Exhibition – The Building Speaks


Every age puts a piece of its soul into its buildings. During the year of ‘Transformation’ the Amsterdam Architecture Centre Arcam dedicates special attention to the solidified form of a monument with the exhibition The Building Speaks. This exhibition explores through design research the potential and the relevance of monumental buildings in the twenty-first century. This theme is explored by taking the Oude Kerk (Old Church) in Amsterdam as the subject. Not only because this building is an important part of the Dutch cultural heritage, but also because it still plays an important part in Amsterdam’s everyday life, as a church and as a cultural institute with a contemporary art program. Over the ages the Oude Kerk has been inextricably linked to the development of Amsterdam. The church grew from a simple wooden chapel into the impressive monument, as we know it. As a building the Oude Kerk has always been a great example of the adaptability of architecture to changes in society.

But the status of the Oude Kerk as a monument also has the potential to break the tradition of ongoing transformation and often complicates future adaptation. Architect Afaina de Jong and her office AFARAI researched the historic transformation of the Oude Kerk. Out of this design research emerged potential design spaces for the future and a proposal for an autonomous architectural installation. Built over many generations the Old Church is not a frozen collage of architectural intervention, but in growing and changing through time the building resembles an organism that unites past and future. Growth and change are of all ages, but when does a monument reach its final solidified form?

The Building Speaks

Duration: 17.09.2015 to 22.11.2015
Open: di-zo 13.00-17.00 uur
Location: Arcam, Prins Hendrikkade 600
Entrance: Gratis

Partner: Oude Kerk. With support from: AFK Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunsten


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