Tagged: history

Long straight road with a line of trees and a farm in the North East Polder in the Netherlands

Hiking in a Dutch Polder

The Noordoostpolder (North East Polder) is a relatively recent addition to the Netherlands; it used to be part of the former Zuiderzee estuary and has been dry land since 1942. With its long straight roads it doesn’t seem like a perfect place for a day trip and certainly not like a great place to go hiking. But of course you’ll never know for sure if you don’t try it at least once. So on October 24, partner-in-crime A. and I travelled to the polder for a trip around three places of interest: Schokland, Nagele and Urk. Planning To go by...

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...

Combination of an old photo of people waiting in line in front of the Bijenkorf department store in Rotterdam with a recent image of the same location on Coolsingel

The Return of the Bijenkorf Sculpture: an Update

“The ‘Bijenkorf stone’ is coming back – perhaps”, NRC, a national newspaper with Rotterdam roots, headlined on Saturday 3 February. And indeed: there is news about the sculpture by Hendrik van den Eijnde, which from 1930 to 1960 decorated the façade of the old Bijenkorf department store, designed by architect W.M. Dudok. The sculpture is currently hidden in a place that doesn’t really do it justice: the Bijenkorf’s logistic center in Woerden. But as the only remnant of the architectural masterpiece that was so ruthlessly demolished in 1960, it deserves a location in the center of Rotterdam, preferably as close...

"Old" vintage postcard, or rather a digitally aged recent photo of the White House and the Old Harbour in Rotterdam

Vintage Rotterdam

Take a good look at the picture below of the White House and the Old Harbour in Rotterdam. An old postcard, found in a cardboard box that has been in a cold and humid attic for decades. Let’s try to date it. Fin de siècle Er, did I hear you say fin de siècle? I assume you mean the end of the nineteenth century. That sounds like a valid assumption; the White House, the “American” skyscraper that for years was the highest in Europe, dates back to 1898. And the classic barges in the foreground, located in the Oude Haven,...

Light trails from cars in the tunnel under Koninginneplein in Venlo at night with slow traffic next to the tunnel.

Venlo revisited: the Koninginneplein Tunnel

The tunnel under Koninginneplein (or should I say Queen’s Square?) in Venlo was completed in 2011. It ensured a smoother and prettier transition between the railway station and the city center. Through traffic went underground; from now on pedestrians could easily and safely walk into the city. Glass panels My Royal HaskoningDHV colleague Mari Baauw was the architect of the project. I had the honor to design the glass panels in the railing between the underpass and the ground level. Six years later It was not the only reason, but Koninginneplein was my main goal when I traveled to Venlo...

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...

Artist impression of planet Earth, seen from a location at 50.000 kilometres above the Netherlands, showing the Northpole, Europa and Africa

Rotterdam, Netherlands, Europe, Earth, Universe

April 22, the birthday of this blog entry, is Earth Day. There is no better day imaginable to talk about satellite and astronaut photographs of our planet. History The first satellite in orbit around the Earth was, in 1957, the Russian Sputnik-1 (which in fact simply means Satellite-1). However there was no camera on board. The first pictures of the Earth were made a few years later , on April 1, 1960, by the American weather satellite TIROS-1. Since then, our home world has been photographed many times. Some of these images have become iconic, like the Earthrise photograph from...

Black and white photo of a two year old boy and a young goat, made in the summer of 1964

Six Decades of Photography

There are people – though they must be very old by now – who have witnessed both the first plane and the moon landing. A similar feeling comes over me when I think of how photography has evolved during my life. I have turned my archive upside down and made the following reconstruction. It will probably sound very familiar to anyone in their fifties or older and is hopefully informative for anyone who is younger. For convenience, I’ve summarized it into Six Decades of Photography, though I missed part of the first decade, and we still have to bring the...

Interior picture of the basement of the Orange Bridge after adaptation to a hotel suite, with double bed and ship stairs.

Sleeping in a Bridge Keeper’s Cabin in Schiedam

In Schiedam, at a stone’s throw from my place of birth, is the Orange Bridge, a structure from the thirties which spans the New Harbour. Since early this year, the bridge keeper’s cabin is managed by fellow photographer, local resident, architecture lover and Schiedam promoter Jan Sluijter, who uses it to organize exhibitions and other events. Here’s a pre-announcement: on 2 and 3 June there’s an exhibition about the architecture of Dudok, including my Bijenkorf triptych. A suite in the basement Under the bridge keeper’s room is a basement, which is accessible via a ladder in one of the towers...