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23rd NOVEMBER 2017


Resilience  describes the function and ability of buildings and their facades to recover from or adjust easily to change. “Resilience” addresses the impacts of climate change and globalization and of safety and security requirements on the building envelope. The first edition of the Detmold Conference Week 2017 connects education and research, scholars and professionals in different events and formats: a master workshop and two conferences will discuss the approaches of resilient design and construction for buildings and facades. The RMB Conference on Thursday 23rd November 2017 is organized by the consortium of the ERASMUS+

project “RMB: Reuse of Modernist Buildings. Design Tools for Sustainable Transformations”. There representatives of the consortium as well as international guest will debate in particular issues of Resilience of Modern Movement Buildings and Neighborhoods.  During the conference we will discuss new design and educational concepts for the reuse of modern postwar buildings for housing and other purposes – resilience through reuse. Scholars, PhD and master students present and discuss selected papers and posters.



Nov. 23rd // Reuse of Modernist Buildings

The RMB Conference is organised by the consortium of the Erasmus+ project ‘RMB: Reuse of Modernist Buildings. Design Tools for Sustainable Transformations.’ ( The partners (Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe, Universiteit Antwerpen, Universidade de Coimbra, Institutio Superior Técnico Lisboa, Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi and Docomomo International) are developing and discussing new design and educational concepts for the reuse of modern postwar buildings for housing and other purposes – resilience through reuse. Scholars, PhD and master students present and discuss selected papers and posters.

8.30 Registration (Room: Casino 3.103)

9.00 Welcoming
Prof. Dr. Yvonne-Christin Bartel (Vice President for Education and Internationalisation, OWL University of Applied Sciences)
Prof. Dr. Uta Pottgiesser (RMB Member, University of Antwerp)

Moderation: Prof. Dr. Gonçalo Canto Moniz, University of Coimbra


Resilient Neighbourhoods

9.15 Keynote lecture – DeFlat Kleiburg
Xander Vermeulen Windsant, XWV Architecture/NL architects on Bijlmermeer; Amsterdam ( Mies van der Rohe Award 2017)

10.00 Contested Resilience of a Modern Structure or “Dissonant Heritage”: Multilayered Identity of the Old Belgrade Fairground
Anica Dragutinovic, University of Antwerp/ OWL University of Applied Sciences

10.30 Post-WWII housing estates in Europe: obsolescence or resilience?
Zara Ferreira, Técnico Lisboa, Docomomo International; Lisbon

11.00 Coffee break

Resilient Building Skins

11.30  Keynote lecture – Lessons learned: The Renovation of Villa Tugendthat and the Unités d’habitation
Alex Dill, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe

12.15 Radium Pavilion of the Portuguese Institute of Oncology in Lisbon. A modernist functional skin.
Daniela Arnaut, Técnico Lisboa/ University of Lisbon

13.00 Lunch break

Reuse and Education

Moderation: Prof. Teresa Heitor, Técnico Lisboa

14.00 Presentation of RMB
Aslihan Tavil, Istanbul Technical University

14.15 Dialogue with the community and photo elicitation for reuse of modern buildings design studios: a pedagogical experience
Gonçalo Canto Moniz, University of Coimbra
Paulo Providência, University of Coimbra

15.00 Coffee break

Presentation Student Workshops
15.15 Role of Workshops in Education/ Workshop formats
Teresa Heitor, Técnico Lisboa

15.30 Student‘s research and results – RMB student workshop
16.00 Poster session, student’s results – Workshop Conference Week

17.00 Conclusion and Debate

18.00 End


Xander Windsant


Xander Vermeulen Windsant is principal architect and director of XVW architectuur. Xander studied at Delft University of Technology from 1999 to 2004 and graduated with Honours. After working with one of the leading architecture offces in Amsterdam, he established XVW architectuur in 2010 in order to independently address a new agenda for architecture emerging in the ongoing economic crisis. Since starting his offce he worked on a range of predominantly residential projects, both private and collective. In the collective housing projects collaboration with the future inhabitants is a key aspect of the development proces. In 2017, one of these projects, Kleiburg, was named the winner of the EU prize for Contemporary Architecture, the Mies van der Rohe Award 2017 (in collaboration with NL Architects). He has been a visiting critic at the Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology. He regularly writes for Dutch Online Architecture platform

Topic: DeFlat Kleiburg

Kleiburg is one of the biggest apartment buildings in the Netherlands: a bend slab with 500 apartments, 400 meter long, 10 + 1 stories high.

