Planning), Johan Raaijmakers
(BAM), Petra Remnen (AEF), Wim Reijneveld
(Gasunie), Sanna Schuiling (Vestia Estrade),
Frank Schuring (Public Works), Erik Staal
(Vestia), Wim Stoll< (Public Works), Maarten
Struijs (Public Works), Jeanne van der
Velden ('Tree Knights'), Reinder de Vries
(Vestia Estrade). Rita Wapperom (Planning
and Housing Department)
Production: Public Works Rotterdam,
Development Company Rotterdam
Supervision and maintenance: Public
Works Hoogvliet
Consultants: Anderson Elffers Felix,
Harrie van der louw (loeder Events),
B&D Funding
Design brochure: Minke The mans and
Floor Houben

Project management: Submunicipality

Hoogvliet (Anton den Engelse) with Rob
Groote Bromhaar (Planning and Housing
Department, BPM)
Consultant: WiMBY!
Participants: Pet Cemetary 1 (Henk
Beugeling). Pet Cemetary 2 (H.H.M.
Hendriks), Model Boat Club Hoogvliet
(Ron Alders, Piet van Semmel and Cees

Hobby Hut
Client: WiMBY!
Architects: FAT Architects (Sam Jacob),
Korteknie Stuhlmacher Architecten (Rien
l(orteknie, Sjoerd de Boer)
Structural engineer: Pieters
Bouwtechniek Utrecht B.V.
Contractor: J.J.A. Kerkhofs
Thanks to: Vestia, OBR
Financial contributors: ANWB fund, Elise
Mathilde Fund, Fund Werken aan Wonen
(Aedes). Job Dura Fund, Prins Bernhard
Culture Fund, Sheii-Pernis



Lighting Plan
Client: Working Party light Hoogvliet
Period: October 2001 - November 2003
Concept: Working Party light Hoogvliet
Working Party Light Hoogvliet: Maarten
Struijs (chairman, Public Works Rotterdam),
Dick Visser (secretary), Wouter Vanstiphout
(WiMBY!). Carl Rosenquist (City Tech),
Gerard Hadders (Bureau lange Haven)
and Peter Trummer.
Designers light applications: Gerard
Hadders (Welhoeksedijk, Paal Elemans).
Peter Trummer (De Miereneter, Ruins

Historical Hoogvliet


Image Campaign

Client: Vestia Estrade

Concept: WiM"BY! and FAT Architects
Completion: December 2007
Architects: FAT Architects (Sam Jacob
and Matt Stack), Korteknie Stuhlmacher
Architecten (Rien Korteknie), Planning
and Housing Department (Mattijs van
't Hoff)

Client: Submunicipality Hoogvliet, Vestia

Hoogvliet, Woonbron Hoogvliet with
Period: 2005 -today
Design: Traast & Gruson (Edith Gruson)
Working party: Marlies Bruning
(Woonbron), Jane Siwpersad
(Submunicipality Hoogvliet), Rob van der
Pas (Vestia Hoogvliet)

Technical execution: Pieters

Bouwtechniek, Utrecht
Installations: BAM Techniek, Zoetermeer
Steel construction: De Nijborg Staalbouw
bv, Renswoude
Glueing work: J. Kalmeyer
Scheidingswanden, Moordrecht
Stucco fa~ades: F&F van Gils



Park Furniture

Client and producer: WiMBY!

Period: 2001-2003
With the cooperation of: Bregit Jansen
and Jeroen Ruitenbeek

Main contractor: BAM Utiliteitsbouw Regia


Client: WiMBY!
Architects: FAT Architects (Sam Jacob),
Korteknie Stuhlmacher Architecten (Rien
Korteknie and Sjoerd de Boer)
Structural engineer: Pieters
Bouwtechniek Utrecht B.V.
Contractor: J.J.A. l<erkhofs
Production/suppliers: Bouw's Staalbouw
B.V., Gebr. Vis Staalbouw B.V., Forestry
Service, Geurts Fijntimmerwerk B.V.,
Public Works Rotterdam, Poly Products
B.V., Uitrusting Schreder N.V.
Financial contributors: Groeibriljanten

