Tag Archives: Netherlands

Zaryadye Park Proposal by Maxwan architects+urbanists (VIDEO)

Project Details:
Location: Moscow, Russia
Type: Landscaping
Client: Open Joint-Stock Company “Rossiya”
Program: Park, buildings, and underground car parking
Site area: 14.5 ha
Total floor area: 10,000m2 (buildings) & 504 car parking
End of project: 10/2013
Design Team: TPO RESERVE (Vladimir Plotkin, RU) – Latz+Partner landscape architects (Tilman Latz, DE) – MAXWAN architects + urbanists (Hiroki Matsuura, NL)

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A Giant Funhouse Wind Turbine: Your New Apartment?

Rotterdam wants to build a futuristic wind turbine that is part residential space, part educational facility, and part amusement ride.

Only in the Netherlands would someone want to turn a wind turbine into a futuristic tourist attraction. Proposed for Rotterdam, the Windwheel is part amusement ride, part residential space, part green energy source, part educational facility, and 100% spectacle. Here’s the thing: The idea is not as crazy as it sounds.

The Windwheel is a concept from South African architect Duzan Doepel, and it is made up of two reflective, kaleidoscopic wheels that coil around each other in an almost gyroscopic embrace.

One of the wheels would contain 28,000 square meters (about 300,000 square feet) of residential property, including 160 hotel rooms, 72 apartments, a restaurant, a panorama deck, and more.

Meanwhile, the outer section of the Windwheel would be dedicated to educating visitors about the Netherlands’ social, political, and technological relationship with water, both in the past and heading into the future.

The inner center of the Windwheel would be a silent, motionless turbine, which would use technology created by TU Delft and Wageningen University to convert wind energy into electricity with no moving parts.

Why use the space to educate visitors about water management? An eighth of the Netherlands is below sea level, and half of the country barely rises a few feet above sea level. The country has long depended upon an elaborate system of dams, dykes, and pumps to prevent itself from drowning.

With rising sea levels threatening to make the Netherlands a new Atlantis, the Dutch will have to be more proactive in embracing new technologies than ever before just to survive.

The Windwheel is designed to exemplify the sort of technologically savvy thinking that the country will need to practice in years to come. Visitors would take a loop around the Windwheel in special cars, each of which can hold around 30 people.

As they would ascend the Windwheel, the glass of the cabin’s windows would give guests an augmented-reality overlay of the panoramic Rotterdam skyline, while a hologram projected in the cabin would serve as a virtual tour guide.

Of course, none of this is built yet, which is reason enough to be skeptical: concept drawings, sci-fi technology, and far-flung ambition do not a building make. But Lennart Graff of the Dutch Windwheel Group says that the city of Rotterdam is fully on board with the project as a sort of Dutch equivalent of the London Eye.

The biggest challenge, he says, is not finding a site for the Windwheel or funding its construction, but figuring out how to design a building as a platform for future technological improvements.

“We want the Windwheel to be upgradeable, like a Tesla,” he tells me by phone. “Every night, my Tesla downloads a software update, and the next day, it’s a little better than it was before. That’s how the Windwheel should be: never dated, and always heading into the future.”

To try to nail that aspect of the project down, the group is currently working with universities, tech companies, and software groups at home and abroad to try to come up with a spec that would allow the finished Windwheel to serve as a dynamic platform for future technological innovation.

According to Graff, those details should be ironed out in the next few months, and he believes the Windwheel could be an iconic aspect of the Rotterdam city skyline within the next five years.

Even if it never gets built in Rotterdam, the Windwheel may make its way to a city near you. Graff tells me that the Dutch Windwheel Group has fielded requests from San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Macao to build a Windwheel—or something like it—in their respective cities.

Jewish schools in Amsterdam, Belgium closed as precaution

Cheider Jewish school in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Only Orthodox school in Amsterdam, Jewish schools in Antwerp and Brussels temporarily closed after two terrorism suspects were killed in a raid in Verviers, Belgium.

The only Orthodox Jewish school in the Netherlands was closed on Friday as a precautionary measure after an anti-terrorism raid in Belgium left two suspects dead.

