WIT Press

The Keyword Is Quality Not Ecology


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WIT Press


A. van Hal


The Netherlands has a good reputation abroad as a country of architecture. Many people admire the architecture of famous Dutch architects such as Rem Koolhaas, MVRDV, Neutelings Riedijk and Meijer and Van Schooten. In some recent designs by members of this conceptual-oriented school of architects, several efforts have been made to become more in harmony with nature, e.g. by minimising the use of energy. Alongside this school another trend has developed over the last few years. Customer requirements have become more dominant, driven by the recent economic recession, and in many cases this has led to a more pragmatic type of architecture. This pragmatic approach, in combination with the objective for quality, has led to a new school within the Dutch architectural community. In some recent renowned designs of members of this more pragmatic school the aspect of environmental awareness is incorporated too. The architects from both schools who proved to be capable of designing so-called ‘eco-architecture’ could become true opinion leaders and role models and be a source of inspiration for architects who have not taken environmental awareness seriously yet. However, most architects do not want their work to be associated with green terminology such as ‘eco-architecture’ or ‘sustainable architecture’. They would rather use language like ‘smart architecture’ or ‘vital architecture’. Their key thrust is ‘integral quality’ rather than ecology. Respecting this source of motivation has shown to be critical for these frontrunners to actively contribute to increasing the ecological awareness of their architect colleagues and be opinion leaders. Dragging them into the ‘green camp’ would have a contrary effect. Keywords: environmental awareness, architects, opinion leaders, integral quality, smart architecture, vital architecture, cultural creatives, styles of architecture.


environmental awareness, architects, opinion leaders, integralquality, smart architecture, vital architecture, cultural creatives, styles ofarchitecture.