Local Heart, Global Soul

April 16, 2011

Making the Most of every single Millimeter…

Space is limited in the Netherlands. The country is (in)famous for having one of the highest populations densities in the world.  This has a knock-on effect that land prices are expensive. Naturally houses are compact, gardens tiny, staircases steep,  shops try and make best use of the small space they have. for some of them it’s an art form.

Last summer, whilst out walking I spied a flower shop on the Weimarstraat that certainly takes the award for the most pavement conveniently commandeered for business promotion  purposes… it’s neat and tidy, and smelled of the perfume of many flowers. Ingenious!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 11, 2010

When lack of space means a multi-tasking building site…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In most big cities, when renovation or construction is necessary, space is always needed for trucks to unload, bulldozers to work, cranes to maneuver, rubble to be removed etc.

If the building site is on a busy street, then there is the added problem of not cutting off traffic routes.

In The Hague, on the Escamplaan, close to Naarderstraat, there is a building site that not only has to contend with keeping the road free, but also the cycle-paths as well.

And  then for added headache there is a tram line running  down the centre of the Escamplaan and a tram halt right by the building site, so a steady stream of pedestrian traffic as well.

So what happens when you are already short of space but still need to place your site office somewhere and the coffee/lunch area for the site workers?

The answer is simple:  you multi-task the space that you have.

Here is a series of photographs to show you just how this is done: on the top of each of these constructions are the site office and (I suppose) the space for the workers to have lunch in, and below, the  cycle path, that pedestrians can temporarily share.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you can read the sign it says ” wielrijders afstappen” which translates rather literally as “wheel riders step down” and  means that mopeds, cyclists and bromfietsers are supposed to walk their vehicles whilst negotiating though this… but did a single one whilst I was taking these photos?   Ha! Not a chance!

It’s ingenuity at it’s best… a compromise and a solution all in one.

The kind of solution that I like a lot…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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