Kleiburg is located in the Bijlmermeer, a CIAM inspired residential expansion of Amsterdam designed in the sixties by Siegfried Nassuth of the city planning department.

De Bijlmer was intended as a green, light and spacious alternative for the -at that time- disintegrating inner city. The Bijlmer was designed as a single project. A composition of slabs based on a hexagonal grid. An attempt to create a vertical garden city.

Traffc modalities were radically separated; cars on elevated roads and bicycles and pedestrians on ground level. They would no longer share the same space.

Now the area houses about 100,000 people of over 150 nationalities.

The Bijlmermeer had a very optimistic start. But soon the enthusiasm for this radical residential area was overshadowed by fear-for-the-unknown. Fed by heavily economized execution, bad publicity, lack of understanding, poor maintenance and the sudden emergence of a new residential dream type -the suburban home- the Bijlmer turned into a slowly disintegrating parallel universe.

A renewal operation started in the mid nineties. The characteristic honeycomb slabs were replaced by mostly suburban substance, by ‘normality’.

However it was decided to keep the most emblematic area intact -fanking the stunning, for-ever-futuristic elevated subway line. The so-called Bijlmer Museum came into being; a compact refuge for Bijlmer Believers. Kleiburg is the cornerstone of the remaining ensemble.

Kleiburg is the last building in the area still in its original state; in a way it is the “last man standing in the war on modernism”.

Housing Corporation Rochdale, however, had plans to demolish it. They calculated that a thorough renovation would cost about 70 million Euro…

But bulldozing the masterpiece by architect Fop Ottenhof would lead to a collapse of the magnifcent urban composition.

In anticipation to the ferce resistance by ‘believers’ and pressure by the local government, that hoped to avert demolition, Rochdale launched a campaign to rescue the building: Kleiburg was offered for ONE EURO in an attempt to catalyze alternative, economically viable plans.

Over 50 parties responded with a range of ideas from student or elderly housing to woon/werk-units, or homes for the homeless.

Four teams were selected to further develop their ideas. Ultimately Consortium De FLAT consisting of KondorWessels Vastgoed, Hendriks CPO, Vireo Vastgoed and Hollands Licht, was chosen with their proposal to turn Kleiburg into a Klusfat. ‘Klussen’ translates as to do it yourself.

The idea was to renovate the main structure -elevators, galleries, installations- but to leave the apartments unfnished and unfurnished: no kitchen, no shower, no heating, no rooms. This would minimize the initial investments and as such created a new business model for housing in the Netherlands.

The ambition was to open up new ways to live, to offer new typologies by combining two fats (or even more!) into one, by making vertical and horizontal connections.

The future residents could buy the shell for an extremely low price and then renovate it entirely according to their own wishes: DIY. Owning an ideal home suddenly came within reach…

By many, repetition was perceived as evil. Most attempts to renovate residential slabs in the Bijlmer had focused on differentiation, the objective, presumably, to get rid of the uniformity, to ‘humanize’ the architecture.

But after two decades of individualization, fragmentation, atomization it seemed an attractive idea to actually strengthen unity: Revamp the Whole!

It became time to embrace what is already there: to reveal and emphasize the intrinsic beauty, to Sublimize!

In the eighties three shafts had been added on the outside featuring extra elevators: although they look ‘original’ they don’t belong there, they introduce disruptive verticality. But it turned out that these concrete additions could be removed. There was still enough space in the existing shafts; new elevators could actually be placed inside the existing cores. And the brutal beauty of the horizontal balusters could be restored!

