Monday, May 30, 2016

Rotterdam: love it or hate it

Two photos I found on-line illustrating some of the city's newer buildings.
I first visited Rotterdam during my 2012 tour and was very impressed with the edgy, creative quality of the people I met and the huge container port. I was also impressed with a particular display at the architecture biennale.  There is no doubt that this city, largely rebuilt after World War II has some very questionable urban design and look-at-me architecture. That being said, I like the place, and recommend it as a tourist destination, especially for architects. Not all my colleagues would agree.We had limited time, so purchased a same-day-return ticket for the 50 minute train trip.
Arriving at the modern Central Station I was blown away by the magnificent space and view of new city centre buildings emerging outside the large windows. A large video screen takes you on  a short tour of the city. Sadly the weather was not good, and although we did manage to walk about and take a boat cruise through the harbour, the weather did influence our enjoyment of the city. (Although some of my Facebook friends wrote they found it to be an awful place, even on a sunny day)
A temporary installation by MRVDV

Some of the more recent look-at-me buildings as seen when leaving the train station
The tourist office recommended that we see the new market and cube houses, so we did. 
The market is a very strange building design, but with some colourful indoor murals. The cube houses are even stranger!
While I'll write more when I have some time, here are a few more photos.
If you look closely you'll see the tower on the right has been modified to add opening windows (Rem Koolhaas Architect)
Is this what fashionable men will soon be wearing in Canada?
Many shop attendants are wearing suits with very short pants and sneakers

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