OverHolland 5: Architectural studies for the Dutch city
This issue of OverHolland presents the results of the first part of the research project 5x5 — Projects for the Dutch City, which is being carried out at the Faculty of Architecture of the Delft University of Technology. With ‘Research by Design’, 5x5 intends to research the cohesion between architectonic interventions and urban transformations of the station areas in the five smaller historical cities of Randstad Holland: Delft, Dordrecht, Gouda, Haar-lem, and Leiden. OverHolland 5 presents analyses of these locations, together with a problem statement that has been tentatively formulated for the design research. These locations serve as a starting point for the second part of the project, where five teams of architects will design the five station areas. The basic assumption here is that the railway in the city centre area will be built underground, following the Delft example. The results of this design research will be published in 2008.
Historically speaking, building railways and stations constituted an important period in the development of Dutch cities. Because of recent changes in Dutch railways, the relation between the historic city core and the railway is again open for discussion. This issue begins with an introductory article by Henk Engel, in which the background and basic assumptions of the 5x5 project are explained and the current architectonic issues, with regard to the restructuring of these station areas, are also addressed. Next, Roberto Cavallo provides a general description of the history of the railway in the Netherlands in his article ‘Railway in the Dutch City’. In more abstract terms, Leslie Kavanaugh researches the effects of the introduction of the railway on time and space in the city in her article ‘Time and the City’. Further, the analyses of the station areas in the five cities are the main focus, showing the combination of city expansions and transformations of the respective sta-tion areas, which provide a new view on the possible development of the smaller historical cities in the 21st century.
The ‘Polemen’ section concludes this issue with two book reviews: Leslie Kavanaugh discusses the latest study by historian Auke van der Woud entitled Een nieuwe wereld. Het ontstaan van het moderne Nederland (‘A new world. The origin of the modern Nether-lands’), while Endry van Velzen elaborates on his vision in the book De tussenmaat: een handboek voor het collectieve woongebouw (‘The intermediate size. A handbook for col-lective residential building’) by Lieke Bijlsma and Jochem Groenland, which he places between a design study and an architecture handbook.