October 22, 2015

The Couch, a combined grandstand and clubhouse

Filed under: Architecture,Sports by Branko Collin @ 2:52 pm


Tennis Club IJburg in Amsterdam has 10 clay courts, a tennis school, 1,100 members and now also a clubhouse designed by MVDRV for an undisclosed amount of money.

The clubhouse cleverly doubles as a roofless grandstand that seats 200 people. One wonders if MVDRV was perhaps a little inspired by a classic football stadium in their home town of Rotterdam, Het Kasteel (The Castle), which also has stands dipping around a space with windows.

The building was officially opened in August. The clubhouse has a bar, seating areas, and, to the side, dressing rooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, and storage space.

IJburg is new land, which allows the Dutch a rare opportunity to experiment with lots of fresh architecture in one place..

(Link: Arch Daily, Photo: MVRDV)

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August 14, 2015

Tram stop honouring football player spelt wrong

Filed under: History,Sports by Orangemaster @ 12:09 pm


Dutch professional football player and coach Bob ‘Bobby’ Haarms is being honoured with a tram stop in the district of IJburg in Amsterdam. However, Amsterdam’s public transport company GVB couldn’t be arsed to check the spelling of his name, as an ‘r’ is missing.

The GVB has six more days to modify the sign before the Haarms family officially drives through a banner on a tram to unveil the tram stop. Haarmslaan is spelt properly online so far. Amusingly enough, the tweet is from a police officer and it’s not clear if she noticed the mistake.

(Link: www.at5)

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June 22, 2009

Trading private parking spaces

Filed under: Architecture,Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 9:32 am

In such a densely populated country as the Netherlands, it may appear strange that many private parking spaces are empty during the day, when their owners are off to work. Wannapark.nl tries to fill this ‘gap in the market,’ as the Dutch say, by bringing together the owners of both cars and private parking spaces.

A quick look at the Amsterdam section of the website shows that the recently started company hasn’t attracted many users yet—although to be fair, there is fairly little usable private parking space in Amsterdam. The spaces on offer in the old docklands, on IJburg and in West all seem to be in the parking garages of new buildings, with spaces smack in the city center going for 300 euro a month.

(Via press release aggregator Dagelinks.nl.)

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April 11, 2009

From sewage processor to amusement park

Filed under: Architecture by Branko Collin @ 1:12 pm

Amsterdam wants to repurpose the abandoned sewage processing towers on Zeeburgereiland, an island that now connects the new island neighbourhood of IJburg with the city centre. One of the towers will become the Annie M. G. Schmidt house, named after the children’s book and musical song writing icon (1911-1995) who once famously said: don’t erect a statue for me, I’d rather you remember me with a playground.

The proposed giraffe in the image is likely to be a slide, after Schmidt’s song Dikkertje Dap (lyrics), in which a small kid uses a giraffe’s long neck as a slide. The new destination for the three towers was announced this week by Amsterdam city planning councilman and former student union leader Maarten van Poelgeest, writes Arch Daily.

Other planned uses for the buildings are “a theatre, a restaurant, an exhibition space, and shops,” writes Fast Company. Architects Arons and Gelauff are the culprits.

Source images: Arons & Gauluff, Google Street View respectively.

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March 11, 2009

Rubber rhinoceros by Tom Claassen

Filed under: Animals,Art by Branko Collin @ 9:20 am

Tom Claassen made this rubber rhinoceros in 2004 and put it in a sluice in Amsterdam’s newest neighbourhood, IJburg (reclaimed in true Dutch fashion from the water—the neighbourhood that is, not the rhino). Several questions spring to mind, such as “wha?” and “brrr?” and I wish I had thought of it. Amsterdam.nl provides some answers (English), such as “first public art in the neighbourhood” and “visibility depends on the water level.”

Photo: Tom Claassen. Here’s what IJburg looked like in 2004 (Wikipedia). Via Trendbeheer (Dutch).

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January 30, 2009

Renovate a bridge, win half a million euro

Filed under: Architecture,Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 10:56 am

Building bridges well is one thing, but how to maintain them? Rijkswaterstaat, the governmental entity concerned with building and maintaining roads and such, has offered a grand prize of 500,000 euro for the person coming up with the best scheme to renovate a bridge. Rijkswaterstaat isn’t satisfied with its own procedures. They especially don’t like the way their current methods hinder traffic.

According to the rules, anybody can participate, although if you read on you’ll discover that with anybody they mean anybody who is registered at a Dutch chamber of commerce. Another rule states that you must speak sufficient English and Dutch to be able to explain your plan. The ten best ideas will net their creators up to 100,000 euro to further develop their plans, and only one winner will get the grand prize of half a mil.

The deadline for the first round is April 10.

Link: Z24 (Dutch). Photo of the bridge to IJburg, Amsterdam by me.

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January 11, 2009

Thaw to set in

Filed under: General,Sports by Branko Collin @ 2:29 pm

No Elfstedentocht for now. National weather institute KNMI predicts that Monday a period of thaw will set in, with wind coming from the South and from the South West. That also means that the country will not have had an official cold wave, which in the Netherlands is defined as at least five consecutive days of frost of which three dip below -10 degrees.

Somebody who won’t be skating for a while anyway is Eimer van Middelkoop: the defense minister broke his wrist during a 30 kilometer skating tour between Bleiswijk and Zevenhuizen, according to Nu.nl (Dutch).

Skating madness held the country in its grip the past weeks, but with the temperature dipping the lowest in the South, the madness spilled over to Belgium. The spokesperson for Vereniging De Friesche Elf Steden, the organizer of the Elfstedentocht, told BN/De Stem (Dutch) that most foreign journalistic attention stems from our Southern neighbours. One fanatic Belgian skater and past participant in the Elfstedentocht, Henri Jaecques, argues in Het Nieuwsblad (Dutch) that Flanders should have its own mythical skate race. “From Sluis to Ieper, 200 kilometer, and perfectly skateable.” The first part of that trajectory, a 16 kilometer strip from Sluis to Brugge, was declared officially open to skaters this weekend, according to De Telegraaf (Dutch).

Photo top: a chair in IJburg, Amsterdam awaiting the next novice skater or an ever grimmer fate.

Photo bottom: a frozen Noorderamsterkanaal.

Link: Weer.nl (Dutch).

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