The City of Child Architects
Ursula Schulz-Dornburg’s book “Huts, Temples, Castles” explores Jogensland, an island in Amsterdam where children used to be able to build, making their own rules.
After World War II, with the purpose of occupying children’s energies and encouraging them to develop independent ideas far from Fascist ideologies, the city of Amsterdam founded Jongensland, a space where kids could build and destroy structures made of scrap material, largely without adult supervision.
Architecture photographer Ursula Schulz-Dornburg discovered the informal settlement in 1969, with her two young children. Accessible only by boat, the space would stimulate and put an emphasis on the importance of children’s imagination and self-sufficiency, as they were free to raise animals, cook, build fires, create an undo, being responsible for their actions.