Permanent Provisorium?

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19 February 2015 – During my guest lecture I looked upwards. Auditorium A of the Architecture Faculty at TU Delft appeared to have no ceiling. It doesn´t really surprise anymore. I saw a random mash of timber battens, steel structures and duct works. The actual roof of the building seemed to be another eight or ten meters above that. It has become normal that buildings don´t appear to be finished anymore and that they permanently seem to be left a in a provisional state. In the renovation world this has become a hype, I have noted as an editor of the Dutch Architecture Yearbook. Coincidently, my lecture was precisely about this phenomenon of the permanent provisorium. Anyone can do it. What makes an architect still unique?

Afterwards I drove to the construction site at Oranjeboomstraat. I was anxious to see the newly built steel railings. The construction manager Joop Boere showed me how that had worked out. We looked at the bent steelwork, the perforated aluminum and the bolts in the reveals of the brickwork. It had not been that simple to fix the railings with all the unevenness of the materials and structures chosen. We agreed that precisely that is one of the most rewarding skills within our profession: to prepare and construct things in such says that such peculiarities work in your favour.

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