• Reflecting on Begraafplaats Zuiderhof

    We are facing the Begraafplaats Zuiderhof, innocently, for the first time. We meditate on the overwhelming light and the structured space of the courtyard, with its strange ambiguity of serenity and blandness. We see the open space as an agora, the archetypical public space. But this agora is empty, the stoa and its porticos open to nothing. Is this an entry or an exit? And to what?

    To this we add a columbarium, another empty room. Where do we go from here? Now it is all about metaphysics and architecture.

    Adding is about embracing and rejecting the prepositions of the work put before us, adding is about establishing relationships. What measurements, absolute and relative, are present? What materials are given? And what about what’s not given, but was before we passed that door out of the existing space?

    So we stand before the structurally undifferentiated masonry wall, remembering the pillars and beams of the space just passed, remembering the feel of that dark brick washed white before our eyes – negating the shadow cast.

    The cast concrete, the bond of the brickwork, the shadows on the walls, the passing through a doorway, the opening to the sky. At this point architecture is mere physical presence: the bringing together of materials and the forming of space.

    Building upon Building

    Programme—Fictitious addition
    Client—Forum Magazine