Gotspe / Chutzpah

Dom van der Laanstraat, Noorderhof, Amsterdam

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Driving through Amsterdam Nieuw-West we made a hilarious discovery. Within the Modern post-war city expansion a new enclave emerged, the Noorderhof planned by Rob Krier.

“Krier takes his inspiration from historic European town layouts, which he believes provide a useful example for modern urban development.”

Many think it is a wonderful new neighborhood, but it could also be considered a fairly clumsy collage, or rather un-inspired Photoshopping…

Although Krier has often been nagging about lack of appreciation, the neighborhood has proofed to be pretty contagious; after Bin Laden all over the country similar defensive settlements have popped up. My castle is my home, haha

Suddenly we noticed that the streets are named after architects. That in itself is already quite remarkable. But which sardonic clerk proposed to name one of the streets after Dom van der Laan?

Van der Laan was an architect /monk, master of restraint, ascetic aesthetic. He was a 3D philosopher committed to ‘fundamental research’. Which relations of length, width, and height continue to please us?

Van der Laan developed an intricate proportional system: Le Nombre Plastique. The plastic number is not a particular measure: it disciplines the relationship between the measures we choose. He actually discovered the key to what is good space. Van der Laan apparently was blessed with the visual equivalent of absolute hearing.

Van der Laan’s precision is hallucinogenic. Please check the amazing documentary De Natuurlijk Ruimte by Frank Scheffer. (If you don’t speak Dutch it is worthwhile to join Master Gen, Giulia and Carmen to the Dutch Course…) Also recommended: the mind-blowing analytical wwwebsite Der Architectonische Raum by Georg Munkel.

“Like many of his peers Van der Laan in the beginning of the twentieth century considered the continuation of tradition an impossibility; neo-styles were out of the question. A fundamentally new approach was needed to substitute the worn out architectural language”.

In Krier town, Dom van der Laanstraat is 100% Chutzpah

Mini Monk

Mini Monk in Abdij St. Benedictusberg

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