Modeling the World of Amsterdam’s Vlooienburg (2017-2019)

The goal of this project is to provide a set of 3D models of selected architectural and archaeological entities with reconstructions of dwellings and houses, with the excavated elements and artefacts integrated. These 3D models are connected with the database, with all the data on which the models are based on accessible. Foundations and artefacts found in the recent excavations carried out at the site by Bureau Monumentenzorg Amsterdam (BMA), under responsibility of Prof. dr Jerzy Gawronsky, will help to set the basis for the reconstruction phase of this small part of the historical city of Amsterdam.

The project is a collaboration between the 4D Research Lab, ACASA (prof. dr. J. Symonds) and the BMA, who will supply the archaeological data needed for the models. The case studies have been selected on the basis of the available data and its representative importance:

  • A house, its interior and the immediate architectural surroundings.
  • A street, the interiors and its immediate surroundings, parts of the area and the view towards river Amstel.
  • The neighbourhood, recreating a view from the north into the centre of Amsterdam as well as towards the harbour and the IJ.

Acquarossa Research and Memory Project (2016-2017)

The project focuses on the creation of 3D models of Etruscan houses from Acquarossa (Viterbo, Italy), which will be used for research but serve as models for the construction of guesthouses for the Archaeological Park at the site and prepare for a survey and geo-physical research of the fields directly around the site. The project is an international collaboration with the British School in Rome (geo-physical research), and the University of Lund (publication of the excavations 1970-1980), in close collaboration with San Francesco Agriturismo (Raffaele Rocchi property). The University of Amsterdam (ACASA) will be focusing on (digital) re-creation of the Etruscan town and mapping the archaeological context of the site.

Biographies of Buildings: Virtual Futures for our Cultural Past (2015)

An international theme group project has been granted a half year stay at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS). This team will explore the embedding of 3D modelling and other digital methods as a research tool, in order to enhance the analysis of transformations of buildings, from early antiquity until the early modern era. Crucial monuments will be digitally reconstructed in three dimensions during a long period of time, resulting in 4D-models. The focus will be on Archaic temples in Central Italy and on early Christian basilicas in Rome, including their very long after life with its decorations, additions, renovations and reconstructions. Digital reconstructions will be used as a research tool, the usage of which necessitates scholars to test hypotheses in a much more precise and systematic way than with research based on descriptions or simple linear, primarily two-dimensional reconstructions. Apart from being a research tool, these 4D-models require new reflection of methodology and theory. And they provide new ways to serve a wider public, interested in our shared cultural past as a citizen, reader or tourist. The reconstructed monuments have become part of world heritage and deserve to be made accessible to people from all over the world.

The preliminary results will be presented at a special workshop held at the NIAS: Digitizing Visual Memories in Architecture: Rome and Amsterdam. In this workshop, the focus will be on two sets of monuments, one in and around Rome, the second in Amsterdam. The aim is to specify the intentions, prospects and limits of sophisticated digitalization in the visual sphere, and to assess how visual digitization relates to the more common approach of digital research into large textual and visual datasets. In addition to the NIAS theme group, specialists in digital heritage, architecture and archaeology are invited.

Creative Amsterdam: An E-Humanities Perspective (CREATE)

This research program of the University of Amsterdam investigates, with digital methods and techniques, how cultural industries have shaped Amsterdam’s unique position in a European and global context, from the seventeenth century until the present day. One of the projects of CREATE is Amsterdam 4D. The Spatial Configurations of a Creative City

Cinema Parisien (2014-2016)

Coordinator: Prof. dr. Julia Noordegraaf from the Faculty of Humanities, department of Media and Culture.

On 26 March 1910, the Dutch-based cinema pioneer Jean Desmet (1875-1956) opened Cinema Parisien at Nieuwendijk 69, the first permanent cinema theatre in Amsterdam. It remained functional until 1987, the last decades serving only as an adult movie theatre. During the demolishment of the theatre the famous 1924 art deco interior was saved and reinstalled at the Netherlands Filmmuseum in the early 1990s, and today it can be admired in the recently opened cinema complex at De Hallen. The history of the Amsterdam Cinema Parisien has been well-documented, in particular because Desmet left behind a vast business archive, that uniquely documents Dutch cinema industry and culture in the early period.

