About a year ago I designed Blok’s Block, a kind of tiny house XL. A compact home for adventurous urbanites, to be placed on roofs of tall buildings. One of the reactions I received on the Block: it is not really a tiny house. There seems to be an unofficial upper limit of 50 square meters for this. Although the Block is relatively compact, it still has a floor space of 65 square meters. Would a smaller variant be possible that does fit within this 50 m² standard? Tiny The dimensions of the Block are based on the two floor… Read More
Design is shaping, inventing, creating. Concocting something that didn’t exist before. Make something come alive. A piece of furniture, a building, a city, a landscape, a world.
Troughout my career I have visualized many designs by others. Or given a boost to the design process through a glimpse in a 3D model. With equal pleasure I produce own designs. At every imaginable scale: a cassette tape box lamp, a street planetarium, and a modern turf hut or a calendar for Mars.
On February 9, 1968, the first section of the Rotterdam metro was opened: six kilometers, six stations, from Central Station to Zuidplein. I was there together with my father, but all I remember is that I saw a lot of people’s legs that day. I was only five and much shorter than I am today. A few years later, that first line was extended to my hometown of Hoogvliet. This resulted in a spectacular reduction of the travel time to Rotterdam. Instead of a one hour bus ride, the metro took us to “the city” in half an hour. Now,… Read More
During the Rotterdam Rooftop Days, in the beginning of June, the Codrico grain silo at Katendrecht once against caught my eye. This national heritage may be the most beautiful industrial building in Rotterdam. At its rooftop there is a large cube made of concrete and glass. If the silo complex ever loses its current function, I’d love to make plans for its redevelopment. In the cube one could make a beautiful top end apartment . A very large apartment by the way, since I estimate the cube to be around twelve meters long, wide and high. Four floors would fit… Read More
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… Read More
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… Read More
Some time ago I took part in a design competition organized by the Sint Trudo housing corporation in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. The assignment was to design a condo, a compact apartment in an urban context. To be precise: in Strijp-S, the former Philips area, which is being developed into a vibrant city district. My submission did not win a prize, but I nevertheless want to show it on my blog. The name of my design: Ruma Kecil, which is Indonesian for Tiny House. Luxury The word condo, I suppose, is derived from condominium, frequently used in the United States for… Read More
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… Read More
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… Read More
In 2002, my former employer Rem Koolhaas designed a flag for the European Union. His idea: a kind of bar code with the colors of the flags of the various member states arranged from east to west. One of the places where the design was used is the Museumpark in Rotterdam. A brilliant idea, in my opinion: it symbolizes variety and unity and it is immediately recognizable. The flag may only be a bit hard to draw without errors, but that’s true for many flags. (How are the American stars arranged? And did we start with a red or a… Read More
In February I was Watford, England for a week to visualize the planned renovation of St. Mary’s church. I wrote this blog article about it. Convinced Those images, of the chancel area of the church, were primarily intended to convince the monument committee, which has now reacted positively to the plans. The church council was pleased with my pictures and they asked me to come back to also to visualize the plans for the main body of the church. And so I got back on the train to the UK. Meeting place The main change in the nave of the… Read More