May 12, 2021

First ever European tenants of 3D house in Eindhoven

Filed under: Architecture,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 2:21 pm

On April 30, a retired Dutch couple from Amsterdam have become Europe’s first tenants of a fully 3D printed house in Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, a cream coloured modern house with a bunker-like feel. Thanks to extra thick insulation and a connection to the heating network, the house is very comfortable and energy efficient.

Printed layer by layer at a factory in Eindhoven, the parts were transported by truck to the construction site and placed on a foundation. The house was then equipped with a roof and window frames, and its finishings. One of the advantages of 3D printing is that the concrete printer has the ability to place concrete only where it is needed, without overloading the foundations and without wasting materials, making it a green choice.

Although it is early days, the 3D printing method is seen by many within the construction industry as a way to lower costs and damage to the environment. In the Netherlands, it also provides an alternative at a time when there is a shortage of skilled bricklayers.

The couple, who have lived in four different types of home in the past six years, are paying €800 a month to live in the home for six months as of August 1st. I can tell you that this is a very good price, considering the overheated housing market and the next to non-existent availability of places to rent.

(Links and image: archdaily.com and theguardian.com)

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March 19, 2021

Amsterdam guys build brown cafe in flat

Filed under: Architecture,Food & Drink,General by Orangemaster @ 11:01 am

Like countless others, twentysomethings Amsterdam residents Max and James really miss going to the cafe (pub/bar) and having a beer. So much so that they built their own Amsterdam-style cafe in their flat on the third floor. It’s in a corner with the washing machine, and it’s 2.5 x 2.5 metres.

The DIY brown café includes Amstel beer (brewed by Heineken), brown laminate planks, heavy curtains and ‘prullaria’ (knick-knacks). Cafe Van Dissel, named after Jaap van Dissel, Director of the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (aka RIVM), also has rules: not too much messing with your phone, you have to hang up your jacket even if it’s in half in the way when you sit down, for the real experience. They only serve Dutch bar food and beer, so no cocktails or other ‘fancy’ things. However, for Dutch jenever and Berenburg they’ll gladly look the other way.

The first visit is free, and you’re expected to bring a gift for the second. They even have a hard boiled egg holder (like those cupcake holders but for eggs) and are hoping for traditional Dutch table carpet (yes, carpet, not cloth).

I’m now rethinking my own Tiki bar plans.

(Link: ad.nl)

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January 16, 2021

Sailing from Rotterdam to Amsterdam (time-lapse video)

Filed under: Architecture,Film,History,Nature,Photography by Branko Collin @ 4:22 pm

In 2013 Shell had to transport an eight-story metal building from Rotterdam to Amsterdam.

They hired a company called The Timewriters to create a time-lapse video of the transport, which has now been released in glorious 4K format on YouTube, accompanied by a beautiful, if somewhat ill-fitting Dvořák piece.

The day-long journey begins on the Nieuwe Maas river near the Feijenoord neighbourhood in Rotterdam, then goes past Gouda, Alphen aan de Rijn and Schiphol Airport to end in Amsterdam. If it hadn’t been dark by then, you might even have been able to see my house at 9:14.

This is worth watching for the bridges alone.

And then you come back a second time for the places you know and a third time to figure out how and why the Dutch created their environment the way they did.

Also check out the comments on YouTube, lots of insights from people who recognise certain types of trains, planes and places.

(Source: YouTube / The Timewriters)

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November 30, 2020

Why do old windmills turn left and new ones turn right?

Filed under: Architecture,General,History,Nature by Orangemaster @ 2:37 pm

Every once in a while it’s good to ask ourselves some deep questions, and this one popped up as news recently. Why do old Dutch windmills turn left and newer ones turn right? It has nothing to do with the wind or with most millers being right-handed – let’s get that out of the way now.

The material that older blades are made from provide a more precise explanation. The two rods that form a cross to which the blades are attached are made from a tree trunk. As it was growing and needed sun to do so, the trunk would rotate to the right because the sun rises in the East, then moves to the South and sets in the West, and the tree would follow.

By turning the blades to the left, counter-clockwise, it would turn avoid splintering the wood. The wood needs to be super solid and ideally be of high quality, which could sometimes come from trees that grow very straight in forests, but not all the time.

Taking physics into account, there is no reason why modern-day windmills should have a preferred rotation direction. For example, wind turbines are manufactured in factories that use the same type and angle of blades, making them standardised and so they turn the same way – to the right. They could all be made to turn left if for some reason the world decided to do so.

Old Dutch windmills were not standardised and unique, which makes them nice to visit.

(Link: nu.nl)

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November 27, 2020

Right-wing Dutch social media uses Luxembourg flag

Filed under: Animals,Architecture,Online by Orangemaster @ 2:19 pm

For anybody new to The Netherlands, and more specifically right-wing Dutch social media, there are a few symbols you’ll come across, usually used together. Here’s what they tend to mean.

First, if you see an owl, it’s a reference to the Owl of Athena [Greek mythology] or the Owl of Minerva [Roman mythology], and has been a symbol used by one of country’s extreme-right parties that is currently falling apart.

The second emoji, also used by the same party, is the classical building that is part of their logo.

