Dazzling art-filled passageway immerses visitors in everything that makes Amsterdam special

March 2, 2017 by  
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The city of Amsterdam just added another attraction to its long list of must-sees. Artists Arno Coenen, Iris Roskam and Hans van Bentem converted an arched passageway into Amsterdam Oersoep, an immersive art project decorated with seemingly innumerable references to the city of Amsterdam, its history, and its future. Glass mosaic, traditional Italian terrazzo, gilded mirrors, and recycled bicycle chandeliers are just a few of the beautiful elements that make up the intricate and enchanting artwork. Commissioned by Bouwinvest , Amsterdam Oersoep was created as part of a redevelopment project called Nowadays that encompasses the passageway and the buildings attached to it on Nieuwendijk and Damrak. Amsterdam Oersoepâ??Oersoep is Dutch for â??primordial soupâ??â??was created in Beurspassage , a passageway between Damrak avenue and the street of Nieuwendijk popularly used among Amsterdam residents and tourists. The renewed Beurspassage was created as a major tourist attraction, beautification project, and to include the worldâ??s longest coffee bar in the world: Liquid Mokum. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf89uLLvO5A Related: Nature-filled office takes over a former factory building in Amsterdam-Noord The Amsterdam Oersoep pays homage to the cityâ??s canals with its color scheme and wavy images that give the effect of walking through an underwater tunnel. The ceiling is covered in 450 square meters of glass mosaic embedded with iconic symbols of Amsterdam, from fish and air bubbles that allude to the canals to bicycle gears and a floating Vincent van Gogh ear. The sides of the passageway are lined with bluish-green tiles as well as large gilded and engraved Art Deco-styled mirrors. Handmade stained glass lamps, crafted in thirteen different shapes, hang from the sides. The traditional Italian terrazzo flooring is decorated with icons symbolic of the cityâ??s rich heritage of art and trade. Seven golden chandeliers hung from above are made from recycled bicycle parts like gears, headlamps, and handlebars. Every detail in the Amsterdam Oersoep hints to the stories of Amsterdam, creating a richly layered and beautiful artwork that fully immerses whomever walks through the passage. + Beurspassage Images by Kees Hummel

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Dazzling art-filled passageway immerses visitors in everything that makes Amsterdam special

The Netherlands’ highest wooden apartment building can change its function like a chameleon

January 30, 2017 by  
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The tenants of Patch22, the highest wooden apartment building in the Netherlands, can design and create their own floor plans thanks to the project’s impressive level of flexibility. Architecture firm FRANTZEN et al architecten designed Patch22 with multifunctionality in mind– the team anticipated different future uses so that the building can accommodate housing units or office spaces, depending on circumstances. The building, located in Amsterdam, features a 98-feet high wooden load-bearing structure with wooden columns , beams and walls left exposed in the interior. It meets all the fire regulations and allows occupants to easily reach and reinstall their own installations and pipes depending on the chosen layout. Thanks to a high level of flexibility, Patch22 can be easily transformed from a residential project into an office building. The building generates its own energy thanks to solar panels  installed on its roof. A carbon-neutral heating system uses pellets as fuel to keep the entire building warm. Related: PLP Architecture unveils the design for London’s first timber tower Patch22 is the brainchild of FRANTZEN et al architects and H20 installation consultancy who jointly established Lemniskade Projects to realize the project which won the Sustainability Tender Amsterdam Buiksloterham in 2009. The team has recently acquired a neighboring plot to develop a new project named Top-Up, which will also include an extensive use of wood . While waiting for the new project to break ground next summer, the designers of Patch22 are receiving recognition from the professional community. Patch22 was awarded both the WAN 2016 Residential Award and Green Award. + FRANTZEN et al architecten Via v2com Photos by Luuk Kramer

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The Netherlands’ highest wooden apartment building can change its function like a chameleon

