Ornament, ritual and identity in contemporary architecture and design

14 February 2019

Architect Willem Jan Neutelings and architecture researcher Marius Grootveld highlight the role of the ornament, not from its historical but rather its contemporary application. In contemporary architecture, design and urban design, ornamentation seems to play a reduced role in relation to the past, but is this true? This lecture is organized as part of Stucco Storico: The Story Behind a Craft.

What position do ornament, the symbol and ritual occupy in new approaches to monumentality? Are theatres, concert halls and museums contemporary equivalents of old city halls and city palaces? To paraphrase Veldwerk, a building is in continuous dialogue with its environment. With this in mind, the lecture also discusses the use of historical and geographical contexts, the citing of old norms, rituals and symbols, and the relationship between revival and originality, in creating new architectural and urban design.

Neutelings Riedijk Architects
The buildings of Willem Jan Neutelings, of Neutelings Riedijk Architects in Rotterdam, resemble sculptural forms, often applying overhangs and simple geometric shapes. They apply an exceptional approach to the building’s surface, using gabions or letters to echo functional forms, such as columns, thereby carefully situating a building within often-sensitive historical or urban contexts. This allows new buildings an iconic status within public space.

Marius Grootveld, together with Jantje Engels, founder of Veldwerk (Ghent), is interested in the design, documentation and research of architecture and sees a connection between city, ritual and ornament. The name Veldwerk (fieldwork) emphasizes a focus on environment and context, which buildings tend to significantly draw upon.

Moderator: Saskia van Stein, director Bureau Europa, platform for architecture and design

Afterwards, there will be a convivial drink.

Date: Thursday 14 February 2019, 20.00–22.00
Language: Dutch
Admission: free, but please register in advance via info@bureau-europa.nl
Location: Bureau Europa, platform for architecture and design.