West Side Stories



West Side Stories is an architecture festival in the form of an exhibition, several lectures and a publication. The project illuminates the celebrated urban renewal of the Oude Westen district in Rotterdam. Inspired by the postmodern aesthetics of Rotterdam’s urban renewal period 1970-1990, StudioSpass designed this colourful and dynamic identity as well as a 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 explored and mapped the Oude Westen as it is now. Essays by architects and critics critically reassess the period from the perspective of today.

Within the framework of West Side Stories, OMI organized 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 opening of the exhibition. In this new book from nai010 Publishers, designed by StudioSpass, Ben Maandag chronicles developments in five urban renewal districts, examining their significance for today’s Rotterdam.


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