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Architectural marvels of the Netherlands

Last updated 4 weeks ago by UtrechtCentral.com

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!

Built in 1924, it looks quite modern. Photo Credits: Picture by Hay Kranen / CC-BY

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.

Striking Exterior of Inntel Hotel. Photo Credits: Door Microtoerisme – Eigen werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, on Wikimedia
The House of Monet on the top left. Photo Credits: Door Microtoerisme – Eigen werk, CC BY-SA 3.0
Zaandam Centre. Photo Credits: Door Microtoerisme – Eigen werk, CC BY-SA 3.0 on Wikimedia

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.

Rotterdam’s Innovative Set of Yellow Cube Houses Photo Credits: Photostore HK on UnSplash.com
Stroll through the Cube Structure. Photo Credits: Kishan Hirani
Kitchen in the Cube House Photo Credits: Kishan Hirani

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.

NEMO at Night. Photo Credits: Liam McGarry on UnSplash.com

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.

Row Houses at Damrak Waterfront, 400m from Amsterdam Central Station Photo Credits: Vlad Hilitanu on UnSplash.com
Dutch Traditional Houses alongside the canal. Photo Credits: Sávio Félix on UnSplash.com

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.

Maastricht City over the river Mass/Meuse Photo Credit: Benutzer:Mussklprozz – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 3.0
‘Hoge Brug’ Tall Bridge of Maastricht Photo Credit:Ralfrolf – Own work, CC BY 3.0

Delft University of Technology ranks among the Top 10 Universities for Architecture in the World.

Krutika Jadeja Hirani
Krutika Jadeja Hirani
Born and raised in India, I am Electronics & Communication Engineer. New Technologies, Travelling, Reading, Dancing, Relishing Different Culture and Making Delicious Meals are the things that fascinate me the most. Caught by Wanderlust bug, I would describe myself as a "Flaneur" I am passionately curious about exploring new horizons. Dance keeps my creative flare intact. Reading and Travelling helps me to narrate tales that motivate. Having a Papyrophilia, I love to hoard stationeries. I am here, to make a difference through my writings, share ideas and hope to inspire. I live by this quote:"Pen is mightier than Sword."

14 COMMENTS

  1. These article created a strong urge to visit these places in netherlands once this pandemic ends. Got to knw deeply about this historic places.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more!!
      I have heard about Rotterdam a lot but the cube houses, Inntel & NEMO museum were like a sight for a sore eyes..
      Dev and I are planning on buying one of those row house for our gigantic family, kindly share the property price (if affordable) 😅

      • 😆 Both Inntel & Cube Houses offers staycation for your “Gigantic Families”🤣And Yes, NEMO is a delight for all science geeks.

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