Tagged: architecture

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...

Photo of the City Hall and the Market Square in Leuven made at night through the window of a pub.

Countdown: the Ten Best Photographs of 2016

Every year in early December the ranking season starts. The sportsman/sportswoman/sportsteam, politician and person of the year; the best films, books and records. As if nothing is going to happen in those final weeks. And now I’m doing it as well, by compiling the top 10 of my favorite photos from 2016. But I have a blog, and that has a great advantage. If between Christmas and New Years Eve I make a picture that is better than any other I made this year, I can simply rearrange the list. No no one will notice. The longlist I made close...

The Barge at Night, artist impression of the new Feyenoord stadium on the banks of the river Nieuwe Maas in Rotterdam

The Barge: a New Stadium for Feyenoord

For a few years now, there have been discussions about a new stadium for Feyenoord, replacing the legendary football temple and municipal monument, De Kuip. Allthough I am not as frequent a visitor of the stadium as some of my fellow townspeople, I also have my memories of De Kuip. For example, of a competition match of Feyenoord against Vitesse: 2-1. Pierre van Hooijdonk was still playing then, so it must have been a while ago. Much longer ago I was at the best concert of the  (twentieth) century by Eric Clapton. With Elton John as a disastrous support act and the then virtually unknown Bonnie Raytt doing...

Reflection of the New Luxor Theatre in the water of Rijnhaven in Rotterdam

Painting Waves: the Coincidental Artist

If you’re looking at my photographic work, it’s obvious that reflections are an important theme: in mirrors, in water, in glass, in metal, on ice, on wet asphalt. I even have a board devoted to the subject in Pinterest. Today I want to talk about a special kind of reflection. Under the right conditions, reflections in an undulating surface start resembling oilpaintings. With water as a canvas and coincidence as an artist. Impressionistic scenes that you only need to capture with a camera. The right circumstances So what exactly are these right conditions? To begin with: it has to be...

Interior photo of the bridge keepers cabin of the Orange Bridge in Schiedam, during the Dudok exhibition with photos and drawings of Dudok's Rotterdam Bijenkorf

Dudok exhibition in Schiedam: the Bijenkorf triptych and more…

During the weekend of 2 and 3 July I organized an exhibition, together with Jan Sluijter, in the cutest (and probably the smallest) art gallery of Schiedam: the bridge keepers cabin of the Orange Bridge across the New Harbour. The photo exhibition was dedicated to the architecture of Willem Marinus Dudok. We had a good occasion for that: two hundred meters from the venue is one of Dudok’s creations: the HAV Bank, currently in use as a residential building. The exhibition was, admittedly, mostly focussed on one building: the old Rotterdam Bijenkorf. We had a lot of material about that...

Bench on the roof of the Groothandelsgebouw during sunset, with a couple in a romantic mood in the background

The Rotterdam Staircase – a Stairway to Heaven

The Staircase, Rotterdam’s successful temporary tourist attraction, is taken down, but fortunately we still have the photos. In five weeks time 368.611 people climbed the 180 steps to the top of the structure of wood and scaffolding pipe, an idea of my esteemed former colleague Winy Maas. Allthough it’s likely that in reality there were just a few less, because I went up four times and I was probably counted every time. Challenge It’s strange: put a staircase and an escalator next to each other and everyone takes the latter, even if the height difference is just a few meters....

The steel arch of De Oversteek (The Crossing) in Nijmegen, with the smaller arches in brick and concrete, reflected in a puddle in the floodplains of the Room for the River project

The New Bridges of Nijmegen

When I visited the Room for the River project in Nijmegen, a year ago, I decided I had to come back after completion of the work. And so it happened last week, a day with four seasons, which resulted in very photogenic weather. River park Nijmegen now has a beautiful river park in the heart of the city. Although at some places it still looks a bit new and barren; grass, flowers and other vegetation are still working to recapture the areas around the newly created Spiegelwaal (Mirror Waal). Reason to schedule another visit for springtime 2017. Five new bridges...

Huf Building, a national monument from the reconstruction era, photographed from the square near Saint Lawrence Church, late in the afternoon, with the building and its lighting reflecting in Delftsevaart

The Reconstruction Top 10 – Rotterdam Highlights from 1945-1970

It is a common misconception that Rotterdam is not very interesting in terms of architectural history because all history has been bombed out of it in 1940. And although much beauty was lost in May of that year,  in the new city as it has grown in the past 75 years, quite a few historical layers can be discovered. The reconstruction period is particularly interesting because in those years (let’s limit it to the period from 1945 to 1970) pretty good architecture was built (and unfortunately some of it even has been demolished already). The buildings from that time are generally fairly sober, but often...

Photo of the Marstunnel in Zutphen looking from Noorderhaven and De Mars towards the city center

Marstunnel Zutphen: a Colorful Underpass

Since I was in the neighborhood, I took the opportunity to visit the Marstunnel in Zutphen. Another recently completed project in the east of the country in which I’ve put an lot of hours. Among other things, I made the artist impressions for the project when I was working at Royal HaskoningDV. The name Marstunnel has nothing to do with the Red Planet and also not with candy bars, but everything with business park De Mars. The new tunnel connects that area, and the new district Noorderhaven with Zutphen town center. The underpass replaces the a level crossing. Architecture Responsible...

The facade sculpture from the old Bijenkorf department store by Dudok on the Coolsingel after renovation of the Rotterdam's main boulevard to a design by West 8

The New Coolsingel: More Space for Pedestrians and for Dudok

In early September the plans for Coolsingel, Rotterdam’s main urban axis, were made public. The proposal by Adriaan Geuze makes some very smart moves concerning the various flows of traffic on the busy boulevard. The tram tracks remain where they are, because it would be too expensive to move them. But car traffic, with less lanes, is concentrated east of the tram. Cyclists get a generous lane on the west side. The rest of the space is for pedestrians. Balance This plan holds a good balance between the desire of some to completely pedestrianize Coolsingel and the wishes of others...