study project AvBR (1996)

at the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design, first year

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Just found some old material that I would like to show. It was a project at “the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design.” The question was what to do with a piece of land in the city, harbor of Rotterdam. The idea of this building was to do the opposite of most skyscrapers that get more narrow to the top, what makes the building look higher because of the false perspective, an old and cheap trick that the Romans already used, plus it would look stable, like standing with the legs spread. Here I wanted to do the opposite, make a building look shaky, create on ground level more public space in the street and make the top levels relatively large so compared to other buildings lots of visitors can be at the same time on top of the building, where most people would like to be. Unfortunately I presented also a sketch maquette where the building looked like a joint with cannabis. Or – that would be really sick of them, they associated the name of my work “Speerpunt” which means “spearhead” with Albert Speer, the Nazi architect, which would be really disgusting of the ‘teachers,’ being guided by filthy associations and project their personal frustrations on vulnerable first-year students. Not that I don’t like some projects by Speer but that isn’t relevant. Don’t have that maquette anymore. I smoked it. It was good, I got so high. Haha yeah. [cit. Frank Zappa.] Not on purpose but next to my inexperience in that time to talk about my work, and possible other reasons that I don’t know – they gave me a 4 on a scale of 10. (a 6 is the lowest sufficient number.) By the way that year revealed my health issues. Anyways. I got half of my school bill of that year back ánd I had to swear néver to talk bad about the institute in the rest of my life. Why would I? What I write now is just about a few collisions with lots of ‘teachers’ that operated in groups against individual students. The academy itself was great, especially when it was located in the cube houses at Blaak. Director Bert van Mechelen was my big example. I wanted to be like him. Always saying well-thought things, very clear and wise. In fact I considered him my great teacher. But the distance was too big. He as the CEO and me as a first-year student with quite serious health issues. In or before already Bert became the director of “Rotterdam Cultural Capital 2001,” which must have been an enormous task. Rotterdam covers 300 square kilometers, can you imagine? The responsibility.

Another, and almost final project at the AvBR: New Flatland
The final project, location Dordrecht: Mobinet after which I left the academy because the teacher called me a fascist in a long tirade. The other students were there. I cried. This was not the intention, the opposite. He kept talking about tanks coming, bombs falling, on and on. I actually think he wasn’t completely normal. I still don’t know why, but I no longer felt really at home there. Could be I was stigmatized because of events before, related to my health issues. Anyways, this was called academy. Maybe because I didn’t wear black horn glasses? Or too little following (a) certain architect(s,) or the teachers? Or the fact that I had already started for myself and did not work at an architectural firm. Fortunately, the rest of the tuition fees were recovered. 😉

17 may 2019. There are many mistakes in the drawing with measures, but hey, where are you student for? I really don’t understand those teachers. Somewhat older teachers I met in my life, at Delft University, at the Haagse Hogeschool were without exception enthusiastic about my work, while those younger ‘architects’ my work always burned down. It is something Freudian possibly.

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