Local Heart, Global Soul

February 16, 2019

For Drawing Cobbles And Tiles…

Ok, a weird “Arty” post just for myself.  It’s all very well wanting to draw an object if you are in the drawing mood, but what do you do with the background? How do you fill in details of the ground, of cobbles and bricked pavements? Ditto for things like roof lines, how do you draw the tiles that cover them if you can not see them up close and understand how they fit together? the light and shade? texture? colour? and everything else you need to literally fill in the gaps? For me the answer is to make a post that delights me and probably has you all scratching your heads. This is a handy place for my “reference files.” If you are arty it might be something you do too? Don’t worry: “normal service” will be resumed tomorrow.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 14, 2019

Finding An Art Deco Design…

Zierikzee has building of all ages, here’s one in the Art Deco style…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 6, 2012

One Building Has Worn Multiple Hats, Another, the Result of a Dying Wish…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Situated near the Stadthuys entrance of the square stands a clock tower painted in a matching shade of pink/red as the Youth Museum & Art Gallery, Church and Stadthuys… our guide tells us it was built by a son over a century ago to fulfill his father’s last request. I did some research on the internet because I had totally forgotten the names our guide gave us at the time and discovered the following information: (website link at the bottom of this post if you are interested in reading more)

More commonly known as Red Clock Tower, the Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower stands tall at the center of the Dutch Square. While it was named after Chinese billionaire Tan Beng Swee, it was actually his son, Tan Jiak Kim, who had this built in 1886 to fulfill his father’s promise.

Tan Beng Swee was a rich Chinese man who lived in Malacca and was known for his philanthropy. He donated the land where the city’s Chinese cemetery now lies and the bridge just beside the tower.

For almost a century, the clock installed on top of the tower was from England. In 1982, however, it was replaced by a Seiko clock, which was not received well by the older residents of the city and caused an outrage because many of them still remember the suffering they experienced when Japan occupied the city decades ago.”

When I first photographed the clock tower  from the bridge I was under the impression that it supports a radio mast… luckily this isn’t this case, the mast being a far larger construction situated behind the Stadthuys, and my position on the bridge just producing an unfortunate angle.

Once I walked a bit further it was clear that the two were separate and that the clock tower was rather a sweet little building. In case you are wondering if  it’s Melaka’s version of Pisa, it’s me on a lean, not the tower. I was juggling crutches, camera and a water bottle and the further I walked the more I ended up leaning on at one of the crutches when I stopped since it was rather tiring keeping up. Nevermind, you get the idea of the surroundings at least.

I’m not quite sure if requesting my kids to build a clock tower would be an item that features anywhere on a list of my dying wishes… but hey, each to his own, and Dutch Square is certainly a prettier place for it, so maybe Tan Beng Swee was onto something.

There’s another former administrative building on Dutch Square too, it stands on the opposite side of the Christ Church to the Stadthuys and was built in 1784. In 1826 it became the Malacca Free School and then roughly one hundred years later a second story was added to it and it took on a new function as a post office, before finally becoming the  Malaysia Youth Museum & Art Gallery.

The  Youth Museum is located on the ground floor and the Art Gallery is housed on the upper floor and displays artworks from both local Melakan artists and from artists from around Malaysia.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://www.thepoortraveler.net/2012/05/tan-beng-swee-clock-tower-queen-victoria-fountain-dutch-square-malacca-malaysia/

April 7, 2012

Bollard Beauties…

Filed under: ART,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Continuing with an Arty theme, Napier’s wide city centre shopping streets do include limited car access, so bollards have been placed in strategic places to keep assess to where it should be and to avoid run-in’s with pedestrians. On top of these tall, dark green bollards, little Art Deco style motifs have also been placed… again,  like the Deco seating decorations of yesterday’s post these have been designed and submitted by the local community.

Some of them look alike at first glance, but don’t be fooled, they are all unique.

I love the idea that little splashes of colour can be added to an urban landscape to make life more beautiful, uplifting and  interesting… and the fact that these fit in so beautifully with Napier’s Art Deco style… bonus!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 6, 2012

Even Something Deco Going On Underfoot…

Filed under: ART,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Being the patterns / manhole cover etc geek that I am  https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/new-287/   I also delight in seeing that the manhole covers here are also in the Art Deco Style, as are the drain covers and grates…   is it only me? …don’t you find this cool?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And further along on the pavement itself, there is also a large star-burst style  metal emblem inlaid into the ground… the detail fanatic in me loves this!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 5, 2012

Needing a Breather… Let’s Take a Seat…

Filed under: ART,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One of the things that people said they really wanted in Napier after the 1931 earthquake were wide streets.

This was duly incorporated into the rebuild of the city and  gives a lovely relaxed feel to the shopping area.

There is also plenty of room for public seating,  something achieved here by placing simple large , white geometric  Deco inspired  forms  down the length of the shopping area.

On the top of these seats there are all sorts of Art Deco styled motifs in various tile designs.

Some of these are different,  with a more abstract, Pacific and Maori inspired designs within their patterns. These  ones were in  silver and gold colours.

I didn’t get photographs of them all because naturally enough sometimes people were busy sitting on these seats and well, it’s strange enough to be the kind of  foodie photographer who takes photos of their food in a restaurant or cafe before eating … but I draw the line at photographing people’s derrières whilst they sit in public places!

There is one photo that kind of looks like it might have been someone sitting there, rest assured it’s not,  it’s a coat that some people in a group next to the seat had put down on it whilst they had a chat close by. I think that they quite rightly figured that the camera lady on crutches wasn’t exactly going to grab it and sprint off it with it!

What was extra nice for me too was that I used these seats as  convenient resting places whilst making my way back to where Himself and a kids were, but  in the end they met me half way so these are the photos I managed to get during the smaller amount of walking that I did do.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 4, 2012

Let the Zoom Lens do the Talking…

Filed under: ART,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Today I’ve returned to my posts about Napier in New Zealand and the beautiful Art Deco buildings that make this the worlds most complete Art Deco City. Regular readers of this blog will know that I adore architectural detail, usually the older the better, but in the case the beautiful clean lines of Deco have has much allure as my usual more classical favourites.

Enough words though, this is a post where my Zoom lens should do the talking…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hand beaten panels on the underside of the veranda in the previous photograph…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

next two photos, details of same building…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 2, 2012

Munster Chambers, Deco Through and Through…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our tour guide takes us into a beautiful little building called Munster Chambers. It dates from 1933 and Art Deco features not only on the exterior but on the interior as well.

We are lead inside and it’s stunning… from the New Zealand hardwood floors (I forget if she said they were Rimu or Kauri) to the panelled skylights, everything fits together amazingly and the simple elegance of the Deco style really suits and makes the most of this small foyer space.

As is often the case with architectre of the time, the details extend down to the smallest elements of the whole, so the guard rails match along the top floor leading to the stairs, knobs, finials, inserts and ironwork match and together are a beautiful example of craftmanship as well as elegant design.

I tried to fins out more information about Munster Chambers but the most I could come up with was that it’s a Grade 2 Listed Building on the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Register, that it was built as office space in 1933 (and still is).

From photos that other have placed on the web, I see that the outside used to be painted a white and very pale blue combination which has clearly been revised these days to better enhance the myriad of tiny details on the front of the building. With colours that provide better contrast, the facade of Munster Chambers really “pops’ these days and is a big improvement on the old colour scheme.

I’m think our guide said that owner was of Irish origon and that that’s why there is a little green clover on the front of the building. It’s clear to see that the owners of this building take great pride in it and well they should… it’s a beauty and deseves to be admired.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 31, 2012

Rebuilding In Style…

Filed under: HISTORY,LIFE,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In 1931 Napier city in New Zealand was faced with a huge rebuilding project after a massive earthquake levelled block after block of the city centre and fires wiped out an entire district.

There was a world-wide economic Depression and  times were tough. but as often happens after natural disasters, people pulled together to make things happen.

The website of the New Zealand Encyclopaedia   http://www.teara.govt.nz/en tells us:

“Napier’s new town centre boasted many improvements, including wider streets and some of New Zealand’s earliest underground power and telephone lines.

