Team Representative: Michael Daane Bolier (NL) – architect
Associate: Dorus Meurs (NL) – architect
Binckhorstlaan 36, M1.53, 2516BE, Den Haag (NL)
+31640330073 – firstname.lastname@example.org – www.m-db.nl
Michael Bolier, Dorus Meurs
VIDEO (by the team)
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
We form an office - M& DB architecten - established in 2010 after graduating.
2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: the place of productive activities within the city?
We were struck by the lack of scale and purpose of Visserijplein which creates a social-economic void severing the neighbourhood beyond market days. Our proposal consisting of three interventions –pavilion, beam and tower– solve both. They anchor the square within the larger urban fabric and inject the square with social-economic program that offer tools for local empowerment.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The conceptual model of adding three buildings types has a spatial clarity. This model functions as an apparatus that helps tackle less tangible social-economic questions. Every type offers its own form of collective life, economic opportunity and social program together shaping, what we call, the productive career. This productive career allows kids to explore in the library, youths to experiment in the makers-space, twenty-somethings create start-ups at the co-working space and adults produce in their own or collective workshop.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Yes, for instance our graduation projects tackled the same problems in Newark, NJ - a city struggling with segregation, austerity politics and a long history of economic decline. Our references are always very broad spanning history from the renaissance to today. Although the matter-of-fact approach of Hannes Meyer and the precise experiments with type in relation to city by his contemporaries played a big role in our thought proces. Also the ability to define space by a limited set of precise interventions by this generation is something that interests us. Another reference would be the nearby Justus van Effen complex in how it deals with collectivity and access typologies.
5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?
The precise intervention of three types serves as framework for this.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
This is the first time we have won Europan. Time will tell.
Office: M& DB architecten
Functions: All architects
Average age of the associates: 37 years old
Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?
Yes, we have completed some private houses after graduating, which were awarded several prizes. And in 2014 we won the international design competition for a new UNESCO world heritage site Kinderdijk visitors centre, which has been completed in 2019. We have an office in The Hague.