Discourse, Figure:

Or: How Did Neutelings and Riedjik in One Decade Pass from What?-Wow! to Wow!-What?

written by Andrej Radman


For some time the archdeacon contemplated in silence this gigantic structure; then, with a sigh, pointing with his right hand to the printed book opened on the table, and with his left hand to Notre Dame, and casting a mournful glance from book to church, ‘Alas!’ he said, ‘this will kill that.’
(Hugo, Victor: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1834)




In a somewhat self-ironic way Neutelings and Riedijk (N&R) promote ‘lazy architecture’. This term does not refer to their four-day working week, which has become an urban legend. It is about proverbial Dutch pragmatism which consistently turns limitations into advantages. ‘Do you want to know the real secret to our success?’ Michiel Riedijk asked the audience at one of his lectures without any reluctance, and continued: ‘We manage to have a far better gross/net ratio than anybody!’ Anyone who has ever negotiated with an investor knows how powerful this argument is.