Archive for October, 2009

Floating Oak

October 30, 2009

Oak Tree in Window Box

We just discovered a baby oak tree in a flower pot outside our office. The window box is more or less suspended in mid air so we are curious how this will develop further.

Especially since there is a new type of truck driving around in the hood…

Tree Fertilizer Injector

Cliffhanger (2)

October 29, 2009

To be continued ...

Yesterday the official opening took place of the sports complex in Het Leerpark in Dordrecht. With its 8 gymnasiums piled together it turns out to be “the largest accommodation for sports education in the Netherlands”. It is very exciting to see it fully operational; it really seems to work!

One crucial part of the building however is still a just a construction site. In spite its current spectacular features it is a frustrating sight. Due to financial complexities, the climbing facility, that constitutes the main facade of the building, could not be realized. Yet.

But after almost six years of developing alternatives and perpetual negotiations  the City, Coörporatie Leerpark, developer Heijmans and Johan Cave of Mountain Network yesterday signed the contracts. Construction of the interior will start soon. It looks like there will be a Happy End…

Alderman Dion van Steensel

Moment Supreme ...

Wim is Back

Yannick designed much of the routing

Green Battle

October 22, 2009

Environmental concerns play an important role in the competition for the Stadskantoor Rotterdam. The new building aspires to become the most ‘sustainable’ building in the country. Like all other new buildings. The battle is on…

The competing teams had very different views on what is an energy efficient building mass. OMA, the winner, proposes to make a “wide building with a large interior” that as such has a positive ratio between skin and content. SeARCH, winner of the public vote, however suggests a composition of slender volumes that, since artificial light is the main factor in energy consumption, allow a maximum of daylight into all rooms. Strangely it seems both can be right…

Shanghai Gossip: Just Married

October 21, 2009

NL Architects is one of the 15 Dutch offices that participated in the Shanghai International Creative Industry Week from 15 to 21 October. The group show was organized by DutchDFA with the Dutch Consulate and FAR Architecture Center .

From Maurice Pourchez, the Vice Consul Economic and Commercial Affairs Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, we received this vague but revealing snapshot. Apparently Pieter’s networking program got a bit out of hand…

How to explain this at home?

Garage Notweg Officially Opened

October 18, 2009

car repair shop turned catwalk

Carolien Gehrels

Marjo Teuling

Garage Notweg is a so-called Creative Hotspot in Amsterdam Nieuw West. The elegant former car repair shop by architect H.A.M. van den Berg is transformed into a ‘beehive’ for creative businesses.

The project was initiated by housing corporation Ymere and organized by Peik Suyling. The idea is to create some sort of ‘fashion ecology’. Young people from the area can find out here if they like working in the business, they can get an education and be part of the Industry. The World Fashion Center is not far from here. One of the hypothesis is that fashion designers can produce economically by working together with local seamstresses.

The project consists of two levels. The ground level features a multitude of studio spaces that are encircled by a ‘street’. By opening a ‘fence’ the studios can expose their content and invite people on their ‘porch’. The public route serves as catalyst for interaction and exchange of ideas. It hopes to spark the emergence of new networks.

But the real magic of Notweg is the ‘plaza’ on the second floor: an extensive space that is left open – and that could hardly be created in any NEW building. It is an indoor square. It can be used for anything: presentations, exhibitions, markets, fashion shows.

It was heartwarming to see so many people and such a mixed crowd at the opening: many nationalities, young people, senior citizens (maybe even some pioneers from this early days of this neighborhood), fashion people and designers from outside the area. Will it become a Hotspot Melting Pot?

Convertable Elevator

October 13, 2009

Right now I’m in Stockholm for the jury of Europan 10. The meetings are held in the Swedish Association of Architects. This beautifully restyled  ‘Sveriges Arkitekter’ features a gorgeous elevator ‘with a cage without ‘roof’.

Elevator Going UPP

Elevator Cabriolet



One of the benefits of the open cage is that the Warning sign actually does not  apply…

Garage Notweg will open on Saturday

October 8, 2009



October 5, 2009

The Himalayas are littered by climbers. Mountaineers leave their trash on the slopes; it is too big a hassle to bring their waste on the way down. An unexpected garbage heap comes into being. The pinnacles keeps expanding. And as such remain challenging…

Recently the peak of Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in Britain was cleaned up.  Apparently it was covered in Banana peels. Banana peels take a long time to decay, normally over two years, but on this altitude with these temperatures it takes even longer. But why not leave them? The mountain is only 1333 meter high; the Banana peels might add to the adventure…


October 3, 2009