Financial contributions: Groeibriljanten

(Rotterdam Municipality), Ministry
of Waterways and Public Works, the
Netherlands Architecture Fund (Belvedere),
Rabobank Rotterdam

Clients: Submunicipality Hoogvliet
Period: 2001-2008
Completion: Januari 2008
Concept: WiMBY! and FAT Architects
Architects: FAT Architects (Sam Jacob
and Matt Stack), Planning and Housing
Department (Reindert van der Wal and
Mattijs van 't Hoff), l(orteknie Stuhlmacher
Architects (Rien Korteknie and Sjoerd
de Boer), Sigrun lobst

and Harm te Veld e)

Online voting form: Ewout Dorman
(Crimson Architectural Historians)
Logica Council 2001-2007: Jon van
Eenennaam (Woonbron). Peter Hoogvliet
(Vestia Hoogvliet), Maaike Kampman
(Planning and Housing Department), Frans
de Jager (OBR), Arie Moerman (Vestia
Estrade), Sanna Schuiling (Vestia Estrade),
Annelies Bleeker (submunicipality
Hoogvliet), Jeroen de Bok (Planning and
Housing Department). Mattijs van 't Hoff
(Planning and Housing Department),
Bernadette Janssen (Planning and Housing
Department). Arjenne Jetzes (Vestia
Estrade). Annemiek van der Kooij
(Planning and Housing Department),
Joost lobee (Vestia Estrade), Raymond
van Praag (submunicipality Hoogvliet).
Petra Timmers (submunicipality Hoogvliet),
Caroline de Vlaam (Planning and
Housing Department), Peter Veenstra (lola
Landscape architects), Reindert van der
Wal (Planning and Housing Department)
and Bart Wubben (Planning and Housing

Stukadoorsbedrijf, Prinsenbeek
Aluminium framework: Thermal bv,
Consultants: Andersson Elffers Felix
Tenants: Foundation De Villa (Lloyd
Beaton and Jose da Silva), lantaren
Venster (Geert ter Steeg)
Financial contributors: Groeibriljanten,
Foundation Bevordering van Volkskracht

Park, Stelconplein)

Maisonette Blocks
Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2003 -today
Concept: WiMBY!
Research and design: ADD Krill (Duzan
Doepel and Harmen van de Wal) with
Machiel van Dorst (TU Delft)
Comic strip: Bart Goedbloed
Project team: Woonbron Hoogvliet (lynne
Berke, Gerrit Barendse, Victor Dreijssen,
Jon van Eenennaam and Nicol van Twillert),
submunicipality Hoogvliet (Ronald Bijnaar),
Planning and Housing Department
(Bernadette Janssen and Elske Geelhoed)




Architects: Nl Architects (Walter van Dijk),
Onix architecten (Alex van de Beld and
Haiko Meijer), Atelier Coolsingel (Armand
Paardekoper and Ed in Buitenhuis)
Other people involved: Wilfred Akkerman
(submunicipality Hoogvliet), Jeanne
Barends (primary school Oudeland), Gerrit
Broertjes (DSO), George Clasquin (primary
school the Notenkraker). Jacqueline
Cornelissen (submunicipality Hoogvliet),
Aria nne Daane (Day Care Foundation), Jaap
Eikelboom (BPCBO), Anton den Engelse
(submunicipality Hoogvliet), Rien van
Genderen (Foundation De Meeuw). Henk
van Hees (Wellfare Foundation Hoogvliet).
Thijs van Heusden (Youth , Eduction and
Society Department), Mattijs van 't Hoff
(Planning and Housing Department).
Larissa Huijsmans (submunicipality
Hoogvliet). Astrid Karbaat (Monument
Office). Maureen Lamberti (Play Group
Foundation), Aart langerak (primary
school Oudeland), Thea Nelen (BOOR).
Elzo Niemeyer (Sports and Recreation
Department), lia Prins (Wellfare Foundation
Hoogvliet), Jan Trammel (the Notenkraker)
and Bart Wubben (Planning and Housing

Second Opinion
Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2001-2002
Design and research: Juurlink & Geluk
(Cor Geluk, Huub Juurlink with Chris

Concept: WiMBY!
Design: Nl Architects (Kamiel Klaasse) with
Bareld Bruining (Shipping and Transport
College) and Rudolf Das
Working group: Cees Jan Asse lbergs
(Deltalinqs), Henk Molenaar (WiMBY!), Frans
Veringa (Shipping and Transport College)