In the context of the research project CREATE, which studies the history of 400 years of cultural industries in the city with the help of digital data and tools, Julia Noordegraaf, Loes Opgenhaffen and Norbert Bakker investigated the opportunities of 3D visualisation as a tool for studying the role and place of cinema theatres in the entertainment industry of early twentieth-century urban culture. Our investigation into the affordances of 3D visualisation for film history contributes to answering the question how digitized cultural heritage collections can be utilised in the production and dissemination of academic research.

A Prominent house in the Kalverstraat in 16th-century Amsterdam. ’t Paradijs (2013-2014)

Coordinator: Dr. Madelon Simons from the Faculty of Humanities, department of History of Art. The starting point of the 3D reconstruction of these 16th century remarkable houses is the bird’s eye view woodcut from 1544 made by the painter-printmaker and cartographer Cornelis Anthonisz from Amsterdam. Not all houses on the map will be modeled in detail. On ground of literature and other sources first The Paradise (‘t Paradijs) on the Kalverstraat will be reconstructed. This was the home of the family of Pompejus Occo, banker and humanist. After completion of the reconstruction of the exterior and superstructure of The Paradise, the interpretation of this reconstruction together with the sources about the inhabitants, their housekeeping and guests, should lead to the reconstruction of the interior of this house and the reconstruction of the adjacent house at ‘t Rokin, which was connected by a small yard to The Paradise. In this adjacent house at ‘t Rokin the Danish King Christian IV and his entourage witnessed the spectacle on the river Amstel that was organized especially for them. Three-dim ensional insight in the size and layout of Occo’s property in relation to the street in which he was living and the chapel he attended, will provide a cohesive knowledge of Amsterdam about 1550. At the same time the reconstructions will bring some perspective about the King’s entourage, because Occo’s house could not have been this big to receive all these people.

Artefacta Virtualia (2014)

Artefacta Virtualia is a research proposal for a grant from the Amsterdam University Foundation, to purchase a high resolution 3D scanner. The proposal focusses on the acquisition of a HDI Advance R3x White Light Scanner that will greatly enhance the operational capacity of the 4D Research Lab and will enable the lab to explore a number of new and potentially innovative avenues of research. In particular, the scanner will allow the 4D Lab to accurately scan original objects and to then incorporate these objects in to digitally reconstructed spaces. This capacity will enable the 4D Lab to strengthen and develop its research interests in materiality and the uses of objects by re-contextualizing items such as reconstructed archaeological objects or museum acquisitions (portable material culture, furniture, and furnishings) into their use-life settings. This process will create new insights into how objects were used in historic domestic settings. Furthermore, it is aimed to scan architectural remains and fragments that can be re-used virtually in the complete reconstruction of a lost building.

Archaeology of Architecture (2014)

This research project focuses on the investigation and, eventually, the development of a new, interchangeable format and method to publish digital 4D reconstructions of (ancient) architecture and cityscapes. The project concentrates on two monuments, both in Rome: Old Saint Peter’s and the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus.

The Art of Reconstruction (2012-2013)

This was the one year pilot-project of the 3/4D Research Lab initialized by dr. Patricia Lulof. The ‘The Art of Reconstruction’ aimed to explore the usage of digital 3D-reconstructions to support research to historical and archaeological architectural settings. More specifically, the aim is to enhance the research on buildings that are nowadays partly or entirely lost, buildings that once were keystones in the formation of local identities. Another goal was to contribute to the development of a methodology for 3D modeling as a scientific research tool.

As a case-study for the pilot-project the temple of Caprifico di Torrecchia was chosen because it had already been thoroughly studied, published and reconstructed with traditional illustrations. The temple was situated 60 kilometers south of Rome and founded about 520 BC, stood only for a brief period and was destroyed shortly after 500 BC. The emphasis of the project was on the documentation of the process of modeling, and to store the meta-data generated from this process together with the original data-set, into an interoperable and easy accessible database. This to provide a transparent and accessible reconstruction as possible.

The process of building the model generated new insights and results never foreseen. It also forced the researchers to reanalyze the original and traditional data-set from this new perspective. The research, results and 3D reconstruction were presented and published at the Digital Heritage Conference 2013 at Marseille and The Golden Age of Tarquinius conference at Rome.