Dutch Atlas of Vacancy

The Dutch Atlas of  Vacancy, as part of the installation ‘Vacant NL’, calls upon the Dutch government to make use of the enormous potential of inspiring, temporarily unoccupied buildings from the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries for innovation within the creative knowledge economy.

Since the innovation ambition emerged from national politics, we primarily target government property that is vacant for a period between one week and ten years. The Dutch Atlas of Vacancy shows  an endless scala of temporary use of vacant buildings. Of course we hope that the good example (vacancy for innovation) of the government will have a spin-off towards the market.

A special feature is that there is a vast number of spaces that are not monotonous, but are very diverse because the buildings were once designed for a specific purpose: lighthouses, hospitals, water towers, factory buildings, airports, hangars, offices, forts, bunkers, schools, swimming pools and many more. This diversity offers endless affordances (opportunities for action). Giving creative pioneers access to this exuberance, will trigger diverse experiments.

Along with the building’s characteristics, the “creative ecology” is very important for opportunities of certain types of use of the buildings. The large variety of empty heritage offers all kinds of possibilities for use. Especially in combination with more flexible regulations, interim use can challenge creative entrepreneurs to come up with innovative experiments.

<<< Atlas as part of installation Vacant NL




Project: Vacant NL
Client: NAi and Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
Author: RAAAF
Location: Venice Architecture Biennale 2010
Graphic design: Studio Joost Grootens