Threatened Island

Air / Hoeksche Waard

Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam (NL)

Within the framework of Architecture International Rotterdam (AIR), eight landscape designers from the Netherlands and elsewhere drew up plans for the endangered agricultural and natural area below Rotterdam: the Hoeksche Waard. The plans were presented in the Netherlands Architecture Institute to stimulate a public debate about the future of the area.

Rotterdam (NL)
Stichting AIR, Rotterdam
950 m2
Spatial design, Graphic design
Herman Kossmann, Mark de Jong, Martijn Sas, Roger Teunisse
Luyten, Ineke Schwartz
NAI, Xylos meubelmakers
Film direction
Ineke Schwartz, Piet Oomes
Film production
Design speakers
Marc Kossmann
Sound design
Frank Pachen
Coordination artists
Aletta de Jong
Rijnja Repro
AV hardware
Kappelhof & Fermont
Filmed Interviews

Architectural and urban plans are generally difficult for most people to figure out, certainly during a short exhibition visit. As a result, a large part of the modest exhibition budget was set towards creating films to make the designs understandable. The designers were interviewed on location, explaining the essence of their plan, literally giving their abstract idea a face. These interviews were presented on large, translucent screens above the corresponding plans.A screen in the middle showed the issues surrounding the area and explained the assignment handed to the different designers.


Abstract landscape

In presenting the plans on the side walls, the exhibition space remained empty, this created an abstract illustration of the empty and flat agricultural landscape of the Hoeksche Waard. A wide panorama of the polder hung in front of the glass façade and was illuminated by daylight from behind. This print created the spatial context and a depth of perspective. Specially designed speakers directed the sound so that it could only be heard in the zones reserved for the films.

The organizer’s wish not to push the accompanying debate into a back room, but to keep it a central part of the exhibition itself. We designed a tribune with a lot of seats. The exhibition became the arena of debate.

A wall of 3000 fruit crates from the Hoeksche Waard separated the main exhibition from a presentation by artists who also had plans for the area.