Sandblasting the painted balusters revealed the sensational softness of the pre-cast concrete: better than travertine!

Originally the storage spaces for all the units were located on ground foor creating an impenetrable area, a ‘dead zone’ at the foot of the building. By relocating the storerooms to the upper levels near the elevators the ground level could be freed up for more interactive forms of inhabitation: apartments, workspaces, daycare. As such the plinth would be activated: a social base embedded in the park.

The interior street that served as the connector between parking garages and elevator cores was a fundamental ingredient of the Bijlmer. It was located on the frst foor at plus three meters and
forced the underpasses to become low. And unpleasant. But since lowering the elevated roads was one of the central ideas of the renewal of the area the inner street became obsolete. Now larger openings could be created connecting both sides of the building in a more scenic and generous way.

On the galleries the division between inside and outside was rather defensive: closed, not very welcoming. There was room for improvement. The opaque parts of the facade were replaced with double glass. By opening-up, the facade becomes a personal carrier of the identity (even with curtains closed).

In addition a catalogue of facade modules was created from which the future inhabitants could choose a set of window frames that would match the customized layout of their FLATs: openable parts, sliding doors, double doors, a set-back that creates space for plants or people. As such a personal ‘interface’ could come into being that could activate the galleries.

Gallery illumination has a tendency to be very dominant in the perception of this type of single loaded apartment buildings. The intensity of the lamps that light up the front doors on the open-air corridors overrules the glow of the individual units. The warm ‘bernstein’ radiance of the apartments is obscured behind by a screen of cold lights. What if all gallery lights worked with energy saving motion detectors? Every passer -by a shooting star!

Anica Dragutinovic


Anica Dragutinovic is a PhD candidate at University of Antwerp, Belgium since 2016/17. Her PhD research is focusing on Modern architecture of Belgrade (Serbia) that is disintegrating due to disrepair or being altered beyond the recognition, and therefore urges repair and re-use strategies. She is a research assistant and a coordinator of the Master Program MIAD/MID – Facade Design at OWL UAS since 2016; and a member of the “Reuse of Modernist Buildings” (RMB) project. She obtained Master of Architecture in 2016 at University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture in Serbia. During the studies she has had different internships on international level, and won several prizes.

Keywords: Old Belgrade Fairground // Modern Structure // Multilayered Identity // Resilience // Dissonant Heritage

Topic: Contested Resilience of a Modern Structure or “Dissonant Heritage”: Multilayered Identity of the Old Belgrade Fairground

The Old Belgrade Fairground, a great example of the Early Modernism in Belgrade, underlined the modernization and Europeanization of the capital city of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The Fairground’s construction in 1937 on the bare terrain of today’s New Belgrade was the frst step of urbanisation of Belgrade on the left bank of the Sava river and was followed by the construction of the modern city after WWII. During the 80 years long history, the purpose of the Old Belgrade Fairground has been changed several times creating multilayered identity of the urban complex. The Modern exhibition space of the inter-war period was transformed into the infamous concentration camp during WWII. Structures that survived the bombings were re-used as a habitat for youth brigades that participated in the construction of New Belgrade, while its previous purposes were suppressed. During the rebuilding of the city in the post-war period, the Old Belgrade Fairground was ignored. As forgotten place of memory it was partly adapted by artists into ateliers and partly became shelter for poor people. Despite its multileveled historical, cultural and architectural signifcance, the Old Belgrade Fairground today is neglected. Although a pioneer of Modern Movement in Belgrade, and at the same time an important memorial place, it is today a ruined structure that is decaying. Its multiple histories and “too much identity” created absence of any planned activity in order not to make a wrong one. After its ability to absorb different functions and adapt to huge transformations, its resilience is being contested by disability to balance the complex history. The paper investigates on the transformations and presents a concept of “dissonant heritage” as an instrument for renewal of the Old Belgrade Fairground that needs to use all of its complexity in order to truly recover from the past.

