December 24, 2018

Reverse tower in Hilversum has more units on top

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 12:18 pm

Dutch architect René van Zuuk of Almere, North Holland has completed an apartment building in Hilversum, North Holland called The Belvedere Tower, featuring top-heavy apartment blocks arranged in a cross.

A maximum building height of 11 storeys means that a conventional tower would have yielded only 44 units, whereas at least 55 units were required to make the project financially viable due to the high cost of land.

Hilversum is the Dutch media and broadcast centre of the country, and a lot of people want to live in this town that is not only kind of posh (they have their own special letter ‘r’ when they speak), but also close to Amsterdam.

Van Zuuk is known for having designed a property for himself in an experimental housing district in Almere featuring geometric volumes arranged less than a metre from the waterfront. Van Zuuk’s studio also created the design of a fire station in Dordrecht, South Holland featuring an industrial material palette, and a pavilion down the street in Roosendaal that houses shops and offices under a series of timber terraces.

(Link and photo:

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October 10, 2018

Dutch first: wrestling and punk music with sign language

Filed under: Dutch first,Sports by Orangemaster @ 5:08 pm

On 13 October Hilversum venue De Vorstin will host some live wrestling from Dutch outfit Dropkicks ’n Moshpits along with some live punk music from Green Lizard, with both the match and the music entirely presented in sign language.

Ruth Krooshof, who will be signing the event, says she usually has cramps in her fingers at the end of the evening, but what she is doing is making a night full of entertainment accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing.

It is also a first for her and for the country. She will also translate what people are screaming at the wrestlers, which, if anybody knows about live wrestling, is a large part of the fun. Krooshof also believes that since wrestling is so visual, it is a great sport to watch for people who rely on sign language.

Here’s what Green Lizard looks and sounds like:

(Link:, Photo:

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August 7, 2018

Mecanoo redevelops old gasworks in Hilversum

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 3:27 pm

Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo is redeveloping the former site of the Regional Energy Supply Company in Hilversum, North Holland, which is now called ‘Villa Industria’, a neighbourhood with 357 homes comprised of mixed housing, small-scale businesses and sporting facilities.

According to municipal councilman Jan Rensen, Hilversum could potentially be getting a 21st-century monument. The ground that Villa Industria is being built on had to have a clear link with its past, part of which will include cylindrical apartment buildings intended to resemble the dismantled gasholders.

The various buildings that occupy this 74,000 m2 plot are linked by the use of red brick, and include shapes, materials and details intended to directly reference the history of the old gasworks, the most prominent of which is a cluster of three residential buildings enclosed by a cylindrical steel frames that mimic the shape of the gasholders.

Interestingly, the area Villa Industria is being built on used to be outside of Hilversum and was empty for quite some time, but thanks to the city’s continued expansion, it is now part of Hilversum. The forest is also within walking distance. Rensen hopes this new neighbourhood will attract new people to the country’s media city: Hilversum is where most Dutch television and radio is produced and broadcast.

(Links and photo:,

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September 25, 2017

Misspelled Dunglish city slogan for Hilversum

Filed under: Art,General by Orangemaster @ 11:38 am


In 2012, the world-famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam decided to adopt the improper use of a space between words and go with Rijks Museum, which was ‘designerplained’ as “everybody already says ‘Rijks’ as a nickname, the spelling just codifies it”.

But now Hilversum, Utrecht has gone one step further and used dyslexic-looking Dunglish spelling to make a point that falls flat with most Dutch folks who have commented on this marketing move.

Firstly, using some sort of English instead of Dutch to try to be cool and international while sadly rejecting one’s own language like a piece of trash will never win my favour. Secondly, ‘live’ could be live (verb) or ‘live’ (live television), which has a different pronunciation. You’re now confusing people for no reason. ‘We live here’ is a clear message, but not by playing jumble with the letters making up the word ‘Hilversum’ and then putting them back right for the URL. And the URL should read hilversumlive and not livehilversum, ideally, to make a strong point (or something like livefromhilversum).

A quick poll on the source link below says 77% of people thought it was shite. The problem remains that you cannot rewrite English to suit non-English people and expect English speakers (they said they wanted to appeal to visitors), people with English as a second-language other than Dutch speakers (imagine Japanese) and Dutch speakers to read this without getting a headache. If 77% liked it you could call it a success, but that’s not the case.

