Posted on: December 1, 2010
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Putting architecture back in society. That is the mission of ZUS, a young company, led by Elma van Boxtel and Kristian Koreman. ZUS analyzes the contemporary urban landscape, with productions ranging from political research to specific architectural designs.

For the World Expo in Shanghai, ZUS designed two parks. One in a formal harbour area, and one surrounding the Dutch pavilion. And for the Dutch town of Almere they recently developed an ambitious plan to expand the coastal zone.

In 2007 ZUS won the prestigious Maaskant Prize for their continued campaign against the squandering of public space for commercial purposes.

One of the ways they coarchitecture mmunicate their ideas is via so-called “unsolicited recommendations”. Letters to ministers and city councils in which Van Boxtel and Koreman volunteer advice on current urban issues.

With such political engagement, these young architects strongly distinguish themselves from the generation before them. Architects like Van Boxtel and Koreman appear to be much more idealistic and much less focused on form and spectacle.

This is exactly why ZUS developed a plan to revive an office building in the centre of Rotterdam, that had been empty and unused for almost 2 decades. The Schieblock will be a city laboratory in which different organizations will be working on new ideas for urban transformation in a pragmatic and multidisciplinary way.

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.

CREDITS Director: Mattijs Mollee, Camera: Marijn Zurburg, Sound: Bram Meindersma, Editing: Dominique Kools, Music Sound Design: Pastelle Music, Research: Kirsten Hannema, Commissioning editor Submarine: Geert van de Wetering, Producer Submarine: Olivia Sophie van Leeuwen, Produced by Submarine, Commissioned by DutchDFA

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