Zara Ferreira


Zara Ferreira, architect and master in architecture (2012) from T.cnico- University of Lisbon, with a dissertation entitled The Modern and the Climate in the Lusophone Africa. School buildings in Mozambique: the Fernando Mesquita concept (1955-1975), developed in the framework of the FCT research project EWV – Exchanging Worlds Visions (, where she acted as fellow and researcher (2011-2013). Architect participant in the Portuguese official representation of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale and copy editor of the Journal Homeland-News from Portugal (2014). Secretary general of Docomomo International and co-editor of Docomomo Journal (2014-2017).

Currently doing her PhD, in T.cnico – University of Lisbon and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, on the preservation of post-XXII European sites and neighbourhoods, with a Doctoral Fellowship from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (Funda..o para a Ci.ncia e a Tecnologia).

Ana Tostões


Ana Tostões, PhD is an architect, architecture critic and historian, president of Docomomo International and editor of the Docomomo Journal. She is a Full
Professor at Técnico, University of Lisbon, where she is in charge of the Architectural PhD programme. She has been invited professor at universities worldwide. She has a degree in Architecture (ESBAL, 1982), a Master’s degree in History of Art (UNL, 1994) with a thesis entitled Os Verdes Anos na Arquitectura Portuguesa dos Anos 50 (FAUP Ed., 1997), holds a PhD (IST-UL, 2003) on culture and technology in Modern Architecture (Idade Maior, FAUP Ed., 2015), awarded the X Bienal Ibero-Americana de Arquitectura y Urbanismo Prize 2016. Her research field is the Critical History and Theory of Contemporary Architecture, focusing on the relationship between European, Asian, African and American cultures. On this topic, she has published books and essays, curated exhibitions, organised scientific events, coordinated research projects, supervised theses, taken part in juries and committees, and given lectures worldwide. She coordinated the research project Exchanging World Visions (PTDC/AUR-AQI/103229/2008) focused on Sub-Sahara African architecture during the Modern Movement period, which was published and awarded the Gulbenkian Prize 2014, and currently coordinates the research project “Cure and Care_the rehabilitation” (PTDC/ATP-AQI/2577/2014). In 2006, his Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic made her a Commander of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique for her work on behalf of Portuguese architecture and its promotion in Portugal and abroad.

Keywords: Europe // Post-WWII // Housing // Welfare state // Reuse // Resilience

Topic: Post-WWII housing estates in Europe: obsolescence or resilience?

Endangered by its social, functional and technical obsolescence, many of the Post-WWII housing estates are currently the main focus of problematic urban areas, infrastructurally and socially disconnected from the city. At a time when l’habitat pour le plus grand nombre is in danger, looking back to these estates, built within the framework of the welfare state, is an opportunity and a fundamental step for an integrated discussion on urban development. Addressing social integration, functional use, and building technology, this paper present successful preservation strategies undertaken in three European post-WWII case studies, demonstrating how reuse can be used as a vehicle for sustainable progress.

Wessel de Jonge


Wessel de Jonge (1957) graduated in architecture from TU Delft, the Netherlands. As a partner in Wessel de Jonge Architects in Rotterdam, his portfolio includes the restorations of the Netherlands Pavilion at the Venice Biennale by Gerrit Rietveld of 1953 and of the former Sanatorium ‘Zonnestraal’ in Hilversum by Duiker & Bijvoet of 1926-31, as well as the rehabilitation of the Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam by Brinkman & Van der Vlugt of 1926-30. Recent projects include the restoration and adaptive reuse of Aldo van Eyck’s 1960 Orphanage in Amsterdam. He is also a partner in the design team for the ongoing revitalisation of the 1938 Olympic Stadium in Helsinki.In 1990 Wessel de Jonge was the Founding Secretary of DOCOMOMO International, and in 1994 he started the DOCOMOMO International Specialist Committee on Technology. He has published extensively and lectured internationally on various aspects of Modern Movement heritage. Since 2015 he is full professor in Heritage & Design at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft. Wessel de Jonge will speak about the re-use of the GAK-Offce Building (Gemeenschappelijk Administratie Kantoor) built in 1959 from the architect Ben Merkelbach in Amsterdam. The building has been modifed into housing providing small starter-appartements (‘de studio’).

