Ronald Rietveld
landscape architect /
partner Rietveld Landscape

by Christa van Vlodrop

1. Background

Academy of Architecture, discipline landscape architecture. After winning the Prix de Rome Architecture in 2006, I founded Landscape Rietveld with economist / philosopher Erik Rietveld. The office was curator of the Dutch entry for the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale 2010.

2. Why are you fascinated with
architecture / urban development?

I am particularly fascinated by urban life in the public domain. The city as a place where diverse groups of people develop their activities, interests me more than solitary buildings. The office therefore has its own research program in the field of urban public domain.

3. Best city

Berlin. It is still a tolerant city with a large international appeal for young people who want to experiment. In districts such as Friedrichshain experimental living provides affordable space for a very vibrant city that continues 24 hours.

4. Most beautiful building

Rowan Gorilla VII.

5. Most beautiful park or square

The Garden of Earthly Delights.

6. Best public facility /
urban infill

Amsterdam's Seventeenth-century canal ring district, although of course it has become mostly scenery, it still works after four centuries. Talking about a broad view on sustainability... Ninety-nine percent of the so-called sustainable buildings that are built today will probably have a 300 year shorter life span.

7. Best 20th and 21st century innovations

The pill.

8. Next groundbreaking innovation

Not to be predicted. I am more interested in how we can create good conditions for innovation in the Netherlands. I believe that innovation in creative knowledge economy often occurs at the interface between design, science and technology. Good spatial conditions are an important factor in encouraging such cross-fertilization. This vision was captured in Barbara Vissers 'Placebook Panorama' in Venice.

9. About the future of cities

Let us first start exploiting all the vacancy intensively. Temporary, interim use of one week to ten years, preferably used for surprising experiments.

10. Personal contribution to urban development

I want to show at various scales that which may seem impossible, may in fact be done. Think for example of the plan for the Prix de Rome in which the first winter resort in Europe comes to life.

11. Guerrilla in the city?

Exciting are for instance illegal parties in ports or old buildings. At 24.00 hours you hear where the location will be. The sense of belonging among those present late at night is unique. It contradicts the 'maintained' and commercial world of daily life. I am convinced that a vital nightlife with a good underground-scene is crucial for a city's economic and cultural capital, attracting investments, binding of young talent and innovation. In many cities, especially NY and Amsterdam, due to strict legislation and enforcement this has become a lot less exciting in the last 10 years. My motto is: Enter at your own risk.