Tag Archives: Monument

De Nieuwe Liefde Amsterdam


De Nieuwe Liefde

De Nieuwe Liefde (‘The New Love’) is a theatre and spiritual centre in Amsterdam. It is housed in a monumental white building originally constructed in 1904 as storage space for a local wine company.  After falling into disrepair, and after the last tenants leaving the property in 2007, the building, before called De Liefde, was completely rebuilt by Wiel Arets Architects and renamed De Nieuwe Liefde. The new building houses a main hall with seating for 230, a conference room with space for 60, a choir space for 50, a library, a separate restaurant-café and a grand foyer.

De Nieuwe Liefde

With the renovation they made sure to maintain and utilise some of the original Neo-Renaissance and Art Nouveau features such as the staircase and extensive stained glass windows throughout. In order to allow natural light to pour in, an expansive skylight was created above the central foyer.

Dutch apartment building for sale for 1 Euro.


An earlier Homevoyeurs.com post dealt with the question whether or not a council estate could be considered a monument. Park Hill in Sheffield got a grade II listing placing it in the top 7% of most important UK buildings. In the article Homevoyeurs compared Park Hill with the Amsterdam neighbourhood Bijlmermeer. Coincidence has it, Amsterdam housing association Rochdale is trying to sell off an entire apartment building in the Bijlmermeer. The entire building, with hundreds of apartments, is for sale for the symbolic figure of 1 euro. The 11 story structure is almost certainly going to be torn down as renovation costs are too expensive. It’s monstrous appearance however,  is testament to its birth period and some people think it should be preserved and get monumental status.

Kleiburg

Judge for yourself. But bear in mind that some of the world’s most famous buildings were once erected despite many protests. The Eiffel Tower being one. Up to far after its completion, and far after it proved its touristic success, people wanted to have it torn down. Not saying Bijlmermeer is like Paris, but let’s try to consider its historical value. Isn’t it worth preserving just for that? To illustrate a page in Dutch building history?

Can a council flat or estate be considered for monumental or grade II status?


In the midst of watching a documentary on the BBC about the Park Hill council estate in Sheffield. This 1950 and 1960’s monstrosity (according to most) is a massive social housing estate that got listed Grade II in 1998. This means it is considered of high architectural importance. Yet, protest groups have started campaigns to convince the council to demolish the site and replace it with new social housing. To be fair, it is not the prettiest building..

Sheffields Park Hill

Sheffield's Park Hill

This made me wonder what makes a building special or important enough to list it as a monument? Is it only aesthetics? or does historical value and impact weigh in equally? My own house for instance is listed as a council monument but, albeit a charming facade, not more special than any other late 19th Century house in Amsterdam. My guess is that a building should be noteworthy for it’s historical and social value too.

English Heritage explains: “The Park Hill Estate is exceptional. As a grade II listed building, it is in the top 7% of the most important buildings in the country, making it as architecturally and historically significant as the Royal Academy of Art or the Harrods building in London.

Its architectural importance was recognised by listing in 1997, when it became one of only nine listed post-war public housing schemes in England. It has iconic status as a landmark for Sheffield, has unusually high design quality and shows Britain’s leading international role in housing design. When it was built (between 1957 and 1961) it was groundbreaking in its concern to recreate the social mix of a traditional streets by using external access decks, or “streets in the sky”. Architects Ivor Smith and Jack Lynn had designed the most ambitious inner-city housing project of its day, and Britain’s first scheme of post-war slum clearance.”

I wonder if the Amsterdam 1970’s project ‘Bijlmermeer’ will be considered once too. I would not want to live there, but I have always had a fascination for it’s gigantic scope and beehive patterned plans. In fact, it is very similar to Park Hill…

Bijlmermeer Amsterdam

Bijlmermeer Amsterdam

Park Hill Sheffield

Park Hill Sheffield

Balcony


Hurrah! Today I spoke with the bureau of monuments and archeology about possibly allowing us a balcony. Turns out the guy in charge has actually advised the committee to grant us permission to create a small balcony in the middle part of the back exterior wall. It’s too early to cheer, the committee gets the final vote, but we might be able to sit outside this summer!

I can’t wait to go out and buy plants and pots and flowers!

 

My house is not yellow, but it will feel like this!

My house is not yellow, but it will feel like this!

 
He advised that we will likely be asked to swap the door opening with the current window. This means we have to turn the existing door into a window with a low windowsill again.  As you can see on the photograph below, depicting our back wall, that means we will end up with opening doors in the middle of the house instead of tucked away in the corner.

taken with crappy camera phone

taken with crappy camera phone

I actually prefer that as we can then maybe put another little sofa of reading chair in the corner in front of the window for winter days when the sun is out.

Also, we will put a so called barre-de-fou (crazy folks barrier) in front of the window so we can put plants there too! Like the picture below.

obviously not in white plastic plant boxes

obviously not in white plastic plant boxes

I know, I know, I should really wait for the final OK to come through, and even then we still have to file for permission etc etc.. but the fun of planning and dreaming up the perfect balcony is jut too great to waste!

Please share pictures of your balconies for inspiration!