THE SHAPE OF THINGS – Amsterdam’s weekend of architecture

Intel Hotel, Zaandam

Intel Hotel, Zaandam. Brilliantly witty or gimmicky kitsch?



Mevrouw T is a regular at Amsterdam’s excellent annual Dag van de architectuur (Day of Architecture). This year I joined her, and many others joined us.

The event’s popularity led the organisers to extend the 2014 edition to a whole weekend of walks, talks and open building inspections.

Highlight of our Day 1 was a boat ride along the Ij from Amsterdam to Zaandam with Mr Remy Vlek as our expert guide. Naturally I was pointing the camera at the sights along the route.

Our vessel, the Veerpont 35, with a load of architecture-appreciators on board.

Our vessel, the Veerpont 35, with a load of architecture-appreciators on board.

The Amsterdam dockland - not designed to catch the eye, but they do anyway.

The Amsterdam dockland – not designed to catch the eye, but they do anyway.

Student housing made from recycled containers at Amsterdam North.

Student housing made from recycled containers at Amsterdam North.

At first glance, Zaandam looks like many Dutch villages, dominated by a standard, charming church spire.

At first glance, Zaandam looks like many Dutch villages, dominated by a standard, charming church spire.

Things change when you land in one of Holland's busiest shopping streets. Last year they re-inserted a canal down the middle, making it a pedestrians-only zone.

Things change when you land in one of Holland’s busiest shopping streets. Last year they re-inserted a canal down the middle, making it a pedestrians-only zone.

It became very popular and, to our eyes, attractive.

It became very popular and, to our eyes, attractive.

'Opinion is divided' on the latest Zaandam development, according to our guide. Is it brilliantly witty or just gimmicky kitsch?

‘Opinion is divided’ on the latest Zaandam development, according to our guide. What do you think?

The gable of the Zaandam Stadhuis (Town Hall) enters into the playful spirit of things.

The gable of the Zaandam Stadhuis (Town Hall) enters into the playful spirit of things.

The fence by the Stadhuis.

The fence by the Stadhuis.

Back on the boat for the return trip to Amsterdam, my camera starts looking for interesting shapes in everything we pass.

Pakhuis

Masts

Filmmuseum Eye.

Filmmuseum Eye.

6 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Holland

6 responses to “THE SHAPE OF THINGS – Amsterdam’s weekend of architecture

  1. Love that very first house made up of a stack of houses. Sort of a 13-storey house-tree. Here in Maine we just hope that any new building looks like the old ones. Any attempt at architecture would inevitably be worse than what is.

    • That Inntel Hotel is very popular with Asian and American visitors, according to the guide. There are bragging rights for those who can say they stayed in a Dutch-gabled house several metres above sea level.

  2. The hotel isn’t to my liking I’m afraid and neither are the green ‘Lego houses’. (I suppose you love them just because of the resemblance…) I’d give my twelve points to the containers any day.

  3. I love the Inntel Hotel – think it makes a really good landmark, and embodies quite a few attractive aspects of typical Dutch architecture. Imagine it will become a local favourite soon enough, regardless of current opinion.

  4. Some wonderful architecture. I loved the lines of the ship’s mast the best.

  5. Some of that is a tad to kitschy for me, love the student housing made from recycled containers though.

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