Thursday, March 1, 2007

Eastern Docklands - Privacy and Publicity

The Eastern Docklands located on the remnants of artificial islands used as dock-yards to the East of central Amsterdam, are an experiment for the future of housing in the Netherlands. The Islands' architecture is best described as a modernist intervention that issues a question of privacy and publicity in contemporary high density housing. Most of the architecture is pronounced with cut and paste attitude, but the integration of the "picture" window allows each individual apartment the satisfaction of a unique identity. Within each "frame" a host of opportunities to communicate with the public exist. Certain examples that I found include the display of property, (something of a more historic reference), communication with the public through signs and symbols of personal taste, attempting to document the public as a form of voyeurism or visual control, perceiving the public as a from of entertainment, and finally the ultimate perversion of the private / public relationship is the window used as framing of one's own self. This perversion allows the private life to be consumed as public and the public life to be entered as the private.

-nic fonner

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