Herman Hertzberger met recently with GSD students of the course Workspheres to discuss what happens when buildings designed to be redesigned by their users are no longer used.
Hertzberger remains one of the towering figures of Dutch architecture. His view of “architecture as social art” dictated a diverse style with an “underlying organization that encourages creative occupation,” in the words of writer Dirk van den Heuvel. Fittingly, Florian Idenburg’s (associate professor in practice of architecture) design and research studio on the future of work and leisure has been examining the possibilities of adapting and reusing Hertzberger’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Work building, now standing empty in The Hague.
After they toured the building and its neighborhood, the studio students visited Hertzberger in his office in Amsterdam’s De Pijp district, where the conversation ranged from Dutch Structuralism and the potential for transformation to the dangers of too much choice. Idenburg captured the debate in an interview for Pin-Up with an introduction by van den Heuvel. Read it here.