Copy Paste Workshop

Fast Forward/Rewind Amsterdam

Fall 2013/2014 @ TU Delft, UvA
08 November 2013 / 15 November 2013

Copy/Paste is an openly applied and premordial power in architecture of all time. Only recently - from the second half of the nineteenth century - Copy/Paste has become a secretive power, only openly revealed as'influence'. The twofold aim of studio Copy/Paste is to research the rules, methods and virtues of Copy/Paste in the history of architecture as well as to explore the potential of Copy/Paste as an open and progressive way of contemporary design.

Urgent questions are: How did the different eras in architectural history define and use Copy/Paste (from Vitruvious to Venturi and Scott Brown)? What are the key moments in the history of architecture in respect to Copy/Paste? What are the vocabulary, rules and methods of Copy/Paste through the history of architecture (decor, emulation, taste, fashion, style, influence, development, typology, tradition, vernacular culture)? Why did Copy/Paste in the nineteenth /twentieth century become something that is not openly acknowledged? How can contemporary Copy/Paste design develop from an age-old Copy/Paste tradition?

TU students will develop a Copy/Paste facade design according to a set of rules in collaboration with UvA students in architectural history. UvA students will give introductory presentations and will give feedback on the designs. One session is devoted to common discussion on Copy/Paste texts.

Case Study

The current facade of the C&A building at the Damrak (Amsterdam) is a typical 1960’s design defined by thick horizontal lines and grey natural stone. The North-American Office Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) recently designed a new facade for the same building which seems to be a pastiche of Amsterdam School  with a tad of Art Deco . RAMSA used a design method where they copied the appearance  of a local style that ostensibly would fit its surroundings. Studio Copy/Paste takes up the challenge to design a facade based on local DNA and at the same time translate that DNA to a contemporary style. Is it possible to copy history and paste the contemporary?

The group of students is divided in subgroups of four ( TU (x3) + UvA (x1)). Each group selects a different Amsterdam linked historical theme. The group selects several inspiring facades within the theme and develops an image library. Rewind:  The group analyses the architectural and cultural features –  the rules – of the selected facades. Fast Forward:  The group designs a new facade for the C&A building. The final product of the group is a video on the method used ending in a selling image.


The final presentations are public. Please join us on Friday, 15 november from 13.00 – 16.00 in the Oostserre, Julianalaan 134, Delft.


Felix Madrazo (T?F), Petra Brouwer (UvA), Matteo Kuijpers (UvA)


Ábel Bálint


Aikaterini Stamatelou, Alessandro Sebastiani, Alexander Frederick Mooi, Ananda de Vos, Calcen Chan, Fang Ting Lim, Ferry Barnhoorn, Martijn Sterk, Niels van der Salm, Piotr G. Ruszkiewicz, Sen Mu, Wiebe de Boer, Yao Ji, Oswaldo Heinen, Anntje Wong, Agnès Rochette, Johana Lefevre, Andrea Ventimiglia, Carina Rodriguez, Adrien Faria de Souza Neves, Charlène Cosson, Lous Rambert, Yann Gueguen, Ava Roghanian


University of Amsterdam, Department of Art History