Press conference at Venice (1-9-2004)
Invitation to the press conference for the Venice Architecture Biennale

at 3 p.m. on September 10, 2004

Hybrid Landscapes; Designing for Sprawl in the Netherlands 1980-2004 and International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2005

Exhibition in the Dutch pavilion (Giardini della Biennale) during the Venice Architecture Biennale from September 12 to November 7, 2004

At the previous Venice Architecture Biennale, the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) won the Golden Lion for young and experimental architecture. This year, the NAI will show what solutions the Dutch have come up with to preserve the cultural landscape in sprawling towns and cities. The Dutch pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, where this exhibition will be on display, will be opened at on September 10. Prior to the official opening, the press will be offered the opportunity to speak to the people who were involved in designing the pavilion. At the opening, the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam will also be introduced, which will take place from May 26 until June 19, 2005.

In addition to Linda Vlassenrood, the curator of the exhibition in the pavilion, Aaron Betsky (director of the NAI), Adriaan Geuze (curator of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam), Atzo Nicolaï (the Dutch Under Minister for Foreign Affairs), and Riek Bakker, Frits Palmboom and Michael van Gessel (the designers of Prinsenland) will be present in the pavilion to answer questions from the press. To arrange an individual meeting with one or more of these people, please complete the enclosed reply form and fax it to us.

Hybrid Landscapes
This year’s exhibition is entitled “Hybrid Landscapes; Designing for Sprawl in the Netherlands 1980-2004.” Based on the Biennale’s theme of “Metamorphosis”, NAI curator Linda Vlassenrood compiled an exhibition consisting of three urban expansion projects from the last twenty years: Prinsenland in Rotterdam, Leidsche Rijn in Utrecht and Maastricht Belvédère. These projects, examples of urban design in the natural landscape, represent the way in which the Dutch try to find a balance between preserving the qualities of the natural landscape and creating urban identities. 

The exhibition also includes a desk with nine projects that offer a glimpse into the future of the Netherlands. This part of the exhibition focuses on the causes and consequences of the diminishing role of the government in design projects, and of letting go of the hard lines that separate towns and cities from rural areas.

International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2005
The theme of the second International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam will be Water/The Flood. Curator Adriaan Geuze has placed this theme at the crossroads of the expected climatological, economic, demographic, historical and technological trends, wherein the relationship with architectural developments was examined, particularly as regards urban design, spatial planning and landscape design. The result is an architecture biennale that not only shows the present and the past, but also, and primarily, asks how water influences the way in which people, both in the Netherlands and abroad, will adapt and update the designs of countries and cities.

Geuze will also be present to comment on the Biennale.

Note to the editors
For more information or images, please contact the NAI’s Marketing and Communications team: Paul van den Bogaard; telephone: +31 (0)10-4401271; E-mail: website:; or Carlie Janszen of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam; telephone: +31 (0)10-2060033, E-mail:

 Rotterdam, September 1, 2004

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