By Nadine Roos
It’s halfway in the nineties. We are on our second holiday together. Travelling through Europe with an interrail pass. We are both students and during our trip, we visit all the architectural masterpieces we have learned about.
Standing in front of the Corbusierhaus in Berlin we are approached by a tenant. To our surprise, he is very displeased with his home. He explains to us how unpleasant this architectural highlight is. We look at him as if he is a little crazy. Until then we had heard nothing but praise about Le Corbusier.
Years later, we visit another building by Le Corbusier. This time we are walking through Villa Savoye near Paris. Again we are surprised. We read that the Savoye family only lived here for a short period of time. The house was a nightmare to live in.
When is architecture good? When it follows a revolutionary new idea or when it is pleasant to be in? And can it be both?
Le Corbusier was a great and passionate designer. But the freedom he demanded for his own views and work became a restriction for the people who live and deal with his work on a daily basis. By sticking to his dogma he completely ignored if his buildings and urban structures were beneficial for tenants and users.
There is a contrast between theory and practice. Without theory, you can’t develop new practices. But too much theory becomes restrictive. This blog is our search for the right balance. We believe that cities should be contributing to the success and happiness of the people who live and work there. Attractive cities have successful people. These people live in neighbourhoods that contribute to their personal development. Those neighbourhoods are flexible and adaptive to new demands, wishes, insights, and dreams.
So we will be passionately searching for the right elements to make cities attractive.