Cruising the city of architecture
If you’re a fan of architecture, make sure to visit Holland every last weekend of June. During this weekend, The Royal Institute of Dutch Architects organizes the Day of Architecture. Hundreds of buildings are open to the public. You can also enjoy many activities that show you what architecture is all about.
If you like modern architecture, Rotterdam city is the place to be! There are so many interesting buildings and sites to visit! The organisation AIR is responsable for the Rotterdam edition of Day of Architecture, together with other local initiatives. I recommend you to participate with one of the tours taking you along Rotterdam’s architectural gems. This is your chance to meet architects in person and ask them questions about their (massive) constructions. The fun part is that you can get behind the scenes and even go underground!
On tour with Parfum de Boem Boem
On June 20th I participated with one of the tours organised by Parfum de Boem Boem on The Day of Architecture. Our guide Nina – studying architecture in Delft – took us to different parts of the city where we would see some of Rotterdam’s fine architectural gems (to be).
The new towers Boston and Seatle @ Kop van Zuid
We first visited the building excavation where soon the new towers Boston and Seattle will arise at Kop van Zuid area. One of the architects explained us about ´the making of´ the buildings and the new restaurants and facilities the buildings will offer. He soon handed us our safety helmets to get down under for a sneak preview.
We were surprised by a great performance of jazz singer Ntjam Rosie on the site. The lady is from Rotterdam with Cameroon roots. She blew us away with three beautiful songs while we were standing amidst the building materials. It was a very surrealistic!
Pit stop at Art Deco swimming pool
After this interesting tour, we jumped on our bikes and we headed towards the city center, up to the area of Kralingen-Crooswijk. We went to see a renovated swimming pool – Oostelijk Zwembad – which dates back to the year 1932. The pool was designed by architect Foeke Kuipers (quite famous in Holland). The building was partly destroyed during the bombing in the Second World War. However, the original interior of the pool in Art Deco style has been preserved which makes this a very interesting building and pool to go to.
Former bank at Westblaak
Our final stop was a quick one due to time limit. We headed to Westblaak area to visit a former bank. We were allowed to enter the underground bank safe. This area was covered with white marble which gave it a sophisticated look. The doors of the bank saves were quite thick. It felt just like being in a movie, I had never entered a bank safe before. Too bad the saves are not in use any more.
I was also quite intrigued by the entrance of the bank. It had a very nice golden revolving door which gave it that early 20th century look.
Check out more information about Day of Architecture: http://dagvandearchitectuur-rotterdam.nl/
About Parfum de Boem Boem
Rotterdam is a very exciting city to explore, especially when it comes to modern architecture. You could rent yourself a bike and cruise through the different quarters or just have a nice walk in the area of Leuvehaven and Kop van Zuid. But why not booking yourself a nice tour with Parfum de Boem Boem? They offer great guided tours on bicycles through Rotterdam’s most iconic buildings and also the hidden gems. The tours are often combined with a nice activity, such as music performances on location, a food tasting, a massage and other surprising experiences.
You can make reservations on their website: www.parfumdeboemboem.nl
Costs: € 6, including a Rotterdam ‘ByCyclefiets’
The tours are organized in the summer period and take place mostly during the day. However, there’s a night tour edition too! ‘Cause Rotterdam is pretty gorgeous at night too!
View more photos of the tour on my Flickr gallery.