Architecture - Light

architects Neutelings - Riedijk
project Sphinxes Housing, Gooi Lake, The Netherlands
written by Roemer van Toorn


Instead of negating late-capitalism by some sort of critical architecture questioning or deconstructing the status quo Dutch architecture has surfed the waves of late-capitalism for half a century. This passion for reality and return to what architecture as a discipline is capable of projecting allows Dutch architecture to make the most of the many possibilities inherent our “second modernity”. It is a wish to communicate with society at large, to speak a popular language the city and its middle class can relate to. According to many Dutch designers architecture should stop being difficult by sabotaging the norms, or constructing an abstract language nobody can understand except an instructed elite. In short architecture should be easy. The paradox is that producing easy architecture is not so easy as it looks. When I ordered a Coca Cola light at a terrace last week it became clear to me that speaking of Architecture-Light perhaps explains better what this easy attitude in architecture is about. By looking at The Sphinxes Housing complex by Neutelings Riedijk I hope to disclose a few dimensions of Architecture-Light.