I am interested in a possible architecture. In my work I start with form or material that often originates outside architecture. In the conviction that things can always be re-examined and reinterpreted, they can also be seen as architecture. In the same way as someone can see a butterfly or a lake in the ink blots of a Rorschach test. I want to look freely – more or less without a plan – at material gestures and found forms and let them perform as architecture. In this way, architecture emerges by imagining the next step that follows the steps already taken. I want the work to remain interpretable exactly the way it originated.
Anne Holtrop (1977 / NL) graduated cum laude in architecture from the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam in 2005 and is currently based in Amsterdam and Bahrain. His work ranges from models to temporary spaces and buildings. In 2015 the first two major buildings, the National Museum for the New Dutch Waterline and the National Pavilion of the Kingdom of Bahrain, were completed. In 2016, Anne Holtrop co-curated the Bahrain Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennial: Places of Production, Aluminium. The installation included a sand casted aluminium structure realized by Holtrop and a series of photos by Armin Linke and Giulia Bruno. The same year Anne Holtrop opened a second studio in Bahrein. The studio is currently working on the design of the Sheikh Isa Bin Ali Al-Khalifa Museum, the restoration of the Qaysariya Suq and the adaptation and conservation of 13 historic buildings in Muharraq. The redevelopment of the public streets and squares of the Sheikh Abrihim Centre is nearly completed.
Anne Holtrop was course director of the master Studio for Immediate Spaces at the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam from 2012 to 2016, and was editor of the architectural journal Oase from 2005 to 2013. He is currently visiting professor at the Accademia di architettura di Mendrisio. For his practice Anne has has been awarded several grants from the Mondrian Fund. In 2007 he received the Charlotte Köhler Prize for Architecture by the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation and in 2016 the prestigious Iakov Chernikhov International Prize 2014. 2G magazine dedicated its 73rd issue to Studio Anne Holtrop.
The Trail House, part of the Unknown Territory event at the Museum De Paviljoens in Almere (2009), is a short-lived, life-size model of a single-storey house. It follows a series of trails in the ground next to the museum that are created by the daily circulation of pedestrians. The house becomes the path and transforms the inside into a ‘walking home’.
The Temporary Museum (Lake), is a temporary gallery in a nature reserve north west of Amsterdam (Aug – Sep 2010). Its shape is inspired by the automatic drawings of Jean Arp. The drawings are made by chance. Not likeness or beauty is its key aspect, as in traditionalism; nor logic or ratio as in modernism; but rather ‘the possible’ in the sense of what is merely conceivable, the idea that all things can be perceived and conceived differently.
Batara, Arabic for ‘taking away material (or hewing)’, is an ongoing work that currently consists of models, photos and a pavilion. It is being made in close collaboration with Bas Princen. The walls are cast forms made by pouring pigmented plaster or concrete directly into a mould made of sand. The resulting forms are used as walls with occasional openings cut into them. The walls are unrestricted in their shape and have a double-faced appearance.
Archaeologies of Green, the pavilion of the Kingdom of Bahrain at the Expo Milano 2015, designed by Studio Anne Holtrop in collaboration with landscape architect Anouk Vogel, is a poetic interpretation of the cultural agrarian heritage of the country, which stems from the ancient civilization of Dilmun. The pavilion is conceived as a succession of walled fruit gardens, intersected by roofed exhibition spaces, and a café. The forms are loosely inspired by those found in the archaeological ruins of the temple of Barbar in Bahrain, the temple built for Enki, the god of sweet water, that consequently permitted the development of a lush vegetation and agriculture in an otherwise arid region. The resulting plan of the pavilion is an abstract geometric drawing, of arcs and straight lines that creates a richness of spatial experiences within the defined boundaries of the walled perimeter.
The National Museum for the New Dutch Waterline, a new national museum on the Dutch use of flooded land as a line of defence, will be the first permanent building by Anne Holtrop to open in 2015. Situated on the site of the Vechten fortress, the development proposes constructing an underground building which uses the shape of the existing topography as the mould for the architectural form.
Barbar, Batara, Solo Galerie Paris (2016); Resource, Belmonte Arboretum, Wageningen (2013); Triggering Reality, Centro Pecci (2013); Pictographs, curated by Valerio Olgiati, Venice Biennale (2012); Batara, solo exhibition, in collaboration with Bas Princen, Leth & Gori Copenhagen (2012); Mind the System, Find the Gap, Z33, Hasselt (2012); The Dutch Identity. The Power of Now, Museum De Paviljoens, Almere (2011); Architecture Now: Museums and Galleries, Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2011); Reverse Process of Mountain Digging, Gyeonggi Creation Center, Seoul (2011); La Carte d’apres Nature, curated by Thomas Demand, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (2010).