October 4, 2020

Dutch designer Jan des Bouvrie dies, aged 78

Filed under: Design by Orangemaster @ 9:03 pm

Famous Dutch designer Jan des Bouvrie has passed away at age 78 after a battle with prostate cancer.

As an interior and product designer, he was probably best known for his 1969 ‘kubusbank sofa’, easily considered a design classic and still being sold today. In fact, it is said that his sofa is a symbol of modern Dutch interior design and can be found in the collections of both the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. As well, the Jan des Bouvrie Academy in Deventer, Overijssel was named after him. Last year, he celebrated his 50th anniversary as a designer at his studio Het Arsenaal in Naarden.

We wrote about him quite a while back: Des Bouvrie designs a mobile chalet.

(Link: parool.nl, Photo of Jan des Bouvrie by Erwin Olaf Springveld, some rights reserved)

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June 25, 2020

New wharf cellars discovered in Utrecht

Filed under: Architecture,Dutch first,History by Orangemaster @ 11:58 am

According to Utrecht city council, some previously unknown 60 wharf cellars have been discovered in the city’s centre. The council says that there are some 200 addresses with cellars of which the state of disrepair is unknown and that they are planning to look at more closely. An inspection should provide the best possible idea of the state of wharves in the city and what preventive and safety measures are needed.

Covid permitting (always check first), visitors can take a walking tour of canals and wharf cellars. As well, this latest discovery could make the tours even more exciting.

According to Wikipedia, Utrecht has 732 wharf cellars built around 1150. They were originally used as storage and other spaces for goods to be transported over water. One cool fact about them is that they can be found under roads.

(Link: www.rtvutrecht.n, Photo of Utrecht Nieuwegracht wharf by Japiot, some rights reserved)

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April 22, 2020

Artist paints on toilet paper, strings it up in Utrecht

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 4:58 pm

Currently stranded in The Netherlands due to the Coronavirus crisis, American artist Daniel Miller, 33, has recently been painting tulips on toilet paper and hanging it around Utrecht. He needed to get something artistic out of his system, something ‘positive and absurd’, he said, and tulips on loo roll definitely qualifies.

On his art you can read the text “If you see me, you can take me”, in Dutch. Free art – we love free stuff in this country! He’s a quick study.

Daniel came to The Netherlands to get inspired and visit friends, but one hour after he landed, the Corona measures kicked in and he was destined to hang out with us a while longer.

Every day Daniel goes around town and hangs up his painted toilet paper tulips, hoping to bring some hope and happiness to people. “The Coronavirus is unavoidable. What surprises me is our reaction to it. How we blame each other, how we panic and come up with conspiracy theories.”

Be sure to check him out on instagram.

(Link: rtvutrecht.nl)

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August 6, 2019

Biggest bicycle parking in the world in Utrecht

Filed under: Bicycles,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 7:40 pm

Back in 2013 we told you that the world’s biggest bike garage was to be built in Utrecht. Although it was open for use in November 2018, we never talked about it again, so it’s time to do that.

Located under Utrecht Central Station, also the country’s biggest train station, there’s a huge bicycle garage that can fit 12,500 bikes, but does not already. In 2018, when 7,600 spots were opened, the garage was full in no time and people couldn’t park their bikes.

In the summer of 2020, if all goes well, the garage will add another 4,900 spots to the now existing 7,600 for a total of 12,500. There are now 22,000 public places to park your bike around the station, and another 11,000 will be added in nearby businesses and the former post office a few hundreds metres away with another 700.

The three storey bicycle garage was part of a wider redevelopment of the Central Station area, which is really impressive and so much nicer than the Hoog Catharijne shopping mall annex train station used to be.

(Links: designboom.com, ad.nl, Photo: designboom.com)

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July 31, 2019

Dutch recumbent bike designed to go 120 km/h

Filed under: Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 11:07 pm

TUDelft

The National Military Museum located on the former air base at Soesterberg had a special attraction recently that had nothing to do with old planes, helicopters, tanks or military equipment: a recumbent bike that is made to go 120 kilometres an hour.

The VeloX 9 recumbent bike – a bicycle that places the rider in a reclining position – was designed by 16 students of the Delft University of Technology and the University of Amsterdam for the World Human Powered Speed Challenge to be held September 8-14 in Nevada, in the United States. Team VeloX 9’s goal is to break the women’s record of 121.8 kilometres per hour with Dutch riders Rosa Bas from Utrecht and Jennifer Breet from Leiden.

