British Lego fan Nick Barrett, who is into making his own creations with Lego, has completed a lovely version of the famous Rietveld Schröder house, located in Utrecht, including its interior and furniture, Rietveld design chairs and all.
Tons more pics by Barrett of the house here.
Have a gander at other Lego creations we’ve written about:
(Link: www.duic.nl, Photo by Nick Barrett)
Tags: Lego, Rietveld, Utrecht
Since the opening of this artwork by John Kormeling back in 2008 there have been homeless people living in it, even though it’s not a proper house.
In 2009 some angry welfare recipient had to be removed by the fire brigade from the roof, and last December someone wrote ‘waste of money’ on the roof, while in 2008 someone has written ‘a food bank would be better’.
The rotating house cost 348,000 euro, which apparently many people thought was an expensive use of tax payers’ money. It seems to me that since the artwork looks like an overpriced house (as in for 348,000 clams in Tilburg you’d get something bigger) has made it an easy target.
(Link: www.nieuws.nl, Photo: Stinkfinger Producties)
Tags: homeless, roundabouts, Tilburg
The twenty Dutch book stores of the Polare chain have closed their doors—temporarily, they say.
Initial reports said that the closure came about because Centraal Boekhuis, the shared depot of most book stores in the Netherlands, refused to deliver any more books until Polare paid its bills. According to nu.nl however Central Boekhuis has resumed delivery of books to Polare. The closure came as a surprise to the distributor.
Whatever the real reason behind Polare’s action is, it seems clear that the chain is in trouble.
Punters have started producing explanations for the bad weather Polare has found itself in. The Internet is a big bogeyman according to Z24′s Thijs Peters. Regular customers are buying books on the Internet and students who were automatically referred to Polare’s predecessors at the start of the academic year, now buy their text books on-line.
In NRC competing book store Athenaeum gets plenty of space to explain Polare’s alleged downfall. Manager Maarten Asscher calls Polare “too big to succeed”. “If you want ‘the complete book store’, you go online. When customers go to a brick and mortar store, they go there for the inspiration and for professional and thoughtful advice. You don’t need 3,000 square metres of floor space for that.”
Polare was born last year out of the merger between Selexyz and De Slegte, the latter being a chain of second hand book stores. If you ask me, what got Selexyz into a spot where they had to merge with another floundering chain was its late entry to the Internet, not helped by having a name that is difficult to spell and therefore to google.
One of Polare’s constituent stores is situated in a former Dominican church in Maastricht and was called the most beautiful book store in the world by a British newspaper in 2008. If you are having trouble recognising the irony: the word is more popular than ever, but the pulpit? Meh.
(Photo by Teemu Mäntynen, some rights reserved; more pics of the church turned book store can be found here)
Tags: book stores, books, Broese Kemink, Dekker & Van de Vegt, Polare, Scheltema, second hand, Selexyz
The Rochdale housing corporation is using a legal loophole to charge top rents for slums in the Jeruzalem neighbourhood of Amsterdam, Parool reports.
The houses in question have a floor area of only 32 square metres and lack both central heating and insulated glazing. Until two years ago these were rent-controlled houses for which a tenant would pay 300 euro a month. But the neighbourhood was designated a monument in 2010—the first neighbourhood built since World War II to receive that status in Amsterdam—and the law allows a corporation to add 50 points to the points system that determines whether a property is rent-controlled or not.
Rochdale now charges at least 712 euro for the houses on the free market. The corporation admitted to Parool that “the houses are indeed in a bad state,” and added that it needed to generate more income.
This is not the first time Rochdale made headlines. In 2009 it fired CEO Hubert Möllenkamp who had been living the life of an Italian renaissance prince, using the company credit card for private expenses, driving around Amsterdam in a company Maserati with blue license plates for taxis (meaning he could drive where other people aren’t allowed), accepting bribes and, according to Rochdale, improving his own pension plan.
(Illustration: Google Street View)
Tags: bribes, corruption, housing corporations, Jeruzalem, monuments, Rochdale
Last October Mark Zegeling published a book called Sterke Verhalen voor bij de Borrel (tall tales to drink to) in which he explores the houses that KLM’s famous Delftware replicas are based on.
Dutch airline KLM gives away small Delftware bottles (produced in Hong Kong) to its business class passengers on long-haul flights. These bottles are shaped like classic Dutch houses and filled with jenever. So far 94 of them have been produced and now someone has written an extensive book on the history of the real houses that form the basis of KLM’s gifts.
Bol.com describes the book as follows: “[it] combines the best anecdotes and tallest tales about the life behind those gables. [...] It discusses William of Orange’s closest friends, Rembrandt’s sales techniques, Mata Hari’s bed, a golden treasure in a garden and human fat as a miracle cure. [...] Illustrated using more than 1,700 photos and paintings from various museums.”
The book appears to be self-published and is available, amongst others, from the author’s website.
