Domus 983 features PLANTA and Kees Kaan essay “Time puts everything in place”
The September 2014 issue of the Italian magazine dedicates four pages to KAAN Architecten's project and exhibition of PLANTA at the Venice Biennale. Down here the full text.
Times puts everything in place – Kees Kaan
The field covered by architecture seems to be without boundaries. Architecture is present everywhere, and as a result the subject of public debate. The profession has a long tradition. Depending on the stance taken by the observer, either this tradition or the latest fashion in building dominates. Most commissions emerge from the societal desire to build, but within a framework of economical and political culture.
It is very tempting to label oneself as an architect with a specific trademark or speciality. The use of an extreme style makes you more easily recognisable as an expert or an extravagant designer. Personal branding has become the standard. Architects like to see themselves as boosters of innovation. This is the most inappropriate and undeserved self-image of our profession. By its very nature, architecture is a slow profession, so trendsetting or being ahead of social changes is a contradiction in terms.
Time is a constant and puts everything in its place. Jerzy Kosinski describes this beautifully in his novel Being There. The story is about Chance, a gardener, who spends his entire life in a walled garden, isolated from the surrounding world. Behind this barrier, time passes without any reference but the seasons.
“What was nice about the garden, was that at any moment, Chance could start to wander, never knowing whether he was ahead of or behind his previous steps. All that mattered was moving in his own time, like the growing plants”.
There is an unbreakable bond between the material from which a building is made and the zeitgeist enclosed within it. But in time the object can liberate itself from the idea from which it emanated. The idea was just the cause, a means to the end of having a building. When the circumstances in which the building emerged change, the spaces and bricks remain and may harbour new activities. I consider an essential aspect of architecture to be its generosity in cutting itself free from its lead position. At the end of the day, a building is nothing but a tool facilitating human activity. The quality of a building is measured by its conveniences, durability, ergonomics and functionality. Contrary to what happens in society, the physical reality and thus the fundamental requirements of human life hardly change.
Form is not the aim of Chance’s garden, but the result of a series of actions performed with care and attention. Quality and universal wisdom are the implicit consequences in this metaphor. This goes for the creation of buildings too. We produce good buildings through dedication and concentration.
When the physiognomy of a building is right, its appearance will correspond in character, function and essence. Beauty in the conventional sense is irrelevant. A building that is correct in its physiognomy might very well be unattractive but its appearance and character correspond. In order to achieve this we follow a conceptual and programmatic path. Our architectural designs are rid of all elements that do not contribute to the conceptual essence of the project. What remains is the most direct, intense representation of the fundamental idea behind the project.
Last week the KL AIR team, composed by KAAN Architecten, Estudio Lamela, ABT, Ineco, Arnout Meijer Studio, DGMR and Planeground, was invited by the Schiphol Nederland B.V. to the official contract-signing ceremony.
The new Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Terminal is to be completed by 2023. As the event teaser states: "Now signing the contract. Soon a new terminal".
We are pleased to release the official video of the new Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Terminal design by the international consortium KL AIR consisting of KAAN Architecten, Estudio Lamela, ABT and Ineco, with the support of Arnout Meijer Studio, DGMR and Planeground.
Until November 17th, 2017 an exhibition of the new Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Terminal's design proposals is open at The Base in Schiphol (Evert van de Beekstraat). The show features a wide selection of models, images and boards from the five original submissions by KAAN Architecten in collaboration with Estudio Lamela, Ineco, ABT, Studio Arnout Meijer, DGMR and Planeground; MVRDV; OMA; SOM; and UNStudio. The exhibition will be open every working day from 9.00 to 18.00.
Dikkie Scipio is part of the jury evaluating the works in a live and dynamic discussion, together with Marina van den Bergen (Archined), Robert-Jan de Kort (De Kort Van Schaik), Mendel Robbers (Schipper Bosch), Rens Schulze (Geurst & Schulze architecten).
The demolition works and construction of the New Amsterdam Courthouse started in January 2017. Photographer Dominique Panhuysen is reporting from the site to realise a dedicated book series.
From behind the construction fences and up in the tower cranes, she captures the work of demolishers and builders on the building site from a very personal perspective. Every building phase will result in a photo section. When the New Amsterdam Courthouse opens its doors, the series will be complete.
