Bureau Europa interprets and presents architecture in the broadest sense. Oftentimes, the focus is on all the various forms of design: from the architecture of social structures to the food we eat and the clothes we wear; from the impact of old crafts on modern interior and landscape design to how the organization of digital structures or politics of fertility work through in our day-to-day affairs.
This broad concept of architecture, of a ‘designed environment’, also translates to the paper architecture that is more often meant to provoke than to be realized. In the past, Bureau Europa exhibited about unrealised urban planning in Maastricht, about evocative design of new city monuments by the great architects of the past, and, in the near future, about the as of yet unrealised – and perhaps never to be realised – bunkers and safehouses of the doomsday preppers and utopia pilgrims.
A project such as Constant’s New Babylon perfectly ties into the mission that Bureau Europa carries. Although the initial concepts have been reworked into a concrete building project in The Hague nowadays, which interests us for its architectural qualities, the philosophical backdrop of the project fascinates us too. Constant’s visions, originating in the 1960s simultaneously with Hartsuyker’s Biopolis, experiment with the societies of tomorrow, the automatisation of labour, the leisure economy and the future of living and designing. All of this coming together in architectural models, design drawings, art works and, in the end, an actual building constitute an interdisciplinary approach that are significant and inspiring to Bureau Europa and its practices.