A Refuge for Reflection: Yourtopia by SeARCH

In response to the growing glut of architectural excess in our ever-shrinking world, Amsterdam-based urban design bureau SeARCH has constructed a conceptually high-minded temporary home on display May 29th at Het Nieuwe Instituut. Yourtopia celebrates the basics and dares to ask the question "What are our minimum needs in order to enjoy a maximum quality of life?”

Based on the ancient and minimal constructs favored by nomadic peoples such as yurts, igloos, and tukuls, Yourtopia is a domed steel construction of low profile, disguised from the outside by a cloak of green turf. The inside is cool, white and sparse, apart from the riot of tall tropical plants erupting from the center and through ceiling. A single rotating door marks the entrance with a confab of word couplings cut out of the plain steel.

Known for their dedication to the intelligent use of land and preservation of natural areas, SeARCH brought their design ethos into tight focus with Yourtopia. The elementary quality represents an architectural reset in response to globalization, the diminishing private sphere, and the rapidly expanding gap between the mega-rich and the über-poor.  Presenting a rollback to necessity, and a tabula rasa of living space, Yourtopia most importantly incites contemplation on the future of the finite resource that is Earth. 

Photography by Ronald Tilleman