Pi de Bruijn

Posted on: December 1, 2010
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Architect Pi de Bruijn is famous for expanding and modernising public buildings like the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam or the Dutch parliament in The Hague. He also developed huge urban areas like the ZuidAs in Amsterdam or the Beursplein in Rotterdam. But a much smaller project proved to be a real turning point for Pi de Bruijn. In Roombeek, a tiny residential area in the city of Enschede, he decided to diminish his own role as an architect. He let the future residents create their own neighbourhood.

In May 2000, Roombeek was completely devastated by the explosion of a fireworks factory. 23 people were killed. Pi de Bruijn asked all residents to help determine what their new neighbourhood should look like. 50 % of the residents were able to design their own houses. De Bruijn merely functions as a supervisor, a coordinator of ideas. This new approach earned the city a prestigious prize for excellence in commissioning work in architecture and urban planning.

Pi de Bruijn used to believe in a modernist, idealistic, top-down approach. In the seventies he worked on the Bijlmermeer in Amsterdam. With separated areas for living, working, shopping and leisure. On paper it all seemed to work, but in reality the dream turned into a nightmare.

Dutch Profiles is a series of short documentaries produced by Submarine commissioned by DutchDFA about architects, graphic, product and fashion designers in the Netherlands. Dutch Profiles focuses on the conceptual, context-oriented and research-based practice of Dutch designers and includes interviews with, among others: MVRDV, Irma Boom, Jurgen Bey, Claudy Jongstra, Hella Jongerius, Paul Mijksenaar, Marlies Dekkers, Alexander van Slobbe and G-Star.
Director: Noud Holtman
Camera: Pierre Rezus
Sound: Wouter Veldhuis
Editing: Dominique Kools
Creative Producer: Geert van de Wetering,
Producer: Olivia van Leeuwen,
Produced by Submarine,
Music Sound Design: Jesse Koolhaas 
Commissioned by DutchDFA

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