Tagged: architecture

View from a cableway gondola at the Floriade expo in Almere, The Nethelrands, including the Floating Forest

Floriade Horticulture Exhibition in Almere

The Floriade of 2022 in Almere will not go down in history as the most successful edition. The visitor numbers are disappointing and the budget gap is approaching 100 million. When all Almere’s aldermen resigned for that reason at the end of June, it was even feared that the world horticulture exhibition would have to end prematurely. Criticism At the opening, there was also quite a bit of criticism about the character of the exhibition itself. It would all be a bit meager. Due to covid19, a number of participating countries had dropped out. Work was still in full swing… Read More

The Werkspoor "Cathedral" in Utrecht, The Netherlands with in fornt of it the cafe and terrace of brewery De Leckere and the former Werkspoor harbour

A Beer Hike to De Leckere café

This is the second pre-publication of the hiking guide, The Best Beer Hikes in the Benelux, which will hopefully be published one day. The first blog post in that series was about our hike to Koningshoeven Abbey near Tilburg. That’s the place where the Netherlands’ most famous Trappist beer La Trappe is brewed. On this second walk we went to the café of a much younger brewery: De Leckere in the city of Utrecht. The aim of this series is to combine a visit to a brewery or tasting room with a hike of around 20 kilometers. We therefore walk… Read More

Pavement tile on Dutch railway platform asking to keep 1,5 metre, or vijf tiles, distance, because of covid-19

Eighteen Corona Hikes in the South Wing

Before the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic, traveling companion A. and I were quite regularly hiking all over the Netherlands. But then, in March 2020, public transport was suddenly declared “for strictly necessary journeys only”. For a while we dutifully adhered to that rule. But at a certain point it started to feel uncomfortable. Car owners merrily drove all over the place, but consciously carless people like us, suddenly saw our environment limited to a radius of a few kilometers around our own homes. And since A. lives in Leiden and I live in Rotterdam, joint walks were prohibited according… Read More

Artificially aged vintage postcard of Little C, Tuschinski Park and Coolhaven harbour in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Vintage Postcards of Rotterdam in the Twenties

This blog post is made for growth. A few years ago I produced a series of artificially aged postcards of Rotterdam, seemingly from a bygone era but with contemporary landmarks such as the Markthal, Central Station and Erasmus Bridge. In the meantime, a new generation of architectural highlights is under construction or just completed. And that called for a new series of vintage postcards. There are still fences, scaffolding, site huts or other disfiguring elements around a number of those projects, so I’ll have to wait for the right time to strike. I will place the new additions to the… Read More

A "post-completion drawing" of the Basic Plan for the Reconstruction of Rotterdam bij Cornelis van Traa from 1946, with the city as it has been built in the 80 years after the 1940 bombing

The Reconstruction of Rotterdam Revised

This year we commemorate that eighty years ago the reconstruction of Rotterdam started. On May 14, 1940, much of the city was destroyed by the German bombardment and subsequent fire. Just four days later, on May 18, city architect W.G. Witteveen was commissioned to make a plan for the rebuilding. The ultimate Basic Plan for Reconstruction, drawn by Witteveen’s successor Cornelis van Traa, was not aproved by the city council until 1946. As a result of that Plan, the street map of the city center was drastically changed in many places. As I searched through my Rotterdam archive, I came… Read More

The shining pot of the Boymans museum collection building under construction in Museum Park in Rotterdam during the blue hour on a morning the the winter of 2020

January Mornings: the 2020 Edition

In a previous post I explained why early January is such a good time to go out taking photographs at daybreak. There’s no need to set the alarm inhumanely early because the latest (in the sense of the least early) sunrise is around New Year’s Day. And in this time of year sunrise coincides more or less with the morning rush hour, making it easy to adorn the photos with light trails and other special effects. Also this year I went out a few times early in the morning for a photo expedition through Rotterdam in the blue hour. Unfortunately… Read More

A compact cube-shaped house with a glass and wood facade, located on a high rooftop with a fictional Rotterdam skyline in the background

A Tiny Cube House With a View: Blok’s Block

Looking at the city from a higher point of view can generate some great design ideas. For a cube-shaped tiny house, for example. 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 mo st 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… Read More

Top view of the model of new construction projects in downtown Rotterdam, in the hall of the Coolsingel Post Office

Cardboard and Styrofoam in the Old Post Office

The old main post office on Coolsingel avenue: it’s a place I visited quite often when I had just moved to Rotterdam. In those days you sometimes needed a stamp to send a letter or postcard. The waiting time in front of the counter was made pleasant by the beautiful space you were in: a large hall with the parabolic concrete arches, skylights and relief tiles. Redevelopment The post office closed its doors in 2007 and since then the hall hasn’t been accessible except in rare occasions. The building, a national monument, was in decay for over a decade. But… Read More

The Mevlana mosque in Rotterdam in springtime with the Schie river in the foreground

Rotterdam as seen from a minaret

I have been to many high places in recent years to take pictures of Rotterdam. But on Easter Sunday, together with a few fellow photographers, I had the opportunity to capture the city from a very unusual point of view: a minaret of the Mevlana mosque. The photo shoot was organized by Ramazan Aydogan from Rotta Historica. He previously brought us to the roofs of the Delftse Poort building and the Erasmushuis. Ottoman The Mevlana mosque was completed on its location near the river Delfshavense Schie in Rotterdam West in 2001. The design is by the Schiedam architect Bert Toorman.… Read More

A rainbow behind Hallgrimskirkja, the iconic church in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik in Winter

While Western Europe enjoyed a very early spring, travel companion A. and I spent a winter week in the capital of Iceland capital, Reykjavik. It was definitely not spring there yet, but unfortunately just not wintry enough either. There was ice on lakes, snow on the mountains, and here and there there were large heaps of snow in the street, but no fresh snow fell. Well, that means we’ll have to go back there once more. Metropolis There is something strange about Reykjavik. The city, including suburbs, has only 240,000 inhabitants, just as much as a town like Swansea. Which,… Read More