A retrovirus is mostly known as a special form of virus: a small infectious agent that replicates inside the living cells of organisms. The word is also used, however, by Dutch architects to describe the tendency where project developers prefer nostalgic looking architecture in house building, claiming that prospective buyers will choose traditional styles rather than post-modern design.

In the densely populated Netherlands, house building is highly regulated and mostly limited to government-assigned areas next to cities. Project developers and authorities co-operate to create an attractive living environment. In this process, the preferences of the inhabitants-to-be have become paramount, much to the chagrin of many architects who compare this conservative tendency with a quickly spreading disease.

retrovirus / intro