February 25, 2016

Singing off-key is also a thing in the Netherlands

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 10:39 am

The Netherlands has had the imported idea of a choir for people who can’t sing since at least the summer of 2015, according to newspaper AD. The band of bad singers is called Geen Gehoor, a great Dutch double entendre roughly meaning ‘nobody hears you’ (also ‘not getting an answer on the phone’) and ‘it sounds terrible’. The choir mostly attracts the 50 plus set, and the choir practices in the Westland area near The Hague.

Founder Nico Meijer makes an excellent point: people who can’t sing should be able to sing somewhere. And the Internet will tell you how much singing is good for your mood even if you sing off-key. It also makes for a great comedy show.

Have a listen to their first ever live show:

(Links: www.ad.nl-1, www.ad.nl-2, Photo of Microphone by visual dichotomy, some rights reserved)

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March 8, 2015

A new kind of waterfront home

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 5:46 pm


Designed by Koen Olthuis at waterstudio, a studio specialised in water-related architecture, this residence was built following strict regulations on limiting the height of the single storey structure. It features subterranean floor space, providing extra surface within the limited dimensions of the building envelope.

Located in Westland, not too far from The Hague, the house has a minimalistic look and a back terrace. Oh, and a great view of the surrounding water landscape.

(Link and photo: www.designboom.com)

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July 11, 2012

The Netherlands grows itself a bit further

Filed under: Architecture,History by Branko Collin @ 10:53 am

Tweede Maasvlakte indicated with a dotted line. The white blotches to the North-East are caused by sunlight reflecting off the greenhouses of the Westland area.

Today Queen Beatrix will officially close the last bit of an 11 kilometre dam that encloses an area of the North Sea that should become new land this year.

The Tweede Maasvlakte will be a 2,000 hectares large area atttached to the first Maasvlakte (‘tweede’ means ‘second’) outside Rotterdam that will be used as part of the port. The Betuwelijn railroad will be extended into it. It will mainly be used as a container harbour.

The new land will grow the area of the harbour by 20%. The dam surrounding Tweede Maasvlakte will contain 20,000 blocks of stone. RTV Rijnmond calls it an ‘ultra-Dutch project’, as it involves ‘building land to trade upon’.

To my knowledge there are no plans yet to extend this thing all the way to England, though people have been talking about moving our national airport to the sea.

(Image: NASA + 24 Oranges)

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August 10, 2009

Floating apartment building in Westland

Filed under: Architecture by Branko Collin @ 9:31 am


This floating apartment building called Citadel was designed by Waterstudio architects of Rijswijk and will be built in the Nieuwe Water area of the Westland region, West of Rotterdam a municipality in the Western Netherlands.

Westland is mostly known for its greenhouses (see a Google satellite image and you will know what I mean). The Nieuwe Water area (Dutch) is a low point in this polder and therefore suffers minor floodings every time there are heavy rains. New trends in water management have led to the belief that it is good to make room for water, and that is what is being done here.

The Nieuwe Water area West of the town of Naaldwijk, traditionally full of greenhouses, will be flooded artificially, after which houses will be built in it that somehow will have to be able to deal with the fact that the water level can rise up to 36 centimetres, stowing 75 million litres of excess water. Another housing solution by Waterstudio for this area are these stilt houses. The Citadel will have 60 apartments.

Construction of Het Nieuwe Water will start this year.

Update: Orangemaster tells me she translated a good book that can give our readers further insights about the new ways of Dutch water management called Atlas of Dutch Water Cities. A San Franciscan bookstore summarizes it as follows:

Illustrates the relationship between urban development and water engineering, and portrays a vast number of projects integrating the infrastructure of waterways and flood deferences in architectural concepts.

(Source photo: Waterstudio. Link: Trendhunter)

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