Essays & interviews

The Blue House

Paul O'Neill – Nov 2012

Brief Introduction

The Blue House was a durational art project initiated in the Netherlands by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk in 2005. Van Heeswijk arranged for a large cobalt-blue-coloured villa in a housing block, designed by Teun Koolhaas Associates (TKA), to be taken off the private housing market and re-designated as a space for community research, artistic production and cultural activities. The housing block is situated in IJburg, a newly-built suburb of the city of Amsterdam, which is set for completion in 2012 and is expected to contain 18,000 homes for 45,000 residents. In collaboration with architect, Dennis Kaspori, and artist, Hervé Paraponaris, Van Heeswijk ran The Blue House project as a centre for research and artistic and cultural production, looking at
what happens when such a radical approach to urban planning and community development is employed.
Over a four-year period, artists, architects, thinkers, activists, writers and scholars of various nationalities were invited to live and work in the Blue House for periods of up to six months. Invitees conducted research, produced works of art, films and publications and were involved in discussions and related activities.This resulted in numerous researchled interventions being made by practitioners in and around the Blue House and IJburg, which responded to the specifics of a place undergoing construction as part of an extensive urban renewal plan.

Download the PDF to read the full text.

Preparing for the not-yet

Jeanneworks – 2016

The Blue House

Paul O'Neill – 2012

Playing the City

Maaike Lauwaert – 2008

In The Field of Players

Kim van de Werff – 2004


Siebe Thissen – 2002

The Miracle of Gorinchem

Jo van der Spek – 2002

Principles of Hope

Henk Slager – 2002

The Ontology of the Bagel Cart

Martin Lucas – 2001

Networks, faces, membranes

Reinaldo Laddaga – 1999


Maaike Engelen – 1999

A House for the Community

Ole Bouman – 1995