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Marinke Steenhuis, Esther Darley, Noël van Dooren, Lilli Licka, Lodewijk Wiegersma , Lara Voerman

Bureau B+B. Urbanism and Landscape Architecture
Collective Genius 1977-2010

Design: Sander Boon, Illustrated (colour and b/w), Paperback, 608 pages, size: 17 x 23 cm
English/Dutch edition, ISBN 978-90-5662-756-0, € 54.00
December 2010

With the support of the Netherlands Architecture Fund and the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB)

Bureau B+B. Urbanism and Landscape ArchitectureSince it was established by Riek Bakker and Ank Bleeker in 1977, the Bakker & Bleeker bureau (operating as Bureau B+B since 1990) has functioned as a laboratory for the professional community. Designers such as Winy Maas, Adriaan Geuze and Michael van Gessel have worked there and the office was an incubator for design practices such as West 8, Karres en Brands and Rietveld Landscape.

The development of Bureau B+B coincides to a large extent with the emancipation of Dutch post-war landscape architecture and urbanism. Self-assured and autonomous, the bureau reintroduced design to the city, from an unexpected angle. It soon ranked among the world’s best, thanks among other things to its design for the Parc de la Villette in Paris (1982), a commission won ex aequo with designers such as Rem Koolhaas and Bernard Tschumi. The bureau has always been interdisciplinary, employing landscape architects, urban planners, architects, land development experts and industrial designers.

In Bureau B+B Urbanism and Landscape Architecture the bureau is positioned in the extended lines of the discipline and due attention is paid to masters such as Fred Zandvoort and Hans Warnau. What are the bureau’s core qualities and what parallels are there with topical themes in landscape architecture? A generous selection from its 1,500 projects, including the Dutch Pavilion for the World Expo 2000 in Hanover, the Waldpark in Potsdam, the Wollefoppenpark in Rotterdam, Amsterdam’s IJburg expansion district, all find a place in the book, in essays about topics such as competitions, drafting techniques, the use of plants and visual art. B+B is analytical, interdisciplinary, alienating, craftsmanlike and opinion-shaping – qualities which have ensured that, since 1978, international landscape architecture has been jointly shaped by and within this bureau.

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