Archive for February, 2009

February 28, 2009


Green Trees

February 27, 2009

Greener Tree

It seems that trees that are lit by additional artificial light keep their leaves much longer. So if we assume that we can produce 100% green energy and carefully place extra spotlights we can create interesting arrangements: the trees will turn into gorgeous light fixtures, leafy chandeliers. This light therapy will help CO2 reduction and we will end up with happy trees.


February 24, 2009

In a interview on BBC World last week Vivienne Westwood revealed that punk as a ‘dress code’ was not the bottom up phenomenon that we thought it was. It was actually carefully ‘engineered’ by Malcolm McLaren and herself.


February 23, 2009

Research shows that men who share their life with multiple spouses simultaneously will live up to 10% longer.

Architecture is -among many things- a battle against time. In some societies you’re still a young architect at age 50! The production is so slow that in order to create an ‘oeuvre’ it is a recommendation to stretch life as much as possible, by any means…


February 23, 2009

In the Netherlands windows traditionally open towards the outside where in many other countries they generally turn towards the inside.

According to our consultant windows that open to the inside are more difficult to make and need stronger or more hinges and window locks -say German Detailing- to become waterproof.

The idea is that ‘wind pressure’ allows simpler solutions for it helps sealing the window. Cheap Trick.


February 23, 2009

Basilika_Sports Hall Trier


February 22, 2009

Michigan Theater

In the mid nineties we developed a series of parking solutions for the city of Amsterdam. One of our proposals was to see if we could use decommissioned churches; in the Atheistic Amsterdam many lost their initial purpose. We called it ‘Schuil Parkeren’, a reference to the phenomenon of the so-called Schuilkerk.

In the 17th Century the Netherlands celebrated freedom of religion, as long as you were Calvinist. Churches of other backgrounds had to go into hiding. The Schuilkerken were not recognizable from the outside; they mimicked housing or warehouse or barn or were placed inside a city block. (In those days Catholics for instance were not allowed to live next to each other; the neighbors might remove the walls that separated them and start a church…).

There was a clear parallel with Parking: in the nineties mobility was alright but cars were considered ‘evil’; they should be banned from the city. But we believed cars are a vital part of urban life. How could we create ‘parking space in hiding’?

‘Schuil Parkeren’ was an only a metaphor but once again reality proofed to be more radical. During our research we came across the Michigan Theater, a  Rococo Theater in Detroit. It had undergone the most astonishing transformation: the elaborately decorated hall and lobby were converted into an indoor car park! The theater was built in 1926 by Rapp & Rapp and had a seating capacity of 4050. It was permanently closed in 1976.

The Michigan is featured in movies such as “8 Mile” and “The Island”. It also appears in music videos, such as “Lose Yourself,” by Eminem, and “My Little Birdie,” by Detroit rockers the Nice Device.

Cars, Detroit’s raison d’être and the reason for its demise (the density of down town is currently even lower than its suburbs!), now fill the once-bustling theater.

Only recently we discovered that the theater was built on the site of the small garage where Henry Ford built his first automobile! This Radical Makeover turned out to be some sort of Revenge of the Car!


February 17, 2009


Now the  SUV is out of fashion (maybe except the covernators Hybrid Hummer) the Plustech Oy walking machine can develop into an alternative for picking up the kids from school, or for ‘Kojak Parking’ in posh shopping streets.

Hidden Lake, Florida

February 15, 2009


Hidden Lake Estates is not your average suburb: here main street is a runway, an airstrip!

The area was developed in 1970 on 400 acres of land. The developer started out with building a 3400 foot lighted and paved airstrip. Streets were built on both sides of the it. The property along these streets was divided into 131 one-acre parcels on which many luxurious homes were built.

Lots adjoining the western side of the runway have direct access to the airstrip. Aircraft on the east side of the airstrip reaches the runway by taxiing on the streets. Because of this usage, Pasco county would not accept ownership of the streets citing liability problems; and ownership remained with the developer.

In mid 1976, the developer began talking about selling the airport and remaining unsold property. Some of the residents, who were aviation oriented, feared that whoever purchased the property might change the airport’s private status or eliminate the airstrip altogether, met to discuss the feasibility of purchasing the property. One of the residents offered to purchase the land that had been set aside for a golf course provided he could develop it into residential lots.

The residents agreed and the property was purchased in April 1979 and in June, a corporation, Airport Investors Inc, was formed with shares being issued to the twenty-one individuals who underwrote the purchase. So was born Hidden Lake Airport as it exists today, a privately owned and operated airport by a corporation of individual stockholders designed to serve those of the community whom had airplanes and wanted the freedom of their own airport.

The entirety of the Hidden Lake Estates and Airport was then licensed as an airport community with the Florida D.O.T. All streets then officially became taxiways and aircraft were deemed to have right-of-way.


Operating Rules:

1. Maintain a listening watch on 123.0 Mhz and make the appropriate reports so that others listening will be advised of your whereabouts or intentions.

2. Watch out for helicopter traffic as well as other aircraft that do not have a radio.

3. Maintain a safe and reasonable speed while taxiing on the streets and be extremely alert for other vehicles and children.

4. For use of the runway at night, key 123.0 Mhz five times within five seconds to activate the lights which will then stay on for about eight minutes.

5. When departing runway 23, expedite a climb as safe as feasible and turn left to a heading of 180 after passing the far end of the runway. Climb to at least 1,000 feet and exit the pattern on that heading.

6. If departing runway 5 or landing on 5 or 23, use the standard left traffic FAA recommended procedures for operations at un-controlled airports.

7. If landing at night and the runway lights fail to come on or anytime severe turbulence and/or high gusty winds are encountered, do not attempt to land.  Please use an alternate airport.

8. This airport does not have an instrument approach procedure.

9. Aircraft wishing to purchase fuel, and guests of our residents are welcome.  An effort should be made to notify the airport authority for guest arrivals.

10. Rotorcraft may use the airport, but may not use streets or taxiways to hover taxi. Rotorcraft may land at private homes provided  that this operation is approved by the Florida DOT and that proofs of such approvals are provided to Airport Investors Inc.


Egg Perfect

February 15, 2009

If you lay down a boiled egg on a table and give it a spin, it will turn to a vertical position; the egg will slowly raise, graciously twirling on its bottom.