1ab: live on the internet

On Wednesday May 7, Queen Beatrix will open the first International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam which will be held from May 7th until July 7th. A number of activities during the opening week will be streamed live on the Internet. For those planning to go, here follows a summary of the extensive programme

Live Streams Architecture Biennale Rotterdam

Events streamed live on the internet:

08 May (Thursday)  09.30 – 15.30 h CET (GMT + 1)

– symposium World Avenue pt 1

09 May (Friday)  9.30 – 16.00 h CET (GMT + 1)

– symposium World Avenue pt 2

10 May (Saturday)  9.15 – 17.00 h CET (GMT + 1)

– symposium Holland Avenue

Click here tot go to the

Biennale Live Streams Site


At the basis of the Biennale is a study into the aesthetics of Dutch motorways carried out by curator Francine Houben. Within the framework of the Biennale she has extended her research to cover comparable motorway studies at universities in other metropolises – among them Los Angeles, Jakarta, Mexico City, Tokyo, Budapest and Beirut – where conditions in many cases differ considerably from the those in the Randstad. In each city a 100-kilometre-long stretch of motorway was filmed using four cameras mounted on a car. (Tokyo opted for the train, since that is the most common mode of transport there). The physical characteristics were then examined in a standardised manner, which was developed for the ‘Holland Avenue’ study, and summarised in diagrams. As part of the study the universities designed a 10-kilometre stretch of motorway. The results of this worldwide study will go on show at the NAI under the title ‘World Avenue’, described by the press release as the ‘centrepiece’ of the Biennale.

In addition to the international ‘World Avenue’, the NAI is also showing the results of the ‘Holland Avenue’ design study. Twelve schools of architecture – the academies of architecture in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the Faculty of Architecture at Delft University of Technology, the Berlage Institute and eight foreign schools – will be showing designs for a section of the motorway around the Randstad.

Another exhibition at the NAI, entitled ‘Motopias’, features various, mostly visionary and never-realised designs from the 20th century in which mobility (again, principally vehicular mobility) plays a major role in terms of design and space. The exhibition includes schemes by Frank Lloyd Wright, Leonidov, Le Corbusier and Alison and Peter Smithson.

The NAI is also staging the Mobility Lounge, which will function as meeting point with Internet café and workshop area, and the NAI arcade will feature a ’traffic tailback’ of vintage cars and other vehicles.

The second main location is the Las Palmas warehouse. This is where the laboratory character of the event should be most apparent. On show under the title Mob_Lab, Open Biennale will be various designs in the fields of public transport, environment, automobile innovation, experimental transport systems, art, architecture and urban design. Around 90 of the 300 projects submitted will be on show in Las Palmas. Analogous to the ‘World Avenue’ study, the submissions are grouped into the categories Road, Verge and Field and complemented by the themes Interchange, Fiction/NonFiction and Urban Planning.

The programme also promises numerous presentations, by many Dutch and a few foreign institutions, often but not always related to the Biennale theme (such as the presentation of plans for ground zero). Such activities have obviously be added to bolster the festive spirit.

Open Forum for Debate

Throughout the entire period of the Biennale – from May 7 to July 7 – an ‘extensive programme of symposia, lectures and discussions’ will be staged under the title ‘Open Forum for Debate’. Subjects for discussion include ‘expanding the profession of architecture to encompass mobility today, the challenge for schools of architecture to find new ways of addressing the reality of mobility, and the issue of whether or not authorities and clients should include architects in interdisciplinary design teams involved in spatial research’. Public lectures will be held on four successive Saturdays, and on Saturday afternoons participants in Mob_Lab will explain their designs. In June their will also be a major debate chaired by Marcel van Dam. The highlight, however, will be the opening weekend of May 7-11. Events include two symposia (on ‘World Avenue’ and ‘Holland Avenue’) and the Star Speakers Festival, a series of evening discussions on mobility involving many top international architects.

Live streams on Internet

These are but a few of the activities taking place. So no hope for those who think they won’t miss a single event. For those unable to make it, and for the many students around the world who took part in the study but who cannot come to Rotterdam, the ‘World Avenue’ and ‘Holland Avenue’ symposia will be streamed live on the Internet. These live streams – organised by ArchiNed, V2, NAI and 1ab – are possible thanks to the Gigaport high-frequency experiment. The live-video streams of the symposia (and, possibly, the official opening ) will link up to a chat box so that Internet users can offer their views on themes and issues that arise during the symposia.