Tagged: urbanism

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...

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...

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...

Stretched panorama of downtown Rotterdam, resulting in a Hong Kong-like image

A 360 Degree View of Rotterdam from Delftse Poort Building

Last week, once again I was given the opportunity, together with a number of fellow photographers, to take photos from Delftse Poort, the highest building in downtown Rotterdam. And unlike the last time, we could now get on the roof. So no annoying glass surfaces between the camera and the skyline. And a 360 degree view; no obstructions to the east and west by the closed end façades. My ineffable thanks to Ramazan of Rotta Historica for organizing the event and to Corine of Delftse Poort for the hospitality. Parapet What does a roof at such a height look like?...

Aerial view of the old center of Amsterdam including the Singel canal, the dome of the Koepelkerk and the tower of the Westerkerk

The Open Towers of Amsterdam

Like most Rotterdammers, I tend to refer to Amsterdam somewhat pejoratively as 020 (the city’s area code, which seems to indicate it came second after Rotterdam, 010). But secretly I think it’s quite a nice place. Okay, I still don’t understand why it is the capital when the government is located somewhere else. But especially when it comes to old and new architecture and urbanism there is a lot to see around the Y river. The Open Tower Day on 24 March was therefore a good occasion to take a fast train to Amsterdam. Unfortunately I was too late to...

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...

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...