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So far bart en nadine has created 27 blog entries.
Antwerp Antwerp Station The Green Quarter Dagraad spuare Klauwaardstraat Greenhouse Butterfly Balcony, Ploegstraat Conincken spuare Coqels-Osylei Houtenbrug Jugendstil MAS The hall of Eden ´t hal van Eden Casseien Flower pots in Antwerp Pretstraat PAKT Eco House Moorkens square
Paris Jardin de l'archipel des berges de seine Mur Vegetal Coulle verte Rene-Dumont Ground Control De la Porte de Clichy Parc Martin Luther King L'oasis d'Aboukir M2B6 tour de la Biodiversite Flower Tower Le jardin du Luxembourg Metrostation Balcony Paris Eden Bio
Mumbai To be honest, Mumbai is not the first city you would go to if you´re in search of biophilic design, 55% of its population lives in slums, another large part of the city consists of run-down colonial houses, and the rich and affluent people live in gated communities. Mumbai is a city of extremes. It is one of the most discussed cities when it comes to global urban trends. But in the midst of its chaos, there are a couple of biophilic beauties to discover, starting with your arrival at Mumbai International Airport. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) http://www.som.com/projects/chhatrapati_shivaji_international_airport__terminal_2 Mumbai International Airport is probably the most beautiful airport in the world. Its gorgeous ceiling is the eyecatcher. It looks like the columns flow over into the ceiling. Which creates an elegant linear and organic pattern. The columns resemble tree trunks from which a system of branches grow. At the same time, it reminds of enlarged exoskeletons of mysterious sea life. The building has its most spectacular features in the departure hall. But when you arrive you can already catch a glimpse of the amazing ceiling. The columns are punched through the floors, creating a view at the ceiling from the lower arrival hall. Besides the remarkable ceiling, the airport is full of smaller biophilic delights. Like green walls and the most elegant lights. Bombay Arts Society designed by Sanjay Puri Architects http://www.sanjaypuriarchitects.com/nx/projectgallery.aspx?projectcategoryid=8 This building has the qualities of a friendly anime character. It looks cute and cuddly. All the walls are curved and seamless. Its whole shape is organic except for the big window at the top. This window gives the building a direction and a sculptural quality. Neel, Tote of the Turf design by: serie architects 2009 https://www.serie.co.uk/projects/269/the-tote#1 This place is an absolute beauty. Each corner of this building is photogenetic. The big rain trees at the location were the inspiration for the design. The outside world subtlely is absorbed in the interior. The building's structure is designed to look like an avenue of trees. The structure is visible both at the outside and the inside of the building. Only a glass wall separates the two. The structures are made of white coated steel frames, giving it a poetic touch. Ministry of New In one of the century-old brick buildings on Mumbai's Heritage mile, you can find an oasis like co-working space. Here you'll feel creative, focussed and uplifted while working. The place looks bright and spacious. The walls are painted white and light blue. This particular shade of blue works really well in combination with the high ceilings. The interior gives you the feeling of a blue-skied summer day. The building has been stripped to its old details. There are iron columns and teakwood roof beams. The workspaces are organized around a central courtyard [...]
Ho Chi Minh City Children Cultural House Notre Dame Basilica of Saigon Post Office Turtle Lake Mien Dong Thao Oasis Cafe Terrace Cafe Saigon Co May Coffee Tram Coffee Pizza 4P
Mechelen Jezuspoort ( Jesus Gate ) The Jezuspoort is a picturesque hidden gem in the city. You can find it halfway the Nonnenstraat and behind the gate there is a small blind alley straight from a fairy tale book. Old bricks, cobblestones and all sorts of small little details. The Jezuspoort is part of a bigger area full of biophilic specialties, the Groot Begijnhof. This neighbourhood dates from the 13th century and walking through it, you can taste the history. Korenmarkt Design by: OKRA landschapsarchitecten www.okra.nl realised 2011-2012 Together with: Studiebureau Atelier Ruimtelijk Advies Here, something special has been done. The square feels friendly and humane. The plants give the square a softness and you still get a sense of the history of the place. Presumably, this is the birthplace of Mechelen. Through the centuries this place has been used as a market, primarily as a grain market. Halfway of the previous century, the car took over. It became a parking and a leftover space. In 2011 the square got a complete make-over. Room was made for pedestrians and the cars have to give priority to cyclists. Parking was solved in a garage. Trees were planted to soften the stony appearance and to improve the air quality and create some shade at the same time. In low planting planes, decorative grasses and flowering plants were placed to enliven the place. The square is slightly tilted; the part near the river is lower. To accentuate the height difference, lazy steps were used along the width of the square. The square is originally located on a sand ridge. To refer to this, the designers used sand coloured materials. Special about this square is that it is also home to the oldest 'Frietkot' in town. This is a place where they sell the typical Belgium potato fries. So you can sit pleasantly at the square and enjoy a classic snack. Vliet on the Botermarkt The river Dijle flows across the city, but there are also a couple of smaller streams called 'vlieten'. These are small city canals or side rivers of the Dijle. Through the years most of these vlieten have been muted or covered. A couple of years ago the city has successfully re-opened and restored a couple of vlieten. Down below you can read about three places where you can enjoy these small waters. The Botermarkt is a lively meeting point for the locals. The teenagers have their own place. Children can play in the fountain. And everybody can enjoy the cafes and their seats outside. Half of the square has been re-opened for the Vliet. At the waterside plants are growing. They give the Botermarkt a friendly appearance and make it even more pleasant to take a seat at one of the terraces. At the square, there are trees with multiple stems which flower twice a year. Rikwoutertuin [...]