Travelling WiMBY! Model

Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2004
Design and concept: Traast & Gruson
(Edith Gruson)
Production: Jasper Kaarsemaker, Eli en van
Heiden, Loes Nabuurs and Joke Witkamp

Client: WiMBY!
Design: 2001-2004
Completion: May 24, 2004
Concept: WiMBY! with Parasite Foundation
Project management: Wilma Kempinga
and Rien Korteknie (l<orteknie Stuhlmacher,
Parasite Foundation)
Financial contributors: Submunicipality
Hoogvliet, Urban Education Department
Rotterdam, Foundation Art and Public
Space (SI<OR)
Technical consultant: ABT, advisors in
building technology (Frits Erdmann and
Hans van Vliet)
Didactic consultants: General Association
of School Principals (Wichert Eikelenboom),
Rotterdams Catholic Education Association
(Frans Jan van Kessel), Public Education
Rotterdam (Ankie de Haas)


The Flower

Parking morphology

Architect: Barend Koolhaas

School: Public Primary School the

Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2004 - 2005
Architect: Urban Affairs (Thea Hauben
and Marco Vermeulen)

Consultant on behalf of the school: Jan
Production: Verlaat Hardinxveld

House Guests in the Tram


The Beast

Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2001-2007
House Guests: Adri Duivesteijn, Ari Versluis
and Ellie Uyttenbroek, Arnold Reijndorp,
David Lammers, Geert ter Steeg (lantaren
Venster), Jaap Huisman (Vrij Nederland),
Jeanne van Heeswijk, Marieke van Rooij
and lorenzo Benedetti, G.A.N.G. Foundation
(Hans Jungerius, Rob Groot Zevert, and Melle
Smets), Stuart McDonald (The lighthouse),
Ton Matton (Matton Office). Typisch
Dennis, Wendelien van Oldenborgh

Architect: Onix Architecten

School: Catholic Primary School Jacobus
Consultant on behalf of the school:

First phase: multiple design


Trial Factory

Tram Station

Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2005-2006
Project management: Wilma Kempinga

Period: 2002


Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2001 -today
Concept: Maxwan architects and
urbanists (Rients Dijkstra) and WiMBY!
Architect: Maxwan architects and
urbanists (Rients Dijkstra, Milica Topalovic,
Shinobu Hashimoto with Nuno Garcia

and Rien Korteknie (Korteknie Stuhlmacher

Client: WiMBY! with Deltalinqs and

Shipping and Transport College (Brielle)

Gerard Hofste
Production: Bouwbedrijf Kooi

The Chinese Lantern

Architect: Christoph Seyferth
School: Public Primary School De Tuimelaar
Consultant on behalf of the school: Hans
van der Kellen
Production: Bouw's Staalbouw

Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2002
Project management: Roe I Bosman (BOA

Bouwmanagement & Strategie)

Architects: Andries van Wijngaarden:
renovation, De Nijl architecten (Ben Cohen):
Consultant: Ernst van der Hoeven
Light fittings: Bart Gorter

First phase: multiple design
Client: WiMBY!
Period: August 2003 -April 2004
Concept: WiMBY!
Architects: Studio Sputnil< (Henk
Bultstra, Jaakko van 't Spijl<er and Bert
Karel Deuten), Wingender Hovenier (Joost
Hovenier and Jan Peter Wingender), ZUS
(Eima van Boxtel and Kristian Koreman)
Residents poll: Maartje Berendsen
Parties and people involved: Planning
and Housing Department (Bernadette
Janssen and Mattijs van 't Hoff), Woonbron
(Jon van Eenennaam and Monique de Wit)
Financial contributors: the Netherlands
Architecture Fund (Belvedere), Woonbron

Second phase: urban plan

Client: Woonbron Hoogvliet (Jon van
Eenennaam and Nicol van Twillert)
Period: 2006-2007
Architects: Studio Sputnik (Henk
Bultstra, Jaakko van 't Spijker and Bert
Karel Deuten), ZUS (Elm a van Boxtel and
Kristian Koreman)
Consultants: WiMBY!