The third one is the Dutch flag, which in itself is just a flag, but when used in combination with the above-mentioned ones, more often that not means the account will feature right-wing politics in one way or another. The funny thing is, many of these accounts use the Luxembourg flag, as they don’t seem to know the difference.

Of course, it’s always good to remember that sometimes an emoji is just an emoji, but not in the case of the Luxembourg flag being used by what I imaginen is a Dutch person. I wonder if there are any people from Luxemburg using the Dutch flag by mistake.

As this video points out, “while the two flags are almost identical, they are unrelated in the origin of the colours.” For the fun with flags nerds, both the red and the blue are different, which is also the case with the emoji, and the official size is different as well.

(Image: Screenshot of the above-mentioned video)

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September 2, 2020

Zaandam street reverts back to ‘gay sounding name’

Filed under: Architecture,Music,Weird by Orangemaster @ 2:47 pm

In 2018 the city of Zaandam, North Holland was dealing with a tempest in a teacup: a street called ‘Hobo’ (‘Oboe’) was turned into ‘Piccolo’ because folks said it sounded too much like ‘homo’, which is a homophobic slur, the equivalent of ‘faggot’. ‘Folks said’ is not very clear, but city hall picked up on the discontent of some and decided to change instruments.

However, in 2019 the city went back on its decision, saying that it was hard to claim to be a ‘rainbow city’ (LGBTQIA-friendly) if they cater to the whims of a few people who didn’t like a street named after a musical instrument. Other Dutch cities have Hobo streets and that was never a problem. And just having a rainbow crosswalk is not enough these days to be truly LGBTQIA-friendly.

I went to Zaandam recently to see what the fuss had been all about. One very nice typical blue Zaandam-style house had a sign on the door that said “Hobo 14, former Piccolo 14”, which seemed to be for any kind of deliveries. Hobo street is barely a few hundred metres long. And why would I use another slur, ‘faggot’, to make my point? That’s because parallel to Hobo, there’s ‘Fagot’ street, which means ‘Bassoon’ in Dutch and nobody had a problem with that.

(Link: hartvannederland.nl)

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July 23, 2020

Dutch building biggest bike bridge in Europe

Filed under: Architecture,Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 4:45 pm

The Blauwe loper (‘Blue carpet’) is a 800-metre-long bike bridge that will connect Winschoten to Blauwestad (‘Blue City’, a new village being built on reclaimed land) Groningen, making it Europe’s longest bridge for cyclists and pedestrians. It might also end up being a whole kilometre long if they connect it to the middle of the new town, and should be completed in late 2020.

It will be painted ‘bat-friendly’ green, with LED lighting designed to help the bats commute from the nearby nature reserve to the Oldambtmeer (‘Oldambt lake’). The bridge has been designed to last for at least 80 years and is made from wood sourced from Gabon, Africa. The wood has some sort of venting system rather than being pressed together, explains project leader Reinder Lanting.

Europe’s current longest bike bridge is 756 metres long and is located in Sölvesborg, Sweden, extending across the Sölvesborg Bay. However, the Xiamen Bicycle Skyway in China, designed by the Danish design firm Dissing + Weitling, is a whopping 7.6km long.

Although there’s not always something to see, there’s a webcam link if you like to watch Dutch motorway traffic when there’s no bridge construction.

(Link: theguardian.com, Photo blauwestad.nl)

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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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January 8, 2020

Dutch book about ‘Depressing Destinations’ out in January

Filed under: Architecture,History,Literature by Orangemaster @ 1:44 pm

Publishing his second book roughly entitled ‘Depressing Destinations’ (‘Treurtrips’), journalist and photographer Mark van Wonderen decided to show the Dutch what a good chunk of their country really looks like.

“The Netherlands is a beautiful country that is neatly divided up. Ever square metre has been carefully arranged and countless zoning plans have been drawn up. When a place risks falling into disrepair, municipalities and project jump at the chance to fix the situation.”

Van Wonderen will show you half-abandoned malls, tacky buildings and lots of concrete in the wrong place: the dark side of quaint Dutch design is ‘treurnis’ (sad, gloomy and slowly falling apart). And he thinks it’s beautiful. In 2018, he wrote ‘Chin. Ind. Spec. Rest., a disappearing Dutch phenomenon’ about the last 1097 Chinese Indonesian restaurants in the country, the first four runs of which have completely sold out.

We’ll be at the launch!

(Photo of cover by Mark van Wonderen)

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July 23, 2019

Coloured flats for students ready to rent in August

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 9:50 pm

Pointed out to us on Twitter and for rent on Funda.nl, these colourful flats in Almere are meant for students. They consist of one room of 18 square metres of living space with everything in it and rent is 398 euro a month, excluding service costs.

The flats are nicknamed ‘space boxes’, a fitting name for housing in general these days, and should be ready to rent mid August. Students can only rent a flat for a maximum of eight years and need to get out six months after you finish your studies.

In the meantime, from various sources, international students are still flatly being discriminated against because they don’t speak Dutch, are not Dutch or people renting out rooms to them are bigots. Here’s what we wrote about that back in 2018.

(Link and photo: funda.nl)

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