West Side Stories

West Side Stories is an architecture festival in the form of an exhibition, several lectures and a publication.The project is illuminating the celebrated urban renewal of the Oude Westen district in Rotterdam. Inspired by the postmodern aesthetics of Rotterdam ’s urban renewal period (1970-1990) full of public protest and “Trespa plating” we designed this colourful and dynamic identity as well as the book and an exhibition.

The exhibition showcases the neighbourhood protests with posters, local papers, cartoons and pamphlets from the Oude Westen Action Group. Audio material lets you hear the stories of architects, film footage shows what the neighbourhood looked like in the past, and interior photos introduce current residents. Maps and plans reveal how designers created more space in the neighbourhood and experimented with forms of housing. ArchitectuurMaken, Bart Isings, Charlie Koolhaas and Studio Verter have explored and mapped the Oude Westen as it is now. Essays by architects and critics — Tim Verlaan, Lidwine Spoormans, Florian Urban and Endry van Velzen — critically reassess the period from the perspective of today. The exhibition is still running till December 22nd.

Within the framework of West Side Stories, OMI organised a series of lectures, debates and film screenings at Leeszaal West. The first in the series was the presentation of the book Stadsvernieuwing in Rotterdam during the exhibition opening. In this new book from nai010 Publishers and designed by StudioSpass, Ben Maandag chronicles developments in five urban renewal districts, examining their significance for today’s Rotterdam.