On May 5th Het Nieuwe Instituut and SeARCH started with the construction of Het Nieuwe Paviljoen in Rotterdam Museumpark, right across the Sonneveld House. The design of the temporary house can be best described as a Yourtopia, a personal but also utopian vision on living in the early 21st century. Social issues like the influence of globalization, the longing for privacy and the almost perverse imbalance in the distribution of wealth have changed our vision on contemporary architecture. Therefore with the design of this temporary house, we went back to the basics: “What are our minimum needs in order to enjoy a maximum quality of life?”
On May 29 the pavilion opened its doors to the public. The innovative steel construction intentionally refers to the originally most used and minimal construction in the world; the Iglo, Yurt, Rondavel or Tukul; the often traditional nomadic dwelling.We are more and more people on earth, with a fast growing ‘ecological footprint’. And yet Mukesh Ambani built a private house of over 50 floors in Mumbai. Naomi Campbell got an ‘unfortunate hybrid of a traffic tower and a spaceship’ designed by Zaha Hadid from her (by now ex) boyfriend. And the importance to isolate this exclusivity from ‘normal reality’ is increasing.
‘Yourtopia’ tries to match the consequences of the absolute numbers, globalization, privacy and other pressing issues with a ‘back-to-basics’ attitude in which all external noise is replaced by an inner orientated and elementary quality.The time seems right for a fundamental reset. What is essential, what has a future? Het Nieuwe Paviljoen is a distinct utopia, a controlled and constructed inner space, a quiet refuge.