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Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Pedestrian bridge Luchtsingel

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The area around Hofplein in the centre of Rotterdam was once a bustling district but is now dominated by speeding traffic. To give cyclists and pedestrians more space again, Zones Urbaines Sensibles (ZUS)is building a temporary pedestrian bridge here in a project entitled I Make Rotterdam. This will reconnect the city centre with the northern districts. Called Luchtsingel (Dutch for ‘raised promenade’), the bridge will be largely completed by April 2012 and is just the first step in the plan to make Hofplein a lively pedestrian area once more.

Luchtsingel is being realised through crowdfunding. Everybody can get involved in erecting this bridge. Participants pay a contribution in exchange for having their name written on a plank, piece or component of the bridge. Some 17,000 planks are needed to construct Luchtsingel, and work starts in February. The length of the bridge depends on the number of planks purchased.

I just purchased a plank. It’s only 25€ and you’re name will live forever. You too can take part in the Luchtsingel project through are still plenty of planks on sale.

Luchtsingel is a project by ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles] in collaboration with Hofbogen B.V. Luchtsingel is being built within the framework of the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR). The idea for a raised promenade first surfaced in the Central District master plan drawn up by the city of Rotterdam and Maxwan Architecten. This master plan dictates that Schiestraat will be realigned as the continuation of Delftse Plein, making a pedestrian connection logical. According to the current plans, construction of this pedestrian bridge is planned in 30 years. The area cannot wait that long, however. Crowdfunding allows the bridge to be financed in an alternative way, namely directly by the public. This means that construction can start decades before it is planned.The necessary improvement in the quality of the area is therefore no longer fully dependent on policy plans and real estate developments. With the construction of Luchtsingel, ZUS wants to test the policy framework and design visions for the city of Rotterdam and to experiment with alternative development strategies for the city.


Written by thehotstepper

November 26, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Peeping over the Hedge: Inspiration routes along Rotterdam residentials

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Penthouses overlooking the docks, self constructed job residences, typical houses, sheds and warehouses transformed into dwellings: on Sunday, October 24 ‘Gluren bij de Buren’ (peeking at the neighbors) shows  how diverse locals in Rotterdam live. Throughout the day you can participate in cycling and walking routes through four of the most upcoming residential areas of the city. Participants get a look behind frontdoors, they meet residents, architects and brokers, and are sure to be surprised with performances of inhabitants and artists.

Peeping Over The Hedge (Gluren bij de Buren) is part of the Housing Month by and is organized by the makers of Parfum de BoemBoem. Peeping Over The Hedge is a two-hour adventure for anyone who wants to gain inspiration in living in Rotterdam. It is a reconnaissance tour accompanied by a guide – on foot or by bicycle – along places that are normally hidden. The diversity of the homes visited, is enormous. Participants arrive at sites where they could not have possibly suspected the existence off and view the city from a different angle. Along the route there are concerts by artists including Goslink, Lucky Fonz III and Typhoon. Participation is free!

There are four different bike rides and eight walks (two per district):

Route 1: Downtown

Route 2: Lloydkwartier.

Route 3: Park 16Hoven

Route 4: Katendrecht

Practical Information:  The bycicle  routes to the four quarters start at several times from Rotterdam.Info (Coolsingel 195-197). The walks start at different times, from the districts  (look for the exact location Participation is free, but registration is recommended. You can do this at

Vreewijk – Lede 40

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As of June 23, 2010 Lede 40 is a museum house. The last occupant was born on the premises and has never modernized it. At Lede 40, the history of the district Vreewijk is tangible. Owner Com • Wonen has asked the Historical Museum of Rotterdam to manage this unique home. With this house, the museum does not only want to present a tranquil era, but in cooperation with local residents it is searching for the story of all times about Vreewijk.

Vreewijk, also called Tuindorp, is a part of the district Feijenoord in the South of Rotterdam. In 1913 the first NV Rotterdam Tuindorp was founded by K.P. van der Mandele, J. Mees and L.J.C.J. van Ravesteyn. The purpose of this NV (Eng = PLC) was “to establish and operate one or more garden villages, particularly for less wealthy people.” The plan of the neighborhood is based on the original pattern of ditches in the former polder. Vreewijk is designed as a village and is characterized by much ‘green’.(trees and gardens)

The street pattern was developed by Berlage (western part) and Granpré Moliere (eastern). The houses were designed by Granpré Molière,  and J.H. de Roos and W.F. Overeijnder, who both  also designed the Sparta soccer stadium Het Kasteel.

In March 2007 Vreewijk was put on a list of 40 problem areas by Minister Ella Vogelaar. Com • Wonen, one of the biggest housing corporations in the district, has plans to demolish 85 houses in the area Bree / Maarland and replace them with homes for the elderly. Existing houses are outdated and would suffer from moist, mold and cracks in the walls. Therefor renovation would be too expensive and according to the housing corporation is no option. An action committee was established and protest against the demolition has been raised. Com • Wonen was accused of wrongly having moved people in order to have the houses empty. Anyway, the housing company partnered with the Historical Museum of Rotterdam that carries out projects in neighborhoods with residents, focusing on the living cultural heritage of the city. Com · Wonen supports this initiative because it respects the cultural heritage of Vreewijk.

