contact, Minke Themans
Mathenesserlaan 179 - 2
NL - 3014 HA Rotterdam
The Netherlands

T +31 10 425 98 10
M +31 6 24 64 69 84


From balcony to front garden

, 2006, Groenoord - Zuid
public space
together with:

art project
research project, public space and identity

presentation panels, balcony
screens, small publication,
invitation, poster, several forms and a sample book
[Van balkon tot voortuin] Concept Groenoord is a quite neighbourhood surrounded by green. There is still a lot of green in the neighbourhood, but at the same time if feels strange and unfamiliar. The \'holes\' in the south derived from the demolition of buildings and the chopping down of trees remain in sight and create a feeling of emptiness. The planting of compensatory shrubs does not compensate for this void. From a distance the flat buildings in Groenoord South appear as monotonous uninviting flats, with endless rows of balconies in a general state of bad repair. The balconies are both on the front and backside of the building creating confusion as to which side one should approach the building from. Some of the balconies are used for storage, some for satellite dishes, few have pot plants and give a cared for and used appearance. Some of the balconies are closed off with grass mats for privacy or as wind screens, this strengthens the closed character of the buildings. The idea behind the balcony screens is to give the flats an identity by creating elevated \'front gardens\'. By closing them off with screens printed with images of plants and hedges the balconies are transformed into green domains. The inhabitants can choose a design from the \"Green Book\', a catalogue of balcony decoration. In the booklet the balcony screens and accompanying name boards are printed in colour in alphabetical order. Each plant or flower is described in short with particular reference to meaning. The official name, country of origin, times of bloom and origin are also mentioned.