WiMBV! website and digital

Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2001-2007
Design and execution: Ewout Dorman
(Crimson Architectural Historians)

WiMBV! House Style

Client: WiMBY!
WiMBY! logo: Simon Davies
General house style: Minke Themans and
Floor Houben

WiMBV! Hoogvliet Finale

Communication: Onkruid & Roos (Astrid
Roos), Noesja Hoffschlag, Carlie Janszen

Welcome into My BackYard!,
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen

Thanks to

Bernadette Janssen, Annemiek van der

Kooij. Martien Kromwijk, Peter Kuenzli,
Herman Meijer, Henk Molenaar, Peter
Hoogvliet, Marco Pastors, Esseline Schieven,
Erik Staal, Jan Trammel, Jeanne van der
Vel den

Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2007
Concept and Design: Traast & Gruson
(Ewoud Traast and Edith Gruson)
Technical production: Piet Hein Clijssen
Design production: Sinds 1416
Prints: Dereumaux XL Prints
With the cooperation of: Museum Boijmans
van Beuningen (Rein Wolfs, Patricia
Pulles, Annemartine van l<esteren, Bregje
van Woensel, Sjarel Ex)
Financial contributors: the Netherlands
Architecture Fund

24h Architecture, ADD I< rill, AIR, Wilfred Akkerman, Loet Albrecht, Hans
Alders, Ron Alders, Floris Alkema de, Jean-Paul Andela, Hans Andersson,
Felix Elfers Andersson, Margreet Andrea, Frans Andriessen, Jiri Anton, Faisal
Arbakan, Archined, Artgineering, Cees Jan Asselbergs, Atelier Coolsingel,
Gregory Ball, BAM Utiliteitsbouw, In eke Bakker, Me rei Bakker, Jeanne
Barends, Gerrit Barendse, B&D Funding, Lloyd Beaton, Hans Beekman,
Yvonne Bel<ker, Juliette Bekkering, Alex van de Beld, Hind Belhirch, Piet van
Semmel, Stefan Bendiks, Lorenzo Benedetti, Maartje Berendsen, Jago van
Bergen, Lynne Berke, Berlage Institute, Security crew of Festival Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet, Security crew of the School Parasites, Henk Beugeling,
Familie Bhageloe, Ashok Bhalotra, Ben Bijker, Ronald Bijnaar, Eric Binnenweg, Hilde Blank, Annelies Bleeker, Pierre Bleuze, An Blok, Wim Blok, BOAG
Bouwadvies, Jeanette Boef, Eveline Boels, Sjoerd de Boer, Jeroen de Bok,
Lucas Bolsius, Wouter Bolsius, Peter Bongers, Meindert Booij, Hans van der
Boom, l<oos Bosma, Roel Bosman, Ole Bouman, Bouw's Staalbouw, Jaap van
den Bout, Matthijs Bouw, Bouwbedrijf l<ooi, Claudia Bouwens, Joop van
Boven, Elma van Boxtel, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Fire Brigade
Hoogvliet, Mark van Brekel, Greta Brix, Herman Broers, Gerrit Broertjes,
Rhijn Broesterhuizen, Rita Brons, Annalies Brouwer, Pi de Bruijn, Henk de
Bruijn, Ellen de Bruin, Bareld Bruining, Marlies Bruning, Edin Buitenhuis,
Henk Bultstra, Monuments Office (Municipality of Rotterdam), Bureau
Project Management Gemeente Rotterdam, l<nopf Burghardt, Teun
Castelein, Gerda ten Cate, Henny Cheung, Ruth Chilla, Chiomara, l<ees
Christiaanse, Citytec, George Clasquin, Piet Hein Clijssen, Close to Him, Ben
Cohen, Tom Colijn, Jacqueline Cornelissen, COS, Margaret Crawford, Cor
Crest, Crew Festival Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet, CUP, Arianne Daane, Thomas
Dahm, Maureen van Dam, Vanessa van Dam, Daniela, Donald van Dansik,
Rudolf Das, Simon Davies, DCMR, De Regie, Submunicipality Hoogvliet,
Marjan Dekker, Deltalinqs, Dereumaux XL Prints, Bert- Karel Deuten, Valery
Didelon, Carolien Dieleman, Frans Dielemans, Rien van Diessen, Ferdinand
van Dijl<, Walter van Dijk, Chris Dijkstra, Rients Dijkstra, Dinky D, Duzan
Doepel, Rob Docter, Machiel van Dorst, lneke van Dart, Victor Dreissen, lne
van Druten, Peter van Druten, Planning and Housing Department (Municipality of Rotterdam), Adri Duivesteijn, DUS Architecten, Jan Duursma, Catja
Edens, Zvi Efrat, Jon van Eenennaam, Hans Elemans, Jaap Eikelboom,
Einstein Lyceum, Elisa, Anton den Engelse, Gert-Jan Enzerink, ERA, J. Evers,
Sjarel Ex, FAT Architects, Eric Feenstra, Albert Ferre, Ab Fieret, Henk
Fledderus, Stef Fleischeuer, Forza, Pedro Gadanho, Wijnand Galema, Dick
van Gameren, Emilia no Gandolfi, l<arl Ganser, Joosje van Geest, Municipality of Rotterdam, Municipal Archives of Rotterdam, Public Works Rotterdam,
Leonard Geluk, Cor Geluk, Public Works Hoogvliet, General Public Agency,
Rien van Genderen, Erik Geraets, Johan Geraets, Jacqueline Gerritsma,
Adriaan Geuze, Gideon Consult, Angeniet Gillissen, Sophie van Ginneken,
Bart Goedbloed, Jaap van Goor, Bart Gorter, Reinier de Graaf, Gillian
Grantsaan, Nuno Grande, Sean Griffith, Paul Groenendijk, Jan Groeneveld,
Rob Groeneweg, Rob Groote Bromhaar, Edith Gruson, Peter van de Gugten,
Jan de Haas, Gerard Hadders, M. Hage, Rob Hagens, Sasl<ia Hak, Marianne
van der Ham, Peter Hall, Roos van Harten, Oily den Hartogh t, Thea
Hauben, Historical Society Hoogvliet, Henk van Hees, Jeanne van Heeswijk,
Angela van der Heijden, Arnold van der Heijde, Bart Heijne, Dave de Held,
Elien van Heiden, Lino Hellings, Wouter Helmer, H.H.M. Hendriks, Thijs van
Heusden, Jan Dirk Hoekstra, Ernst van der Hoeven, Noesja Hoffschlag, Edith
Hooge, Floor Houben, Mattijs van 't Hoff, Gerard Hofste, Lotte Hofsteenge,
Hof van Heden, Martin Hoi, Wilma Hoi, Jord den Hollander, Jaap voor in 't
Holt, Edith Hooge, Marco Hoogerbrugge, Peter Hoogvliet, Jan van Hoven,
Joost Hovenier, Larissa Huijsmans, Jaap Huisman, Swinga Ibrahim, Ton






