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Column Adriaan Mout – Good old Bob

15 July 2020

Foto by Francisco Antunes

I would have been at North Sea Jazz for three days last weekend, but as known, I wasn't there and nobody was there. I was also not at the Provada, not at the Mipim and not at all those other events and occasions where you are supposed to show up. I was also not at the architecture biennale in Venice, not on excursions abroad and not in Russia where we have various construction sites. And with me nobody was there. It was a spring unparalleled in every way.

However, I spent many hours looking at my meeting partners and colleagues at a screen. I was working on solutions to this country's big and never-ending housing challenge. The assignment again received so much political attention that it might save the construction column from a corona crisis. This also sparks discussion again where we are going to build all those homes. Will the city continue to further densify or is its popularity in decline, is the solution of a healthy society just on the periphery? I firmly believe in the first, and recent hot spots in rural areas seem to confirm this. And yet, who has the wisdom in such a turbulent time ...?

But after a spring like that I first go on vacation. In a log cabin (timber construction!) on the Dutch peat islands. Then 6 m² is suddenly enough! And once again with the wind in your hair on your bike cycling through the Netherlands. Because by bicycle you can easily connect city and countryside, city dweller and farmer. And I compensate the music of North Sea Jazz with the new CD by Bob Dylan: Rough and Rawdy Ways, his 39th studio album, a masterpiece and perhaps his best ever! With texts that bundle all the wisdom and perspective of the world. Some things never change.