Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Amsterdam's Schiphol to Almere Self-build to Rotterdam's Bienalle

After three days without much sleep, my body finally rebelled, and so accounts of our meeting with the planners of Schiphol Airport, and visits to the International New Town Institute and Almere's bold self-build housing experiment will have to wait. So will a brief review of how the Russians manage to keep a satellite gallery of the Hermitage operating in Amsterdam.

However, in the meanwhile, for those who want to see Vancouver become an international global hub in addition to the 'gateway to Asia', pay heed to the words I overheard at Schiphol airport. Vancouver will never become a major business hub as long as the Canadian Federal Government continues to protect Air Canada by restricting landing rights for airlines such as Emirites . Amsterdam's airport serves 301 destinations. Compare that with YVR. You don't know how many international destinations we serve? Well it's less!

At Almere, where Rem Koolhaas and his OMA firm have played a major role, I witnessed a most fascinating town centre and what has been described as the boldest self-build housing experiment in Europe. What did I think?

OMG!Lots of photos and commentary coming later today, even if I have to give up my geneva gin and nights on the town!

But now I'm off to a Press Preview of the Rotterdam urban planning Bienalle, followed by a visit to the office of Rem Koolhaas and OMA. My colleagues know I don't like his Seattle library. But then I do like it more than most of Libeskind's work. Maybe I'll put it that way!

More to come.