Open Air Exhibition

Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2007
Concept and Design: Traast & Gruson
(Ewoud Traast and Edith Gruson)
Production: WiMBY! with Maartje
With the cooperation of: Submunicipality
Hoogvliet, Vestia Hoogvliet, Woonbron
Financial contributors: Art & Culture
Department Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Architecture Fund, VSB Fund Rotterdam

Music video
Hoogvliet sings a Song
Client: WiMBY!
Period: 2007
Concept: Jord den Hollander
Director: Jord den Hollander
Camera: Martin Mulder and Martin Hoi
Sound: Jason Majo, Elmar Lenio
Production: Liesbeth Meijer (WiMBY!)
Thanks to: Close to Him, Dinky D, Faisal
Abarkan, Bhageloe family, Marcellus
Blues Band, Percussion group Audrey,
Smartlappenkoor Tranen met Tuiten,
The Singing Teenagers

On Acupuncture in Hoogvliet.
The Lessons of WiMBY! 2001-2007
or: the small WiMBV! book
Interviews: Felix Rottenberg with
Annuska Pronkhorst
Period: 2007
Editors: Annuska Pronkhorst with
Michelle Provoost
Graphic Design: Gerard Hadders with
Steffen Maas
Interviewees: Lloyd Beaton, Jacqueline
Cornelissen, Jon van Eenennaam,



ldsinga, Information Centre Hoogvliet Vernieuwt, International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, Sam Jacob, Frans de Jager, Marit Janse, Bregit
Jansen, Bernadette Janssen, Jos Janssen, Carlie Janszen, Jeany, Jenka
Vastgoed, Arjenne Jetzes, Youth Theatre Hofplein, Job Dura Fonds, Saskia de
Jong, Louis Jongejans, Jo Jongen, Will eke Jongen, Bert Jonker, Frank de
Josselin de Jong, Hans Jungerius, Huub Juurlink, Juurlink & Geluk, Jasper
Kaarsemal<er, Amelie Kaltenbach, Kan Het Wat Zachter, Rogier van der
Kamp, Maaike Kampman, JuuiKappelhof, Astrid Karbaat, Tatjana Karelse,
Dennis l<aspori, Michael l<eith, Hans van der Kellen, Floor van der Kemp,
Wilma l<empinga, Yvonne l<enner, J.J . l(erl<hofs, Anne-Martine van
Kesteren, Kamiel Klaasse, Johan Klein, Martijn l<leinveld, Catja l<loet,
Maarten Kloos, Robert Kloos, Patrick van 't Klooster, L. Kloosterman, Iris
l<nabenschuh, Evert l(olpa, Hans Kombrinl<, Brenda Koning, Martijn de
Koning Gans, Anne van der Kooi, Will em l<ooijmans, Niels Kool, Nahied
Koolen, Barend l<oolhaas, Rem Koolhaas, Jan l<oopmans, Annemiek van der
Kooij, Kristian Koreman, Rene Korstanje, Rien l<ortel<nie, Korteknie
Stuhlmacher Architecten, Herman de Kovel, J. de Kreuk, Ton Kreukels,
Martien l<romwijk, Michael Kubo, Els l<uijper, Peter Kuenzli, Anke Kuhnel,
Pieter Kuster, B. Laanbroel<, La Cocotte, Maureen Lamberti, Bart Lammers,
1<. Lammers, Maartje Lammers, Marien de Langen, Aart Langerak, Lantaren
Venster, Maarten Laupman, Hans Leeflang, Kees de Leeuw, Wil van der Lei<,
