This is a lovely time-lapse video by videographer Pepijn Koning of the MartiniPlaza venue in Groningen, of which the centre hall seats 4,500.
Earlier this month the Dutch Basketball League play-offs were held here, but in the middle of the play-offs the basketball hall had to make room for a dance hall in which a paint party was to be held (folks dancing while squirting each other with paint).
The video shows how the hall transforms from one type of venue into the other and back again.
Last year international ad agency JWT moved into a new office in Amsterdam, the famous Hirsch & Cie building on Leidseplein right above the Apple store. They asked interior designer RJW Elsinga and brand experience designer Alrik Koudenberg to come up with an interior design, and that they did.
The two came up with chairs shaped like faces, a trophy case shaped like a rabbit, a reception area with upside down photography (check the desktop background on the computer in the illustration below), robots that double as cupboards, the word ‘wow’ spelled backwards, workplace dividers looking like local gables and much more.
This map by Belgian citizen and inventor Jerôme Wenmaekers from 1876 shows his plans to reclaim the entire Zuiderzee, including the Wadden Sea.
According to De Verdieping van Nederland, Wenmaekers plans required the use of his own dike building machines, but the inventor would not release the plans for those until he got the reclamation concession. On the other hand, the minister of public works would not approve the plan as long as he could not see how the machines worked. Both parties remained in that deadlock and in the end it was Cornelis Lely whose plans were used.
Lely’s plan was much less ambitious, but still very ambitious—his Flevoland polder is the largest artificial island in the world by a wide margin.
The green inset in this second map from 1866 shows the area Wenmaekers wanted to reclaim. According to NRC, for 70 years (between 1850 and 1920) the Dutch discussed what to do with the country’s ‘wet heart’, which led to at least 581 publications. One plan even called for the reclamation of the North Sea.
Public swimming pool Tropicana was built in 1988 on the Maasboulevard in the heart of Rotterdam and closed its doors again in 2010.
The Vers Beton blog asked photographer Frank Hanswijk to go and take a peek, which he did. He created a short photo reportage in which he documents the rapid deterioration of an abandoned public pool. In as short a time as three years the water has receded and most of the plants have died, and in their stead rust and dirt are conquering every inch.
In the 1980s tropical themed public pools became popular in the Netherlands—at least in my recollection. These pools focussed less on lap swimming and more on other types of recreation. They were typically equipped with water slides, whirl pools, wave pools and so on, and were nicknamed subtropische zwemparadijzen.
The hotel is owned by seven anonymous private investors who bought it in 2004 for 46 million euro and is run by the German Steigenberger Hotel Group. At the time the purchase was supervised by Willem Endstra, who was accused of being banker to the underworld and who was murdered shortly after. Steigenberger has denied that there are financial problems and has declared that business will go on as usual, according to Misset Horeca.
Meanwhile the nearby pleasure pier, another icon of seaside resort Scheveningen, is also heading towards bankruptcy. The curator has decided to put the pier up for auction. It is currently owned by known tax evaders Van der Valk Hotels who bought it for 1 euro in 1991 of insurer Nationale Nederlanden who wanted to get rid of it because of the high maintenance costs, NRC writes.
The origin of Scheveningen is hidden in the mists of time, but towns with names ending in -inge originate from the 10th and 11th century according to Wikipedia. As the nearby The Hague turned from the hunting lodge of the counts of Holland to the seat of the government of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, the fishing community of Scheveningen grew. In 1665 the two towns were connected by a paved road and from 1800 onwards Scheveningen developed into a seaside resort with hotels and villas being built to the northeast of the harbour.
In 1884 the Kurhaus was built, a hotel which doubled as a spa. The Kurhaus was connected to the pier via a bridge. (In World War II the original pier burned down—a new pier was built a bit further up North in 1959.)
According to history blog Geschiedenismeisjes, Kurhaus was still an icon of tremendous luxury at the start of the 20th century. During World War I, in which the Netherlands managed to stay neutral, the hotel was the location of a culture clash between new and old money. A group of people who had gotten rich during the war, the so-called ‘oorlogswinstmakers’ (war profiteers) flaunted their wealth in Scheveningen. And in 1919 a labour law was passed that made leisure time for workers obligatory—the hours that a person should work per day were limited to 8 and the Sunday would be a day off. This brought spending time at the beach suddenly within the reach of the working classes.
As the architect’s web page crudely puts it, after Operation Market Garden in World War II the Dutch town of Schijndel in North Brabant was left with an ‘oversized’ market place.
