Archive for March, 2009


March 15, 2009


The Loogman Car Wash in Amsterdam features an indoor ‘square’. A folded road in the interior serves as a buffer zone for cars that await treatment; pre-wash, rim cleaning, waxing, blow drying, car massage. It raises expectation, you get all excited.

To make it a real square there is a Fountain too. But it comes as no surprise that this fountain is no match for the theatrical Car Wash itself…


wim is weg

March 11, 2009

Wim's Wax Tower

It is now about one year ago that Wim left the office to go work for OMA. Wim was overloaded with presents, among which an I Love NL T-shirt to wear in his new biotope and a golden ‘spinner chain’ with his name (WIM spins really nicely…). And Thijs made him a ‘supernice’ wax candle in the shape of a building we were working on. For a long time it looked like the project would not survive. But apparently Wim is burning the candle on his altar: the project was resurrected and will go under construction next fall.

Early Bird

March 10, 2009

In urban areas the Common Blackbird (Turdus merula, Merel in Dutch) starts singing earlier than in rural environments, says Jelle Zuidema. In order to make himself heard the bird starts before rush hour…

Grey Nation

March 9, 2009

Three out of five new cars driving around in the Netherlands are Grey Hatchbacks. The magazine Automotive published annual numbers. Especially the elderly seem to like this color: 53% of the people over 65 chose a grey model…

The article doesn’t clarify this preference. An important reason for choosing a grey car is the assumption that there is a better change of selling it: a bigger target group of potential buyers is available. Often it is not so much the personal affection of the buyer that dictates the choice but  economic reasoning.

Similar logic  seems to work in architecture too. Home owners might be attracted to alternative typologies but decide for the common, the prosaic, for the generic. After ‘Bin Laden’ real estate brokers, hired by housing corporations and developers, stretched the importance of the  Mundane.  Only a decade earlier Optimism broke this chain; people actually purchased the object of their desire; there would always be another fool that would be interested in the your 4 meter wide 40 meter long apartment…

An interesting development is that white cars in The Netherlands now become popular. There were hardly any; white cars were banned from Lease ‘fleets’, employees were not allowed to buy them because they were considered impossible to sell. But now the market for second hand cars has become international new target groups can be reached. And it turns out that people around the Mediterranean actually love white cars…

Belly of an Architect III

March 5, 2009

Fast Finger Food

March 5, 2009


Brain Dead

March 4, 2009

Autopon by Ingwersen

Autopon by Ingwersen_02

The Autopon, an elegantly curved version of the ‘unite d’habitation’ at the Overtoom in Amsterdam by architect J.B. Ingwersen was designed in 1955 as a car showroom. It also contains 56 apartments. One of the rooms spectacularly sticks out off the facade. It is suspended in the air by a ‘concrete hand’.

Later, the car dealer became a furniture shop. King-size beds were on display in the protruding showcase. A great place for a wedding night?

Recently fitness club David Lloyd moved in. Potentially the perfect match between content and form: the hovering glass box is the ultimate setting for a workout.

But somehow the club decided to use the space differently; it is now a storage space! The exhilarating box is clad with frustratingly banal posters. An inferior version of the sensational billboard it should have been…

Belly of an Architect II

March 2, 2009

Mayo Yamamoto

Gen, can you pass me the mayo?


March 2, 2009



March 1, 2009


In case of a gas attack the Dutch Princesses Beatrix and Irene could still go for a stroll.