The highest speed ever achieved in the Netherlands on the bike is 70 kilometres an hour purely due to lack of a free, straight track to be able to fully test it. Even at the airfield, it could only go 50 km. What must be a breeze to test in the United States is a space issue in the Netherlands, but that’s never stopped the Dutch before.

(Link: rtvutrecht.nl, Photo of Delft University of Technology by Gerard Stolk, some rights reserved)

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July 19, 2019

Amsterdam and Utrecht to get legit LEGO shops

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 1:08 pm

Rietveld-lego

Utrecht and Amsterdam are poised to be the first Dutch cities to get official LEGO shops, which should be open later this year, and nope, we don’t know where yet, but I’m fairly confident we will hear about it. Although LEGO franchises have opened in the Netherlands before, this is the first time LEGO itself will be opening a shop. The Danish manufacturer has about 130 official stores worldwide, including in Germany and France as far as close to the Netherlands is concerned.

Yes, it’s true, in North American English we say ‘legos’ instead of LEGO, to make it a plural, referring to the blocks. Once that Twitter conversation got going recently, someone came in with ‘but we also have Legolas’, referring to the Lord of the Rings characters, and we all had a good laugh and moved on.

Here are some of our past cool LEGO stories:

(Link: nltimes.nl, photo by Nick Barrett on www.duic.nl)

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June 2, 2019

Guinness record for tall people in Utrecht

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 9:58 pm

A few days ago, some 850 tall people in Utrecht broke the world record for the most tall people in one place, a record previously set by Australia, with 136 tall people. The Guinness Book of Records still needs to approve the Dutch attempt – they had three observers going around measuring people’s height.

Tall is meant to be about 1,80 metres for women and 1,90 metres for men. Knowing that the Dutch are the tallest people in the world, I guess it was just a case of getting them a lot of them together in one place. People came from all over Europe and even the United States and Canada to participate.

The record attempt was organised by the Klub Lange Mensen (the Long People Club) who have 3,500 members, and who recently made sure the minimum height of entrances to building in the Netherlands was increased. The club also works with Dutch Railways to make sure tall peole can sit comfortably in their trains.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo of Dom Tower, Utrecht by Massimo Catarinella, some rights reserved)

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May 4, 2019

Big trompe l’oeil eye-catcher in Utrecht

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 3:20 pm

Last month Dutch street artists Jan Is De Man and Deef Feed completed a large trompe l’oeil mural on the side of a residential building in Utrecht on the corner of Mimosastraat and Amsterdamsestraatweg. It depicts a big shelf of books on a three-story flat building, packed with a selection of their favourite books from their own collections. There’s one about Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Le Petit Prince and other Dutch and English books.

If you look closely, you can also see a few made-up titles featuring their own names.

(Link and photo: thisiscolossal.com)

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April 24, 2019

Utrecht’s Dom church attic open to the public

Filed under: Architecture,Dutch first,History,Religion by Orangemaster @ 11:24 pm

On 5 May, the attic of the Dom Church (“Domkerk”, in Dutch) in Utrecht will be open to the public for the very first time. And as of that date, people can enjoy one-hour tours every Sunday starting at 14:30. RTV Utrecht went and took a peek:

The Dom Church is about 32 metres high, up to the highest part of the choir vault. Half way up there’s a gallery where nobody has ever been before until now. Utrecht’s well-known symbol was once the Netherlands’ largest church, but the nave collapsed in a storm in 1674 and has never been rebuilt, leaving the tower isolated from the east end.

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April 4, 2019

Sex robot to give live interview in Utrecht

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 6:54 pm

For the first time, Dutch sex robot Robin is going to give an interview at the Hashtech talk show in Utrecht at TivoliVredenburg on 8 April.

Part of the discussion is how technology influences love and sex, virtual reality pornography, Tinder, and robot sexuality. Robin will be joined her maker, Niels van der Voort, researcher Elisabeth Timmermans and author Jeanneke Scholtens. The evening will also feature presenters Marcel Bamberg, Thom Egberts and Ruud Schapenk.

According to the group, it will be the first time that Dutch-speaking sex robot Robin will be interviewed in front of a live audience. What started off as a joke eventually became a serious event. The presenters called around and found out that sex robots were being made in the Netherlands, and that one actually spoke Dutch.

Manufacturer Motsudolls hopes to start shipping Robin in the Summer of 2019.

Robin was also the name of a robot in 1980s’ children’s TV-show Bassie & Adriaan, featuring the adventures of clown Bassie and acrobat Adriaan. That Robin had a built-in alarm clock and a radio that could intercept any broadcast between the various villains that populated the series but was probably never invited to talk-shows.

(Link: rtvutrecht.nl; photo by Motsudolls)

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