The Prix de Rome is the oldest and biggest Dutch prize for artists and architects under the age of 40. The Prix de Rome is organised by the Mondriaan Fund. The Nieuwe Instituut presented an exhibition with the proposals of the four nominees for the Prix de Rome Architecture 2018.
Whereas the open call for the first round focused on a Low Pressure area in Eastern Groningen, the final round focused on High Pressure: an assignment in a popular urban environment. Finalists Alessandra Covini, Katarzyna Nowak, Bram van Kaathoven and Rademacher de Vries developed an architectural proposal for the area near the Sixhaven in Amsterdam North (opposite Central Station); a plan with a critical perspective on Amsterdam in the 21st century. The solutions for this location were presented in the exhibition.
The Sixhaven area exhibits many of the characteristics of an outlying area of an urban metropolis: its edges appear indefinite, lending an air of freedom which in turn gives rise to developmental speculation, both commercial and cultural. Projecting possible future realities of a seemingly empty area is not unusual in architecture – likewise the conception of visionary and radical ideas about how and where we live, work and relax in the future.
The four nominees immersed themselves in their future visions for a non-commercial and meaningful design for the Sixhaven and showed that the area can be developed differently. Alessandra Covini won the Prix de Rome with her Amsterdam Allegories, but all proposals started with intriguing scenarios.