Every year, the internationally renowned eVolo Skyscraper Competition takes place. The award seeks to discover young talent, whose ideas will change the way we understand architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments. This year, Benjamin Feenstra and Jelmer Frank Wijnia, two young Dutch designers, won an honorable mention. Their entry; The ‘On Demand Experience’.
The jury selected 3 winners and 32 honorable mentions out of a record number of 715 entries, from a staggering 95 countries. The two designers, who recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree, are the second Dutch team in the history of the prestigious competition to receive such an honor.
To achieve this result, Benjamin and Jelmer Frank started brainstorming in September 2010. Starting point of their design are innovations like the smartphone, laptop or tablet computer and social media like Facebook and Twitter. Overall, the way people communicate, work and move has changed. But with this rapidly changing lifestyle and ever demanding environment, it is surprising to find that houses stayed pretty much the same. They believe in order to get the most out of current technological developments, the direct living environment should change too. WIth this idea in mind the, soon to be, architects started to design the ‘On Demand Experience’.
The concept behind the ‘On Demand Experience’ is simple. Instead of going to different places, the facilities come to you. Simply request the desired space with your computer and the request will be processed by the warehouse connected to your building. Your space will arrive as an equipped ‘box’ that plugs into your apartment. Several boxes can dock in a single apartment at the same time and everything is available on demand. So whether the desire is to play golf, work out or have a lunch meeting, just let the warehouse know! The designers call this the the ultimate mixed-use building where apartments blend with different functions and services.
Benjamin and Jelmer Frank presented this concept using a comic book. Three characters, Jeff, Truman and Sylvia, guide the reader through The On Demand Experience.
After receiving a special mention in such a high profile architecture competition, it would make sense for the two Dutch to become architects. Surprisingly, they do not know yet. Although they already work together as architecture students for seven years, they use the motto “doubt is good”, to take figure out what they want. This year is, as they call it, “a year to fulfill dreams”. Benjamin and Jelmer Frank try to chase their, not always architecture related, dreams in order to figure out wether to become architects or not. For example, they are now in pre-production for a DJ’s video clip which will be taped in Dubai. Also, the two best friends are designing a mega church in the Netherlands. They both agree that the honorable mention of the eVolo competition is like a dream which they are living. Surely they don’t want to wake up yet.
+ All images and drawings courtesy Benjamin Feenstra + Jelmer Frank Wijnia