BBM in Amsterdam
This past week saw some of BBM’s staff join a study tour in and around Amsterdam with the University of Brighton’s Studio 17 undergraduate students and tutors/directors, Duncan Baker-Brown and Ian McKay. It was a great example of BBM’s commitment to combine architectural practice with academic field research.
The Netherlands is ahead of the curve in coming to terms with what to do with waste and where to source material in an uncertain future. Circular concepts, like materials banks, material passports, design for demolition and pay as you use building fittings are starting to make sense and even big business is taking note and spotting the opportunity horizons.
The design studio is focused on circular/cradle to cradle resource efficiency and the visits included tours of:
• De Ceuvel, Amsterdam where salvaged houseboats have been upcycled into workplaces for creative and social enterprises on a former shipyard;
• De Nieuwe Stad (The New City) in Amersfoort which is a transformed former toothpaste factory with apsirations to be a space to work, learn and stay; a lively and social place with festivals, a popup, restaurants, shared vegetable gardens and a strong local community;
• The Circl Pavilion, Amsterdam initiated by the bank ABN AMRO as a ground breaking effort into the emerging ideals of closed-loop supply chains and emerging concepts such as pay as you use fittings and material passports.
Building on Baker-Brown’s book, The Re-Use Atlas, these projects highlighted the opportunities and challenges of transitioning to a more circular economy and a fascinating insight into what some of the architectural ramifications might be. Baker-Brown was also a keynote speaker at the BNI’s (the Dutch equivalent of the RIBA) Reset Your Mind Conference at De Nieuwe Stad on November 2nd.