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Book Mountain Spijkenisse - Biography of a Building

Book Mountain Spijkenisse - Biography of a Building

The Book Mountain is a building with a mission: to encourage a town populated by the least enthusiastic readers in the Netherlands to switch off their televisions and start reading books again. This biography of the Book Mountain paints a picture of the town of Spijkenisse and the political and social contexts in which such buildings are realized. The story also examines the role of the modern library, the essence of a Ville Nouvelle and the search for an alternative for identification - and whether or not this should be done through historicizing architecture. The book is the second in a new experimental series created by MVRDV describing, in considerable detail, the complex process of realising a building from start to finish. Written in an accessible style by independent author and journalist Nicoline Baartman, the story follows the building, its context and the various protagonists who aided and abetted its realisation : from the NIMBY’s to the new-town whisperer, the good moments and the many difficulties. The book is available in Dutch and English.

The often contradictory motives of the protagonists and the context of the project are described in a catchy, straightforward style, befitting Spijkenisse, by former Volkskrant newspaper editor Nicoline Baartman. The story is illustrated with photographs by Marcel Veldman and informative graphics by MVRDV. Book Mountain Spijkenisse – Biography of a Building is the story of an architect with a vision, a revolutionary councillor, the widow of a veterinarian, an artsy library director and a visionary hero from India who saves the town. It is a fascinating portrayal of life and customs in a new polder town.

The author went to live for a while in Spijkenisse in order to write the book and captivate the special character of a Dutch New Town. She was given great liberty by all protagonists to write the text which makes it a rare, honest and captivating documentation. The sophisticated folded lay-out of the book reflects the mission of the Book Mountain: Young Dutch graphic design company Vijf890 designed a book which hides the photo novel. In this book the reader has to work harder to see the images, whilst the text is easily available.

The book was sponsored by VORM Bouw, MVRDV, Book Mountain Public Library, Housing Corporation De Leeuw van Putten, ARCADIS, Streekarchief Brielle, Vijf890 and the City of Spijkenisse.

Order in English from NAi Booksellers  

Order in Dutch from NAi Booksellers    

Hardcover: 440 pages
Publisher: nai010 publishers (June 30, 2013)
Language: English or Dutch
ISBN: 978-9462080126