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Hoop, Liefde en Fortuin Block - 2002
Favorite thing: De Hoop (Hope), De Liefde (Love), and Het Fortuin (Fortune) were three sawmills that occupied this stretch of land close to the IJ river for many decades. The mills are gone but their names remain with this new large apartment/condo block at the western end of Borneo Island.
I read that the designer, Rudy Uytenhaak, won the Zuiderkerk Award for this structure: "A beautiful, robust sculpture," said the jury of Amsterdam's Town Housing Department. In the building are 202 apartments and 167 condos: density is the way to go!
Lloyd Hotel - 1920
Favorite thing: This "new" boutique hotel has a fascinating history that is far removed from its present "four star" trendiness!
It was originally constructed specifically to be a transient and temporary housing facility for new emigrants from Eastern Europe - most of whom were just passing through on their way to the Americas. As many as 900 people were expected to be accomodated here, with separate facilities for single men and well, as well as larger units for entire families. If emigrants did not meet the strict health and sanitation requirements, they would be detained here for weeks or months, and eventually might be forced to return to their homes in Europe.
Later, during World War II, the occupying Nazis used the building as a detention and interrogation center. And after the war was over, the new Dutch government transformed the place into a low security detention center!
The present incarnation of the Lloyd has witnessed its transformation to a four star hotel with a trendy location and fashionably historic decor. It's as if the unhappiness of so many people who stayed here is being tempered the laughs and leisures of the new high-flying elite. So it goes!
It's worth entering the Lloyd for a glimpse at the dining room (one of the old eating halls) and the bar (the main waiting room). Some beautiful restoration work was performed throughout the facility - creative re-use, certainly.
- Historical Travel
Amsterdam Passenger Terminal - 2000
Favorite thing: Every year more than 100 cruise ships embark from the Amsterdam Passenger Terminal, located in a "chain" of stunning new glass and steel structures along Oostelijke Handelskade. Designed by the international branch of the American architectural firm of Hellmuth Obata + Kassebaum, or HOK. Apparently, some people say that the Passenger Terminal intentionally resembles a wave, which others say that it's a whale. I report, you decide!
Incidentally, Messrs. Helmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum were all graduates of Washington University in St. Louis, which was also my alma mater. HOK now employs architects all over the world and is one of the largest international architectural firms.
Favorite thing: The NIOD or the Nederlands Instituut voor oorlogs-, holocaust- en genocidestudies Documentatiecentrum (Dutch Institute for war-, holocaust-and genocide studies) is housed in beautiful canal house at the Herengracht 380 build for Jacobus Nienhuys, a tobacco planter in 1890. A fire damaged the adjacent house, that was bought by Jacobus to create a wider house with an entrance for a horse drawn carriage.
From 1909 the house became the head office for the branch of the Deutsche Bank and a local office of the Finance Ministerie.
- Historical Travel
Splendid architecture and scenery
Favorite thing: From Central Station to the Leidsplein area this city is a feast for the eyes. The best way to get around is by public street cars. The red light district is very close to central station. This is a must see anytime of the day. The city is one of the most progressive in europe. Walking around is fun but watch out for the bicycles. The coffee shops are worth a visit. Each has a different feel and many sell marijuana. The small shops are fun to visit and there are many different ethnic restaurants. Pick up the tourist guides at Central station for hotel bargins and restaurant discounts.
Fondest memory: The canal boat tour is a good way to get acquainted with the city. The people were friendly and helpful.
The Amsterdam school of architecture
Favorite thing: The Amsterdam school of architecture is a famous school dating from the 1910s. Its typical features are: the use of brick and lime stone decorations, cubism etc. Especially Berlage made many beautiful buildings an housing projects in this style.
Favorite thing: Amsterdam is attractive with the nice looking of their houses.. The narrow houses located adjacent to the canals are showing a different landscape to the visitors..
A nice corner at the 'Spui',...
Favorite thing: A nice corner at the 'Spui', just before entering the 'Luxembourg' for lunch.Well, the Grolsch sign made me take this photograph off course ;-)
The residential areas around...
Favorite thing: The residential areas around Amsterdam were really beautiful, and were some of my favourite spots in Europe residentially, a very SAN FRAN feel to the city.
Just wandering around the city...
Favorite thing: Just wandering around the city and see those amazing sights of canals and bridges and beautiful charming houses along the riversides.
These are Amsterdammertjes....
Favorite thing: These are Amsterdammertjes. Everywhere in Amsterdam you come across this kind of small piles.
Aisha's General Tip
Fondest memory: Amsterdam canal houses are lovely. One of the most particular things is that they don't use tents, so you can see people inside watching TV, reading, and so on… It's really strange and charateristic!
Favorite thing: Some buildings in Amsterdam...Oude Turfmarkt...
I noticed that some (most?) of the buildings in Amsterdam on the canals were leaning...this one was very obvious...
Favorite thing: The Jordaan was very nice to walk there with a very good guiding man. There are so many quiet places there ...
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