Youthful tension: Youth Centre, Amsterdam, by Atelier Kemp Thill.
Text: Detail Daily
The beautiful stone circles created by the artist Richard Long in the mid 1990s exploit the tension created when naturally rugged, or roughly shaped stones are arranged into a circle whose purity and simplicity looks incongruous or at least unnatural. The power in this tension is riveting. How can this be architecturally translated?
Well this building, a youth centre designed by Atelier Kermpe Thil, looks nothing like Long's work, but achieves a similar kind of tension with its plain, though not pristine, white box that appears to sit on a crystalline glass structure below.
The first thing to note is that the building is prominent in its urban context, set within a significant square. That alone gives an indication of how important it is regarded in its local community. But the next thing I like is that it stands as its own thing, and does not pander to the stylistic frills of say a fleeting pop cultural aesthetic, whatever that may be at any given time.
This building was recently featured on Archdaily who I would like to thank for drawing my attention to it.