Last updated 2 weeks ago by Michael Darmanin
ARCHITECTURE IS A VISUAL ART AND THE BUILDINGS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.JULIA MORGAN
Apart from the 3C’s (canals, cycle and cheese), blue pottery, and windmills, the Netherlands has lot to offer from an architectural point of view. The country will definitely make you fall in love with its architectural glory. Some must see attractions are listed below:
Rietveld Schröder House, Utrecht
This impressive house, built in 1924, is way ahead of its time. Now, a museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is an iconic example of De Stijl (The Style) art movement. De Stijl focused on using vertical and horizontal lines, rectangle forms, three primary colors (red, yellow, blue) and three primary values (black, white, grey). Truus Schröder, a great admirer of Rietveld’s work asked him to design a house of her choice. The house is a dynamic design consisting of smart space utilization with creative folds and portable sliders. Have a look for yourself!
Inntel Hotel, Zaandam
This amusing building, which stands at the Provincialeweg near the Zaandam Central station, will surely catch your eye. The 12-story hotel is a stack of 68 traditional “Zaan houses” piled upon each other. The inspiration behind the blue painted house among the green facade is the painting of Claude Monet- La Maison Bleue during his stay in Zaandam. Wilfried Van Winden is the architect of Inntel Hotel. He was accused of plagiarism by Sjoerd Soeters, stating that the idea of stacked houses came from him. According to news channel CNN, the hotel topped the list of 12 most unusual, strange and bizzare hotels. The design of the hotel is a visual delight for all and a perfect illustration of fusion architecture.
Cube Houses, Rotterdam
ROTTERDAM IS LIKE A DISNEYLAND FOR ARCHITECTURE GEEKS.BBC/Travel
Cube Houses, Rotterdam
Rotterdam emerged as an architecture city of the Netherlands after its near-complete destruction during the second World War. Erasmus bridge, Euromast, Markthal, Floating Pavilion, Bobbing Forest contribute to some of the modern architectural feats of the city. Among these, Cube Houses have earned a special position. The Yellow Cubes, tilted at 45 degrees are made to sit on hexagonal pylons. Piel Bloom designed the houses in the early 80’s (1982-1984). There are total of 41 Cube Houses out of which 3 are for commercial use. As per Piel, the whole structure represents urban forest and the houses as trees. You can visit a Show Cube which has all the amenities like a normal house.
NEMO Science Museum, Amsterdam
NEMO is a science center featuring numerous hands-on science & technology activities and exhibitions, both for children and grown-ups. Built on IJ car tunnel, it is designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. The oxidation of copper gives a blue-green color to the building. The shape resembles to that of a ship. The Piazza themed roof terrace gives a panoramic view of Amsterdam. It is also home to open-air exhibition of renewable energies called “Energetica.” A must visit for all science fanatics.
Dancing Houses, Amsterdam
Generally referred as Grachtenhuizen (Canal Houses) are more than 300 years old. During 17th century (Dutch Golden Age), these buildings served as homes, storage units and shops all in one for wealthy bankers and merchants. The merchants used to lift the goods through the hooks attached to the gable at the top of the structure. These iconic buildings are narrow because taxes were charged according to the width of the buildings back in those days. The house tilts forward and sinks unevenly due to its construction on swampy soil and stilts. This causes them to wobble and make them look skewed; hence the name Dancing Houses. The historic houses cascaded together forms a photogenic picturesque spot for globetrotters. One can find iconic Dutch Baroque architectural style houses with decorative projections along the canal belt stretching across the Amstel River. If you are heading towards Dam Square, don’t forget to have look at Colorful Row of Canal Houses at Damrak Waterfront.
The Grachtengordel (Canal District) of Amsterdam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010.
City of Maastricht
Maastricht is the birthplace of the Euro. The city is deemed by many as one of the most ancient European towns. It is second oldest city of the Netherlands, followed by Nijmegen. Every corner of Maastricht has a story to tell. When there, make sure you visit the second World War underground limestone caves, forts, churches, Sint Servaasbrug (brug=bridge) or the Hoge Brug. An almost 200 year old Dominicankerk (Dominican Church) is now listed among the most beautiful bookshop in the world.
Delft University of Technology ranks among the Top 10 Universities for Architecture in the World.