A R C H I T E C T U R A L W O R L D S | The Netherlands, and especially Amsterdam, is known for its typical architecture, both the historic and the contemporary. These two architectural worlds couldn't be more different and clashing, but at the same time very iconic and typical for the region. This contrast of the built, urban environment becomes very apparent when moving from the historic city center, with the many canals and picturesque "Grachten" that Amsterdam is known for, into the harbor area, where large-scale, very monumental and sculptural buildings prevail. One can not really say that the one world is better than the other, they coexists and have their righteous place, to be admired for their own esthetics. I found it quite fascinating.
I loved strolling through the narrow, very cozy streets of the city center, consuming the rather small-town-atmosphere and the very unique urban texture of the mis-matched houses that rarely show any straight lines or right angles. They are almost always tipped, tilted, and lopsided - they seem to be dancing awkwardly but beautifully alongside the water. Being accustomed to the red-brick buildings in northern Germany, I actually really liked the black bricks that can be found very often throughout Amsterdam.
Once passed the central train station, heading towards the harbor, the architectural gestures become bigger, more drastic and very contemporary. Among those buildings is the famous Silodam by equally famous practice MVRDV as well as the EYE Film Institute by (a personal favorite) firm Delugan Meissl from Vienna. I will be putting up a separate post solely dedicated to it quite soon, so look around for it in the next couple of days.
In any case, both of these extremes are astonishing and very Dutch in my opinion. Any one else with me on that? I would love to hear your opinion, especially if you are from the Netherlands, or Amsterdam even.