Topic: From Offce to Housing. The GAK-Building became ‘de studio’

The Amsterdam district of Bos en Lommer is undergoing a true metamorphosis that addresses a growing socio-economic dynamism in an innovative residential and working area. Centrally located in this area, the offce building of the Gemeenschappelijk Administratie Kantoor (GAK) was built from 1957-59 after a design of the architect Ben Merkelbach, who was the city-architect of Amsterdam from 1956-61. Clad with green coloured glazing the building was nicknamed “The Aquarium” from the very beginning. This huge offce building of nearly 40.000 m2 along the A 10 highway hosted 3.000 people. Employees were divided into departmental “villages” of 12 to 28 staff to ensure the human scale in the large building. With a dimension of 155 m length and 47 m height the building has 11 foors and is divided into two wings, separated by a projecting central section. Being ultramodern at that time, the GAK building was equipped with escalators, air-conditioning, cold-heat storage in the groundwater and a curtain-wall with green double glazing. The GAK offce was an early example of a fully air-conditioned building in the country. Only the windows in the canteens and the ground foor could be opened.

Despite its original innovative character, the building suffered from vacancy since 2005 and became a blind spot in the neighbourhood. After various feasibility-studies which our offce has conducted for various programs for property developer AM and Housing Corporation Stadgenoot, the functional program that was fnally adopted involved residential studios for starters while the two lowest foors are hosting businesses and a lounge area. Some of the apartments are offered in the student rental sector. With moderate purchase prices, the concept of compact living at a location within the A10 ring road has proved successful. The apartments of about 28 m2 are accessed through a spacious entrance hall with service desk, laundrette, coffee outlet and other common facilities. The lifts, halls and hallways feature daylight and a distinctive color scheme that increases recognisability. A challenge was to cope with the extreme requirements for noise protection which resulted in a new double facade construction.

The ground foor and basement are redeveloped into multifunctional premises, the interior of which is designed by Zecc architects commissioned by The Amsterdam Company. These areas play an important role as a meeting space of the complex. The livelihood is further enhanced by interacting with the renovated city park with the original sculpture pavilion of the architect Enrico Hartsuyker, which is also used by The Studio’s residents. Due to the combined facilities and the green environment, the new residential community developed into a “vertical neighbourhood” in a short time.

Daniela Arnaut


Architect, and a PhD candidate at Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon University.

She teaches Architectural Design Studio since 2009 at Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon University. Her Phd thesis is on Architecture regarding the Portuguese healthcare buildings from 1930 to 1970. In 2017 she was the Executive Coordinator of the International Workshop of the 14th International DOCOMOMO Conference, in Lisbon. In 2016, she co-coordinated a student’s exchange workshop in Liverpool University in London.

She joined several research teams regarding modern architecture: “Inquérito à Arquitectura Portuguesa do Século XX” (2005); Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation publications (2006-2015), “Gulbenkian Headquarters and Museum.The Architecture of the 60s” (2006); and several publications for the Docomomo Ibérico (2009-2011). She’s a member of Docomomo International Association.

In 2015 was a jury for Archiprix Portugal. Until 2011 she collaborated with Risco S.A. architecture offce on projects such as Ferreira Dias secondary school and the NATO Summit in Lisbon, and Santa Filomena Hospital, in Coimbra.

Keywords: Healthcare // Facade // Charakter // Resilience

Topic: Radium Pavilion of the Portuguese Institute of Oncology in Lisbon. A modernist functional skin

