City Mall

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Many Dutch cities dras­ti­cally changed and devel­oped their cen­ters from the 50s and 60s onward. In places such as Zoeter­meer, Almere, Rot­ter­dam and so on, the city cen­tre devel­oped around one main activ­ity: shop­ping. So far noth­ing new, but the impres­sive aspect is the extrav­a­gance and mon­u­men­tal­ity reached by new shop­ping roads and malls within the city’s core. In con­trast with the sobri­ety of Rot­ter­dam’ Lijn­baan devised and real­ized right after WW2, Zoeter­meer shows a new scale and image of the shop­ping. In Rot­ter­dam, a sim­i­lar attempt is rep­re­sented by OMA’s Coolsin­gel project, the ini­tial pro­posal was def­i­nitely dar­ing due to its crazy struc­ture and large scale.

How­ever, what is more shock­ing of the Zoeter­meer case is the deep con­trast between what is ded­i­cated to shop­ping and what is ded­i­cated to pub­lic activ­i­ties, such as the city hall, pub­lic library and train sta­tion. It seems as if some­one for­got about the last ones.

Shop­ping in Zoetermeer:

zoetermeer

City Hall and main square in Zoetermeer:

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Rot­ter­dam Lijnbaan:

Coolsin­gel by OMA, ini­tial proposal:

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2 thoughts on “City Mall

  1. 1001 00101 says:

    They are designed by men who have a clear idea of what sell­ing is about!

  2. nomoreladida says:

    I won­der how many of these build­ings were designed by men. Us men have no idea what shop­ping is about, why bother design­ing them?

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94Maggie

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

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Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 18:10:56

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on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:58:10

@Conrad having worked in one of those offices that you mention, I have found your post as much provocative as naive and simplistic. I should make an entire post to explain why... will leave that for later. Thanks, anyway, to keep the discussion alive

Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:45:07

Besides my terrible diction or lack thereof this raises another issue. Should we really feel outrage or sympathy for these interns? After all the ones who can afford to take these kind of jobs are the sons and daughters of the wealthy. What this letter is, is infact symbolic capital and social significance for sale. The rich kid can buy this piece of significance for among other reasons to go to a party and say to his less affluent counterpart, "hey I work for SANAA, or DS+R or whoever. Where do you work again?" Its a status symbol, just like a porsche, or a private jet. Affordable to a selected few that can afford it.