• Prix de Rome (basic prize)
  • Westland
  • NL
  • 2001

The Allocated Grounds #03 project for the final round of the Prix de Rome 2001 concerns Westland and the spatial impact of the property of land. It explores the present meaning of urban space, focusing on the inter-relationship between collective and individual space and the development of spatial means suitable for designing and, eventually, expressing these notions.

Westland at present should be seen as one of the largest industrial parks in Europe, in terms of surface area as well as economic significance. It is commonly recognized that in order to maintain economic vitality and competitiveness on the global market, existing horticultural businesses will have to expand. Given the spatial possibilities of Westland, some of the existing businesses will have to move elsewhere, finally leaving an estimated 25% of the land for other activities or spatial developments over the coming ten to twenty years. Combined with the fact that environmental regulations have reduced the environmental impact of industry nowadays less polluting compared to the average household this phenomenon offers the opportunity for an interesting urban experiment: creating a homogeneous urban field, 14.000 ha. of hybrid program, radically and equally mixed together within the framework of a well-organized spatial structure.

The spatial restructuring of Westland basically means restructuring the property of land: A very common activity in the Netherlands, which literally hits the core of the concern with the re-definition of the present meaning of collective and individual space. Restructuring land ownership creates the opportunity of elaborating all classical and present demands and significance of an urban scheme, providing a wide range of spatial and programmatical possibilities rather than enforcing too many obsolete restrictions.

The property of land is registered at the so-called Kadaster and indicated on the cadastral map. Apparently abstract as an image, but totally concrete in its meaning, this map with all its equally important sharp delineations seems to be the one image that represents the present understanding of urbanism and urban space in an adequate and meaningful way.

Transforming the cadastral map of Westland on the basis of the above-mentioned programmatical and spatial requirements as well as a specific thematic and spatial analysis of the area, the Allocated Grounds #03 project intends to present the restructuring of land ownership as a strategy for re-designing urban areas.

Allocated Grounds #03 is presented by eight different transformations of specific parts of the cadastral map of Westland. Each transformation forms a project in it’s own right, as well as it contributes to the spatial restructuring of Westland as a whole. The project intends to present a possible situation at a certain moment in time. Each area of transformation is carefully chosen on the basis of eight different thematic aspects of Westland. Each transformation is presented by four separated images:

1. A thematic map of the area of transformation, presenting an essential aspect of Westland.

2. The transformed part of the cadastral map on its original scale 1:2000.

3. A 3-dimensional interpretation of the spatial impact of the cadastral transformation, based on images produced by “airborne laser scanning”, a geodetic technique commonly used for topographic map production.

4. A simple photograph taken on the specific site and presenting it’s existing spatial quality or material beauty.

AG 03-Consensus (piëzoprints on paper, mounted on aluminium, 80×80cm)
AG 03-Consumption (piëzoprints on paper, mounted on aluminium, 80×80cm)
AG 03-Control (piëzoprints on paper, mounted on aluminium, 80×80cm)
AG 03-Past (piëzoprints on paper, mounted on aluminium, 80×80cm)
AG 03-Power (piëzoprints on paper, mounted on aluminium, 80×80cm)
AG 03-Present (piëzoprints on paper, mounted on aluminium, 80×80cm)
AG 03-Soil (piëzoprints on paper, mounted on aluminium, 80×80cm)
AG 03-Surface (piëzoprints on paper, mounted on aluminium, 80×80cm)