Architecture + Design
When It Comes To Architecture Can A Crisis Make You Stronger Image Credit: Architecture + Design
When It Comes To Architecture Can A Crisis Make You Stronger Image Credit: Architecture + Design

When It Comes To Architecture: Can A Crisis Make You Stronger?

The last decade of Dutch architecture stands in sheer contrast to the golden years of the 1990s when almost anything was possible.

Mathias Lehner

Many foreign architects had come to the Netherlands then and still practice here. The exciting NAI (Netherlands Architecture Institute), the generous Dutch Architecture Fund and many national policies defi ned Holland as one of the leading nations when it comes to architectural culture. Although the importance of architecture (together with fashion, design and e-culture) is still underlined today and even defi ned as the top sector creative industries within the national economic policies, this vision is accompanied by less budget; institutions had to work more effi ciently and merged to the New Institute (HNI) and the fund for the creative industry. National policies are, as some critics claim, mainly praising the achievements of the past. The work load of architects decreased by more than 60%. The housing production in major cities almost halted due to the crisis; private clients were not granted loans to buy new houses as several of the Dutch banks were nationalised in order to protect them from bankruptcy, and they didn’t take any chances. In short it can be said that prosperity in a couple of branches in the Dutch economy including building had seriously decreased. 

New Approaches, Bottom-up and Temporary Use: The decline of the one often comes together with the increase of another. While the changes at the former NAI are still lamented, smaller and bottom up alternatives to the national top down programs have come into place. Professio

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