Amsterdam’s famous canal district recently celebrated its 400th birthday this year. And though the district has grown and evolved throughout the centuries, now, more than ever before, this UNESCO World Heritage site is struggling with how to ensure the past doesn’t hold a vice-like grip on its future.
For Jarrik Ouburg, the problem was more specific: in such a historic district, how do you keep urban transformations from slowing to a stop? This question eventually led him to his ongoing project, “Tussen-ruimte.” Tussen-ruimte (Dutch for ‘between space’) installs pieces of contemporary art and architecture in the hidden alleys and courtyards that have formed over years of building in the canal district.
Office Jarrik Ouburg, the firm behind the project, installed the first ‘space’ in a small blind alley – 10 meters deep, 12 meters high and 80 centimeters wide (about 30ft deep, 40ft high and 2.5ft wide).