There was no concrete threat against the Cheider School in Amsterdam, Dutch national broadcaster NOS said, citing the school’s Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs. School phones went unanswered Friday morning.

2015-01-15T223659Z 1584177156 GM1EB1G0I8J01 RTRMADP 3 BELGIUM-SE

Jewish schools in Antwerp and Brussels are also temporarily closed after two terrorism suspects were killed in a raid in Verviers, Belgium, on Thursday.

Dutch Jewish schools and prominent Jewish monuments – including Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House and Jewish Historical Museum – have had extra security since June, on advice of the country’s national anti-terrorism office.

That followed a terrorism-related shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium, in May that killed four.

Policemen work into a marked out perimeter in Colline street in Verviers, eastern Belgium

The world’s richest economies – China no more

IN THIS week’s print edition we published a chart that looks at the world’s biggest economies over time. We timed it to coincide with the news that China, at least in purchasing-power parity terms, is now the world’s biggest economy. People tend to find this historical stuff rather interesting, so below we have produced a similar chart that shows GDP per capita over the same time frame.

The results are quite different. Europe is much more dominant than it was in the original chart. The Netherlands, which does not feature at all in the original graph, does particularly well. Britain, which during the 1700s and 1800s developed a capital-intensive, trade-boosting navy, was a leader during these two centuries. By the 1950s, tiny but oil-rich states did nicely.

Protesters clash at Dutch ‘Black Pete’ event

Ninety people arrested as rival protesters scuffle at traditional festival for children which critics say is racist.

Police arrested 90 people as protesters for and against the controversial “Black Pete” clashed at a traditional Dutch festival for children which critics say is racist, but that many locals defend as harmless fun in the run-up to Christmas.

The event which started on Saturday in the central city of Gouda re-enacts the arrival of Saint Nicholas, bringing presents for children and helped by his sidekick Black Pete, who is invariably played by a white person with a blackened face.

Klasszikus fehér móka: négernek maszkírozott emberek örülnek maguknak. Fotó: Philip Beckers / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

“Sixty people were arrested for demonstrating in unauthorised areas, and 30 for disturbing the peace,” during the procession attended by thousands and broadcast live on national television, police spokeswoman Yvette Verboon told the AFP news agency.

Traditional and a new style "Cheese Pete, right, take part in the parade for the arrival of Saint Nicholas in Gouda, Netherlands, Saturday, Nov 15

“Arrests were made on both sides,” Verboon said amid an increasingly acrimonious and racially-charged debate in the Netherlands.

State broadcaster NOS showed images of minor scuffles breaking out on the main square, where Saint Nicholas appeared on a balcony, with protesters unfurling a large banner reading “Black Pete Racism”.

“Everyone can talk about Black Pete’s colour but you can’t disturb a children’s party like that,” he told NOS.

Gouda mayor Milo Schoenmaker said the atmosphere had been “vicious”.

“It’s a pity that adults from outside the city felt the need to demonstrate among the children at the end of the procession,” national news agency ANP quoted Schoenmaker as saying.

Public prosecutor spokesman Wouter Bos said all those held for demonstrating in the wrong place were anti-Black Pete protesters and they would be fined $275 each.

Feketepéter-ellenes tüntetők dulakodnak a rendőrökkel a hollandiai Goudában. AFP PHOTO/ ANP /REMKO DE WAAL

‘Racist stereotype’

The debate around Black Pete, called Zwarte Piet in Dutch, has divided the Netherlands.

Many say that Pete – traditionally dressed in a gaudy medieval costume with a blackened face, red lips and an afro wig – is a racist stereotype dating from the colonial era.

Actors dressed as Saint Nicolas, left, and Black Pete greet children in Antwerp, Belgium on Saturday Nov 15

Black Pete’s defenders say he is black from coming down the chimney and refuse to admit there might be anything racist about the historic character.

This year Saint Nicholas and dozens of Petes arrived in Gouda aboard a gift-filled boat from Spain in a national event looked forward to by children.

For the first time, the mayor introduced other coloured Petes, angering many.

