Pop-in Expo
Varying presentations in the foyer

According to the platform nextcity.nl, a strong ecosystem and rich biodiversity are the basis for a higher quality of life for all species, and a fundamental responsibility of their designers. This pop-in expo, 'Building for Biodiversity’, shows the entry of students of Maike van Stiphout and Mathias Lehner (nextcity.nl), who focus on building for biodiversity.


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam



Research shows that in 2050 three quarters of all people will live in a city, and this extreme density of population will undoubtedly reduce the quality of life in these urban areas. Nextcity.nl have proposed a solution by connecting these demographic and spatial changes with design and nature, developing a new way of living together in the city.

‘Building for Biodiversity’ presents recent projects by students and alumni that focus on building for biodiversity, and many of the projects shown are the result of design masterclasses given by Maike van Stiphout (Head of Landscape Interior at the academy) and Mathias Lehner (architect at LEGU), both of whom are research directors and initiators of nextcity.nl.

'Zeehondeneiland' by Marlena Rether, which is part of the entry for the exhibition ‘Space Time Existence’ at the 2018 Venice Biennale, and 'Lifeline' by Floris Grondman, will be featured in the pop-in expo.


As seals are being spotted more frequently in the waters of Amsterdam, Marlena Rether has developed plans for a seal archipelago. These islands are made of stray plastic fished from the IJ, creating a resting places for the seals, anchored down by a reef-like habitat suited to the diet of the seals: fish. In attracting fish and seals, it will in turn attract admirers by boat from the nearby quay.


Floris Grondman has created a way to integrate the growth of nature into the development plan around Kanaleneiland in Utrecht. The designs include architectural objects in which natural vegetation can nestle and grow, creating an interplay between dynamic green and static grey, resulting in a rich biodiversity and growing ecosystem to add to the quality of life in the city.

Pop-in expo

Bi-weekly changing presentations in the Het Nieuwe Instituut’s foyer. A controversial new design, sensational research, work by an emerging talent or a new acquisition for the State Archive for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning are given a place in the spotlight.