Earlier we wrote about a KLM website which also tells the story of the airliner’s Delftware houses, although the site does so (from what I can tell) in less detail than the book.
Tags: Delftware, gables, jenever, KLM, Mata Hari, Rembrandt, William of Orange
As I was leafing through last year’s talent issue of FOAM magazine, I must have been a little too literal minded because when I saw photos by Marleen Sleeuwits titled Interiors, I originally thought she had found interesting looking office spaces that she’d ‘merely’ photographed.
Then I looked a little closer at Interior #27 (shown here) and realised the brown lines were actually box-sealing tape. It turns out she builds these interiors herself and then photographs them.
Sleeuwits told FOAM Magazine about what initially attracted her to interiors as a photographic subject: “I began work [on a series about airports] after watching a documentary about a businessman who travelled the world for his job. [...] One day he woke up in his hotel and had totally forgotten where he was. Looking out of the window didn’t give him any clues. He had to check his diary to find out. [Airports and suburban spaces] almost seem designed to disorientate.”
And on her website: “They are spaces that lack a connection with the outside world, so it is unclear what their function is, where they are and what time of day they were photographed. [...] Here lies a paradox: the spaces that catch my attention are in some sense non-spaces. Lacking a clear function or any reference to the outside world, they are in the end nothing but spaces.”
Sleeuwits’ agent, the Liefhertje en de Grote Witte Reus gallery in The Hague, will be showing off her work at the Art Rotterdam art fair during the weekend of 6 – 9 February 2014.
Tags: interiors, Marleen Sleeuwits, spaces
Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Amsterdam, known internationally for projects such as his building to be built using a 3D printer, has designed a house with a 360 degree view (video).
Inspired by the Russian game Tetris, Ruijssenaars thought up a row house made of blocks placed in such a way that every room has a different view of outside instead of just being able to see out the front or out the back. His idea was based on a building contest in Peru in 2009 which was about increasing density. By having more people use the same space, he was able to increase the density as well as the quality of the residences.
It remains to be seen who will be the first to build these houses. And although different, they do remind me of Habitat 67 in Montreal by Moshe Safdie.
(Link: www.telegraaf.nlPhoto of Tetris cookies by Rakka, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, Janjaap Ruijssenaars, Tetris
Dutch architects Jetty and Maarten Min of Min2 collaborated on a home in Bergen, North Holland they had built for themselves.
“The design includes a stunning arched rooftop, exposed tree-trunk columns, and clay tiles on the walls. The home offers breathtaking views of the surrounding dune landscape, particularly on the upper levels which offers large windows so the occupants can soak it all in.”
(Link: enpundit.com, Screenshot: min2.nl)
Tags: Bergen, dunes, North Holland
The Hoog Catharijne shopping mall in Utrecht, which encompasses the largest and busiest train station of the Netherlands, is turning 40 today. In 2016 it will also feature one of the world’s biggest bike garages.
Hoog Catharijne is currently being rebuilt, and a large part of the area around the train station is under construction. The buses below change places every couple of weeks and the traffic needs human help at street level to get going. Hoog Catharijne is one of the busiest Dutch shopping malls, and according to many, not one of the prettiest. When travelling across the country, popping out at Utrecht Central Station to go shopping for clothes or gifts without going outside in the pouring rain is a real plus.
Here’s the promotional video of what it will look like fully rebuilt in 2019 presented in Dutch is a sales pitch with a lot of ‘experience this’ and ‘discover that’. It has an all-white, fit and young cast as well, which doesn’t reflect reality. Sailing over the Catharijnesingel does sound cool: digging up canals is trendy because waterfront property is expensive. Charging up your electric car for free has to be a good thing although I can imagine that for the price of parking your car indoors, it isn’t a strong selling point.
Watch the old school 1970s promotional video for Hoog Catharijne in Dutch featuring key expressions as ‘oriented towards the future’ and mentions of Postwar rebuilding.
(Link: www.nrc.nl, Photo of Hoog Catharijne by Jeroen Bosman, some rights reserved)
Tags: Hoog Catherijne, Utrecht
The Netherlands is a European market leader of being stuck with empty office space, with 15% of all office buildings being unoccuppied. Amsterdam clocks in at 18% all on its own, with only Athenes, Greece being worse off at 20%, making it the king.
Since the office buildings have a high value, they cannot be easily converted into much needed living space, which is still considered to be ‘urgent’. In Amsterdam North students live in containers when they could be living in converted office space.
According to the city of Amsterdam, a healthy office market should be around 4-8%, allowing for moving, renting and selling. The city claims it is trying to convince office building owners to transform their buildings into incubators for smaller businesses as well as limit the amount of new buildings being built.
(Links: marketupdate.nl, www.vastgoedmarkt.nl, Photo of Rotterdam, KPN building by Roel Wijnants, some rights reserved)
Tags: office space