Producing the Contemporary City

24 May - 2 September 2007

28 May 2007

Dutch State Architect presents Architecture Biennale Awards
São Paulo wins Biennale BEST ENTRY Award 2007; no Award for Dutch projects

This past Saturday, 26 May, the Award Winning Ceremony of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) was conducted for the third time at the Kunsthal Rotterdam. The Award for the best entry in the international exhibition Visionary Power went to MMBB Arquitectos for their project Watery Voids in São Paulo, Brazil. The jury, chaired by the State Architect of the Netherlands, Mels Crouwel, praised the project for its realism and the intelligent way it links official infrastructure to the problems of the informal city, the favelas.
The prize for the best design in the exhibition The New Dutch City was not awarded. The jury felt none of the Dutch projects linked sufficiently new insights to concrete solutions for the problems of the Randstad urban conglomeration.

Visionary Power – BEST ENTRY
The Visionary Power – BEST ENTRY Award is given to the best design project in the exhibition.  MMBB Arquitectos proposes the simultaneous development of the giant reservoirs now being built throughout São Paulo to address annual flooding, as public spaces. This relatively simple intervention would place a significant portion of the city at the disposal of its inhabitants, in particular those living in the favelas.
Honourable mentions were awarded to Estudio Teddy Cruz for its project in Tijuana/San Diego, Office Kersten Geerts David Van Severen for Ceuta, and Baukuh for Rome.


Award uitreiking


Mels Crouwel gives the Award to Fernando de Mello of MMBB, Sao Paulo



No Award for Dutch Entries
The exhibition The New Dutch City shows ideas, designs and strategies for (parts of) the Randstad urban conglomeration of the future, in the form of projects through which the various parties involved in its Noord- and Zuidvleugel (North and South Wings) present themselves at the Biennale.
The jury decided not to award the New Dutch City – BEST DESIGN prize. The jury was unanimous in its opinion that none of the entries genuinely produced new insights or came up with a concrete and innovative solution to the problems of the Randstad. The jury did express appreciation for the entry Destination AMS (Amsterdam), because this project demonstrated the will and the readiness to dream and visualize the future, and involve a strategic network of idea people and partners in the process.

The jury’s chairman, Mels Crouwel, noted in his closing speech that Dutch planners and administrators should learn from the example of their international colleagues. The international projects presented at this Biennale often showed exceptionally creative and feasible solutions for the problems of the city. While throughout the world architects seem to be reclaiming a new, almost activist role for themselves in relation to the city, the entries from the Netherlands seemed too often a reflection on the relative impasse in which thinking about the future of the Randstad finds itself.

The jury included Dutch State Architect Mels Crouwel (chairman ), Guus Beumer (director of the NAi Maastricht), Ruurd Gietema (architect, urban designer), Rob Schröder (graphic designer, exhibition and film maker), Piet Vollaard (architect and critic) and George Brugmans (film maker and director of the IABR).

“The perpetuation and increase in the empowerment of the INFORMAL communities, gives them permanent ownership of their destiny.” (Alfredo Brillembourg, 2007)