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Michael Daane Bolier Dorus Meurs


PROGRESS The massive urbanisation of the world will continue the upcoming decades. Millions of people will be vacating the countryside and flocking to the metropolis in liberation from scarcity, tradition or serfhood. Analogously the countryside will be increasingly urbanised and developed to keep up with the ever expanding cravings of the metropolis for food, energy and leisure. The countryside will be radically transformed through the metropolis’s technology, knowledge and values. Eventually erasing the countryside’s traditional mores, expressions and practices.

DEATH Vernacular building - once passed on from generation to generation - will lose its cultural use and meaning. The organic bond between its conventions, craft and culture will rapidly erode away. At most, it will survive in name and semblance only, cunningly propped up as a token of authenticity in service of the city dweller looking for an antidote to metropolitan life.

Architecture - an invention of the metropolis - will be all that survives.

ASSEMBLAGE This project accepts this fate and proposes to salvage vernacular building through the only system of thought still possible. Rethinking vernacular building through the logic of its metropolitan antagonist - Architecture.

The architecture of Mies van der Rohe epitomises metropolitan Architecture. Through the assemblage of Mies’s seminal work and a selection of vernacular buildings from all over the world new dialectical images emerge. Images of an universal architecture that uncover new meanings, effects and possibilities.

LIFE Mies functions as a metropolitan frame or aperture through which vernacular building can be rethought. Distill its climatic performance, distinct spatiality and aesthetic effects. This in its turn can infuse Architecture with new possibilities and horizons for an urban future. The added windcatchers and Yakhchal to the Neue Nationalgallerie provide a cool draft and finally resolves the paradox of freedom underlying its plan. The setback Tibetan slate walls of the Lake Shore Drive apartments


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