This summer Het Nieuwe Instituut build a temporary house designed by architecture firm SeARCH on its grounds, directly opposite Sonneveld House. Bjarne Mastenbroek, founder of SeARCH, describes the design as a Yourtopia, a vision of 21st-century living that is as personal as it is utopian. Social themes such as the influence of globalisation, the longing for privacy, and the almost perverse imbalance in prosperity have radically altered the role of contemporary architects. In the pavilion design SeARCH returns to a fundamental question: what is the minimum needed to achieve a maximum quality of life?
Place for contemplation
The innovative steel structure of the dome-shaped pavilion consciously refers to traditional nomadic forms of living such as the igloo and the yurt. The space is 14 metres in diameter and its exterior is covered in grass. A small tunnel leads visitors to the actual pavilion entrance. Once inside, they encounter strange and unknown plants and trees that evoke the sense of an exotic oasis. Light enters freely through a rooflight. A place of silence scarcely penetrated by the world outside, the clear interior invites contemplation in visitors. The New Pavilion is expressly utopian, an interior that is both controlled and constructed, an oasis of calm.
The New Pavilion by SeARCH is the first in a series of pavilions to be commissioned by Het Nieuwe Instituut over the coming years. Every two years, to coincide with the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), a Dutch architect, designer or theoretician will receive this commission. Reflecting the programme of Het Nieuwe Instituut and that of the IABR, they will offer their vision on the changing relation between inside and outside, the public and private domains, interior and landscape, culture and nature.
With these temporary interventions, Het Nieuwe Instituut not only hopes to fuel discussion about current social relationships and how they are expressed spatially, but also to boost the Museumpark as a public space. The pavilion is therefore open to the public free of charge and should become one of the public amenities in the Museumpark.
From late May until the end of September, the design by SeARCH sparked numerous lectures, performances, workshops and other public events.View the activity programme of The New Pavilion.
A select overview of attention from the press for The New Pavilion 2014 - Yourtopia by SeARCH can be found here.
Contractor: Van Omme & De Groot, Rotterdam. Steel: Vic Obdam Staalbouw, Obdam. Prefabricated concrete: Bruil prefab, Weert. Synthetic roof covering: Vos Zeildoek Projecten, Barendrecht. Earthwork: Municipality of Rotterdam, Rotterdam. Timber mast: Brasker Masten, Enkhuizen. Entrance door: Constructor Staalbouw, Heerhugowaard
Garden design: Ernst van der Hoeven Studio for the Urban Landscape, Amsterdam. Planting: Nieuwkoop Europe, De Kwakel
Structure and engineering: Pieters Bouwtechniek, Haarlem. Climate: DGMR, Arnhem. Fire safety: Valstar Simonis, Rijswijk. Cost estimate of structure: MiB, Kronenberg.
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