Studio 3: Ton Matton and Alexander Römer

From left to right: Ton Matton, Alexander Römer

Ton Matton

  • *1964, Netherlands
  • After his study Cityplanning in the Delft Technical University (1991) Ton Matton started in Rotterdam the Schie 2.0 office, urban and environmental design, looking for transformations of autarkic architectural moments. Schie 2.0 was part of the dutch designgroup of the nineties, who worked on an amnesty for the build reality, and who experimentally, emphatically explain the problems of planning and city-design. 
  • Ton Mattons work is nowadays situated somewhere between object-design, society-shape, ecological urban planning and artist-actionismus. Like his‚free range office’, a mobile, self sufficient office-shed, moved through Rotterdam, he opened (together with partner, the writer Ellie Smolenaars) in 2001 Werkstatt Wendorf in Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Germany.

Alexander Römer

  • architect and carpenter based in Berlin and Paris
  • with constructlab he has been developing ideas and practices around experimental, low-budget and participative construction methods and collective building moments in the expanded field of architecture, urban planning and art.
  • Alike a community of interests, constructlab is inviting "constructors" to build together. Although coming from various backgrounds, they are sharing and exchanging similar ideas about self-making in various constructlab projects, such as "le Manable", a design-build garden shelter and common kitchen in a social garden project in the north of France. Or the Casa do Vapor, Portugal, 2013, a self initiated temporary common house in Cova do Vapor, near Lisbon.
  • Casa do Vapor was build by re-using the wood from the project of the "construir juntos" workshop for the Curators’ Lab, invited by the European Capital of Culture, 2012, Guimaraes.
  • Osthang-Project, Darmstadt, summer-school


semi-autarkic applied architectural thinking = trendy pragmatism

Since Ton Matton was fed up of Dutch Suburbia spatial planning, the former German Democratic Republic village-school of Wendorf is the base for his office. Inbetween Hamburg and Berlin Ton Matton makes inside the small-village structures a huge areal of guesstsatelier, workshops, animals and plants. Inside the hypermodern living inbetween big-city-behaviour and woodstove heating, Matton is looking for connections between the traditional living on the countryside and contemporary mega-city-lifestyle. 

With the Werkstatt Wendorf Ton Matton tries with ever changing guessts to find the small Utopias and interruptions of daily life. Matton sees nature as an object to aesthetical mediation from crisissituations in society.

The constalations of working togehther in projects are changing all the time, although more often with a.o. NL Architects, One Architecture (Amsterdam), Atelier van Lieshout, MVRDV, Crimson, Rem Koolhaas /OMA (Rotterdam), feld72 (Wien), Raumlabor (Berlin), Christopher Dell (Berlin) and the Think Tank Alterra of University Wageningen.

Ton Matton participated in a.o. Archilab (Orléans/Frankreich), Biennale Sao Paulo, european Biennale manifesta 2 (Ljubljana) and the 1st and 2nd Architekturbiennale Rotterdam. His projects were in the Furniture design. Week in Milano, in the Reality Machines Berlin, in Art-Galery De Appel Amsterdam, Galery Aedes Berlin, IBA Hamburg or in the traveling-exhition Nine+One from the NAi Rotterdam.

The famous Dutch Designlabel Droog took some of the objects of Matton in his collection witch were shown in the Simply Droog Exhibition in Berlin, München, Bremen, Los Angeles, Curitiba, Paris, New York und Zürich.

At the moment MattonOffice is advising the Dutch ministery of spatial planning on a artistic view of the future of the netherlands in Xtreme makeover NL , working on the book Surviving the Suburb, rebuilding Type EW 58 a simple (GDR) familyhouse and researching the possibilities of a ‚slow development plan’.