Information Market 23 March 2013

Neither the “bitter cold” nor the “Siberian conditions” prevented young, enthusiastic architects and urban planners from attending the Dutch Europan 12 information market on Saturday 23 March.


Representatives of the three Europan 12 Dutch sites arrived early and set up their stands in the entrance hall of The New Institute (former NAI) where background information about the sites was available. Schiedam added a touch of couleur locale and, in order to highlight the historical background, four members of the Zakkendragersgilde (historical stevedore’s guild) were present. And Groningen and Assen indulged those with a sweet tooth by serving their renowned local cakes. Europan Nederland also had a stand where interested parties could make enquiries about the competition and the regulations. It was relatively quiet round this stand, there are apparently few queries to date.


A continuous programme was held in the adjacent auditorium. Assen was the first to present its site and then it was the turn of Herman Meijer who quizzed the three site representatives about their expectations and their intentions. This panel session was followed by the signing of the agreements between Europan Nederland and the sites stating, among other things, that Europan will organise the competition and that the sites will do their utmost to work further with the winners.


Helena Casanova who, together with her partner Jesús Hernandez, was the winner of the Europan 6 site in Groningen and the Europan 7 site in The Hague, then talked about her experiences as a Europan winner, ending with sound advice to all the architects present.


After a short break the programme resumed with the Groningen presentation followed by Annette Marx, Europan board member and architect, who gave a presentation on the theme “Adaptable City”. She presented a number of questions that could be particularly relevant to the design within this theme. The programme concluded with the Schiedam presentation.


If the attendance this day – some 250 people – is an indication of the number of entries expected then the sites, but also Europan, can consider themselves fortunate. It is now a question of waiting for good, interesting, innovative but also realistic plans!