While reading the first section of False Flat: Why Dutch Design is So Good by Aaron Betsky with Adam Eeuwens I kept in mind my reading of chapter 4 from Delta Urbanism: The Netherlands by Han Meyer. Amsterdam has a very long history tied to its cultural identity, architecture, and city planning.
The integration of old and new is something that is very special to Dutch design, as made evident by Betsky and Eeuwens. As I learned from Delta Urbanism: The Netherlands, the urbanization of the Dutch delta modernized cities such as Amsterdam and created new urban spaces for Dutch citizens to flourish. The limitations presented by the physical landscape of the Netherlands forced the men who designed these cities to be creative in ways never before seen. False Flat provide us with wonderful examples of how the combination of the old and the new create a wonderful infrastructure.
The first image I have chosen is not from False Flat but I believe that it does a very good job of showcasing not only the verticality of the city of Amsterdam but also just how integrated the old canals are into the now modern city. The city was forced to expand upwards because of the limited space available and has forced architect to truly value space and always consider functionality.
Another image that caught my attention in False Flat was one of the Nescio Bridge. To me, the bridge is a symbol of the modernism that has infiltrated the city, a reminder that water travel is no longer the primary importance of the city, roadways have brought new life into the Netherlands.
Aaron Betsky says in False Flat, “It is not a beautiful sight, but it works.”, but I would disagree; I think that there is something truly beautiful in the sight of Dutch design (16).
Aaron Betsky with Adam Eeuwens, False Flat: Why Dutch Design is So Good (New York: Phaidon, 2004)
“Amsterdam bird’s eye view,” wallhaven. Web 30 May 2017. <https://alpha.wallhaven.cc/wallpaper/247259>.