Wednesday, May 19, 2004

the eye of the beholder

in my favourite newspaper, "het parool", a centrefold article last saturday focussed on what it considered to be the 25 "ugliest buildings in amsterdam".
many of the choices: well, yes.
but the nemo? the nemo? it's a bit eccentric, granted, but its green sweep upward from the river is stunning, and unique.
well, then: MY office building? i felt - to be honest - slightly affronted. it may not be architecturally climactic, but it spans the space between rails and river in an unassuming, uncluttered way, and those mirrored surfaces do their very best to echo the skies and the water. on a rainy day, it glistens grey; on a bright one, it glows soft and sunny.
i am, i suppose, begging to differ.
but these are matters of taste, and i'm allowed.


  1. Yes, they had some strange options there. Probably buildings the Amsterdammers are known to moan about. Personally I like the concertgebouw extension. And your ABN/AMRO (Vijzelstraat) building wasn't on the list. They probably also mean some buildings are ugly in their context, not by themselves. And I like Nemo, especially in its context; it wouldn't fit somewhere in a polder. I elected the Nederlandse Bank building, which is ugly and ruins its surroundings. What was your choice?

  2. You're right ... Nemo is just too bizarre to be considered 'ugly' ... I think the office buildings in Bijlmermeer are good condidates.

  3. love 'the blue' in office and sky
    like you said, sometimes the only good thing men can say about some modern buildings is that they mirror their environment

  4. I think there are no ugly builidings. But buildings can be in the wrong place and at the wrong time.
    Even the optimistic concrete blocks of the 50s and 60s have a distinct beauty, but I'm glad they don't block my view...

  5. ~got to filter yourself w/ as much interesting camrea fodder as possible, big city, small country...xlnt shot, well done IMO~

  6. This is a great picture - I really like it!