Art and music in Boijmans
March 2012

Winner of the Rotterdam Design Prize 2011

Rietveld Landscape wins the Rotterdam Design Prize 2011with design for re-use of empty buildings for the creative industries.

Winner Rotterdam Designprize 2011, photo: Fred Ernst
Winner Rotterdam Designprize 2011, photo: Fred Ernst

On Sunday 12 February Rietveld Landscape received the Rotterdam Design Prize 2011 from Ahmed Aboutaleb for the design ‘Vacant NL’. Fifteen nominees competed for the coveted prize from the end of November. The winning project had previously been shown at the Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2010 in an exhibition about ‘emergency architecture’ curated by the Netherlands Architecture Institute for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

According to the jury
The installation calls upon the Dutch government to use the country’s enormous stock of empty buildings, dating from the seventeenth century to the twenty-first century, for creative and innovative ventures. The plan does not ask the government for money, but simply to hand over the keys of the buildings in order to facilitate connections and cross-fertilisation. According to the jury, ‘Vacant NL’ by Rietveld Landscape has tackled a complex issue with simple means: ‘Vacant NL succeeds as a visualisation, an installation and a political signal. It is not a on-off event. In the eyes of the jury, this nomination remains loyal to the basic principles of design. The design aspect is evident and the presentation, appearance and aesthetic components have been well considered. In this way ‘Vacant NL’ gets to the heart of design: uniting form and content in a physical experience with a direct and clear impact.’

The Premsela Public Prize was awarded to the Vlaamsch Broodhuys. The next edition of the Rotterdam Design Prize will take place in 2013. For more information about the competition, the nominations and to read the full jury report, visit: