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Old August 13th, 2011, 02:15 PM   #1
TheReconstructer
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The Groningen Thread

This thread is about the reconstruction of the Grote Markt (Grand Market) in Groningen. This place was bombed by Germans at the end of World War II.
It included many historical buildings which where important for the history of Groningen, like the Scholtenshuis, the Goudwaag (which still exists) and many more buildings.

Volker Wessels wants to let different architects design buildings for the Eastside of the Grote Markt, the rules are from the architect Thomas Muller:

*Most be fitting in the 21st century, modern style.
*Have to be also in historical style.

I think, if you mix this two with eachother, you get an terrible combination.
The building line is going to be just like pre-World War 2: 17 meters to the Grote Markt, so there will be an open hole at the back of the designed houses:

De Nieuwe Markt (the New Market), where the most worst building ever build in the Groninger Innercity will stand:
The Groninger Forum

It will be 45 meters high, so it can be seen from the Grote Markt, next to the Martinitoren, the tower of 100 meters high which is the symbol of Groningen. The Forumbuilding will hide an cinema, library, historical museum of Groningen and more. They're also planning an aerial tramway from the top of the Forum over the Innercity.

The reason I started this thread is:

*Your opinion about the Groningen Forum
*Your opinion about the Eastside of the Grote Markt
*Your ideas for reconstruction of the Eastside.

Pictures of the planned Groninger Forum and Eastside:




Picture of the Eastside of the Grote Markt now:

Picture of pre-World War 2


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Old August 13th, 2011, 02:48 PM   #2
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The Groningen Thread

Grote Markt, Groningen, 1945

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Old August 15th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #3
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there seems to be too much old stuff around the grand market. the forum is a nice intention to give it a little bit more modern look, but that is not enough. it should be at least twice the height so you can make a better statement. a modern tower next to the church will also be cool, so it can compete with the history of the surroundings. groningen needs more highrises then just this standalone churchtower
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Old August 17th, 2011, 08:02 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=segwaert;82906485]there seems to be too much old stuff around the grand market. the forum is a nice intention to give it a little bit more modern look, but that is not enough. it should be at least twice the height so you can make a better statement. a modern tower next to the church will also be cool, so it can compete with the history of the surroundings. groningen needs more highrises then just this standalone churchtower[/QUOTE


Twice as high? Oh nice, just like Rotterdam: seeing the highrises but not the tower of the Sint-Laurenskerk.

You know, I think an semi-reconstruction is the best, a few modern buildings at the Eastside of the Grand Market, comparing with some reconstructions of the original buildings. Don't you think it is just the best if you just do that, and no Forum at an backyard-place.

Many Stadjers are proud that Groningen has it old skyline, with the landmarks: the der-Aakerk and the Martinitoren and Martinikerk.

Did you see what they build in Leeuwarden, Friesland? There they build an enormous tower of 115 meter high, which can be seen from 15 kilometer far away and disturbing the landscape of the northern Netherlands.
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Old October 8th, 2011, 08:36 AM   #5
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Useful post - nice to see the rules being enforced. Hopefully I'm not one of the culprits....
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Old December 8th, 2011, 09:46 PM   #6
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I don't think the current east side of the market isn't that bad. Those are nice examples of reconstruction architecture of the 502 and 60s. Especially the 'Friesland Bank' and 'Hooghoudt' look very expressive. It would be a waste if those buildings are destroyed. Imo it is better when they start with the flat on the north side of the market.

Anyway, i don't see the additional value of that weird shaped building in the courtyard. What is it supposed to represent?
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Old December 9th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #7
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Twice as high? Oh nice, just like Rotterdam: seeing the highrises but not the tower of the Sint-Laurenskerk.
There are countless European cities with church towers as their highest point, but Rotterdam is unique in the way it was reconstructed. Not all places need to restrict themselves to old height references of 18th Century. What does the city stand to gain by having the church as its main visual reference point? Not much IMO.

Quote:
You know, I think an semi-reconstruction is the best, a few modern buildings at the Eastside of the Grand Market, comparing with some reconstructions of the original buildings. Don't you think it is just the best if you just do that, and no Forum at an backyard-place.
They could leave the area as it is, with a giant open-plaza filled with nothing but a few artworks. I don't understand these urge of people feeling open plazas can't stand unused.

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Did you see what they build in Leeuwarden, Friesland? There they build an enormous tower of 115 meter high, which can be seen from 15 kilometer far away and disturbing the landscape of the northern Netherlands.
What an exaggeration. Do you wanted every city north of Zwolle to not have any skyscraper ever? After all, except Limburg the whole country is flat, any high-rise or medium-rise will be spotted from distance. "Disturbing the landscape" is a gross overstatement.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 12:38 AM   #8
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There are countless European cities with church towers as their highest point, but Rotterdam is unique in the way it was reconstructed. Not all places need to restrict themselves to old height references of 18th Century. What does the city stand to gain by having the church as its main visual reference point? Not much IMO.

They could leave the area as it is, with a giant open-plaza filled with nothing but a few artworks. I don't understand these urge of people feeling open plazas can't stand unused.

What an exaggeration. Do you wanted every city north of Zwolle to not have any skyscraper ever? After all, except Limburg the whole country is flat, any high-rise or medium-rise will be spotted from distance. "Disturbing the landscape" is a gross overstatement.
It's my opinion that I LIKE cities the way they are and not have to be changed with such a 'great and impressive' skyscrapers. The can do that in bigger cities or metropoles but not in smaller cities like Leeuwarden en Groningen. I don't like how they loose their silhouet by some architect or other person which want to make the city looks more 'modern'. You may be a person which likes modernist buildings and skyscrapers but I'm a person of old towns around the globe, reconstructing historic buildings and to keep the past preserved for the future generations, to show them how their ancestors lived in the past. But some people want to thwart this and do make their own decision and want to demolish this for their own EGO's.
Quote:
They could leave the area as it is, with a giant open-plaza filled with nothing but a few artworks. I don't understand these urge of people feeling open plazas can't stand unused.
Did I said that the plaza should stand unused? Maybe they can make an small square out of it with some terraces and make an cozy square of it, in the midst of some nice reconstructions and modern buildings.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, this is an thread about how people would've had their plans for the Grote Markt and is suggested for the people who just want to debate it on a POSITIVE way. Maybe the architect should've planted the Forum and the Achmea Tower in Tilburg. Than it should've look better than on the 'flat' countryside, don't you think, my best friend *kuchkuch* from Brabant?
Greetings from Westfriesland, Bosche Bol
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Old December 10th, 2011, 12:40 AM   #9
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Useful post - nice to see the rules being enforced. Hopefully I'm not one of the culprits....
No you aren't *sarcastic*

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Old December 10th, 2011, 12:48 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kiboko View Post
I don't think the current east side of the market isn't that bad. Those are nice examples of reconstruction architecture of the 502 and 60s. Especially the 'Friesland Bank' and 'Hooghoudt' look very expressive. It would be a waste if those buildings are destroyed. Imo it is better when they start with the flat on the north side of the market.

Anyway, i don't see the additional value of that weird shaped building in the courtyard. What is it supposed to represent?
Kiboko The weird shaped building is the Forum, which is going to have a library, information centre and many more functions. It's a nice building, but doesn't fit in the historic area. The Forum is going to be about 45-50 meters high, half the height of the Martinitoren, the landmark of Groningen. When the buildings are demolished and 'reconstructed' 17 meters further, there is an open space in the courtyard which they are going to call the 'Nieuwe Markt'. On this place the Forum is going to stand on.
I think it's the best to reconstruct the Grote Markt, just like in Dresden, with some nice modern additions. That makes it look modern but also like the time stood still

But they indeed can start the best with the north-side of the market, because these jumps in your visual field when you want to look at the Martinitower. Maybe they can make an kind of semi-reconstruction of it, with a modern entrance and gallery, and a reconstructed top, like it seems it has been always their (with some modern additions like the entrance and etalage)


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Old December 10th, 2011, 01:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kiboko View Post
I don't think the current east side of the market isn't that bad. Those are nice examples of reconstruction architecture of the 502 and 60s. Especially the 'Friesland Bank' and 'Hooghoudt' look very expressive. It would be a waste if those buildings are destroyed.
I agree. They should have given it some more time, people will eventually start to like - or at least tolerate - this architectural style. Those are fine and characteristic examples, just like the Demer in Eindhoven.

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Originally Posted by TheReconstructer View Post
You know, I think an semi-reconstruction is the best, a few modern buildings at the Eastside of the Grand Market, comparing with some reconstructions of the original buildings. Don't you think it is just the best if you just do that, and no Forum at an backyard-place.
If they really can't stand the 50's buildings, they could have done something like that indeed. Modern and old combinations can be very nice like for example in:

Vlissingen, NL

Author of the photo: trismagistos, Panoramio

Brno, CZ

Author of the photo: Millenium187, Wikipedia
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Old December 10th, 2011, 01:32 AM   #12
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I'm a person of old towns around the globe, reconstructing historic buildings and to keep the past preserved for the future generations, to show them how their ancestors lived in the past.
In other words, you want to transform the whole Friesland and Groningen and Drenthe in a giant museum and have their inhabitants live like they were medieval characters in a fair tale.

Do you think people should stop having "modern" jobs and go back to farms as well? After all, 4 or 5 generations ago few people worked in modern offices and so. If you go 10 generations (at most), you can even rip off all railways, flood some polders and turn back to the time in which Groningen was Groningen aan den Zee.

Quote:
But some people want to thwart this and do make their own decision and want to demolish this for their own EGO's.
Why do you think people build the Leeuwarden tower, for instance? What make the ego of Frisians of 17th CEntury more worth than mine, yours or that of some starchitect?


Quote:
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, this is an thread about how people would've had their plans for the Grote Markt and is suggested for the people who just want to debate it on a POSITIVE way.
My opinion is: leave the whole area as an open plaza. Put some contemporary art there (sculptures or other installation). Build some very eccentric, but low-rise, building like a museum or something (call Zaha Hadid for that). Voilà, you have a modern area.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 02:10 AM   #13
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In other words, you want to transform the whole Friesland and Groningen and Drenthe in a giant museum and have their inhabitants live like they were medieval characters in a fair tale.

Do you think people should stop having "modern" jobs and go back to farms as well? After all, 4 or 5 generations ago few people worked in modern offices and so. If you go 10 generations (at most), you can even rip off all railways, flood some polders and turn back to the time in which Groningen was Groningen aan den Zee.



Why do you think people build the Leeuwarden tower, for instance? What make the ego of Frisians of 17th CEntury more worth than mine, yours or that of some starchitect?




My opinion is: leave the whole area as an open plaza. Put some contemporary art there (sculptures or other installation). Build some very eccentric, but low-rise, building like a museum or something (call Zaha Hadid for that). Voilà, you have a modern area.
First of all: who says I want to turn Friesland, Drenthe and Groningen into a giant museum? I say that the historic landscape have to be preserved, AND not to turn it to a museum. Maybe YOU want to live an open air museum, but the rest of the people doesn't. That 3 northern provinces are almost the only one in the whole Netherlands which HAS a preserved landscape. I can't say that for the surrounding area of Eindhoven and Tilburg
And by the way, we are proud of our polders You can't say that, brabandertje
Your plan is to turn Groningen in some Cologne-styled city: modern buildings everywhere, some old stuff here and there. And violá there's YOUR perfect city. Good for you, but if the rest will accept it? Thát's the question.

You know, many people signed AGAINST the Forum and that modern rebuilding of the Grote Markt. Even the Stadspartij made a PLAN to RECONSTRUCT partly the Grote Markt (except for the Scholtenshuis)

A city has to be nice and great in architecture, as well in modern as in historical styles. But Groningen lost many of it's historic innercity and the Grote Markt is what many people want to see rebuild. It doesn't have to be the 'Dresden of the North', but at least you can reconstruct the north and east-side of the Grote Markt, so it get it's old look back.
Modern entrances and etalages for the restaurants, stores or hotels around the Grote Markt can be modern while the top-part is a reconstruction of the old building which once stood there. Good idea, or isn't it what YOU liked? Isn't it what YOU wanted to see there? Well, go ahead, slam it on Skyscrapercity, start your own thread about plaza's and how to rui.....I mean to design it.

Oh yeah, and about that new plaza behind the Grote Markt, hopefully it's gonna be a cozy place where you can sit nice and can relax, instead of an modern museum. What do you think people want more? An terrace on a nice plaza where you can relax on with modern and reconstructed buildings, or a museum about art? I think a cozy plaza with the modern and reconstructed buildings But about that museum, that's YOUR opinion, not the one of somebody else

And if you want to turn Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe in a giant museum, go ahead, do it, but if the people would like it. If you would turn Groningen back to Groningen aan Zee, just do it, I won't thwart you. I wanna see you turn Groningen back to a lake. Fire people from their work and let them work on farms. If you want to turn that three provinces into one gaint museum, go ahead. If you like them on that way, go ahead. I won't mind if you rip of the railtracks. But please, do it in Tilburg. Seen on an architectural way, Tilburg is a disaster.


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Old December 10th, 2011, 02:15 AM   #14
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I agree. They should have given it some more time, people will eventually start to like - or at least tolerate - this architectural style. Those are fine and characteristic examples, just like the Demer in Eindhoven.



If they really can't stand the 50's buildings, they could have done something like that indeed. Modern and old combinations can be very nice like for example in:

Vlissingen, NL

Author of the photo: trismagistos, Panoramio
Brno, CZ

Author of the photo: Millenium187, Wikipedia
This is the kind of rebuilding which I meant for the Grote Markt. Historical with a variaton of modernist buildings
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Old December 10th, 2011, 10:14 AM   #15
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First of all: who says I want to turn Friesland, Drenthe and Groningen into a giant museum? I say that the historic landscape have to be preserved, AND not to turn it to a museum. Maybe YOU want to live an open air museum, but the rest of the people doesn't. That 3 northern provinces are almost the only one in the whole Netherlands which HAS a preserved landscape. I can't say that for the surrounding area of Eindhoven and Tilburg
I am totally against transforming those places in museums. You are the one indirectly proposing it, though you clarified your thoughts a bit on your last post.

I want to live in a totally modern places where historical buildings are only museums, never houses, offices or else. Older buildings: demolition or museum. Because I don't want whole cities to become museums I'd certainly favor demolition of most old housing anywhere.

To add an information, I have no quarrel against Northern Netherlands. I came from Italy, and indeed I like the Northern provinces a lot, because there is plenty of space to build things, and because I can understand Dutch spoken there more easily than here. My favorite medium/big cities in Netherlands are Rotterdam, Lelystad and Leeuwarden, in no particular order.

Quote:
Your plan is to turn Groningen in some Cologne-styled city: modern buildings everywhere, some old stuff here and there. And violá there's YOUR perfect city. Good for you, but if the rest will accept it? Thát's the question.
I'd clear a bit of clutter from Groningen, build some X-shaped boulevards etc. But I don't want to disrupt totally the city, I'd instead revive a project like Blauwestad or start a new greenfield Vinex-style city, with some high-rises and lots of low-density housing, like a mini-version of an American city. That can be done at some point between Groningen and Leeuwarden, so that people can commute to/from both cities to this new place.

Mind you, I also have nothing against polders. In my wet dreams, I'd even reclaim more land in the Wadden Zee, building some causeways linking the continent to the islands. Urk, for instance, is much better now that is connected to mainland instead of a mere island. So I'd fence, drain and create new land out there as well. I'm all for reclaiming more land, building a new polder around Merken etc. Polders are cool and maybe one day I'll live in a house -4m below sea level.

