Archive for January, 2010

Gottfried Böhm 90!

January 29, 2010

In autumn we went on a ‘pilgrimage’. We went to the Mariendom in Neviges. The sensational Church near Wuppertal is worth any detour. We walked the steps barefoot and wore a rope around our neck while calling out Mary…

The sculptural quality of this masterpiece by Gottfried Böhm is hardcore and sensitive. The expressionistic roofscape seems to be a ‘sublimation’ of the Fachwerk houses that surround it. It’s elementary concrete character seems more Protestant than Catholic.

The interior is overwhelming: a low entrance leads into an immense cave. This gloomy interior, that is really an indoor square, for it is a continuation of the plaza outside: it is paved with the same material. And it features similar light poles that scarcely illuminate the interior. A strange sensation of outside-in.

The darkness is breathtaking. Did Bladerunner have a church in it?

According to Karl Kiem, the Archbishop Josef Cardinal Frings played an crucial role in the development of the church. He understood the work of good architects to be an expression of God’s creative power and therefore considered himself as the final earthly authority in questions of design!  The Handbook for Church Building from ’59, that expressed the cardinals position, argued for simple and elegantly designed hall churches, modeled on Mies’ IIT Chapel. Plastic forms and symbolic connotations were rejected in contemporary sacred architecture. This attitude was a precondition for the competition -at first Böhm’s design was put aside: the jury clearly deplored the formal language: an over-escalation into the Mannerist… But while working on Kenzo Tange’s Church of Mary in Tokyo, also instigated and largely financed by the archdiocese of Cologne, the Cardinal’s understanding of architecture was able to develop…

Strange Logic: Zwarte Kantlat

January 26, 2010

Lowered ceilings are a bit of a nightmare. Some sexy versions are available, but, at least is the Netherlands with its funny building budgets, only the bottom of the market is affordable in many projects.

Generally they come with a Zwarte Kantlat: a black wooden board along the edge of ceiling and wall. Apparently, the idea is that shadows that could come into view as a consequence of uneven walls blend in with the black frame and as such disappear. Great.

But you don’t have to follow the logic: you can order them in white too…

Sinter Claus

January 23, 2010

The traditional NL Architects Christmas Dinner took place December 17: a crossover between Sinter Klaas and Santa Claus.

When your reporter woke up out off hibernation he discovered that there was about 9 gigabyte of party pics to sort-out; 9 gig in one single night… this equals the same amount of data the entire office produced in its first decade.

The data mining took some time…

Oh no it’s Christmas time again,
And I still need some present for Gen
What could I give, I have no plan,
Imagine, he wants to use it back in Japan.
Now I got these sticks, nice and red,
But does he still know how to eat with that?
Oh, that’s no problem, because think again,
You can’t spell genius without Gen…

Whilst architecture is his passion,
Soccer is his profession.
He actually always rocks,
And to score more goals he needs this socks.

Snow and cold in wintertime, how can we get you through??
This sexy warm legging is for you!

Kamiel (present: Squirrel Shaped Nut Dispenser)
The slick rick of nuts
Always picks his x-tra cuts!
Those to steal
he Kamiel
will twirl
around the table like a squirl


You get a little nutty after every meal
So I wanna make with you a deal
Here is a chocolatebomb for your Christmas tree
So from now on leave all the Nutella for me!

En we zingen
En we springen
En we zijn zo blij

Want alles geht vorbei…

For Piet,
wurst or shiet?
Or just something totally different?
Merry Christmas!

It will not be pink but blue,
a nice color that’s true.
It will not be a she but a he,
a copy off Roel you will see.
Yes it’s a boy,
and for sure you will enjoy.

Thijs (present: Playboy with 60 old Patricia Paay)
Ooohhh Thijs what’s happening?

For Sint it goes all too fast – First you decide that Bas didn’t last
Secondly I hear you have a starter – with a winning FEMALE partner!
And on top of that you show interest in an older sexy lady
For Sint that is normal, but with you it becomes shady…

Delerious Sint

Room Temperature (II)

January 15, 2010

According to AlphaGalileo, the background lighting provided in a room has an influence on how we taste wine. This is the result of a survey conducted by researchers at the Institute of Psychology at Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Germany. It was found that the same wine was rated higher when exposed to red or blue ambient light rather than green or white light.

The survey showed, among other things, that the test wine was perceived as being nearly 1.5 times sweeter in red light than in white or green light. Its fruitiness was also most highly rated in red light. Riesling combined with green light was not appreciated. Accordingly, one conclusion of the study is that the color of ambient lighting can influence how wine tastes, even when there is no direct effect on the color of the drink.

This opens up an interesting possibility; you could perhaps make use of only one type of wine to support the different courses of a dinner. Just modify the lighting conditions. The wine steward, or sommelier, will turn into ‘Light DJ’.

But how will blue light influence your steak?

Jingle all the way

January 7, 2010