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Project: urban planning / landscape

Commission: Qualitime

Design: Harmen van de Wal

Location: Rotterdam

Date: October 2004

The Grote Kerkplein acquired its most important characteristic by accident; enclosed between streets and a market the appeal of which is so considerable that people still manage a smile as they shuffle along the stalls, crammed together, this is a surprisingly empty space.

Here there is a sense of calm which would be most beneficent, were it not so ugly.

Apart from the church, it is surrounded by buildings whose only relationship with the square is its usefulness as a place to load and unload. The place itself is repudiated

There should be an enclosed garden, located majestically by the Delft canal, and comparable to a cloister garden. Raised above the daily realities of quick-as-you-can satisfaction, political panic mongering and ambition, this should be a place where the world’s madness can be reviewed, ignored or even eulogised in song.

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