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.
Dutch design brand Moooi has partnered with Argentinian 3D artist Andrés Reisinger to mass-produce his Hortensia chair, also known as “the chair that could not be made”.
Back in 2018, Reisinger designed the chair as a ‘digital’ piece of furniture, but it has now been made into a physical chair covered in 30,000 fabric petals, available in the original pink as well as grey. This chair is said to be the first time that a product designed for the digital world has gone into mass production. The updated version being released by Moooi features a steel frame, rather than wood, covered in injection-moulded foam, while using lightweight polyester fabric laser-cut into long, scalloped strips that are then bunched together into clusters of 40 petals each. Moooi used special sewing machines to sew the petal modules onto a thick, elastic backing textile that is then wrapped around the chair.
“The Hortensia was considered impossible to produce – and yet here we are,” said Moooi CEO Robin Bevers.
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).
A video by SEB Urban Design provides an overview of Amsterdam recreated in video game Cities Skylines. It claims to include all tourist destinations, parks and transport. The goal was to strive for realism and a close simulation of the real situation (the tram sounds are spot on).
Besides praise, we’re all wondering how long this took and we’ve noticed things we’d like to add. There’s some nice lingering on the Rijksmuseum, a very different take on Dam Square and a beautifully uncluttered Amsterdam Central Station. The canal houses are straight, the streets are super clean and you need to watch this video.
The two main parks near 24oranges HQ are there, and that’s good enough for us.
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.
For those who don’t game, Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game franchise from American company Activision.
Everything I saw and heard in the trailer below featuring Amsterdam is very realistic: the Dutch radio talk in the background at the very beginning, dog sounds (with the right reverberation) and police sounds.
That is some spacious apartment they start shooting in though, but it does fit that part of town. And there are actual police chases (not shoot-outs!) on rooftops in Amsterdam, I know a witness to one personally.
Set in part in the Red Light District, there’s also some joking around about ‘bitterballen’ (Dutch ragout filled balls, usually served when having beers) all in Dutch, with a joke about ‘balls’, as you do.
Have a look at Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War – we don’t own any shares (my co-blogger is more of a cavalry-and-musket type):
It is not real news, but we still really like the story.
On November 11 Dutch children usually celebrate Sint-Maarten by going around town door to door at night, carrying hand-made lanterns and singing songs for sweets.
The city of Amsterdam would rather this not happen at all due to the health crisis and has made a suggestion that sounds more like an April Fool’s joke: replace the sweets with Brussels sprouts to promote healthy eating.
The idea is to stay home and celebrate with the healthy yet questionable-smelling miniature cabbages. The city is bold enough to suggest parents also use ‘tomatoes, carrot and radishes’ as well.
Maybe spend a evening doing something fun with your kids that doesn’t involve you checking your mobile phone, but that’s just me.
Good news is I won’t have to hide in my own house on 11 November. A Canadian like me considers 11 November as Remembrance Day, the day we commemorate the millions of fallen during the First World War, which the Dutch don’t celebrate.
I posted a picture of Dutch white asparagus because it’s really tasty.
(Link: www.at5.nl, Photo by Wikipedia user Janericloebe who released it into the public domain)
According to British-Canadian journalist and author Cory Doctorow on Twitter, Dutch digital rights activist Hans De Zwart, who used to head up digital rights organisation Bits of freedom in Amsterdam, created the search engine thebiglebow.ski that generates fun quotes from 1998 American cult classic ‘The Big Lebowski’.
Right from the start, the site had the rug pulled out from under it, as it was blocked by Facebook (and Instagram) with the message “Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive.” De Zwart wanted to complain to Facebook, but without a Facebook account, he couldn’t. As a digital rights activist, he doesn’t use social media, but he joined Facebook just to be able to file a complaint. He was also annoyed at the fact that he couldn’t spell his Dutch last name correctly, de Zwart with a lower case d. He was basically told ‘thanks for the feedback’, which is big tech speak for f*** you.
About a month later, De Zwart bought a five euro Facebook advert in order to be able to communicate with the tech giant. His advert was rejected with “This ad contains or refers to content that has been blocked by our security systems (#1885260)”. This error code means nothing to mortals, so he tried to complain. First, he had to agree to “four sets of legal terms”, after which he was told “Thanks for helping us improve!” He was down five euro and still didn’t have an answer. “It appears that Facebook will only look at problems if they realise that it might cost them too much political or media capital if they continue to ignore them”, he explained.
A few days after the author of the article below presented the case to a Facebook PR person, the problem was magically solved. Nobody had reported thebiglebow.ski for abusive material: it had simply been incorrectly labelled by Facebook’s automated tools as spam.
Now either watch the movie if you have not seen it and pour yourself a White Russian when you do, if that’s your thing.
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.
Much in the same way that the swastika went from being a religious symbol to being a Nazi one, the official olympic salute with extended arm stopped being used after WWII because it resembled the ‘Hitler greeting’.
That being said, the statue by The Hague sculptor Gra Hueb at Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium was inaugurated in 1928 for the Olympic Games in Amsterdam and had nothing to do with the Nazis. It was placed in honour of Baron Van Tuyll van Serooskerken, the first chairman of the Dutch Olympic Committee who successfully brought the Games to the Netherlands. The stadium is not too far from 24 Oranges HQ and is still in use.
As a sign of the times – for better or worse – historians and the Olympic Stadium folks decided to remove it and place it somewhere else in the stadium instead of prominently at the entrance.