blog #8 An architectural guide for Zoetermeer
by Nadine Roos Birthday present As a birthday present, I got a book that made me laugh, the 'architectuurgids Zoetermeer' ( Architecture guide Zoetermeer). Why did a dull city like Zoetermeer have an architectural guide? I got the book from an old friend. We both grew up in this Dutch New Town and don't remember this city as very exciting. Recognition But still, browsing through this book was a feast of recognition. My mother's house was pictured in it, as well as the parking-deck-houses, where I lived till I was nine. I started to look into this book with more interest. Quickly I stopped laughing. The book is intriguing. It is filled with architectural experiments. The city has been build with a contagious optimism and the ambition to build the best living environment. All the latest ideas and research were used by a whole interdisciplinary team of architects, urban designers, artists and civil servants. They even had an experience expert onboard. Overflowing city Zoetermeer was an answer to The Hague. In the 50's of the previous century, The Hague was a crowded city and didn't have enough room to expand. Inspired by the garden movement the urban planners wanted to free the working-class from the polluted industrial city and to offer them a pleasant, open, and green living environment. In 1962 it was decided that Zoetermeer would become the nucleus in which The Hague could overflow. Zoetermeer transformed from a village with roughly 8000 inhabitants into a New-town with 125.000 inhabitants today. Confusing While reading about the intensity of which Zoetermeer had been built I became more and more puzzled. A lot of the elements I strive for today were implemented in Zoetermeer. For example, I aim for greener cities. Zoetermeer is very green. I aim for more child-friendly streets, where the cars are less dominant and where kids have more room to play. Zoetermeer has child-friendly neighbourhoods called 'woonerven'. How then is it possible that a lot of people talk condescendingly about Zoetermeer. Why do I find this city oppressive? Oppressive principles The city has been built according to the principles of a city model. In the book 'welcome to the urban revolution' the author Jeb Brugmann describes this model. It means that neighbourhoods were planned and executed at once. They didn't grow organically and thus don't have a stratification. This means their flexibility is minimal. It doesn't matter that the architecture and urban design is experimental. The city is rigid. So, for future New-towns, we should lose the inflexibility while we keep the same optimism and urge to experiment. And for existing New-towns let's introduce a stratification and flexibility. This way they can become real cities, ones you can fall in love with.
blog #7 Stop the testosterone city
How to make cities attractive for women We love the city as much as you do. They are places of great diversity, offering opportunities for everyone. But we believe that one major opportunity is not yet being tapped into, for public space is mainly tailored for men, while half of it's users is in fact, female. CIAM Think about it. From a historical perspective, cities used to evolve in an organic fashion without anyone really considering the underlying process. But the foundation of CIAM in the 1920's triggered a more strategic approach to urban development. Members of CIAM aimed to end the widespread existence of slums in European cities and started to actively plan out and design urban regions of the 19th century. Inspired by mass production they held the opinion that architecture had to be functional. From a man's perspective Now here's the thing. The urban planners and policymakers designing our cities for the last decade have predominantly been men. Not only have they thought about cities as mainly functional structures, but they also followed their own ideas and perspectives on what makes a functional city. Even with their best intentions in mind, it can't be denied that they have simply been designing for their own kind without taking the needs of other city users into account all that much. Especially when we look at what this means for women in cities today, it becomes clear that a lot of opportunities have been missed. But here comes the good news: if we can design our cities to be equally appealing to men and women, everybody wins. Getting from A to B So let's take a look at what's going on. The most significant idea behind CIAM was the division of urban functions, meaning that areas reserved for living, working, shopping and recreation are all physically separated from each other. Research indicates that especially women are negatively affected by this because men and women tend to use urban spaces in quite different ways. As it turns out, men mainly get from A to B in a linear way, commuting back and forth between their homes and workplaces. Women, on the other hand, are known to not only take more varied routes through the city but also travel at more distinct hours. As a result, the mono-functionality of urban spaces is most inconvenient for female city dwellers. Street level Male-centered thinking in urban development can also be found in the design of our city's buildings; women have expressed little value for the rather imposing architectural styles that dominate our urban landscapes. They tend to be drawn towards what's happening at street level a lot more. So what exactly is happening at street level? If you want to easily spot the effects of masculinity in public planning and recognize the underlying opportunities, the street turns out to be a place that can't be overlooked. One example is that from a male perspective, public spaces ought to be vandalism-proof, which means design [...]
