• Type: R&D project
  • Full title: Radical Spaces: Atlas of socio-ecological support systems on a local and regional scale
  • Funded by: Stimuleringsfonds
  • Core team: Aikaterina Myserli (project leader), Isabel Recubenis, Henk Hartzema
  • Status: 2020 – ongoing
  • Completion date: 01/07/2021 (first phase)

Building upon Land of Hope, the most recent research project of Studio Hartzema and FRESH, a need emerged to further expand the body of knowledge and research on unbuilt space. Having explored the components of this unbuilt land, and speculated on the possibilities for this land to accommodate Randstad’s urgent socio-economic and environmental problems, this collaboration is positioned within the need to understand and highlight the values behind contested open space.

Our practice-based research explored and represented urban and peri-urban green structures as main elements of urban spatial quality, shaping a typology of interactions between the built and the unbuilt, and between the urban dweller and nature. The key outcome of the collaboration is the development of an atlas of radical spaces in the Randstad that gathers and synthesizes the conducted research on existing and potential spaces with a historic, spatial quality and cultural meaning.

In this phase of the collaboration, the project fulfilled its objectives by completing its two components:

  1. Design research and development of a design atlas
  2. Publicising activities

The atlas became our research and design tool that enables the start of a conversation about the spatial and experiential qualities triggered by these green and blue spaces, opening the question of urban livability and preservation of contested open space in light of extreme urbanization trends. The Building Talent collaborative program and the development of this project helped both Studio Hartzema and Isabel Recubenis Sanchis, in our mutual portfolio development and has substantially increased our devotion to new research themes, design experiments and spatial analysis.

Selected locations
Historical overview of the Haagse Bos, The Hague
Green infrastructure map of Haagse Bos
Real estate value map, Haagse Bos
Haagse Bos, aerial view
Historical overview of Zuiderpark, Rotterdam
Green infrastructure map of Zuiderpark, Rotterdam
Real estate value map, Zuiderpark
Zuiderpark, Rotterdam
Zuiderpark, Rotterdam

Overview of partners:

The Atlas in its completion will be publicised in the end of 2021.