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Re-Set: New Wings for Architecture


Re-set, the exhibition I curated in 2012 was the sequel to Vacant NL, as the official Dutch presentation at the Venice Biennale two years earlier, further emphasising the power of architecture to address and overcome even fundamental market flaws. After raising the problem of the ubiquitous vacancy of high quality buildings, and the need to refill them with intelligent program and in so doing salvage significant value, Re-set, designed by Petra Blaisse, showcased how light interventions could extend the life of one building through many different configurations, and in the process create high value for multiple purposes.

click to play the video to see how the design works on the exhibition


re-set: new wings for architecture

This building is 58 years old. Today, it starts anew.  


For a long time architecture’s ability to excavate potential was seen as marginal to the field. Architects who specialized in rehabilitation were regarded as renovators, and by definition, conservative.  They were respected for their ability to postpone loss, not for their capacity to create value.


We now know this judgment to be false. Value can be created where it earlier seemed to vanish -  but only if you see it by the sheer power of imagination.


This pavilion has been vacant for 41 years since its construction, each year waiting for a new filling. This time we are not making something in the Rietveld pavilion, but doing something with it. We are celebrating the power of the existing architecture by invoking new qualities and opening it up for new uses. Not one, but many. The pavilion acts like a clock with new insights at every hour. Twelve new situations crafted out of one unique piece of architecture. We are merging the imagination of half a century ago with the one of 2012 and creating hope for architecture.

Architecture needs new wings to fly. And that is exactly what  this installation hopes to provide. Let it breathe new life into old foundations.

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