“Today most of us are yet provided with shelter: but ‘living’ is a privilege of only a few of us.”

Could Granpré Moliere have foreseen how relevant this statement of his  would turn out to be in the future related to the district he helped build? In order to make up your mind on these issues, it can certainly do no harm to visit the museum house and talk with local residents. But also if you just want a glimpse into the past Lede 40 is worth a visit.

Opening hours: Tuesday and Thursday from 9.30 to 12.30 hours Wednesday from 9.30 to 16.30 hours.

Rotterdam in the palm of your hand

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Rotterdam has introduced a city guide app. The Rotterdam app gives visitors and inhabitants constant access to convenient city info via their mobile phones. It provides access to a city guide with information on attractions, museums, hotels, restaurants and shops and it also includes a city map and a dynamic events calendar. To download the app, users need to open with their mobile phone.

Once the app is installed you can explore Rotterdam on-the-go  on your mobile phone.  This mobile city guide highlights the very best that Rotterdam has to offer. Using the application will not require an internet connection or additional roaming costs. The content is stored in the application including the offline maps and the entire events calendar is downloaded at the first time use. You only need an Internet connection to  update the events calendar or if you want to interact with the Web.

The application offers information and images for over 500 locations in the city. You can call the location directly from the app. View the calendar for each location to see what’s on or save the location as a favorite for later reference.

The Rotterdam app is available for almost any mobile phone, including Java, Blackberry, iPhone and Android phones. The app is available in the Apple Appstore, via i-Tunes or in the Android Market. Features may differ per mobile platform.

Rotterdam has got a brand new toy: UAR!

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The Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) has launched Urban Augmented Reality (UAR) : the world’s first mobile architecture application featuring augmented reality with 3D models. Starting today, you can see and experience the built environment of the past, present and future, via Layar Browser. The NAI has set itself an incredible challenge: to make the Netherlands the first country in the world to have its entire architecture viewable on smartphones thanks to augmented reality. From 30 June 2010, UAR can be downloaded from Android Market and the Apple App Store.

Augmented Reality
The principle of augmented reality is very simple: just point your smartphone at a building and get to see not only photos and video material but 3D models, scale models and interesting details and information about it. As of in the end of June 2010, you’ll be able to receive on your smartphone all kinds of information about the building currently on the site – along with details about what was there before, and what projects are planned there for the future. You can also add your own information about the building or plot out architecture walks taking in designs that particularly appeal to you.

Market Hall
The world’s first building to appear in three dimensions on the smartphone via augmented reality is the eye-catching Market Hall which is currently under construction in Rotterdam ’s Blaak area. The Market Hall was designed by architects MVRDV and is being built by Provast.

UAR will be available in Layar starting in December. At 30 June 2010, the application can be downloaded from Android Market and the Apple App Store. In this version, the entire city of Rotterdam will be viewable via augmented reality followed in October by Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Within the next 5 years, UAR is expected to have evolved into a complete national architecture guide.

Check the app out on YouTube:

If you’re interested, you can download it from App Store or Android Market.

Living room in the park

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There will be living rooms, at Nassauhavenpark!

From a survey among local residents it showed that they want nicer seats at their local park. That idea was picked up by the district Feijenoord and veritable living rooms are now built.
Besides thick carpets stylish sofas from Spain and lamps are put down among the trees. I look forward to the final result! Once I have pictures of it I will share them with you! The changes to the park will be before the end of July.

Here’s a close up of the floor of the living room.  Now it is still covered with sand, but you can imagine how cheerful it will look after the sand is gone and there’s nothing left but yellow carpet, sofa’s and some lamps.

Written by thehotstepper

June 28, 2010 at 9:12 pm

High Tea on De Rotterdam

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The Hotstepper is proud of Rotterdam and he loves food. There is obviously no excuse not to visit and eat on the steamship of the same name. In a previous blog ( he mentioned that we should make a visit to this legendary ship, but conceded he had not been himself. Yesterday he so enjoyed with friends a delicious High Tea in the Club Room. The atmosphere is fantastic, being surround by beautiful ceilings, lamps, chairs, tables and original paintings. The style of the ’50s comes back to life.

After the delicious lunch we wandered about the ship. Even though not all spaces are publicly accessible, whether or not legitimate, we still have seen quite a few. Maybe the Hotstepper will go back again for a paid tour, because the visit made him very enthusiastic. Although the ship can not sail anymore, wandering the corridors and the decks makes you feel that the engines could come to life with a big rumble and that the horn could announce the departure to distant places with a firm blow anytime.

That she is forever on the quay, does not mean that a visit is less valuable. From the various decks you have a beautiful view of the sky line of the city. Actually, De Rotterdam itself became part of the much debated sky line of ‘Manhattan aan the Maas‘. It is surprising how many places there are in the city where you can see the ship. Perhaps this offers a nice topic for another blog? Now the Hotstepper first needs to make a selection though from over 150 photos for this blog.

If you decide to visit De Rotterdam, don’t forget to bring your camera!

Also don’t forget to check the site for useful information:

For more photo’s also check out:

Written by thehotstepper

March 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm