#IABR — F.A.S.T.: A Pop-Up Paradise For Surfers

Take an empty lot at The Hague’s beach boulevard, some containers and cabins and the totally chill and relaxed vibe surfers are known for. The mix of these ingredients has resulted in F.A.S.T. (Free Architecture Surf Terrain), a pop-up village on the beach that has grown into a center of surf-related cultural activities. F.A.S.T. recently won VPRO’s Droomstad People’s Choice Award, a competition that was held as part of this year’s International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) program.

F.A.S.T. has grown out to be a complete village with a hostel, bar, several art projects including an artist in residency, surf-related shops, great parties and, last but not least, an open air theater and cinema facilities. And second to that, the F.A.S.T. beach campsite is environmently friendly. For example, the interior of the ‘hostel rooms’ are completely made using discarded materials.

F.A.S.T. is a very interesting initiative and solution to the issue what to do with those wastelands that are not being developed due to the economic crisis. Initiator Roland Verbiest came across the place three years ago and asked The Hague’s municipal authorities permission for a surfer’s village. He was inspired by his long trips around the world where he visited these kinds of places where the rhythm was totally defined by the sea.

The main objective of the VPRO Droomstad competition is to explore and highlight community-strengthening bottom-up initiatives in Dutch cities. The competition’s expert jury had yet another favorite — the jury members rewarded the Scootmobile Club as best practice.