The Structuralism exhibition at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, NL, was an exhibition and summit exploring the Structuralism movement of the mid 20th century. Visits to the exhibition are theatricised, sometimes become performances in the cases of the opening and public debates in the evening. To this end the installation is conceived as both a podium and a large furniture piece. The installation is a mini-megastructure, a landscape and environment at the same time. It holds references to the spaces of Van Eyck's Orphanage (the Conversation Pit), and the roofscapes of Piet Blom.

Performative exhibition design questions relations between fixed and static, performer and the viewer, taking and giving information.

La práctica arquitectónica es un ejercicio de optimismo. Pensar que para cada problema y cada programa hay, al menos, una solución. El diseño de Bureau LADA para la exposición ‘Structuralism, An Installation in Four Acts’ es uno de los proyectos más optimistas que recuerdo. Una arquitectura que es exposición, salón, vitrina, escenario, biblioteca, pasarela. Y que confía en poder aglutinar todo ello en un solo gesto. Lo sorprendente, en este caso, es que el optimismo es fundado. Los elementos que conforman este mueble-edificio-sistema son intercambiables, pero no las relaciones que se establecen entre ellos. Al más puro estilo estructuralista. Y lo mejor es que, además, es rojo.

— Marina Otero Verzier

Accessing the mini-megastructure.

Countless experiments in simple foam were made before arriving at the final form

Sketch of possible changes of vantage points of the exhibition.

The Conversation Pit, a direct reference to Aldo van Eyck's broken circles, was a forum for public discussion. The curtain could be raised or lowered as necessary to provide greater intimacy and focus.

A single colour (red!) unified multiple materials and planes. On this curtain we can also see Van Eyck's iconic orphanage, referenced in this project by the Conversation Pit

Test models

sketches of Piet Blom
The landscape provided the setting and the connecting thread for the exhibition itself, curated by Dirk van den Heuvel from Jaap Bakema Centre at The New Institute.

recording the sessions: debates and performances

secret library

Discovering the drawers with Aldo van Eyck archives. Information for the exhibition distributed throughout the exhibition in a layered manner.

John Habraken talking to curator Dirk vd Heuvel.

Scenes from the opening (with Herman Hertzberger queuing to perform his views on Structuralism.

Skating zig-zag area, drawing by Shimeright company