23 May 2017 – Imagination, the word does not always have a nice resonance. Yet, the Dutch state architect Floris Alkemade used the word quite often in his opening speech at the exhibition Wonen in Stadshart in Groningen. At the exhibition the design result of the manifestation Wonen in Stadshart was shown. Floris Alkemade stressed the value of design within the debate on our cities, because design can imagine possible solutions.
Many people told me that my proposal for the Glaudé Mansions had offered a perspective by surpassing the antagonism between restoration and new build. The design combines new build of the rear volumes to a restoration of the front parts. In this way, the monumental city image of Hereweg remains intact whilst the mansions will fit into the large scale of the station area at the rear. The urban problem is as large ast the restoration problem. Or more poignant: without a clear vision on the context of these monuments it will not be easy to find investors for a restoration.
At the photograph Jaap Haks (City of Groningen), Roeland van der Schaaf (Groningen City Council) and Floris Alkemade are discussing the Glaudé Mansions.