NYC: Are you KIDding? A Gehry Playground

Gehry Playground

Thanks to Gothamist we know that there ar plans for a playground designed by Frank Gehry for the NYC Battery Park, the “Birthplace of NYC”. An excellent example of city marketing I would say.

New five star Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam opened

Amrâth Exterior
Amrâth Exterior

On June 8, 2007, only a couple of months later than planned, the new five star Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam opened in the beautiful historic Art Deco building, the “Scheepvaarthuis” (The Shipping Companies’ Building) once belonging to the rich Amsterdam shipping companies.

The shipping companies have long disappeared, and their ships no longer proudly sail the oceans of the world. But the Scheepvaarthuis still stands, completely intact, as a beautiful monument to those times.The romance of the sea and the building’s creators can still be seen and admired, given shape in authentic materials of the time.Within this space and ambiance, a grand five-star hotel is being created with all the respect due to the monumental beauty of the building. It is a new lease of life for the Scheepvaarthuis! The grandeur of the past is being combined with modern-day comfort and luxury – technically perfect and benignly comfortable. The guests are accommodated in the past as well as the present – in a unique artwork as well as the most
beautiful luxury hotel in modern-day Amsterdam.

So far the quote.

It has 160 rooms and 15 suites which will be available as of December 2007. It is located on walking distance of the Central Station and has some beautiful views on the Historic Shipping quarter with the still active Dutch Royal Marine basis (yes blocked out on Google Maps) and the

Scheepvaartmuseum Amsterdam
Dutch Historic Shipping Museum wit “Amsterdam” replica

Historic Shipping Museum of Amsterdam with its replica of the VOC (Dutch East India Company) trader “Amsterdam”. Alas, for the time being the shipping museum is closed due to an extensive renovation.
Last edited by GJE on December 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Dutch Design (10): Massive new office for Europol in The Hague

Europol present building
Europol’s present building
Photo Dr Meierhofen (interesting wiki)

Europol calls itself “The European Police Office”. Its is the European Union Law Enforcement Organization that handles criminal intelligence. Its mission is to assist the law enforcement authorities of Member States in their fight against serious forms of organized crime. It has its main office in The Hague in a building that used to be a college campus.

There are plans to move the main office to another location in The Hague,
because of the necessary(?) increase of the number of international employees due to the influx of many new member States into the European Union.

Europol New 1
Marquette of New Europol office,
rendering thanks to the winning
Quist Wintermans Architects

The designated building plot for the new office is close to a residential area with a great monumental value.

Doesn’t look too bad. However, if I’m well informed that for security reasons the current plan is the same building, but 90 degrees rotated left which is far worse compared to this situating, because the residents in this Marquette situated in the lower left corner will only see the blind walls of the left building and of the highest building (The architect’s rendering cleverly don’t show the blind walls.)

Today the Municipal Committee that monitors the design of new buildings (and their impact in monumentally valuable environments) will have a public hearing, while about 300 near by residents have lodged protests against the building plans the massiveness of the buildings itself and the necessity of taking a lot of space for security measures. Just because of the heavy post 9/11 security measures around the USA Embassy, The Hague and the US ambassador recently agreed to move the Embassy outside the city center. This on its turn caused protests of the residents around the building plot for the new Embassy. Civil servants jargon for such protest is NIMBY: “No In My Back Yard!”

Europol New 2
Massive New Europol office,
Rendering thanks to the winning
Quist Wintermans Architects

Even the former state architect and a couple of influential Dutch architects have written an open letter to the The Hague Municipal authorities to urge them not to take this spot, or at least not to build the building that is anticipated.

Europol New 3
Another angle that the residents will not see!
Rendering thanks to the winning
Quist Wintermans Architects

At first glance Europol’s site doesn’t divulge a word about this plans except for this ancient press release. Probably, because they lack some corporate governance officers: See their job opportunities. Come on ladies and gentlemen, the salaries are -as usual with inter governmental organizations- on a very low tax base…. I find it strange, as in the past (well already about 20 years ago now) another intergovernmental organization, the European Patent Office with main seat in Munich, Germany and second important office in Rijswijk, a suburb of The Hague, attracted a lot of publicity with new building plans that eventually didn’t com through, because the number of European patent application all of a sudden decreased enormously.

Well we will see what the wise man will decide. Maybe they will rotate it back 90 degrees 🙂 “And they took a sip from their glass and left it as it was”

25 Blogs on Architecture

I follow Architecture and Design with keen interest on the web, especially because many Dutchman have become known to stand out in the world of design and architecture.

With what I recently learned from using linkroll scripts from, I can easily reproduce a list I found via Archinet on Eikonographia of 25 “top” Blogs on architecture’.

Please note the reproduction below is in Alphabetical order, rather than on order of merit.

The list was compiled on the basis of Technorati’s incoming link ranking, the number of subscriptions via Bloglink and Google and Google images hits. As the writer comments: far from perfect, but at least a bit objective.

Anyway the ranking is again an other ranking than that of Eikonographia.


After publication of this post I Found out Eikonographia, is written by Michiel van Raaij, a Dutchman writing his thesis at our foremost Architecture University, TU Delft in Delft.

The one room cube: Hotel Everland


Hotel Everland is a hotel with only one room. It includes a bathroom deluxe, a king-size bed and a lounge. It is created by the Swiss artists Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann The L and The B of “L/B”.

It was first developed for the Swiss national exhibition Expo.02 and was located on the lake of Yverdon. Afterwards the mobile pavilion was brought to Burgdorf and placed on the factory roof at L/B’s studio.

From June 2006 until August 2007 the cube is placed on the roof of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Leipzig, Germany. During the opening times of the museum, visitors can take a peek at the Hotel. After closing hours it’s reserved to the happy ones that have booked the room for a night.

In September 2007 Hotel Everland moves on to Paris where it will be installed on the roof of Palais de Tokyo. It will also be exhibited for one year and run as a hotel, but this time with a view on the Eiffel Tower.