The loss of life caused by the collapse of so many buildings shocked the country.

Engineers studied the building damage to identify the most dangerous defects in design and construction.

A Buildings Regulations Committee developed guidelines to ensure the new buildings were safer; their recommendations were the forerunner of building codes now used throughout New Zealand.

Four rival architectural practices joined to share resources and ideas. The buildings of Louis Hay reflected the designs of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Natusch & Sons’ buildings were simple in style, often using arched windows, and Finch & Westerholm produced many Spanish mission style buildings.

Most popular was the art deco style of the time, which emphasised spare, clean lines and geometric motifs.

E. A. Williams designed some of Napier’s most striking art deco buildings.

Their austere modernistic design contrasted sharply with the ornate edifices that had caused so many deaths. “

At the time of the Napier rebuild, the term “Art Deco” had not yet been coined. It was just a style that happened to be in vogue at the time, and it suited Napier because of the contrast with the old building style and helped people move on from their bad memories of what had happened.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As with most fashions, the world-wide preference for this style waned with time but by then Napier was left with brand new Deco style building and no cash left to change with the new fashion so their deco building stayed intact.

In the next decades some of the deco buildings were not always particularly well kept and fell into various states of  disrepair but in 1985  some people realised that with these buildings they had a hidden gem on their doorstep and so a meeting was called for interested parties to make something of the cities heritage.

This came about because of the following event … (I think I have remembered this story correctly from the tour guide, but  stupidly  I didn’t write a note about it at the time so I stand corrected if I’m not quite up with the facts )

Apparently a developer knocked down one of the deco buildings (late 1970’s or early 1980’s) in order to build something in a newer style… something went wrong when he was on the demolition site and the Deco building he was destroying killed him… (justice?)

When another Deco building was earmarked for demolition a short while afterwards a few passionate residents realised that this progression could mean the end of their Art Deco heritage buildings and wanted to take action.

Organisers had low expectations of a response  but hoped at least for a few passionate people who could form a team to raise awareness. To their amazement  1100 people turned up and the transformation of the fortunes of the Deco buildings was born with the formation of the Art Deco Trust.

Once people saw that their buildings were special and could become a tourist attraction for the community, they began to take pride again in their buildings.  Over subsequent decades the Deco Trust has gone from strength to strength and owners regularly compete to see who has the most beautifully  kept and decorated building.

The Deco buildings are now safe from demolition after being nominated in 2007 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and the city boasts the title of being the world’s most consistently Art Deco city.

Let’s go see what looks like…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 7, 2011

The Nouveau Chic is Showing Off on the Corner…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There’s a landmark building in the Hague that many people will know, located at the The Laan Van Meerdervoort and Koningin Emmakade / Waldek Pyrmontkade  intersection.

It’s housed various shops and businesses in recent years but probably most know it as the Albert Hein  “avond”  (evening) shop that used to be open after the local supermarkets shut for the evening until midnight and on Sundays.

In just the last few years however, some of the strict dutch laws regarding shop hours have been relaxed so  now supermarkets are open until ten in the evenings on weekdays and until six in the evenings on both Saturdays and Sundays.

Therefore it’s little surprise that business for this little shop has dried up and that last year, a short time after these photos were taken,  the little “AH” shop in here closed it’s doors.

I couldn’t find out if this building had any official name but it does have some beautiful Art Nouveau tile-work and details in the bricks that never cease to amaze me.

I think that there are apartments (or rooms) rented out on the top floors, and know that the bottom floor is divided up into more than one business space, but what the middle two floors are used for I’m not sure.

I took these photos last summer, and whilst I had stunning weather to photograph it in, because of the size and shape of the building, it was harder to get detailed photos than I thought it would have been. The shots taken of the building as a whole were also difficult since the intersection is a major one for several tram lines, so tram cables are everywhere.

A cherry-picker (boom lift / bucket lift) would have been a photographers dream tool for this kind of  photo but it’s sadly a tool I don’t have in my basic array of photographic equipment so you will have to make do with my best efforts taken from pavement level.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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