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has been awarded with the International Prize for Sustainable Architecture Fassa Bortolo 2017 Silver Medal.
The prize is promoted by Fassa Bortolo and the Department of Architecture of the University of Ferrara in order to widely promote and publicize environmentally sustainable architectural projects designed for human needs.
An excerpt from the jury report states: “The use of efficient technological and engineering solutions, the design of flexible spaces able to adapt to changing requirements of use over time, as well as the choice of materials characterised by high durability, all combine to allow the building to respond effectively to the performance requirements defined during the meta-design phase.”
The Faculty of Medicine of the Universidade Anhembi Morumbi (UAM) in Sao José dos Campos (Brazil) is under construction. A sneak peek at the construction site is showing the relationship between concrete and the intense Brazilian solar radiation. The building is scheduled for completion by the end of 2017.
KL AIR, consisting of KAAN Architecten, Estudio Lamela, ABT and Ineco, with the support of Arnout Meijer Studio, DGMR and Planeground, has won the commission to design the new terminal at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The building will be located at Jan Dellaert Plein, south of Schiphol Plaza, the main airport meeting area and arrival point for passengers via Schiphol train station and the A4 highway. The new terminal is to be completed by 2023.
The spatial organization of the new 100,500 m2 terminal for approximately 14 million passengers per year, its design and the treatment of its façades, are based on the ability to link up with Schiphol Plaza, the train station and potential future expansions. This is achieved through architectural clarity, spatial openness, and details such as overhangs and black eaves.
Central to the design is the urban integration of the new terminal that will ensure an excellent connection with the rest of Schiphol. An overlapping area and a diversity of user flows distinguish the reception hall for departing passengers, and make a distinctive space for the baggage reclaim hall underneath the check-in floor. Furthermore, short and direct routes on the landside are urban integration elements that contribute to keeping Schiphol a “compact city”.
“The most inspiring architectural and planning DNA at Schiphol is that of De Weger and Duintjer’s 1967 Departures Hall, with interior design by Kho Liang Ie Associates, which is characterized by abundant daylight, simplicity of space and an impressive spatiality”, says the design team.
The large-scale terminal offers diverse spatial experiences to travellers within a light-infused environment, and the understated design allows the use of spaces to be self-evident, while not diminishing the overall functionality.
At the heart of the building, a raised Plateau creates a higher ceiling for the baggage hall and gives the check-in and security control area more privacy. Here passengers have a sweeping view over an entrance hall that is superbly crowned by a latticework of light, allowing travellers to take in the big Dutch sky. The columns in the façade and a few facility areas within the building will bear the load of the unique roof (spanning approximately 180 x 150 meters). Passengers will be able to oversee the space in a single glance and move freely within the space. Soaring panes of glass define the façades and provide a view into the vibrant activity of the airport as well as a view onto the wide open sky over the flat polder landscape. Materials such as wood flooring on the Plateau and lush greenery in the large light wells above the security control area communicate elements of sustainability inherent in the design.
Structural modularity and a repetitive rhythm in the façades and roof will serve the overall serenity and unity of the new terminal, while also providing excellent building blocks for any future extension. An integrity and timeless quality define this new link in the chain of Schiphol’s evolutionary development, and yet the design achieved is also distinctive and expressive.
The official release by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol can be found here.
On Sunday September 10th, 2017 at 15.00, Vincent Panhuysen will give a lecture at the Crematorium Heimolen in Sint-Niklaas (Belgium) as part of the Festival van de Architectuur 2017 showcasing the best Belgian architecture from all over the country.
The crematorium was completed by KAAN Architecten in 2008 and after almost 10 years it still captures the attention of the public and architecture press.
KAAN Architecten in collaboration with Estudio Lamela, ABT, Ineco and with the support of Arnout Meijer Studio, DGMR and Planeground, are amongst the five competing teams for the new Amsterdam Schiphol's terminal set for completion in 2023.
Schiphol’s ambitions for the new terminal are to set a new standard in the aviation world. The new terminal must embrace Schiphol’s DNA and evolve it into the future.
The winning design will be announced in September 2017.