Can I pay with architecture, please?

To celebrate all the archievements of Dutch architecture, the Dutch government came up with the idea to launch a commemorative coin. In true architecture style, they launched a competition, for which a number of architects, designers and artists were selected. The competition was won by Stani Michiels.

At first glance, the coin depicts the obvious image of Queen Beatrix, as is common on the Dutch version of the Euro. But, when you look closer, it's made up out of text: names of various of the more (or less) famous Dutch architects of past and present. These names aren't in chronological order, but in order of the number of hits they generate on the internet. Some parts are put in to bold print, to create the picture of the Queen.

The other side shows a different (and important) ingredient of Dutch architecture: book culture. Books about (and from) Dutch architects. The are grouped around the edge of the coin, in such an order that the interior of the coin becomes a rough outline of the contours of the Netherlands.

How Stani Michiels made money (by means of open source software) is shown on his weblog.

Now matter how cool the design might be, there still is something strange about a coin commemorating "architecture". I mean, what's next? A coin commemorating French cuisine? British Humor on the Pound Sterling? Pop-music on the Swedish Krona? It's just a strange concept for a coin to make a "memorial" out of architecture, since it's ever changing and developing, and it still remains rather abstract to depict "dutch architecture as a whole". But still, it looks much better than the standard Euro-coins from the Netherlands...

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