Architecture as Artificial Nature
"Mountains" is a housing project that was first suggested in 1984 for the competition of the "Green Heart" of the Netherlands to define its borders and prevent further expansion of urban sprawl. Another version of Mountains was worked out for the "Bucuresti 2000" competition, concerned with the destruction and construction done by Nicolae Ceauşescu. The third plan was proposed for the area of Marzahn, a large housing complex in Berlin, and then for London. Our aim in designing the Mountains was twofold. First to create a new type of environment, and second to provide different living conditions within this environment.
Our houses reflect our own development as humans over thousands of years. Today in our modern society, we still retain a link to our archaic origin. Each generation adapts itself to its own self-inflicted contemporary condition. Housing, therefore, reflects both of these aspects of our life: the permanent - archaic and the temporary - modern.
"Mountains" doesn't imitate Nature, but mimics it. Urban patterns of the major cities are saturated by Cartesian geometry and in this sense "Mountains" should bring some relief from the obsessive repetition of the parallelogram grid, introducing new form and another skyline.
When incorporated within an urban situation, the Mountains will create a new landscape providing many of the existing sterile housing projects with a new identity.
Projects - Chronology
Achtkamp, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Competition: inside Randstad Holland
International urban planning competition: Bucharest 2000
Marzahn, Berlin, Germany
Berliner Berge, housing project
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Installation for Venice Biennale