Tagged: urbanism

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...

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...