Walking through Oud-IJsselmonde (a peripheral neighborhood of Rotterdam) we stumble upon an odd scene. Children are rollerblading down faint asphalt hills, to a background of monumental, if not sublime, concrete monoliths supporting the Van Brienenoordbrug, the busiest bridge in our country. Above, thousands of cars pass by Oud-IJsselmonde without ever taking notice of its hundred-year old dyke houses. Below, the sound of laughing children echoes between the thirty meter tall pillars. Further away we see an elderly couple walking their dogs. Near the water the concrete pillars obscure a tiny quay that is used by the occasional couple for an intimate meeting. All recreational activity underneath this internationally important car overpass is set to a score of dim traffic noises.
Since the 19th century, cities are increasingly complex mechanisms dependent on extensive infrastructure. As part of larger regional, national and international networks, their planning and implementation is mostly (if not only) executed as a superimposition of infrastructural layers upon the local urban fabric. Vice versa, the presence of these supralocal networks in itself spawns contrasts and spaces previously unknown to planners and architects.
11 – 25 January 2019
Organized as part of graduation studio The Intermediate Size IV
by Justin Agyin, Lennart Arpots, Joep Coenen, Kenzo-Joy Lam