MVRDV’s founder Winy Maas had been lobbying town hall to do something useful with all that space, and after his seventh attempt, he finally got his wish. On 17 January the building of the glass farm on the Markt in Schijndel was completed. The building is made to look like an oversized farm (scale 1.6:1) and is made entirely out of glass, on which a texture has been printed.
The building with a total surface area of 1600 m2 contains shops, restaurants, offices and a wellness centre. The exterior is printed glass with a collage of typical local farms; a monument to the past but 1.6 times larger than life.
In collaboration with MVRDV, artist Frank van der Salm photographed all the remaining traditional farms, and from these an image of the typical farm was composed. This image was printed using fritted procedure onto the 1800m2 glass facade, resulting in an effect such as a stained glass window in a cathedral. The print is more or less translucent depending on the need for light and views.
The print lets in light from outside during the daytime and the building is illuminated from the inside during the night.
A homeowners’ association in Rotterdam recently wanted a member to remove a satellite dish from his flat. Dishes are considered an eyesore and they decrease the enjoyment other owners have of their flats.
However, it’s not that simple, Internet lawyer Arnoud Engelfriet writes. Freedom of speech also includes the ability to receive information, which is why judges have been reluctant to outlaw satellite dishes in the past.
The homeowners’ association won its lawsuit last July because the homeowner had other ways to watch his favourite TV channels, such as on the Internet. A fundamental right does not always trump a homeowners’ association’s articles.
Engelfriet omitted to mention that the satellite TV watching flat owner was of Turkish descent. When Dutch people see a street full of satellite dishes, they generally assume that the neighbourhood is popular with immigrants. Homeowners fear that a neighbourhood’s property value will drop if the neighbourhood is perceived to be too ‘black’.
In this case, the plaintiff had also made it clear that it wasn’t he who needed access to the satellite channels, but his wife.
The plaintiff was ordered to pay all his opponent’s legal costs, which the judge determined to be 200 euro.
To prove that ‘everything sounds better in the Concertgebouw’, Amsterdam’s beautiful 125-year-old concert hall, some amusing adverts were made, albeit not every one of them brilliant or believable. I find the showering one a bit boring, and I don’t need to hear burping children either.
In the video below, the acoustics were tested using three scooters, which sounded much less annoying than they do on the street whizzing by on bike paths. The three scooter guys are pretty typical for Amsterdam’s streets, and they had never been in the Concertgebouw before. Having attended concerts there myself, all I can say is that the hall is very live sounding and makes brass and strings sound very vibrant, as long as you have good seats.
The Milky Way Bridge (Melkwegbrug) in Purmerend connects the Weidevenne neighbourhood with the historic city centre.
It cost 6 million euro to build, and was designed by Next Architects and built by Ingenieurs Bureau Amsterdam.
The arch is 12 metres high and the bridge has 130 steps. The idea behind making the bridge this way is that the architects did not just want it to be a bit of infrastructure, but also a place where people want to be.
A second bridge runs underneath for bicycles and wheelchairs. This second bridge can be opened to let boats pass.
Controversial artist Tinkebell has announced she will report a theft with the police after a TV Rijnmond reporter took two snails from an exhibit with him. TV Rijnmond handed over the snails to Dierenbescherming (‘Animal Protection’, an association with 200,000 members and 31 local chapters) for further study.
Tinkebell is currently exhibiting some 1,000 live snails with beads glued to them as part of a larger exhibition at the Villa Zebra children’s museum called Ah, wat lief! (‘So sweet’). The exhibition is supposed to explore and challenge how children look at animals—which ones do they find cute, and which ones do they find horrid.
Earlier Tinkebell exhibits centered around exposing the hypocrisy of animal lovers by doing the exact same thing they do to animals, but within a completely different context. In one instance she made a leather purse, with the leather from her own cat. She also let hamsters run around a showroom while they were imprisoned in tiny plastic balls she had purchased at a pet store, something for which she was prosecuted but ultimately acquited.
I have been painting all the snails I find in my own garden for years. [One day I spotted my neighbour salting his garden to kill snails and] I began to wonder where the snails came from, where they were going and how old they would get. In order to answer my own questions as well as try to change my neighbour’s mind, I started to paint numbers on the snails in my garden. There were many of them…
A year later and much to my surprise I saw that the snails were still moving through my garden, numbers and all. Wow! So then I numbered the unmarked copies in a different colour.
Another year passed and now three generations of painted snails were moving among my plants, and the year after I started with a new ‘tactic’, that of ‘beautifying’. I added glitter, flowers and little paintings. Each year my snails looked different, and that is how I kept track of different generations.