Category: Rotterdam

Rotterdam, also known affectionately as Rotjeknor or Roffa, plays a big role in my work. And not just because the 3Develop-offices are located there. The city simply asks for it. With such a fascinating past, dynamic present and an undoubtably interesting future.

The city does well on international lists. Recommended by Lonely Planet, The Rough Guide and the New York Times. Rotterdam, Holland’s only real metropolis, the largest port in Europe, is hip, cool, dynamic and photogenic. And yet still allows room for plans that make the city even more beautiful.

Detail of the Color Map of Rotterdam cropped at the city center with all city blocks drawn in a random color

Christmas Blog: a Festival of Light and Color

Christmas is the most important Christian holiday, but the origins of the festival date back to before the birth of Jesus. Both the Romans and the Germans did not let the winter solstice on 21 December pass by unnoticed. Understandably: even in modern times with its central heating and abundance of artificial light, many people get a little depressed by the short and chilly days. In earlier times, in poorly heated houses by candlelight, this part of the year must have felt even more depressing. So the moment on which the days start getting longer and we begin our long...

The Rotterdam town hall seen from the Delftse Poort building with behind it Timmerhuis, Saint Lawrence Church and the Markthal

Making photos through glass – fighting reflections

Last week, together with a number of fellow photographers, I had the opportunity to take photographs from the 37th floor of the Delftse Poort building (formerly known as Nationale Nederlanden). Many thanks to Ramazan Aydogan of Rotta Historica for organizing this event and to the facility management of Delftse Poort for their hospitality. The blue hour Delftse Poort is one of the highest buildings in Rotterdam, and right in the center. You do not get a chance to take photos from such a place very often, and certainly not during the part of the day that is so popular among...

Artist impression of the High Line Baan, a park on the roof of Lijnbaan shopping center in Rotterdam

From Tweet to Rooftop Park: the High Line Baan

It started with a tweet. At 11 July, I placed a photo on my Twitter account, made during the Rotterdam Rooftop Days. It showed the city’s main shopping street, Lijnbaan, seen in southern direction from one of the adjacent apartment buidings. A remarkable strip of low-rise buildings in a city that’s proud to be the Netherlands’ highrise capital. With a roofscape of chimneys, roof lights and machinery, which you might call interesting, but certainly not pretty. I added: it should be possible to turn those roofs into a nice park. Several fellow Twitter users responded in agreement. @Amsterdirk suggested a...

Stained glass windows in the front facade of Steiger Church in Rotterdam during Open Monuments Day

Open Monuments Day 2017 in Rotterdam: Churches, Shelters and Other Heritage

On 9 and 10 September, doors opened that usually stay closed. Although the name is still singular, Open Monuments Day now covers the entire second weekend of September. Over the years, I’ve seen many Rotterdam monuments during those days. But fortunately, the program offers new surprises every year. And sometimes it’s fun to revisit a monument as well. Schielandshuis I had been in the Schielandshuis, the only 17th century building in the city center , when it was still Museum Rotterdam. These days, it’s used by Rotterdam Partners, an organization dedicated to the promotion of the city (and no one...

Spherical panoarama, or little planet, made of twelve photographs taken at the lawn in the little park in front of Saint Lwarence's Church in Rotterdam

A New Park, a New Panorama: Saint-Lawrence’s Planet

There was a time when I made a lot of spherical and tubular panoramas but the last one, at Kruisplein, dates back to over a year ago. There are two reasons for this. First of all, those little planets are actually quite time-consuming. Well, Photoshop takes a lot of work out of your hands, but you still have to work hard to eliminate minor irregularities, fill in missing information, and tweak details. Secondly, I became a lot more critical in choosing locations. I am looking for special places, geometric shapes, beautiful compositions or other reasons. And I just do not...

Zicht vanaf het gebouw van Codarts tijdens de Rotterdamse Dakendagen 2017 op het Calypso-gebouw en de Westersingel.

The Rotterdam Rooftop Days 2017

There are a few moments each year, when many places in Rotterdam can be visited that are usually not accessible. A great opportunity to get to know the city in a completely different way. There are in fact four of those moments: the Open Monuments Days, Architecture Day, the Hidden Gardens and the Rotterdam Rooftop Days. Unfortunately the Rooftops and Gardens are always in the same weekend, even though there are no less than 52 weekends in a year. Why is no one coordinating that? Anyway, a difficult decision had to be made. A decision that this time turned out...

Detail of a knitting pattern of the Rotterdam skyline

The Rotterdam Skyline Knitting Pattern

3Develop, the reliable source for all your knitting patterns … I have the feeling that a lot of my blog posts start with “… is not 3Develop’s core business, but …”. This is that kind of posts again. Graphic skyline It is yet another spin-off of my Rotterdam skyline project. I made this graphic portrayal of the city’s skyline a few years ago for a contest. Which I lost ingloriously but since then the picture, in different versions, has started to live a life of its own. It hangs on walls, it adorns birth announcement cards and on April 9...

Downtown rotterdam between central station and the river and between Claes de Vrieselaan and Mariniersweg; fragment of a map of Rotterdam with all city blocks as glass in 15 different colors

The Glass Map of Rotterdam: a plan in fifteen colors

Wow! That must have been a hell of a job … Cutting all those pieces of colored glass, exactly the right size and shape. And then carefully arranging them on a steel plate to create a colorful map of Rotterdam. Digital glass No, fortunately these days we have software to simulate things like that digitally. This glass map of Rotterdam was made using an AutoCAD file of the city’s building blocks. In 3ds Max, I added some irregularity to make it look not too computerized. Then I, totally randomly, assigned to each block one of fifteen different colors of glass....

Ferriw Wheel The View, a temporary attraction on Binnenrotte square next to the Market Hall in downtwon Rotterdam, seen from the bridge across Steigergracht

The Rotterdam Ferris Wheel

For the second year in a row, Rotterdam has a Ferris wheel, for a few weeks. With an English name: The View. Like last spring the wheel is on Binnenrotte square, almost touching the famous Markthal (or should I say Market Hall?). Motion When I went to take a look on one of the first nights the wheel was operational, Binnenrotte was teeming with photographers. For a photographer Ferris wheels are beautiful objects to portray. Especially during the blue hour after sunset, when the shutter speeds are getting longer. The movement of the rotating wheel creates beautiful abstract effects. An...

Christmas card of the author: a paintified photograph of the maritime outdoor museum at Leuvehaven in Rotterdam, covered with snow

Winter in Rotterdam: a white Christmas animation

Anecdotal evidence is no evidence at all. It’s hard to say whether or not the boring winters of the last few years are an effect of global warming. For which, by the way, there is enough real evidence; that’s what scientists (or at least 99.9% of them) agree on. Anyway, the last few winters were exceptionally mild. Especially here in the southwest of the Netherlands. On television I see people skating on natural ice in the northern province of Friesland or a beautiful blanket of snow in the eastern region of the Achterhoek. But the last time Rotterdam colored white...