Elmar Lenio, Fred Lentz, Wilfried Lentz, Mirjam van Lierop, H.C. van Lith,
Gerard Litjens, Wim Littooij, Joost Lobee, Sigrun Lobst, Loeder Events,
Willemijn Lofvers, Lofvers van Bergen Kolpa Architecten, Lola Landscape
Architects, Jan Lauter, Harrie van de Louw, Martin Luce, Ben Maandag,
Steffen Maas, De Magnaat, Jeroen Maissan, Maissan planadviezen, Jason
Majo, Linda Malherbe, Manege Hoogvliet, Marcellus Blues Band, Sandor
Marks, Mariella, Mrs. Martina, Benno van Marum, Bjame Mastenbroel<, Kai
Mastenbroel<, Lisette Mattaar, Ton Matton, Martin Marion, Maxwan
architects and urbanists, Stuart McDonald, Bert van Meggelen, Christian
Messing, Rahul Mehrotra, Hail<o Meijer, Herman Meijer, Liesbeth Meijer,
Patrick Meijers, Marcel Meili, Herman Meijer, Lia Mets, Miroir Film, Mita,
Model Boat Club Hoogvliet, Arie Moerman, Henk Molenaar, Moo is tv, Martin
Mulder, Gabie Mulders, Hannah Muller, Marielle van Munster, Loes Nabuurs,
NAi Publishers, Netherlands Architecture Institute, Thea Nelen, Elzo
Niemeyer, Ivan Nio, NL Architects, Karin Noordanus, One Architecture,
Wende lien van Oldenborgh, OMA, Onix Architecten, Onluuid & Roos,
Development Company Rotterdam, Willem Oomens, L. Oortwijl<, Jan
Oosterman, Erik Oostveen, Paul Opdam, opMAAT, Iva Opstelten, Michiel
Ottevanger, Paul Ouwerkerl<, Armand Paardel<oper, Joep Pad berg t, Frits
Palmboom, Palmboom van den Bout, Markus Peter, Anna Papavoine,
Parasite Foundation, Rob van der Pas, Marco Pastors, J. Paul, Wytze Patijn,
Ada Pellaerts, Kees van Pelt, Penta College, Rian Peeters, Percussiegroep
Audrey, Maikel Pierau, Rick van der Ploeg, Mirjam Poolster, Elizabeth Poot,
Poppy, Post St. Joost, Hiltrud Piitz, Raymond van Praag, Hugo Priem us, Lia
Prins, Jan Prank, Patricia Pulles, Judith de Putter, Johan Raaijmakers, Ria
Raar, Will em Reedijl<, Peter de Regt, Wim Reijneveld, Arnold Reijndorp,
Nikkel Reinhoud, P.C. Reit, Chris Reith, Petra Remmen, Cees Rensen, Anja
Richt, Nelly de Ridder, Nora Rittmuller, ROC Zadkine, Maja Roder, Janny
Rodermond, Thea Roersma, Rogo, Joop Roland, Astrid Roos, Frans van Rooy,
Marieke van Rooy, Vincent Roozen, I. van Rotterdam, Rotterdam Marketing,
Rotterdam 2007 City of Architecture, Jeroen Ruitenbeel<, Fred de Ruiter,
Caroline Ruygrok, Dick de Ruyter, Sofie Saveedra, Shipping and Transport
College, Merijn Schenk, Christiaan van Schermbeek, Esseline Schieven,
Mariet Schoen makers, Dominic Schrijer, Joost Schrijnen, Sanna Schuiling,
Frank Schuring, lneke Schwartz t, Jose da Silva, Jeroen Singelenberg, Sinds
1416, Singing Teenagers, Jane Siwpersad, Andre van der Slik, Melle Smets,
Margriet Smit, Henl< Smelt, Krijn Soeteman, Mark Somerset, John Somati,

