Local Heart, Global Soul

May 30, 2013

Er…I’ve Temporarily Run Out of Funds, So my Building Will Get Finished in 400 Years….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

During my recent trips to Mechelen, one in fine weather and one in foul,  I still tried to investigate as much of the city centre as I could even in the rain.

Opposite the main entrance of the Cathedral (on the side away from the Square) I find several beautiful buildings that caught my eye and later, on the trip in fine weather  in a little side street

I found a stunning wooden door, massive in size and character.

At one end of the Grote Markt square there are a group of buildings, the largest of which of course is the Cathedral, at the other end there is a beautiful building that upon enquiry turns out to be the Stadhuis (City Council / City Hall).

I searched for some more information about this striking Hall of Mechelen and found some interesting information on Wikipedia (in the Dutch language only) so I’ve translated the most interesting bits into English.

“The town hall of Mechelen started out as Old Hall with Belfry and is located on the east side of the Main Market Mechelen and consists of the Palace of the Grand Council, the belfry and the Cloth Hall. Since 1914 the complex has been used as a city hall.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Palace of the Grand Council was built in 1526 by Rombout II Keldermans to accommodate the Great Council of Malines.

Financial problems prevented work progressing past the ground level and the building was left unfinished for nearly 400 years.

Between 1900-1911, led by architects Van Boxmeer and Langrock the building was completed according to the original 16th-century plans and it therefore decorated in neo-Gothic style.

The belfry is on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the other Belfries of Belgium and France.

It’s in the Gothic style from the 14th century but also contains several baroque elements from the 17th century.
The central tower section was never fully completed as planned. A later addition to the building was demolished in 1526 to the north so that there was enough space to construct the Palace of the Grand Council building. The Cloth Hall was built built in the 14th century and was used to trade in textile products. In 1342 it was extensively damaged by during a fire and later drastically remodeled.”

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadhuis_van_Mechelen (Dutch language only)

(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)

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 7, 2012

Bollard Beauties…

Filed under: ART,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

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)

July 21, 2011

Your Challenge Today: Fit a Five-Sided Window into an External Corner…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another photo from my last summer’s wanderings. I think this may have been taken in the Anna Paulownastraat but can’t be quite 100% certain.

One thing I do know is that I adore the idea that someone had the brilliance to squeeze in as many quirky bits and pieces as possible, even the brick arches above the little balconies are different to each other, as are the balcony rails.

The entrance door at the bottom is beautiful in that it’s so fitting for this building. I love the fact that two minuscule street-side balconies have been fitted in, in the first place, a far lesser architect might have just added plain windows to match the other side.

Of course without doubt, the pièce de résistance of this building has to be this turret like window that eases itself out over the ground floor  shop and the street… my opinion? every house should have one!

This window matches the quirky decorative style of the rest of the building and is  to my eye, a marvel of engineering as well.

Now here’s a challenge: You sit down and try and draw a five-sided window (or might it even be six sides?) that blends seamlessly into the corner of a building?  Think you’d have a hope?  Now I can admit to having a probably “better than average” creative streak, but this would have had me eating the paper in despair of getting it all to join up and work out.

One thought does occur to me though: Doesn’t this vaguely remind you of those external lifts with the glass walls that you see going up and down new buildings sometimes?  I suspect some creative idea  theft  “borrowing” may have been going on somehow.

Yes I know, they probably call that “sources that sparked new and imaginative creative output” in the jargon filled meeting room terminology that’s so annoying  these days.

The pleasing view of this amazing building remains… the attention to detail is stunning.

And to that, this detail fanatic can only give her biggest stamp of approval.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 28, 2010

Finding Beauty,or in this case a little beast, right on your doorstep….

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,The Hague — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,
door knob frog

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Right up until the very darkest and coldest days of winter, I have been taking the tram to work and doing a lot of walking in my neighbourhood and surrounding ones as I try and increase my exercise and fitness.

At the moment I’m back to taking the car ( -6 C in the mornings is just too much for my asthma at the moment) but I’m definitely looking forward to warmer days and to continuing my walks.

Dutch houses in the cities  mostly have their front doors leading directly off the footpath, so it’s easy to spot some of the decorative doors, tiles, door-knockers and letterboxes.

Of course if you look at my blog you will see that I like photos, LOTS of photos, so it’s no surpirse that I have been carrying my camera around during my walks…

….just in case I see a photographic gem.

This is how I chanced across this wonderful froggie doorknob, enchanting, tacktile, whimsical and functional all in one !

door knob frog

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Other doorways are works of art in themselves… styles range from Art Deco, to Art Nouveau to everything before and after…

wrought iron door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

art neavou door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These older houses on the Laan van Meerdervoort ( the longest street in The Hague) are about 1/3rd wider than a normal doorway would be… for wide skirts in days gone by? Who knows?

wide door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

wide door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

wide door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

wrought iron door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

wide door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And a few more…

wrought iron door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

art neavou door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The funny thing about this one is that the windows are way above head height…

unusual door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Aggggh… wrought iron… love it!

wrought iron door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

wrought iron door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

wrought iron door

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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