They include “Cheese Petes” with yellow faces, “Stroopwafel Petes” with striped, light brown faces resembling the traditional Dutch syrup biscuit of the same name and a white-faced “Clown Pete”.

Nevertheless, protesters attended Saturday’s annual procession wearing T-shirts reading “Black Pete Colonial Symbol” or “Black Pete Doesn’t Fit”.

“Some black kids feel hurt at this time of year,” said a man at the procession who gave his name as Knoledge.

“It’s a real shame that in a civilised country, in 2014, you still have to defend equality,” he told AFP.

Dutch police form a line around a protest against Black Pete, Gouda, The Netherlands, 15 November 2014

“If we were seen as equals, Black Pete would have been changed a long time ago so that this celebration is for all Dutch people,” he said.

At a press conference after the procession, the man playing the role of Saint Nicholas was asked if he had followed the Black Pete debate.

“It will all work itself out,” he said. “Nobody should be worried.”

The world’s richest economies – China no more

IN THIS week’s print edition we published a chart that looks at the world’s biggest economies over time. We timed it to coincide with the news that China, at least in purchasing-power parity terms, is now the world’s biggest economy. People tend to find this historical stuff rather interesting, so below we have produced a similar chart that shows GDP per capita over the same time frame.

The results are quite different. Europe is much more dominant than it was in the original chart. The Netherlands, which does not feature at all in the original graph, does particularly well. Britain, which during the 1700s and 1800s developed a capital-intensive, trade-boosting navy, was a leader during these two centuries. By the 1950s, tiny but oil-rich states did nicely.

Netherlands Biker Gang Preparing to Go Fight ISIS Terrorists!

Outlaw bikers fighting ISIS in Iraq

Outlaw Dutch bikers have joined forces with Kurdish fighters battling ISIS fanatics in Iraq — and authorities in the Netherlands say that’s just fine with them.

Klaas Otto, head of the No Surrender motorcycle club, told Dutch broadcasters that three members from the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Breda recently joined the fight outside Mosul in northern Iraq, Agence France-Presse said.

A photo on a Dutch-Kurdish Twitter account showed one of the men — a heavily tattooed Dutchman named Ron — clad in military garb, holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle and flashing the “victory” sign as he sits with a Kurdish comrade in a fortified bunker.

“Ron from The Netherlands has joined the Kurds to exterminate the rodents of [ISIS],” text with the photo reads.

No Surrender is one of the Netherlands’ biggest motorcycle clubs, with membership rivaling that of the Dutch Hells Angels’ chapter.

And, unlike Dutch citizens who might side with ISIS in the fight, the bikers would face no punishment from the Dutch government — because they are not committing a crime.

“Joining a foreign armed force was previously punishable. Now it’s no longer forbidden,” said Wim de Bruin, a spokesman for the Dutch public prosecutor. “You just can’t join a fight against the Netherlands.”

JOINING A FOREIGN ARMED FORCE WAS PREVIOUSLY PUNISHABLE. NOW IT’S NO LONGER FORBIDDEN.’  – Wim de Bruin, Dutch public prosecutor spokesman

European countries, including the Netherlands, have cracked down on citizens teaming up with the ISIS barbarians, who have captured wide swaths of Iraq and Syria, raping, beheading and otherwise spreading havoc in their path.

Authorities have confiscated the would-be jihadis’ passports before they traveled and threatened to prosecute them for war crimes if they returned.

“The big difference with [ISIS] is that it’s listed as a terrorist group,” de Bruin said. “That means that even preparing to join [ISIS] is punishable.”

Supporters quickly took to Twitter to hail the new grizzled heroes.

“Dutch bikers strapping it with the Kurds has made my day,” posted one Twitter user called modn world from West London.

“Looking forward to the Deadliest Warriors special — Dutch Bikers vs The Islamic State,” added Brown Moses in a reference to the canceled Spike TV show.

But a video on the club’s YouTube page raises questions about just how battle-ready No Surrender may be.

The video shows mostly middle-aged, paunchy men, many of them shirtless, cavorting with topless dancers to the gang’s theme song, “No Surrender Is Here to Stay.”

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