Michael Speaks, Bart Spee, Speeslik Doepel, In eke Spijker, Jaakko van 't
Spijker, Sports and Health Institute De Korte, Sport Stimulation Hoogvliet,
Jan-Willem Springeling, Erik Staal, Matt Stack, Matija Stanicic, Andre van
Staveren, Geert ter Steeg, Stefan Steens, Steinvoort nv, Steunpunt Won en,
Arboretum Foundation Hoogvliet, Foundation Ark, Foundation De Villa,
Foundation G.A .N.G . , Wellfare Foundation Hoogvliet, Rudy Stroink, Wim
Stoll<, Stroming, Maarten Struijs, Arno Struik, Studio Sputnik, Mechtild
Stuhlmacher, Jeanette van Stuijvenberg, Sjaal< van der Tak, Ed Taverne,
Maril<o Tereda, Minke Themans, Rob Tieman, Anne Tietjen, Carlijn Timmermans, Wim Timmermans, Petra Timmers, Bruno Toledo, Paul Toornend,
Ebbe van Tonningen, Milica Topalovic, Leo Tops, Ewoud Traast, Tranen met
Tuiten, Tricks 'n Licks, Eric Trinconi, Jan Trammel, Peter Trummer, Pupils of
Group 8 Tuimelaar, Nicol van Twillert, Typisch Dennis, Urban Affairs, Urban
Think Tank, Ellie Uyttenbroek, Henk van der Veen, Peter Veenstra, Jeanne
van der Veld en, Martine te Veld en, Mylene van Veld hoven, Endry van
Velzen, Harrie Vendeloo, Frans Veringa, Tieke Verkerk, Verlaat Hardinxveld
Bouwsystemen, Albert Jan Vermeulen, Marco Vermeulen, Ari Versluis, Ton




Verstegen, Bas Versteijne, Cees Verstraate, Lucas Verweij, Vestia, Vestia

Hoogvliet, Villa Zebra, Dick Visser, Willem de Visser, M. Vissers, Caroline de
Vlaam, Martien de Vletter, Wim Vlierhuis, Hans van Vliet, Willem van Vliet,
H. van Vlodrop, Saskia Voest, Danielle Vogelsang, Francoise Vas, Nathalie de



