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2nd International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam: The Flood
26 Mayıs - 26 Haziran 2005, Westersigel , Rotterdam - Hollanda

The theme of the Biennale: "The Flood".

With the exhibitions The Water City, Mare Nostrum, Polders, Three Bays and Flow, the Biennale will spotlight the relation between water and architecture in the Netherlands and around the world. Adriaan Geuze, landscape architect and director of the office West 8, is curator of the event.

For one month, from 26 May to 26 June 2005, the exhibitions will be on show at Las Palmas and the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) in Rotterdam. In addition, the Biennale will feature numerous conferences, lectures, excursions, a film programme, a public weekend and a City Program. The event is intended to become a venue for an international exchange of expertise, historical knowledge and future visions that explore the advantages and disadvantages of living and working with water.

The Dutch WaterCity
This exhibition portrays the past, present and future of typical waterside towns in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the shape of scale models. The history of these towns underlines the fact that the current problem of rising water levels and advancing urbanisation, no matter how acute, is just one more chapter in the centuries-old tradition of living alongside and with water. A tradition of inventive designers and engineers who must once again rise to the challenge to come up with innovative solutions for this problem.

Mare Nostrum
Mare Nostrum focuses on one of the most remarkable aspects of globalisation: the rise of mass tourism that relies on the presence of water. Moderate and subtropical coastal regions are a favourite destination for holidaymakers and temporary migrants who stay for the winter period. Coastal tourism is slowly spreading around the world and is a mixed blessing for local culture, ecology, economy and politics.

The Dutch landscape of polders framed by perfectly straight ditches and dikes, and dotted with windmills, cattle and farmhouses is famed the world over. But this landscape is under siege. Advancing urbanisation, as well as changes in the agricultural and water-storage sectors, will significantly influence how the countryside is planned in the future. Highlighting the polders once again and pointing out their landscape and spatial qualities will enable us to assess the merits of developments in these areas more accurately. The development and uniqueness of the landscape will be illustrated in the exhibition with fifteen characteristic polders. (until 4 Sept.)

Three Bays
The exhibition Three Bays presents an extensive comparative study of four centuries of living and building in the bays of Tokyo and Amsterdam and the lagoon of Venice. (until 4 Sept.)

Flow presents a number of internationally selected projects by young offices that are experimenting with the relation between water and landscape. The exhibition also features student work produced during an international master class with as theme ‘Design Flood Resistant Housing’. (until 21 Aug.)

The Water City
The Water City presents the history, current situation and future of typical waterside towns. The history of these towns, both in the Netherlands and elsewhere, forms an important source of knowledge for the development of new strategies in response to the current conflict between rising water levels and expanding towns. The exhibition ‘The Water City’ is made up entirely of models. They tell the story of waterside settlements, why they were built as they were, and just how beautiful they are.

The Netherlands
Historical models show in a clear and understandable way different types of Dutch waterside settlement. On display are Friesian sluice villages such as Sloten; fortified towns such as Naarden and Breda; Hanseatic towns such as Zwolle and Zutphen; towns on the Zuider Zee such as Enkhuizen; trading posts in deltas and on rivers and canals such as Zierikzee, Zaltbommel and Gouda; bathing resorts (the pier at Scheveningen); the ramparts, canals and islands of Amsterdam; and the canal promenades of Rotterdam by architect Rose. Also featured will be new towns and districts like Almere, Eastern Harbour Area in Amsterdam, Kop van Zuid in Rotterdam, and Céramique in Maastricht.

The models highlight the diversity of urban development that results from a functional approach to building beside water. The required dams, dikes, ditches and canals formed the basic elements of town plans of enduring quality. The history of waterside towns makes clear that the current problems of rising water levels and advancing urbanisation, no matter how acute, are only one more chapter in the centuries-old tradition of Dutch involvement with water. A tradition of inventive designers and engineers who must once again rise to the challenge to come up with innovative solutions for today’s problems.

It is a tradition that has existed abroad for centuries too. Dutch engineers contributed, and still do so today, to waterside schemes in other countries. At the same time, many of these cities employ alternative methods to enlarge their territory. Among those methods is ‘landfill’, in a sense the Dutch polder in reverse. Models of past, present, and future international waterside developments form another source of knowledge and inspiration in the exhibition. From 17th-century Edo, Venice, Copenhagen, Saint Petersburg and Recife, via 18th-century New York and Chicago, 19th-century Brighton and Bad Heiligendamm, to 20th-century Rügen, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Liege, Marbella and 21st-century London, Dubai, Shanghai and Hamburg.

Finally, the exhibition will include models of ten studies of new types of waterside towns. Specially commissioned for the Biennale by national and local authorities, these studies are currently being carried out by teams of designers and engineers. Ministries (Transport, Public Works and Water Management, Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment), and provinces (Zuid-Holland, Friesland), municipalities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Kampen, Deventer) have ‘adopted’ one or more studies. By taking on the role of client and guide for the Dutch and foreign designers and engineers, national and local authorities are making an important contribution to the Biennale and to the debate on water-related issues in the Netherlands.

A feature of these ‘New Dutch Water Cities’ is that while they address real issues concerning water at the chosen locations, they also make a leap forward in thinking. They take advantage of the investment needed to solve costly water problems to generate new urban programme (space for housing, employment and leisure) and new nature. Some proposals experiment with hydraulic solutions, such as residential development in a retention basin or green river. The Biennale does not see the combined issue of spatial planning and water control as a problem; rather, it is an opportunity to come up with innovative ideas about how to plan the Netherlands.

Date: from 26 May to 26 June 2005
Location: Las Palmas, Wilhelminapier 66- 86, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Curator: Adriaan Geuze
Head of Exhibitions and Project Manager of ‘New Dutch Water City’:   Christine de Baan
Project Manager ‘Dutch Water City’: Simone Rots
Project Manager ‘International Water City’: Vibeke Gieskes
Designer: Daan Bakker (DaF Architecten)
Graphic Designer: Minke Themans


Genç Çizgiler 2004
Editör: İdil Erkol
Grafik Tasarım: Aslı Ayhan

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