Healthcare buildings are a typology that has not been studied yet in Portugal. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the how the façades of the Portuguese Institute of Oncology (1927 -1948), designed and built in the 20th century, have been, are being transformed in order to fulfl technical and legal requirements.The main research question was focused on how to keep the identity and architectural character of buildings within the everyday pressure of imperative technical necessities of medical assistance.The methodology established several steps: from surveying bibliographic sources followed by a rigorous architectural analysis, to feldwork survey, and to the collection of personal statements from an institutional group of people and doctors. Following this methodology we were able to systematize the original designs and their concepts and ideologies, and to understand the main changes occurred, and why.Through bibliographic sources and feldwork survey was possible to identify what remains from the original design, and what are the main challenges of updating healthcare buildings within the pre-existent structure and architectural language. From personal statements was clearly identifed that the main challenges are fnancials constraints, and how to establish the balance of the pressure and primacy of medical assistance within the architectural heritage.A rigorous methodology of documenting and understanding the original design, and from that being able to defne strategies of intervention, seems to be the solution to adjust to change. Nevertheless in buildings where saving life’s is the primary mission, modernist façades become simply the functional envelope where anything can be done to save a human life.

Gonçalo Moniz


Gonçalo Canto Moniz graduated on Architecture at the Department of Architecture of the University of Coimbra, where he is Assistant Professor, and editor of JOELHO, Journal of Architectural Culture. Obtained his PhD degree in Architecture at the University of Coimbra in 2011. He is a researcher of the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra. He has been researching about modern architecture, namely about school buildings and
architectural education. He coordinates the University of Coimbra team for the “Reuse of Modernist Buildings” research project. He published: Arquitectura e Instrução (e|d|arq, 2007); “Para um espaço de aprendizagem democrático”,Morfema, 4, 2017; “Fernando Távora Oporto’s Urban Renewal. A Changing Moment in Urban Rehabilitation Policy Debate”, Journal of Urban History, 2017.

Paulo Providencia

Paulo Peixoto is a research fellow at CES and an assistant professor in Sociology at the University of Coimbra, Faculty of Economics. He holds a PhD in Sociology by the University of Coimbra, and an M.A. and first degree also in Sociology by the same university. He is the Director of the Ensino Superior ¬ Revista do SNESup (Higher Education Review). His research interests are on cities and urban cultures; heritage; tourism; urban exclusion and violence; higher education; and academic fraud. He published: A cidade e o turismo:
dinâmicas do turismo urbano em Coimbra, 2012; A água como património: experiências de requalificação das cidades com água e das paisagens fluviais, 2016; Fraude e Plágio na Universidade, 2016.

Keywords: Design process // Design methodologies // Pedagogical collaborations // Photo-elicitation // Ethnography 

Topic: Dialogue with the community and photo elicitation for reuse of modern buildings design studios: a pedagogical experience


The re-use of modernists buildings is one of todays architectural challenges, considering the necessity of transforming the functionalist response set up by modern architecture, between the 1920s and 1970s. In this sense, the architecture schools need to develop supplementary design methodologies to provide students with tools that could help them to face this new problem, in order to achieve a more responsible architecture.

In the frame of the Erasmus research project, Re-Use of Modernist Buildings, design studios at the university of Coimbra are working with other teachers from social sciences, as Anthropology, Sociology, and Geography. The aim is to put students in open dialogue with stakeholders to develop a participatory process.

More than co-designing solutions, the stakeholders, as users of the buildings, should share with the students ventures concerning theirs everyday life, their memories, theirs practices, in other words, the images and the voices that are part of that building. In fact, a building is not only a physical structure but also a life container, and

that should also be part of the project.
During the last year, Design Studio 1C, explored with the unit Anthropology, Culture and Architecture, the integration of photo- elicitation in the design process, namely in meetings with the former users and workers of the Vitasal Industrial Complex.

This paper will explore two dimensions: rstly, the relevance of photo-elicitation for architectural design; secondly, the re ection on the pedagogical experience developed with architecture students, using their work, namely the project portfolio, where the design process of the two units is articulated.

To conclude, the paper aims to characterize the photo-elicitation as a tool for architectural design, in order to train the social responsibility of the architect, because, “to know is to understand” (Filgueiras, 1985).


The registration is possibly until 21.11.2017. Please click on the red button to register for the RMB Conference. The Conference is open for public and free of charge.

Paper Submission

According to Organizing Committee’s decision, the authors can submit their papers directly until 01.09.2017.

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