We live in a time in which the world around us is changing constantly and increasingly rapidly. Subjects like education, politics, love, community or work are continuously in motion, particularly under the influence of digital developments. Traditional institutions, such as the neighbourhood, the association, the church, the school or the traditional family are disappearing and society is becoming highly individualised. We no longer want to conform to certain expectations; we want to be autonomous and decide how we organise our lives ourselves. Thanks to technological developments, we are less and less connected to a place. We can work anywhere and come into contact with other people. Distance and place have acquired a different significance. Life is increasingly free, but has also become increasingly uncertain, Our being and our use is fluid. The project name Liquid Life is derived from the 2005 book of the same name by the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. The term ‘liquid’ is the metaphor that he uses to indicate the constant changes and uncertainties in our lives.
The project Liquid Life is about designing polyvalent spaces; about designing a building with heterogeneous spatial qualities for a heterogeneous residents’ association. In architecture, the emphasis is still placed on functionalism, on separating functions, use and activity. The design process has therefore become stuck and it’s no longer possible to anticipate familiar behavioural patterns or certain residents’ associations. Today’s architect must be able to design for the unexpected, the fluid, the unknown.
Liquid Life is designed with two elements: the continuous wall and staggered floor sections. The basis of the design consists of a cube-shaped volume, divided into various spaces that are subsequently interlocked. Floors are placed in overlapping areas created as a result of that. Continuous walls that run through the entire building are erected along these floor sections. Atmospheres and functionalities are connected to these walls. These form sculptures or ‘objets trouvé’, in which a range of spatial qualities are hidden. It yields a spatial complexity that is difficult to comprehend. Only partial control over the design can be gained in the design process.
Graduation committee: Laurens Jan ten Kate (mentor), Jarrik Ouburg and Herman Zeinstra. Additional members for the exam: Lada Hrsak and Jeroen van Mechelen.