Vries, Reinder de Vries, Sander de Vries, Gerben Vrijkorte, Harm en van de

Wal, Olaf van de Wal, Reindert van der Wal, Rafal Waml<a, Klemens
Wannenmacher, Rita Wapperom, Fred Wartna, Waterschap West-IJsselmonde, Weekblad Delta, Weel<blad Hoogvliet, Laura van der Wee I, Hanna
Weiszhuizen, J.P. Welling, Jerry Wenting, Henny Westdijk, Andries van
Wijngaarden, Reguillo van Wijngaarden, Cassandra Wilkins, Alp hans van
Winden, Jan Peter Wingender, Wingender Hovenier Architecten, Rienk van
Wingerden, Camiel van Winkel, Pieter Winsemius, Monique de Wit, Joke
Witkamp, Alfred de Wolf, Rein Wolfs, Rutger Wolfson, Woonbron, Woonbron
Hoogvliet, Bart Wubben, Yanaica, Evert Ypma, Boris Zeisser, Paul Zuidgeest,
ZUS Zones Urbaines Sensibles, Kim Zweerink, and all the others we



2007 NAi Publi shers, Rotterdam.

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any form or by any means, electronic,
mechani ca l, photocopying, recordin g or
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with a CISAC-organization the copyrights
have been settled with Beeldrecht in
Amst erdam.
2007, c/o Beeldrecht Amsterdam
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cont act NAi Publish ers, Mauritsweg 23,
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info@naipubli shers. nl
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Printed and bound in the Netherlands

ISBN 978-90-5662-595-5

Edited by: Michelle Provoost (Crimson Architectural Historians)
Texts: Crimson Architectural Historians (Annuska Pronkhorst, Michelle
Provoost, Simone Rots, Wouter Vanstiphout) and Felix Rottenberg
Text correction: Gerda ten Cate
Text correction English edition: Cassandra Wilkins (Crimson Architectural
Design: Simon Davies and Thomas Dahm
Printing and lithography: Drukkerij Lecturis
Picture production: Ewout Dorman (Crimson Architectural Historians)
Photography: Maarten Laupman
Comic strips: Barbara Stok (Co-housing), Rick van Duuren (School Parasites),
Bart Goedbloed (Maisonette Blocks) and Han Hoogerbrugge (Logica)
Illustrations: Suzanne van Griensven (Cheese, Heerlijkheid, Winter
landscape Hoogvliet 1660, Populus Tremula) , Niek Schutter (Ascenscion Trial
Factory), Han Hoogerbrugge (Tram Station-Scylla), Ewout Dorman (WiMBY!
panorama, Hoogvliet map, Design Trial Factory, OMA Campus)
Translations: Gregory Ball, Victor Joseph, Barbara Fasting, Joost den Haan,
Arthur Payman, Cassandra Wilkins
Production: Caroline Gautier, NAi Publishers
Publisher: Eelco van Welie, NAi Publishers
Photos and images originate from:
24H Architects, Cees van Aalten, Atelier Coolsingel, Bureau Stroming, Sjoerd
de Boer, Teun Castelein, Crimson Architectural Historians, Rudolf Da s, Simon
Davies, Planning and Housing Department Rotterdam, Suzanne Dorrestein,
Adri Duivesteijn, DUS Architecten, FAT Architects, Municipal Archives of
Rotterdam I Topographic Atlas, Google Earth, Edith Gruson, Gerard Hadders,
Historical Society Hoogvliet, Hof van Heden, Rien l<orteknie, Maarten
Laupman, Sigrun Lobst, Loeb Library Harvard GSD, Lofvers Van Bergen
l<olpa, Ton Matton, Maxwan architects and urbanists, Jeroen Musch,
NL Architects, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Onix Architecten, Opmaat
Architecten, Annuska Pronkhorst, Michelle Provoost, Jeroen Ruitenbeek,
SpeeSiikDoepel, Stichting G.A .N.G., Students Post St. Joost Academy, Studio
Sputnik, Minke Themans & Floor Houben, Paul Toornend, Wouter Vanstiphout, Harm en van de Wal/l<rill, Van Bergen l<olpa, Pieter Vandermeer,
Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek, Erno Wientjes, Wingender Hovenier,
Woonbron, Rien Zilvold, ZUS.

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Netherlands

Architecture Fund and the Arts and Culture Department of Rotterdam

The WiMBY! organisation, from left to right: Liesbeth Meijer, Felix Rottenberg,
Michelle Provoost, Wouter Vanstiphout, Simone Rots, Annuska Pronkhorst