Thijs de Zeeuw & Pieter Alexander Lefebvre - NL

BIOTHEEK, 2013
installation

Architect Pieter Alexander Lefebvre and
landscape architect Thijs de Zeeuw form a
design duo that examines and renders visible
the process of assimilation between the city
and its flora and fauna. Urban nature has the
tendency to not always be recognisable as
‘nature’. The city’s driving and dominating
character imposes restrictions on the existing
flora and fauna. As a result, nature in the city
explores the boundaries of its biotope. The
way in which this process unfolds, is the subject
of the installation titled ‘Biotheek’ (Bio-Library/
Archive), which Lefebvre and De Zeeuw are
presenting in the gallery space of Soledad
Senlle Art Foundation.

The installation for KadS is made up of
container linings: bags with the universal
measurements of a sea container. The lining is
an untouched space, which can easily be
adapted and filled in a variety of ways. The
U-form installation, which visitors can walk
through, contains simulated urban conditions.
Edges, paving patterns, skirting boards and
walls form diverse ecological niches, in which
the conditions of damp, light and nutrients for
the urban plants vary. The framework for the
urban vegetation is site-specific and generic
at the same time. By taking the plants out of
their urban context, the beauty of each
individual plant is emphasised. The reciprocal
influence of urban ecology is made visible in a
truly unique manner.

Lefebvre [Oegstgeest, 1977] studied
architecture at TU Delft and has worked as an
architect since 2004. During his study at the
Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam he carried
out research into assimilation as a design
method. He formulated strategies for the
temporary use of vacant buildings. Landscape
architect Thijs de Zeeuw [Amsterdam, 1976]
studied at the Academy of Architecture in
Amsterdam and he is engaged with research into
and the design of ecological systems. Urban
nature is a recurring theme in his work.

www.biotope-city.net/author/thijs-de-zeeuw