by Aaron Schwartz
Blog Post for May 30, 2017
In reading the first section of False Flat by Aaron Betsky and Adam Eeuwens, I began to realize that there are frequent mentions of the how the Dutch are great at compromising and coming to agreements. The subtext of many of these comments throughout the book left the impression on me that the authors believe that one of the reasons the Dutch could design with such ingenuity and innovation was in part due to their superb compromising skills with one another.
For example, while referencing debates between traditionalists and modernists, who frequently argue about the style of upcoming projects, the authors mention how the debates “were non-violent and were solved not by one party or the other proclaiming victory but through the integration of features from both schools of design into the final plan”(Betsky and Eeuwens, 38). By listening to the ideas of their counterparts, the authors argue that the Dutch can incorporate the best ideas from both sides of the argument, leaving a city diverse with both modern and traditional style infrastructure.
I believe that there is to a certain merit to this argument, as examples of where modern and classical architecture and ideas are mixed can be found in images throughout the book, and throughout Amsterdam. One image I found was two buildings right next to each other in Haarlemmerbuurt, Amsterdam.(Image found on page 187) One of the buildings is modern with the exterior made of glass.Right next to it is a more classical looking building, made of brick and small windows with shutters. It is the close proximity of these two highly contrasted buildings that I believes lends validity to their argument.
Another image I found not in the book but while looking through unique architecture of Amsterdam was of the Inntel Hotels. This building is in my opinion the perfect example of the blending of classical architecture with new modern approaches. The building is made of what looks like traditionalist Dutch style houses with small windows and shuttered walls. However, the houses are stacked to form a grand structure that I can only define as a modern take on an old construction concept. I think this hotel would be an interesting place to visit, at least from the outside.
Cover and First Image: “Archinect | Connecting Architects Since 1997”. Archinect.com. N. p., 2017. Web. 30 May 2017. (also in book)
2nd Image : “Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam, Zaandam, Nederland”. Flickr. N. p., 2017. Web. 30 May 2017. (not in book)