# MILITARIZED ARCHITECTURES /// Military Training Village of Marnehuizen on Socks Studio

PLAYGROUND Harskamp/Reek by Jeroen Hofman (2011)

Socks Studio just released an interesting article about the Potemkin village of Marnehuizen in the North of Netherlands, which was built inside the military base Marnewaard in order to simulate and train military attacks in urban environment. This fake village is one more on the list of training settlements that trains the various armies of the world (see this (too) short previous article); however, this one seems to be dedicated to a potential suppression internal to the Netherlands as the architectural typology seems to indicate.

This leads me to a fundamental problem for architects that echoes directly the recent debate that the Funambulist has been hosting this week. In fact, the more an architecture is conform to the archetype used in this kind of training village, the more the military action -that was precisely trained to operate within this archetype- gains in efficiency. Uniformity implies an indubitable potential of control whereas difference reduces legibility, and this way also decreases the risk of capture of space. One can even think on playing on those archetypes to develop a strategy of decoy that participate even more actively to forms of resistance against a military/police state. What is valid for architecture is also valid for urban design as we have been exploring it many times on this platform (as an example see the comparative Manhattan/Casbah).

PLAYGROUND Harskamp/Reek by Jeroen Hofman (2011)

PLAYGROUND Harskamp/Reek by Jeroen Hofman (2011)

PLAYGROUND Harskamp/Reek by Jeroen Hofman (2011)

PLAYGROUND Harskamp/Reek by Jeroen Hofman (2011)

PLAYGROUND Harskamp/Reek by Jeroen Hofman (2011)

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fosco lucarelli

Hi Léopold,

What I wasn’t able to evidence in my post is something of a primary importance, above all after your funambulist reading: according to the kind of environments the army is investing and training in, future urban clashes are not going to be, in fact, that urban: in all evidence, this small grouping of private dwellings, and their relative small scale facilities belong more to the typical suburban sprawl rather than to the dense tissue of European metropolis.

Have we therefore to argue that military imagine guerrilla spreading in these areas rather than in million inhabitants cities?

This scenario is something I frankly doubt, given the fact that the cities historically concentrate, represent and apply power over the masses much more evidently than low rise countryside.

Despite that, your lecture of “uniformity and legibility equals better control” applies much better to suburban sprawl that to dense environments.

It is something we need to focus on, I guess.

thank you,

ps. Matthieu Urbain trop Urbain linked Cenzub a french corresponding training center:

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