Catamaran city is our proposal to the Rotterdam Biennale of 2005.
Catamaran City is not for everyone, sometimes it is not for anyone. The field is constantly transforming - physically and conceptually. We propose a strategy that exploits impermanence and temporality – providing a framework for occupation.
The dynamic ‘voordeltas’ of the Netherlands offer excellent opportunities for exploring a new type of occupation. Enjoyed by few, they are pregnant with possibilities. By conventional notions these areas are not safe for occupation, but seen in the spirit of the engineering feats that created the Netherlands, they provide new spaces for radical territorializing. Catamaran city is an exercise on the Dutch coastline.
Our ‘just offshore’ project is located on a voordelta, two kilometers off the coast of Goeree. A 4 kilometer long sand bar, appearing, occasionally. The delta is irresistible. Any more attractive would be banal. Any less would be nothing.
The Dutch have, understandably, a black-or-white approach to water management - 100% ‘secure’ or not. This methodology has caused the once visionary Netherlands to stagnate, unable to imagine itself inhabiting the interesting ‘gray’ zones that constitute its landscape.
We propose a more adventurous relationship to nature.
Catamaran city is not for everyone, sometimes it is not for anyone. The field is constantly transforming - physically and conceptually. We propose a strategy that exploits impermanence and temporality – providing a framework for occupation. The MAGIC CARPET, an articulated boardwalk, is a highly flexible and adaptive datum - a programmatic field, a territory for occupation, an emerging landscape, and a positive feedback system creating heterogeneity and self organization.
Catamaran city promotes new relations to the sea – expanding one’s perception of space.
The magic carpet expands the opportunities for occupation and exploration. The space is entrapped, covered, connected, disassociated, and transformed, architecturally. Certain moves facilitate the eventuality ‘temporary’ occupation, while other moves protect the outdoor space, in principle, resisting ‘fixed’ occupation.
AMPHITHEATER, STANDS, CABANA, HOTEL-CAMPING, DIVING TOWER, SAFE SPACE, ARENA, LANDING DOCK, POOLS, BASKETBALL COURT, CAFE
By inscribing a field in the sea between the mainland and the island, a floating village of catamarans is created. One continuous inter-net- spans the sea without borders, disregarding traditional ideas of private space. An enormous playground.
When present, the delta provides a unique space in the middle of the sea for diverse behaviors. When consumed by the sea, it remains as an alibi for a center for extreme sports – transmigration. Each summer season a competition is held to design ephemeral sand shelters on the delta. This exhibition lasts until ‘the fall’.
SAND SURFING, DUNE BUGGY, BEACH VOLLEYBALL, FISHING, SUPERFICIAL BEACH
Artificial reefs at specific areas around the delta attenuate energy and lead to an increased marine life habitat, facilitating such things as sport fishing. The ‘reefs’ impede the transport of sand, and provide protection for the delta. Geotextile bags are a simple variant of artificial reefs and will be used as wave breakers for a surfing zone.
Low impact aquaculture farming is envisioned on the lee side of the delta, supporting an informal economy and activating the boardwalk in the off-season.
Report of the Jury Architecture Biennale Awards 2005
The Jury 2005, chairman Reyn van der Lugt (head of presentations Netherlands Architecture Institute), Kees Kaan (Claus en Kaan Architecten), Bart Lootsma (architecture theoretician) and George Brugmans (director International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam), has granted the following Awards. Award Best Presentation: Spacegroup The Award Best Presenation is chosen from the exhibition Water Cities and is awarded to Spacegroup for their model of Catamaran City.
The jury was impressed with some of the models made especially for the biennale, in particular the model of 17th century Batavia made by Djuhara and his team of Indonesian architects, and the model of early 20th century Chicago, made by David Mohney and his team of students at Kentucky University. Both had required a lot of research and were beautifully executed.
However, they quickly gravitated towards the New Dutch Water Cities exhibition, which they found the most stimulating in terms of content and visual appearance. While discussing their preliminary choices they formulated their criteria: the model should be so interesting that it holds your attention and draws you into the content of the project, it should also show experiment both in use of materials and in esthetics, and go beyond the tradition in model making.There was much appreciation for the ‘tablecloth’ model made by Edith Gruson for Michael van Gessels project on the Friesian Eleven Cities route. But finally after a short discussion all agreed that there was one model that immediately arrested your attention in the space where it stood: Catamaran City, that triggered the imagination, made one curious to know more, and was beautifully executed with many visual layers leading to a sequence of new discoveries.
Title: Catamaran City /Client: International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam /Location: Aardapel Bult (dutch coast), Netherlands /Site: A Voordelta, two kilometers off the coast /Program: Boardwalk, safe house, grand stand, diving tower, beaches, catamaran taxi, dune buggy, rowing track and Catamaran City /Status: Exhibition "Water Cities" 2005 - First Prize for best presentation /Design: Space Group /Team: Gary Bates, Gro Bonesmo, Adam Kurdahl, Jeremy Richey, Tarjei Torgersen