In a subtle yet whimsical intervention, the "Tussen-ruimte (Between Space)" project invigorates negative spaces between historic buildings with a new sense of purpose. The project temporarily establishes new functions in alleys or gaps between buildings in Amsterdam's historic canal district, such as the contemplative curtain-space pictured above. Designed by Office Jarrik Ouburg, "Tussen-ruimte" is a progressive approach to the difficulty of adapting historic sites for new and interesting uses -- having to simultaneously preserve and elaborate on the traditional. Ouburg is also Head of the Architecture Department at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture.
The Tussen-ruimtes have since been de-installed, but more information (in both English and Dutch) can be found on the project's website, as well as through collaborating firms, TAAK and Non-fiction. You'll find a video of Ouburg's Tussen-ruimte at Herengracht 127-129, Amsterdam, at the end of this feature.
Project description, provided by Office Jarrik Ouburg:
In 2013 the city of Amsterdam celebrates the 400th anniversary of the canal district, an area that was enlisted on the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 2010. Although a process of continuous urban and architectural transformation characterized this part of the city, it seems that in recent years the past seems to get more and more control on its future.
The goal of the Tussen-ruimte (Dutch for in-between space) project is to implement functions in the little space left in the canal district to stimulate new activities in this otherwise well controlled and regulated area. The temporary functions may vary from an exhibition space, single room hotel, playground, small library to an enclosed garden.
The project does not focus on the buildings in the canal district since those are subject to strict regulation, but instead focuses on the space ‘in between’ the building. Spaces that in the past gave access to a stable or a back alley have nowadays lost their function and are used to store a garbage bag or a bike.
The first proposal focuses on a space on the famous Herengracht. A small space about 10 metres deep, 1 metre wide and 12 metres high, hidden between two canal houses. Perforated curtains are hung in between houses to create a quite space for contemplation.
Team: Jarrik Ouburg, Stéphanie Willocx, Hanna Lee, Maria José Jiménez Borja
Supported by: City of Amsterdam, The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts
In collaboration with: Non-ficition, TAAK, Castrum Peregrini
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