Reinier de Graaf
Reinier de Graaf is a partner at The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), where he heads the work of its think tank AMO, dedicated to demonstrating the wider relevance of architectural thinking beyond building and urban planning. Projects include: The Image of Europe, addressing the European Union's iconographic deficit; D-40210, a strategy to prevent further gentrification of European town centres; Eurocore, about the contours of Europe's first cross-border metropolis (spanning parts of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium); and The State of Moscow, a proposal for a more accountable system of governance for Moscow. De Graaf is also in charge of AMO’s increasing work on energy planning, including Zeekracht: a strategic masterplan for the North Sea; Roadmap 2050: A Practical Guide to a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Europe, with the European Climate Foundation; and The Energy Report, a global plan for 100% renewable energy, with the WWF.
1/8/2014 | Architecture Column
12/2006. We are approached to design a science campus at the easternmost edge of Kazakhstan, about 100km from the Chinese border. The brief describes a business park that will be the location of a Technical University, as well as a new oil company headquarters, the latter also being our client on this job. The aim is to create a ‘Technopolis’, translated into Russian as ‘Naukograd’, an old Soviet concept to denote cities built in the former USSR specifically for the pursuit of science. This reference in particular convinces us to go for it; we begin to make preparations for our first visit.
We show slides, and our commentary is in the form of short sentences to give the translators enough time to follow. After explaining that the circulation in our plan should be read as ‘an egalitarian system based on democratic principles’, the translations stutter: the translator gently asks us to move onto the next slide. His English is impeccable.