Jan '07 - Jun '07
Our trip to Madrid in February with the Thom Mayne Research Studio concluded with each of us dispersing to major European cities to collect photos of what they described as urban conditions. Given the examples Thom gave, these were instances where multiple systems of the city interacted and were forced to negotiate an impending intersection. The book and website Made In Tokyo were given as a model. Unfortunately the old European capitals they chose for us provided less dramatic hybrids and collisions then you might find in an Asian city.
My first destination after Madrid was Amsterdam. By far, it was one of the most picturesque cities I've ever been to. There's not a lot of greenscape in the city but the canals provide a layer of open space that creates views, and energizes the boulevards. I was hoping to see some of the work of Aldo Van Eyck while there. I failed to make the trek out to the famous orphanage because I had heard its being converted in to an office building and the hundreds of playgrounds he designed for the city have for the most part disappeared. Anyway, I spent my three days around the old part, seeing the canals and the woven streetscape of bicycles, pedestrians, automobiles, and lightrail. Here's a few of my photos:
As expected, the studio came back with alot of tight alleyway shots.
A parking garage for bicycles, only in Holland.
This is the floating flower market. They use to actually bring the flowers in this way, now its all by truck.
For some reason there were alot of chairs in the windows in this district.
Europeans get so much more intimate with their public transit systems, its amazing no one is run over.
I think the only shot that got Thom's attentiont- this is an uplifted park edge condition that provides garage entry and retail space below. I like how the sidewalk continues up the edge and people were actually sitting up there.
A street fixture you don't see here- an open air public urinal.