(Link and image:

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March 14, 2017

Incentives to get people to vote tomorrow

Filed under: Automobiles,Food & Drink,Gadgets,General by Orangemaster @ 11:39 am


As if trying to change things for the better by voting wasn’t appealing enough, some Dutch cities have come up with amusing ways to convince their residents to vote tomorrow in the Dutch general election.

Hilversum is going to give people a condescending-sounding ‘voting diploma’, as if they were children learning how to swim, but swiftly make up for the condescension by giving them a free bluetooth speaker, so they can annoy people in the train during their commute.

In the village of Losser, Overijssel, they thought it would be a good idea for the mayor to get into a limo and pick up people all day long to go and vote. The goal is to encourage first time voters aka young people to vote, so apparently those questionable music videos have been sending the right message all along.

The big cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague will use schools as polling stations to get the kids to do their civic duty by them not having to go far to vote. No limos for you!

And then if cycling, walking and rocking the limo isn’t doing it for you, there’s always taking a boat to the polling station in the region of Marker Wadden north of Amsterdam, which, I can tell you from personal experience, is an absolutely delightful place to visit by boat.

And then if transport and a bluetooth speaker is not your jam, imagine some good old-fashioned cupcakes, tea and coffee in Zeist, Utrecht, accompanied by live piano music. The goal here is to attract older voters that need to make an extra effort to vote. No transport for you.

Half of 24oranges HQ can vote and the other half will just hope for the best.

(Link:, Photo by Photo, some rights reserved)

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February 8, 2016

Carnival hits shunned by Dutch radio

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 3:34 pm

Although carnival is winding down, the plethora of hits used to prop it up over the past few days never made it onto the Dutch music charts. The song ‘Feestmuts’ (‘Party Hat’) from the Snollebollekes was the exception at No. 86 in the GfK Single Top 100 (video below). It’s apparently fine that tons of businesses make good money off carnival music, but it’s shameful to publicly recognise that it does because radio stations would, what, rather push the Dunglish they pass off as third-rate American music?

Carnival music executive Van de Berk of Berk Music is outraged and blames the rigid rules of radio stations for ignoring them, while some 5 million people celebrate carnival in The Netherlands and hundreds of thousands watch all kinds of carnival YouTube videos. “We understand that radio stations don’t want to play carnival music all day, but one number here and there should be possible. Maybe the broadcast tower should move from Hilversum to Eindhoven! (The Dutch media is concentrated in Hilversum, North Holland as opposed to carnival-savvy Noord-Brabant where Eindhoven is located).

Berk Music has recently awarded the Lawineboys a gold record for 15,000 sold copies of their hit ‘Sex Met Die Kale’ (‘Sex with that bald one’), an adapted cover of ‘Sex on Fire’ by Kings of Leon.

If you like videos shot in mini-vans, watch Snollebollekes do their thing. Beer helps.


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November 10, 2013

Tjalf Sparnaay’s hyperrealistic paintings

Filed under: Art,Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 9:29 am

Tacky or serious craftsmanship? The hyperrealistic paintings of Tjalf Sparnaay have to be seen to be believed.

A friend of a friend bought a lithographic print of the painting shown above and hung it over her dinner table. According to the friend, Guuz Hoogaerts of the Filles Sourires blog, “you have to see it for real. The print is even on the small side. You keep looking — at least I did.”

To get an idea of the scale of the original paintings, check Mr Sparnaay’s website (linked above) where he has several photos of him next to a work in progress. Sparnaay paints still lifes containing fast food, marbles, trinkets for tourists, flowers, and so on.

Personally I’d go for something like the portion of fries shown below even though the subject may not provide the Hilversum-based artist as much of an opportunity to go wild with textures and reflections. Ketchup, though? What kind of abomination is that?

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September 7, 2009

World record for watching telly now a Dutch record

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 11:46 am

Last weekend, the world record for watching television was broken by Efraim van Oeverenzondag, a 28-year-old student from Tilburg. He watched a whopping 86 hours of television in the building of media archive Beeld en Geluid in Hilversum and he only got 45 minutes of sleep. Since April of this year, the world record for watching television was held at 80 hours by a man from New Delhi.


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