ETH Zurich – Institute for Urban Design
HIL H44.1 – Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5 – 8093 Zurich



© Theo Baart

© Marc Latzel

Infrastructure Landscape Amsterdam-Schiphol

Photography workshop on the boat in Holland


Prof. Kees Christiaanse, Benedikt Boucsein, Simon Kretz, Christian Salewski und Christian Weyell


Infrastructure Landscape

Schiphol, Europe‘s fourth largest hub, is positioned in the northeastern part of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer. Because it was created through the drainage of a big lake in the 19th century, the polder of Haarlemmermeer lies six metres below sea level. The area is strongly characterized by structures like dikes, canals, highways and railway lines. Taken to extremes, in the Haarlemmermeer the infrastructure is the landscape–in contrast to Switzerland, where infrastructure typically lies in the landscape. 

Big parts of Haarlemmermeer transport the image of being an airport backside area, but in fact the area is a highly complex, dynamic and urban structure where many people live and work already today.

During the Seminar week, we want to approach this environment in with the goal of understanding an urban landscape that is central for the functionality of today‘s society and economy.


Our Boat: The MS Christina

During the trip we will sleep, eat and work on a boat (cabins for 2-4 persons) which will bring us to several places around Haarlemmermeer, to Delft and into the centre of Amsterdam. 


Day 1-4: Photographing the Haarlemmermeer

Our first approach will be photographic. During a workshop instructed by a professional photographer we will work on characteristic images of the area around the airport, constantly switching between observation, reflection, representation and discussion. Basic photographic and image composition techniques will be taught, complemented by daily inputs on photographic and urbanistic themes.


Day 5: Design Workshop in Delft

In the middle of the seminar week, we will spend a day at the TU Delft and discuss intermediate results of the design studio Haarlemmermeer / AMS with a group of experts. Here the designer‘s approach towards the infrastructure landscape will be in the foreground.


Day 6-7: Infrastructure Tour

During the last two days we will explore various aspects of the infrastructure landscape together with experts, making tours underground as well as to greenhouses, city extensions and the airport area.


Price Range C (CHF 500-750). max. 26 participants. The price includes half pension on the boat.


Time Period: 20-27 Oct 2012 (Departure night train from Zurich: Oct 19th, 8:30 pm, back in Zurich: Oct 28th, 8:30 am)


We will discover the Haarlemmermeer with bicycles. A digital camera is needed for the photography workshop. The seminar week complements the design studio Haarlemmermeer / AMS but is also well suited for students not taking part in the studio.


Contact: Benedikt Boucsein


© Photo Marc Latzel, Zurich