Sunday, February 28, 2010


Sick building syndrome

I consider myself lucky that I have lived so far only in one building by an acknowledged architect: a student-flat by Herman Hertzberger (1932, Amsterdam) in the Weesperstraat, Amsterdam (designed&constructed: 1959-1966; see photo above), during the late nineties. In the nineteen-sixties Hertzberger was one of the founders of the Dutch structuralist movement. He claimed that a design should only provide a framework, so that users have the space to fill this framework. However, an architect should not be reviewed by his lofty theories but by using his built designs. And this particular building does not live up to Hertzberger's own theory. The rooms are very small, the corridors are gloomy so that one is lead automatically to the brightly lid joint space of the living room/kitchen, which signifies that this lay-out favors a shared life and as a consequence users do not have the freedom to fill the framework with meaning, a worldview. And if his theory would have been successfully applied to this design then users would have had the freedom in such a way that a multiplicity of uses and thus meanings would have been possible. But perhaps he has come to regret this design, because it is not mentioned on his website.

Merz Picture

A collage by Kurt Schwitters.

Monday, February 22, 2010

dogs love azaleas


In Heerlen, the city in the Netherlands where I spent the first eighteen years of my life, the architect Frits Peutz has left his marks. His most famous design is without question the Glaspaleis, which was recently renovated by Jo Coenen and Wiel Arets, both architects are from Heerlen as well. In the same period as the Glaspaleis, Peutz designed movie theater Royal, which opened in 1938.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

born slippy

Underworld performs their song Born Slippy live at the festival Pink Pop. At the same festival I saw them years earlier at the same festival a much smaller stage, a more intimate setting.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

lucid dreams

Franz Ferdinand's song Lucid Dreams from the album Tonight is often my soundtrack when I go from the campus back home when pouring rain has caused a total gridlock (especially the second part of this song).