The Waag Society, together with designer and software engineer Bert Spaan, have put the Netherlands back on the map – the data map. After several months of coding and design, the partnership has managed to account for all 9,866,539 buildings in the country, visualized in varying colors to identify old and new buildings. After a user clicks on a specific block, additional building and city information displays square footages, addresses, populations and programs, among other stats. Users can navigate from Amsterdam to the Hague experiencing hundreds of years of urban development along the way, from the pre-1800s to post-2005 buildings, indicated by the red to blue gradient.
“Architecture is more than creating a place to live,” stated the late Dutch architect, Piet Blom, “you create a society.” Till his death in 1999, Blom designed homes and urban schemes as if to reject the stern, coldness of post-war Modernism in light of a warmer, more human architecture. His drawings, diagrams and homes portray an affectionate commitment to reconcile elements of culture with the architecture around us. Characterized by his use of lively colors and equally expressive architectural geometries, project’s such as the “Kasbah” and the cube houses in Rotterdam stand as testaments to his belief that architecture serves the people, not the other way around.
A true “People’s Architect,” Blom’s work has endeared a growing number supporters, among these are residents who have lived in his houses and are hoping to garner donations to share these artifacts with the public. Ingeborg van der Aa, secretary of the Piet Blom Foundation, mentions that the initiative’s mission is to promote recognition, new insight and appreciation with the hopes of encouraging a younger generation to be active creators of their society.
Follow us after the break for a rare collection of Blom’s drawings.
Did you know that there are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands? And, up to 70% of all commutes are made by bike in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague. To accommodate such a huge number of bike-enthusiasts, bike parking facilities can be found everywhere – outside schools, office buildings and shops. Not to mention the fact that many Dutch cities even have special bike paths that are completely segregated from motorized traffic with signs that read “Bike Street: Cars are guests.” Read this BBC article to learn why the Dutch are so bike crazy and find out Why Cycle Cities Are the Future here on ArchDaily.