Old potato barns come back to life as a pair of modern and stylish homes

December 29, 2016 by  
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An old potato barn doesn’t sound like an appealing place to live, but Eindhoven-based Houben & Van Mierlo Architecten managed to work their magic and transform those spaces into modern and stylish abodes for two families. Located in the rapidly developing Amsterdam Noord neighborhood, the pair of neighboring buildings were gutted and transformed with contemporary materials and furnishings; however, the architects preserved much of the open-plan layout and the industrial character. Although the two transformed potato barns sit side by side, they were built during different times. One barn was built using hybrid construction techniques in the Second World War, while the second barn was constructed in the 1960s using steel construction, wooden floors, and a concrete stone facade. Despite their differences, both homes were gutted, extensions removed, and revamped into airy loft-style living spaces that celebrate the original barn constructions , from the raw steel structures to existing timber boards. Related: Former factory site in rural Amsterdam to be reborn as a modern neighborhood In addition to housing for two families, the renovated barns also include a new in-house photo studio for the famous photography duo Scheltens & Abbenes who helped realize the modern finish of their house and studio interior. “In the arrangement of these spaces, the original constructions of the barns have remained visible,” write the architects. “Together with the new plastered cement screed floor, they define the basic character of these interiors. Furthermore, the finish is simple yet stylishly designed and realized, whereby the characteristics of a robust industrial past go hand in hand with a modernist interior of art and design fittings.” + Houben & Van Mierlo Architecten Via ArchDaily Images via Houben & Van Mierlo Architecten

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Old potato barns come back to life as a pair of modern and stylish homes

Former factory site in rural Amsterdam to be reborn as a modern neighborhood

November 28, 2016 by  
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Located between two dikes and a centuries-old street with traditional Dutch houses, Klein Kadoelen will overlook beautiful views of the nearly 600-year-old Wilmkebreekpolder, a reclaimed meadow/polder in the middle of the district. The residential development will consist of 48 dwellings arranged in a layout informed by the existing topography for an organic feel. The houses are densely clustered together separated by small brick-lined streets and alleys that can lead to unexpected expanses of landscape. A public square will be located at the heart of the development and abundant landscaping knits the neighborhood together. Related: Daan Roosegaarde uses light art to breathe new life into an iconic Dutch dike Inspired by the surroundings neighborhoods, the Klein Kadoelen houses will feature gabled roofs , timber construction, and a natural color palette of whites, grays, blues, and greens to match the landscape. A variety of housing types will give the new neighborhood visual interest and character. “[It’s] a beautiful location, hidden in the neighborhood, between the large urban developments on the IJ and the unique ‘Waterland’ nature reserve north of Amsterdam,” write DELVA Landscape Architects. “The core of this plan is to blend the neighborhood in to a natural, sustainable way in the existing urban and rural context.” The project’s first phase is expected to be complete in early 2018. + DELVA Landscape Architects/Urbanism + Houben/Van Mierlo Images via DELVA Landscape Architects/Urbanism

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Former factory site in rural Amsterdam to be reborn as a modern neighborhood

Urban farming, food markets and parks replace banks and parking lots in this masterplan for Amsterdam

November 16, 2016 by  
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The project offers a solution to some of the issues plaguing the city center which is crowded with tourists, suffers from dense traffic and high rents. The innovative plan connects the northern district to the rest of the city and creates a circular path through the city, thus restoring Amsterdam’s historic connection to the water and opening up the waterfront . Related: This window transforms into a balcony right before your eyes A natural park would be introduced to areas along the road and canals, while a new food market would occupy the place of the current parking lot. Urban farming spaces would be housed in a former bank building, and various sports facilities would line the new ring and the waterfront. This ambitious plan envisions a future where the city would have air ships, interactive features, holograms, silent floating cars and delivery drones. + HofmanDujardin

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Urban farming, food markets and parks replace banks and parking lots in this masterplan for Amsterdam

This wooden loft house has a seamless layout that continuously flows from floor to floor

November 14, 2016 by  
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The house occupies a corner lot in a neighborhood in Amsterdam. The central design element of the house is the main staircase that forms a light-filled atrium . Each of the split floors allow the owners to have visual connections between different spaces. This fluid arrangement creates smooth transitions between rooms. The owners requested an unusual layout, with the main living spaces on the upper floor, with the sleeping quarters are housed on the lower level. Related: Eco-Luxe Wooden Floating Home in Amsterdam The main living area with a dining room and kitchen are located on the upper floor in order to provide residents with expansive views of the harbor and its rugged, industrial architecture  while enjoying their communal living spaces. To help ease the transition between floor levels, each transition features a split-level type of landing, so the space seems to flow seamlessly from top to bottom. + Marc Koehler Architects Photos by Filip Dujardin

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This wooden loft house has a seamless layout that continuously flows from floor to floor

