DasP Summer Stories: ‘Prora’ in Rügen, Germany

In addition to the standard vacation destinations with palm trees, white beaches and romantic cities, there are some amazing alternatives where only few people go. DasP will take you this summer on a journey around the world to abandoned, dilapidated and forgotten places with a great story. This time: Hitler’s vacation camp ‘Prora’ on the island of Rügen, Germany. Back in 1936, at the height of his power, Hitler started building a massive beach resort with 10,000 sea-view rooms to provide a vacation getaway for German workers and spread propaganda about the superiority of German culture and the Nazi regime…. Read More

DasP Summer Stories: Salton Sea, California

Now the final exams and presentations at TU Delft are behind us, the summer holiday has finally begun. In addition to the standard vacation destinations with white beaches or romantic cities, there are some amazing alternatives where only few people go. DasP will take you this summer on a journey around the world to abandoned, dilapidated and forgotten places with a great story. This time: Salton Sea, California, USA The Salton Sea is located in the Colorado dessert in the south of California. It was accidentally created when a dike –built for the irrigation of the area- broke and the… Read More

The Red Road experiment

  On the 10th of June, a controlled explosion brought down the first of Glasgow’s Red Road housing estate. The demolition of this 25-storey epic structure marked the beginning of the end of Britain’s most controversial housing development. Another modernist experiment that turned from utopia into dystopia: the British Pruitt-Igoe. Designed by architect Sam Bunton, the estate was completed in 1969 as part of extensive urban regeneration plans to fight the cities housing shortage. Initially, the plans were quite modest, but as the city embraced high-rise living as a quick and cheap solution, the project turned into something of an… Read More

Juche Architecture of DPRK

  That dictators generally love architecture is nothing new, and after seeing Kim Jong-Il looking at things, we’re not surprised he did as well. Though, unknown to most people was that besides being the great leader and the inventor of the hamburger, he also was a great architect. (priceless movie) He even authored the treatise On Architecture, about the art of the symbolic Juche architecture, representing the DPRK state doctrine. According to Kim, architects are both “creative workers and operations officers” whose work must get approval of the masses, “the true critics of architecture.” Yet when reading the fascinating book… Read More

ZATO – Secret Soviet Cities

The Harriman Institute in New York was recently exhibiting the exhibition: ZATO – Secret Soviet Cities during the Cold War on the dynamics between politics, urbanism, and cartographic manipulation. Unfortunately we couldn’t go there, but secret cities based on the communist ideology of ‘the Party’, for sure drew our attention. These closed cities or so called ZATO sites (Closed Administrative-Territorial Formation / Zakrytoe administrativno-territorial’noe obrazovanie) were areas for secret military or scientific research and production in the Soviet Empire. Weapons were produced there and medical experiments took place on nearly 250,000 animals to understand how radiation damages tissues and causes… Read More

Guerrilla gardeners attack Irish ghost estates

Only a few years ago, the Irish were constructing huge amounts of beautiful houses attracting potential residents with various bathrooms, granite-topped built-in kitchens and a few acres of land to towns nobody had even thought of commuting from before – The inhabitants never came. When the Real estate bubble burst in 2008, and the Celtic Tiger run away, Ireland was one of the most affected countries. The result: around 2,800 ‘ghost estates’, housing developments that were never occupied or in some cases even completed. Great to make cool pictures or organize a dance event, but horrible -and even dangerous– to… Read More

Design as Politics Batches

An exhibition opening is not complete without a proper goodie. So we made one! Come to our opening, this Thursday, 19:30 in the Mini Mall, Rotterdam and get your own limited edition Design as Politics batch. There is one way to get a complete set. Come early!

World Leaders and City Models

We always knew it: there’s some kind of weird chemistry between (world) leaders and city models. This time not just kim jong-il looking at things, Atlantic Cities staff writer Nate Berg gathered the evidence: 25 world leaders and heads of state showing how looking at small-scale models of big city projects can create the impression that they have some kind of control. Quite funny, but -as most lack any kind of  human activity in them- it makes you think if they actually see the difference between these utopian models and reality

Column by Wouter Vanstiphout on BD online

Check it out! Wouter Vanstiphout’s new column for Building Design ‘Just give them a glimpse of something’. He questions at what point architects stop responding to context by addressing the avant-garde underground identity of Diller Scofidio & Renfro. The office – famous for their high line park- presented their project Open House for Levittown (NYC) at a symposium on neighbourhood economy organised by Droog Design in Rotterdam. You’ll need a username to read it, just register, it’s for free!

NAI Symposium: Wijkonomie Tarwewijk

Tomorrow (Feb. 22nd) the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) organizes the symposium: Wijkonomie Tarwewijk on how local entrepreneurship can strengthen both economic and social vitality of a neighbourhood and how design interventions and strategies can be more valuable in the long term? Wouter Vanstiphout -on behalf of Crimson Architectural Historians– together with Maxwan A+U have developed one of the contributions: a top down strategy to allow for a bottom up transformation of Tarwewijk, Rotterdam South, and, potentially, many lower income communities. Based on the statement that the major strategic error of Dutch and other urban renewal policies is that they focus… Read More