blog # 6 Agoraphobia, the fear of squares
by Nadine Roos The image that pops up in my mind when I think of a square is of a place that is the nucleus in the urban life. Where chatting old man sit cosily on a bench. Hat on, the crooked legs somewhat apart and a walking stick in between. Tall stories are exchanged, they are laughing and still have a naughty look. Kids run around, playing tag. A group of teenagers lingers in the corner of the square, nonchalant and cool. Next to the fountain stands a couple in love. They only have eyes for each other. Neighbours meet in the middle of the square, they stop and exchange the latest news. In my imagination, this is a place for spontaneous meetings, of seeing and being seen. Also, the weather is always warm and sunny. Because I picture such a place in a Southern European country. Thinking of Dutch squares I think of empty, grey and stony areas. Square-people Why don't Dutch squares have the same urban position as the Southern European ones? What's the reason for this? And would it be possible to give the Dutch squares some of the Southern Joie de Vivre? I always thought it was a climate thing. If the weather over here would be just as lovely, our squares would be lively as well. Nevertheless, when the temperature rises above 20 degrees Celsius all Dutch people head out. The streets become busy, the terraces overflow but the squares remain empty. Are northerners no square-people? Or do squares have a different function in our perception? Or are Dutch squares designed in another manner and is that the reason why they are used differently. Empty places In the Netherlands, squares have a different function. Instead of places where the community comes together, they are just functional places. They are empty places that give room to the market and the fair. Dutch squares are emptier than the Southern squares. But people don't like empty expenses. This is something that has to do with a pre-historical remnant. At an empty plain we feel exposed; in the event of an attack, there is no place to seek cover. Intuitively we don't like walking on an empty square, let alone sit down and have a spontaneous chat with someone. National character Pragmatism is built in the Dutch DNA. A Dutch square is no-nonsense, without frills. The Dutch won't feel an emotional closeness to a square. In the Mediterranean, squares provide in a connection with the local history. It´s the place for historical events and where they are commemorated. At many squares, you can find a statue of a someone who did amazing heroic deeds. A hero of whom everyone knows. In the Netherlands, you can also find bronze horses with a rider on its back. But I bet you that 99% of the Dutch, myself included, have no idea who is so proudly represented. Mediterranean squares are also places for traditional feasts. Celebrations that only are [...]
blog #5 Battling the environmental crisis; one flowerpot at a time
Nikki Daniëls & Nadine Roos The global environmental crisis is about to threaten each and everyone of us. Natural disasters, economic stagnation, and natural resource shortages warn of a frightening future. The air in cities is polluted. Breathing is equal to smoking several cigarettes per day. That one short car ride doesn't seem to matter that much, but all those car rides combined have catastrophic effects on our environment. Luckily, the opposite can be done as well. Every environmentally conscious choice we make, how small it may be, is a step towards the solution. And don't worry if you haven't got a clue where to begin. Just get that flowerpot out! Involvement A flowerpot indeed. And in case you live in the city, we're looking at you in particular. Because, if you're a city dweller like 75% of us, chances you are not particularly busy with the environment. And it's only understandable that you wouldn't automatically commit to a case you don't feel very connected to. So if we really want to collectively start making better choices, it is absolutely crucial that we get urban residents involved in urban nature. How do we do that? It all starts with connectivity to where we live, so-called place-attachment. Place-attachment Place-attachment is the person-to-place bond that evolves when we give emotional meaning to a location, turning anonymous spaces into meaningful places where we love to go. We often form close relationships with the places from our childhood; with that tree, we used to climb all the time, the little play square where we made up the biggest adventures or the bakery store our grandmothers always took us for cake. This process of forming an attachment to places still exists in our adult lives. By returning to the same meeting places to see our friends, for instance. Or because a certain place allows for an activity that's important to us – the park we visit to stay in shape, the perfect trail to walk the dog, that bench on which we take a moment for ourselves; it's through these experiences that we form deep connections with the places we would otherwise just guilelessly pass by. The power of active engagement Place-attachment also forms when we contribute to an environment in a positive way. Residents who actively work to make their streets greener have indicated to feel more connected to their neighbourhoods, as opposed to their neighbours who are not actively engaged in local sustainability. Research even shows that repeated 'green activities' can affect the way we see ourselves; by describing ourselves as being 'from a green neighbourhood' or having 'green thumbs', sustainability becomes part of our identities. But something even more remarkable is going on here. When we start considering ourselves as being environmentally conscious people, we do not only start taking better care for our own street. We actually start making better choices in general. In other words; it really does all start with that flower pot. Urban nature So if urban nature [...]