Back to the future at the NDSM Amsterdam
Designing evocative scenographies by reconnecting the authentic shipyard's spatiocultural identity to future space-time concepts and imageries
Master Thesis Dissertation by Igor Mikitišin
NDSM Shipyard, Amsterdam | Netherlands
KU Leuven | Faculty of Architecture, Sint Lucas Campus | Gent | Belgium
prof.dr.arch. Marc Dujardin
RRAAAF Studio Amsterdam
Special thanks to collegues and architects Matilde Scali and Filip Sušić
The attitude towards industrial architectural legacy nowadays, has this anxiety to bring a building back into being. Reusing of everything that building was in the new 'shiny' way. Consequently, there is no room to let a building breathe. Heritage present on site is becoming an object, only as a shell that must be filled with functions, instead of a subject. By considering inherited remnants as a material with which we can work with, this current crack of cultural knowledge could be reconnected. The building is no longer in servitude to certain function. The spirit has come back.
As stated in the definition people sometimes forget that it is not only about buildings but about evoking its stories and memories as well. The main observation in the NDSM area is that this man-made landscape has a greater impact on the city of Amsterdam. History is stored in this landscape. Important for me is to be in a constant dialogue with our environment and surrounding background. As Mario Botta stated: ''Architecture allows you to read context.'' Furthermore, to connect ourselves as human beings moreover integral part of nature, although in this case artificial, to its culture.
This uniform use of archetypes in the past used to give this area a structure, but it is no longer possible today to build industrial structures of this kind and scale in an urban context. An infrastructure that had been detached from its industrial context has been used to give grid to Amsterdam's new city fabric. Presently it is a dispersed area where this lost activity of industry is noticeable. A sense of scale is missing. Having in mind physicality as the reference point in architecture in the relation with the former shipyard that was there the awareness of space that addresses then and now should be restored. The coherence between corporeal state and the qualities of space represents one of the crucial elements of atmosphere for me.
By exploring atmospheres from what we inherit on this specific area I would like to try capturing these by translating and relinking them to the current sense of the place. But how to search for atmospheres when this has to do with the immediate experience when you first visit the NDSM. My impression is that you cannot divide any particular sense, but that you are overwhelmed with all senses simultaneously. It is this haptic experience of being in the world in a specific place and moment. The very existence and own connection with what you feel is the essence of the atmosphere I would like to achieve.
In this area you are confronted with a natural environment that is represented in water and artificial legacy of the shipyard that coexisted together in the past as present. This can enforce the relationship between heritage, as well to be both physical and metaphysical, more spiritual phenomenon that can be experienced with all your senses. CAN WE RETRIEVE AND RECONNECT THE MEMORIES BETWEEN NOW AND THE PAST, RECONSIDERING THE RELATION TOWARDS CONTEXT AS AN EXPRESSION THAT ABSTRACT FROM ITS LANDSCAPE ? HOW THE SPACE PROVIDE WITH MOST FLEXIBILITY FOR ITS USERS ?