< 32 / 63 >
Buy Print and Info Hide

New Oosterheem /

The city is a poem … but not a classical poem, not a poem centered on a subject. It is a poem which deploys the signifier, and it is this deployment which the semiology of the city must ultimately attempt to grasp and to make sing.
Roland Barthes (1915-1980)

A lone workman looks out over the final additions to Zoetermeer high up in the shell of a new tower block that, within a matter of mere months, will transform into a home.  As the last piece of the puzzle slowly takes shape, Zoetermeer looks forward to welcoming its final residents and forward to the city, at least in one sense, being complete.
For the old cities population milestones are often overlooked as just another addition in a future of unlimited growth, a mere detail in a much more sprawling and uncontained story. But in Zoetermeer the figure of 130,000 citizens stands like a self-imposed marker of maturity that, once passed, can allow the messy business of life to truly begin.  The figure represents both an achievement of the ambition laid out almost half a century ago - to transform the village into a new urban centre for a brave new world - and the moment when Zoetermeer may offload the label of new-town to simply being the city.
Far from being an end, the completion of Oosterheem marks a very real beginning for Zoetermeer, the start of its adult life. A time when the city has the opportunity to turn its attention away from the business of expansion and back in upon itself to concentrate on something much more subtle - expression.

This image is not featured in my shop. Please contact me through this page for details about buying this as a print.

Made in collaboration with producer Andy Brydon from Curated Place, for the Stadsmuseum Zoetermeer.

< Back to  Secret Cities

Click image to enlarge  >