ZUS / Profile

Putting architecture back in society. That is the mission of ZUS, a 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.

One of the ways they communicate 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, they 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.

The Schieblock

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 two 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 (Also watch The Luchtsingel-video).

This film is produced by Dutch Design Fashion and Architecture (DDFA). TheDDFA-website, www.dutchdfa.com, shows short documentaries about (landscape)architects, graphic, product and fashion designers in the Netherlands.