As one of the first events to take place after the outbreak of corona, Architect@Work Rotterdam was a serious test case for initiator Kortrijk Xpo. On Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 September 2020, it organised the coronaproof event in Ahoi. Over 3,000 architects, interior architects and other specifiers turned up for this first trade fair in the field of architecture within the ‘one and a half metre society’.
Architect@Work Rotterdam was a lot more spacious this time than before. By placing the characteristic stands at the corners a bit further apart, there was room everywhere to have conversations at a distance of one and a half metres. The free snacks and drinks were also retained, but with some form of service. During the lectures, the audience was seated at one and a half metres and some watched via the livestream.
“Our aim was to maintain the A@W experience with its compact stands and unique lighting plan. At the same time, we wanted it to remain possible to keep the appropriate distance everywhere,” says group exhibition manager Nathalie Sandra at Kortrijk Xpo. “If you ask me, we succeeded well in this.” Exhibitors were also enthusiastic that A@W was going ahead. “We didn’t know what to expect,” responds Joël Machin of Balink Glas & Aluminium, “but we were pleasantly surprised by the many good conversations.” This edition of the trade fair attracted somewhat fewer visitors than
other times. “But maybe that is why there was room to talk a bit longer,” said Peter de Jong of VOLA.
“Architect@Work responds excellently to its target audience and we appreciate that,” Paulo Lina at ACL knows. “We presented a new wall finish here and you notice that 6 out of 10 people touch it. In our products, we try to reinvent what nature gives us and
that appeals to designers. For us, it is an advantage that all presentations are the same. Everyone has their own module. Also, the
lectures are always well chosen.”
Brussels is coming too
Don’t forget that soon there will also be an edition of Architect@Work in your own country. On 9 and 10 December, after two postponements due to covid-19, the very first edition of AW Brussels will finally take place, in Thurn and Taxis on the Havenlaan in Brussels..
From here, we start an A@W tour through Europe with our concrete wall finishes. After Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Brussels and later Toronto will follow. By the way, we will soon present a showroom in Virtual Reality, so you can virtually experience the materials with your headset.
experience the materials virtually.”
Lecture programme: Future
The lecture programme was also very well received. In this part, organised by Architectenweb, various architects spoke about the future of our urban areas on the basis of current projects. Three themes kept recurring: the greening of the urban environment, the rise of building in wood, and the value of public space.