These maintenance-free, self-watering plants use biomimicry to flourish indoors

September 27, 2016 by  
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The Pikaplant Jar is the perfect accessory for the black-thumbed gardener, as it never needs watering. The high humidity atmosphere is contained inside the sealed jar, creating a sustainable recycling of air and water. The coffea arabica plant featured in the design is indigenous to Ethiopia’s western highlands, yet the company claims one of the original prototypes in its Amsterdam office for over 12 months. Related: Gorgeous self-watering green walls add life and fresh air to any room Also in the Pikaplant family is the Tableau tray, a successfully funded Kickstarter project. A steel base holds three ceramic pots and a water reservoir, creating an open-air and self-watering masterpiece. Pikaplant One is the company’s stunning vertical garden , equipped with a passive irrigation system. The three shelf-high installation uses biomimicry , borrowing from the wet-dry cycle of ground water and trusting the plants to know how much water they need and when. Pikaplant Jars were located at designjunction at the London Design Festival 2016 this year, in its new King’s Cross location, along with Blackbody’s fierce FIRE RING chandelier . +Pikaplant +London Design Festival Images via Inhabitat, Pikaplant

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These maintenance-free, self-watering plants use biomimicry to flourish indoors

Autonomous roboats to sail the canals of Amsterdam

September 22, 2016 by  
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The idea of self-driving cars cruising our roads may not be a new idea, but a plan to release autonomous boats into the canals of Amsterdam would be the first of its kind. The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) is collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the first research program into the new technology. Called “roboats,” the autonomous ships would be designed to transport goods and people, as well as forming temporary, floating infrastructure. As the roboats cruise through the canals, the project will gather data on how urban waterways can be used to improve the city’s function and the quality of life of residents. They’ll be equipped with sensors that allow the boats to detect pollution and disease in the water, and could eventually be used to protect the environment. They could also be used to retrieve waste thrown in the water. In Amsterdam, that’s no small problem: 12,000 discarded bicycles end up in the canals every year. Related: Airbus to build flying autonomous taxis that soar over traffic Amsterdam in particular was chosen for the project due to the large amount of the city covered by water. Nearly a quarter of the city is taken up by its waterways, which were originally designed as part of the city’s functional infrastructure. The first prototypes of the boats will be released in 2017, with the research project lasting for the next five years. + AMS Institute Via New Atlas

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Autonomous roboats to sail the canals of Amsterdam

Floating observatory on the Dutch flat sands changes shape with the tides

August 15, 2016 by  
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Drie Streken is located at the centre of ‘Zeven Stricken’ (seven illuminated points of the compass), on the island of Terschelling, and was built as part of this year’s 10-day Oerol Festival. It can be approached via a long boardwalk that leads to a main circular pavilion that serves as a meeting location illuminated by the solar system’s central star. Its shape, formed by vertical wooden poles, opens and closes according to the tides to reveal the changing environment. Related: Cosmically-cool Urban Campsite colonizes a deserted beach in Amsterdam The structure’s almost imperceptible movement directs the visitor’s gaze. A few mirrors, or Heliostats , were located within up to 2 km of the structure, warming up and illuminating the meeting location. The artist said the observatory is designed to”travel along the wadden over the next four years. At each location, a connection will be sought between the sand flats, the sun, and the horizon with the illuminated points of the compass and the tide.” + Marc van Vliet Via Ignant Photos by Marc van Vliet

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Floating observatory on the Dutch flat sands changes shape with the tides

Mercedes-Benz just unveiled the self-driving bus of the future

July 19, 2016 by  
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Mercedes-Benz just gave us a glimpse of the future of urban transportation with its new self-driving bus. The semi-autonomous Future Bus is a much safer bus that is also more efficient and more comfortable than today’s conventional buses. Thanks to several cameras and radar systems, the semi-automated city bus relieves the driver’s workload, while its predictive driving style saves wear and tear while lowering fuel consumption and emissions. The Mercedes-Benz Future Bus utilizes autonomous CityPilot technology that was originally introduced in the self-driving Actros truck that the automaker presented two years ago. Mercedes-Benz says that the technology has been further developed for the Future Bus with several functions. Thanks to a dozen cameras combined with long and short-range radar systems, the CityPilot technology is able to recognize traffic lights, communicate with them and safely negotiate junctions controlled by them. It can also detect obstacles, like pedestrians, on the road and automatically stop on its own. The Future Bus also approaches bus stops automatically, where it opens and closes its doors. Related: Mercedes-Benz’ self-driving hydrogen Tokyo Vision car is a lounge on wheels To demonstrate the technology Mercedes-Benz has established a 12-mile track where the Future Bus is able to drive on its own with a number of tight bends, tunnels, numerous bus stops and some high speed sections. The Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot will be making its first public journey on part of Europe’s longest BRT route (BRT = Bus Rapid Transit) in the Netherlands. The route links Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport with the town of Haarlem. + Mercedes-Benz All images @ Mercedes-Benz

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Mercedes-Benz just unveiled the self-driving bus of the future

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