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.

Digital Reflections of Rotterdam

I often see them in photo groups on Facebook: photos of Erasmus Bridge, or other iconic buildings located near the river, reflecting in the mirror-like water surface of the river Nieuwe Maas. Waves But the Maas is never smooth like a mirror. Rotterdam is the location where the water of the river meets the flow of the tides from the Northsea. As a result, even in completely windless weather there are always big and little waves. In reality, the Maas therefore is hardly more reflective than, say, the turf in stadium De Kuip or the new pavement on Coolsingel boulevard....

Top view of the model of new construction projects in downtown Rotterdam, in the hall of the Coolsingel Post Office

Cardboard and Styrofoam in the Old Post Office

The old main post office on Coolsingel avenue: it’s a place I visited quite often when I had just moved to Rotterdam. In those days you sometimes needed a stamp to send a letter or postcard. The waiting time in front of the counter was made pleasant by the beautiful space you were in: a large hall with the parabolic concrete arches, skylights and relief tiles. Redevelopment The post office closed its doors in 2007 and since then the hall hasn’t been accessible except in rare occasions. The building, a national monument, was in decay for over a decade but...

The Mevlana mosque in Rotterdam in springtime with the Schie river in the foreground

Rotterdam as seen from a minaret

I have been to many high places in recent years to take pictures of Rotterdam. But on Easter Sunday, together with a few fellow photographers, I had the opportunity to capture the city from a very unusual point of view: a minaret of the Mevlana mosque. The photo shoot was organized by Ramazan Aydogan from Rotta Historica, who previously brought us to the roofs of the Delftse Poort building and the Erasmushuis. Ottoman The Mevlana mosque was completed on its location near the river Delfshavense Schie in Rotterdam West in 2001. The design is by the Schiedam architect Bert Toorman....

Westersingel canal in Rotterdam in the blue hour before sunset with a very thin layer of snow on the grassy banks

The Lousy Winter of ’18/’19

Now that the magnolias are in bloom, it’s about time for my traditional photographic review of last winter. And what a lousy winter it was … One snowflake on a scale of one to five! I know, weather and climate are not quite the same and you cannot automatically blame global warming for every mild winter day. But still it makes you wonder if snow photography has a future. However, the winter of 2018/2019 also had a few photogenic moments. But one had to act quickly. Christmas The first snow fell on the early morning of December 16. It was...

The floating pontoon bridge across Leuvehaven harbour near the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam during the blue hour before sunrise

January Mornings

In a previous blog, I told you that the earliest sunset, the first milestone on the way to spring, already happens on December 12. The latest sunrise is two and a half weeks later, on December 30th. The graph below makes it clear: on that day in Rotterdam – and it won’t be much different elsewhere in the Netherlands – the sun won’t appear untill 8.50. Expeditions Sunrise at (almost) 9 AM ; that means that in January you do not have to get up extremely early to experience the blue and the golden hours. So every year I set...

Wooden walkbridge through the tidal forest along the river Oude Maas near Ruigeplaatbos in the Rotterdam district of Hoogvliet

Return to Hoogvliet

The Rotterdam district of Hoogvliet, located more than ten kilometers from the city center, is a boring suburb if ever there was one. I’ve spent the first 22 years of my life there. And I was not very enthusiastic about it, to put it mildly. A town with forty thousand inhabitants, but without a theater, a cinema or other forms of culture and nightlife. And with architecture from the disastrous decades of the sixties, seventies and eighties, which did not make me happy either. Roots I don’t visit Hoogvliet very often these days; there aren’t very many people I know...

View from one of the Lijnbaan apartment buildings towards the newly renovated Pathé cinema on Schouwburgplein with the skyline of Rotterdam on the façade

The Secret Skyline of Rotterdam

A few years ago, in the context of a competition organized by Rotterdam Festivals, I made a graphical representation of the Rotterdam skyline as shown below. The competition was set up to create a new logo for the organization; until that time they already used a stylized skyline, but with the arrival of new landmarks like De Rotterdam, the Markthal and the Central Station, that urgently needed to be updated. Marathon My design was not selected. Usually that’s the end  of the story with a competition like this. But not in this case. I put the image in my webshop...

Artist impression of a project for the roof of Maassilo in Rotterdam, with cornfields, a glass and steel windmill, a crop circle and a pancake restaurant

The Cornfields of the Wheat District, an idea for the Maassilo Roof

The Maassilo on the Brielselaan is one of the coolest buildings in Rotterdam. As a child I was already fascinated by the huge concrete block that you could almost touch when traveling to the city center with the metro. When this summer a competition was organized to design a skybox on the tenth floor and comu up with an idea for the roof of the Maassilo, I didn’t need to hesitate to join. The same was true for about sixty other designers and design teams from Rotterdam and wide surroundings. History A nice side effect of the competition was that...

View from the roof of Erasmus House during the blue hour after sunset, in the direction of Binnenwegplein, Old and New Binnenweg

Summer Evening on a Roof in Rotterdam

It’s widely known that a lot of things in Rotterdam are named after Erasmus: the university, the medical center, a major bridge, to name but a few. No everyone knows that there is also an Erasmus House. Which is in fact not really a house in the traditional meaning of the word: it’s a 12 storey high office tower at Coolsingel, with the 17th century Schielandshuis and a number of post-war highrise buildings as neighbors. Bombing The building was designed by architect W.M Dudok and was completed shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. It survived the bombardment...

Image made with a telephoto lens showing one of the pylons of willems Bridge in Rotterdam with in the background a residential tower and a large crane in the harbour

The Rooftop Days of 2018: aerial views of Rotterdam

June 2 and 3, those were this year’s Rotterdam Rooftop Days, the annual opportunity to see, and photograph, the city from different perspectives. Unlike last year, a Rooftop Pass did not give access to all Open Roofs on both days. One had to choose for either Saturday or Sunday. Or for both days, but in that case two passes had to be purchased. Hazy So what do you choose? Without any clear reason I had picked Sunday, weeks in advance. And that choice worked out remarkably well. On Saturday the weather was extremely un-photographic: overcast, gloomy and hazy. That’s evident...