I attended yesterday the lecture from architect Anke van Hal,”Demolition is no option!”. The title attracted my attention as I also believe that demolition is by nature an unsustainable action, requiring much more resources, and should be the last resort when no other alternatives are viable. Anke van Hal proposed two ways for the transformation of buildings; “Stripping” and “Pimping”.
The first is a laborious and costly process, requiring people to move out of their homes for as long as the transformation lasts. Examples of “Stripping” are: Complex50 in Amsterdam, Sleephellingstraat and Wallisblok in Rotterdam. The last one sounded as a very nice story, of how a “rotten tooth” became the pride of a forgotten neighborhood.
Pimping, on the other hand, lasts only a few days thus people can get vouchers to stay in a hotel for a few days without having to move out. Examples of “Pimping” are: flatfuture by 2012 Architecten, the building of Genzyme in Cambridge inspired by the building of Alterra in Wageningen, the Tour Bois le pretre, and the Rugzakbadkamer. The Rugzakbadkamer, which means Bathroom in a backpack, is a real pimping solution as it is a prefabricated piece that can be added on an exhisting housing. This kind of solutions sound as attractive alternatives for building constructors, as they cost a little (after developed, and mass produced), as well as for people who don’t have to move out.
Let’s hope that more and more altervatives will be developed, making demolition an obsolete, non-viable solution in the future…