Tagged: urbanism

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...

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...

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...

Fragment of the the Double Streep Map Rotterdam 1939-2016, showing the position of the overhead railway on Binnenrotte in relation to pre-war and contemporary city blocks

The Overhead Railway on the Double Street Map of Rotterdam

About a year ago I created the Double Street Map of Rotterdam 1939-2014, which shows how the street pattern of my hometown has changed as a result of the 1940 bombardment and the subsequent reconstruction. That map did not go unnoticed: local newspaper AD/Rotterdams Dagblad wrote about it and I received a lot of reactions. The comments were actually all positive, except for on a small point of criticism: the Overhead Railway is missing! Parisian allure Indeed, the Overhead Railway … I’m old enough to remember: the railway viaduct on Binnenrotte, which gave an almost Parisian allure to the market...

Spherical panorama Bourtange, The Netherlands

The Link between Bourtange and Rotterdam (and between a Pentagon and a Sphere)

A few weeks ago I was in Bourtange, the well-preserved fortified village in the Dutch province of Groningen. At least, I’ve always thought that Bourtange was a nicely preserved piece of history. But that’s not entirely correct. For more than a century, the fortress was completely gone and Bourtange was a boring farming village. In the nineteenth century, the fortifications were demolished and the canals were closed, which happened in many places in those days. Reconstruction Not until the sixties of the twentieth century came the idea to rebuild the fortress. In the seventies and eighties that idea was carried...

Paintified image of former cruiseship SS Rotterdam, with the neighbourhood of Katendrecht in the foreground and Waalhaven industrial area in the background

Markthal, Katendrecht and other Rotterdam Paintifications

Rotterdam, as you may know, is packed with tall buildings. But unfortunately most of those buildings are not accessible if you don’t live or work there. And that’s a pity because the city is at its most beautiful and surprising when viewing it from a higher point of view. Higher ground Fortunately, in every year there are those days when you suddenly can get to places that are otherwise off-limits: Architecture Day, Construction Day, Heritage Day. Over the years, I ‘ve been able to look at my city from above many times. The photographs I made on those occasions now...

Fragment of the double street map of Rotterdam which compares the streets, blocks and harbours of the city in 1939 and 2014

Rotterdam: a Tale of Two Cities

If you’ve been reading my blog (for example, take the article on the old Bijenkorf or windmill De Noord) you know that I’m really interested in the history and architecture of Rotterdam. And that’s not just because I live there. What fascinates me is that there are actually two different cities. These two cities share the same location, but are separated from each other by time. With one major breaking point: the day of the bombing, May 14, 1940. Of course, other cities have changed enormously as well since, say, the thirties. But nowhere the changes have been as dramatic...

Spherical panorama of Gelderseplein in Rotterdam, featuring the White House, the reconstructed Wijnhavenhouses, the Old Harbour with the Cube dwellings and more

Gelderseplein Rotterdam: Another Spherical Panorama

Gelderseplein (Gelderland Square) is a new square in the center of Rotterdam, on a site that lay vacant for years after the construction of the railway tunnel. Around it we find a diverse catalog of architectural styles. Most prominent is the White House, which was the tallest skyscraper in Europe after completion in 1898, but criticized by many as “too American”; the building survived the 1940 bombing but was nearly demolished in the seventies for the construction of a huge roundabout that fortunately never came. Next to the White House there’s a row of eighteenth century buildings that was stored...

Graphical representation of the colorful skyline of Rotterdam, extended with sky, river Nieuwe Maas and port

A New Skyline for Rotterdam

Rotterdam Festivals uses a graphical representation of the famous skyline of the city as their logo. But such a logo is aging rapidly, especially in 2014, the year that three new landmarks were added: the Central Station, the Market Hall and De Rotterdam. So they organized a design competition for a new skyline logo with at least those three buildings in it. The prize was … nothing. Nothing? Indeed, it was only for the honor. Maybe, as a designer, you shouldn’t even want to participate, but hey, it’s for a good cause. And since I had a good idea…. Colors...

Photo of the multi-colored and rather varied architecture of Bristol, England, with the Floating Harbour in the foreground

Colors of the City

Because of my ten-day tour through England, work on blog, twitter and other websites has somewhat stalled during the last weeks. Sometimes it is good to take some distance to all those social media. But during such a trip, I can not help looking with an architect’s eye at the things around me. Like at the colors and materials that are characteristic of certain cities. St.Ives, for example, a popular tourist destination in Cornwall, is almost entirely built with just three materials. Brownish stone, white plaster and gray (sometimes turned greenish) slate, used quite randomly. That results in a pleasantly...