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Monadnock with the Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University

Rotterdam, Netherlands


Monadnock is a Rotterdam-based practice producing architecture. Monadnock designs, researches, writes, and produces discourse in the fields of architecture, urbanism, interior, and staging, shifting in scale between the space of the city and the street to the scale of the interior. Monadnock was found in 2006 by Job Floris and Sandor Naus. Both founders were trained as interior and furniture designers during their studies at the Academy of Fine Arts St. Joost in Breda (NL) and subsequently graduated from the Academy for Architecture and Urbanism in Rotterdam and Tilburg. Monadnock received international attention for realizing tailor-made buildings, many of which are public. These include a beach pavilion on the River Maas, a huge installation called Make No Little Plans, and a landmark – or viewing tower – for the municipality of Nieuw Bergen (NL). Currently, Monadnock is involved in projects on several scales, including a new visitors’ centre for De Hoge Veluwe National Park (NL), a private tower residence, and two substantial housing projects.

CAB 2 Contribution

Project Overview

Make Big Plans

Monadnock places a minature rooftop on the fourth floor landing with two large signs: “Make Big Plans” and “Make No Little Plans.” The signage refers to a longer quote by Chicago planner Daniel H. Burnham, formulated in 1907 and cited enough to become a local slogan:

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.… Think big.” [1]

A slogan as a form of language has connections to advertising and gained popularity in politics and business; in all cases it is used to command collective memory and make personal associations, it is memorable, sometimes malleable, and ultimately profitable. For Monadnock their slogans parallel the title of the Biennial, Make New History, an Ed Ruscha reference that has a similar critique to their own—to find ways beyond the constant broadcast of novel ideas and projects in order to seize attention from the surroundings that is symptomatic of our contemporary moment.

1 Charles Moore, Daniel H. Burnham: Architect, Planner of Cities in Two Volumes (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1921).

The City is the Site