Quote:
You know, many people signed AGAINST the Forum and that modern rebuilding of the Grote Markt.
Usually, most people in a city don't care about what gets build, they tolerate free market decisions pretty well. Only those who oppose a project will get vocal, because the majority is aquiescing to construction.


Quote:
Oh yeah, and about that new plaza behind the Grote Markt, hopefully it's gonna be a cozy place where you can sit nice and can relax, instead of an modern museum. What do you think people want more? An terrace on a nice plaza where you can relax on with modern and reconstructed buildings, or a museum about art? I think a cozy plaza with the modern and reconstructed buildings
People are "relaxing" too much these days. They don't need more incentives to stand idling in a place. An open plan plaza gives an impression of monumentality, the antithesis of "cozyness" (sic), it makes people leave with a great impression of the BUILDINGS instead of a great impression of the time they spend in a place. A place that is too cozy will not stand out as a building, but as a location. There is nothing wrong with that, but most Dutch cities lack places where buildings claim all the attention to themselves (e.g., by not having benches or kiosks serving food, by not having restaurants with outdoor tables etc.), not letting people getting distracted by other people or activities but contemplation of the awesomeness of the buildings.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 07:28 PM   #16
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I am totally against transforming those places in museums. You are the one indirectly proposing it, though you clarified your thoughts a bit on your last post.

I want to live in a totally modern places where historical buildings are only museums, never houses, offices or else. Older buildings: demolition or museum. Because I don't want whole cities to become museums I'd certainly favor demolition of most old housing anywhere.

To add an information, I have no quarrel against Northern Netherlands. I came from Italy, and indeed I like the Northern provinces a lot, because there is plenty of space to build things, and because I can understand Dutch spoken there more easily than here. My favorite medium/big cities in Netherlands are Rotterdam, Lelystad and Leeuwarden, in no particular order.



I'd clear a bit of clutter from Groningen, build some X-shaped boulevards etc. But I don't want to disrupt totally the city, I'd instead revive a project like Blauwestad or start a new greenfield Vinex-style city, with some high-rises and lots of low-density housing, like a mini-version of an American city. That can be done at some point between Groningen and Leeuwarden, so that people can commute to/from both cities to this new place.

Mind you, I also have nothing against polders. In my wet dreams, I'd even reclaim more land in the Wadden Zee, building some causeways linking the continent to the islands. Urk, for instance, is much better now that is connected to mainland instead of a mere island. So I'd fence, drain and create new land out there as well. I'm all for reclaiming more land, building a new polder around Merken etc. Polders are cool and maybe one day I'll live in a house -4m below sea level.



Usually, most people in a city don't care about what gets build, they tolerate free market decisions pretty well. Only those who oppose a project will get vocal, because the majority is aquiescing to construction.




People are "relaxing" too much these days. They don't need more incentives to stand idling in a place. An open plan plaza gives an impression of monumentality, the antithesis of "cozyness" (sic), it makes people leave with a great impression of the BUILDINGS instead of a great impression of the time they spend in a place. A place that is too cozy will not stand out as a building, but as a location. There is nothing wrong with that, but most Dutch cities lack places where buildings claim all the attention to themselves (e.g., by not having benches or kiosks serving food, by not having restaurants with outdoor tables etc.), not letting people getting distracted by other people or activities but contemplation of the awesomeness of the buildings.
People aren't relaxing to 'much' these days. When you are going on vacation, and you want to visit a city, what would you like to see the most? Modernist buildings full of skyscrapers and glass and steel buildings in the midst of a city, or just an nice innercity with nice old houses and here and there an church, tower or palace?
What if they would build an skyscraper in the middle of Venice or in Riga? Would people tolerate that? I think not because they care about whát is going to be build in an many visited tourist area, because the people LIKE the state which the city is:
an old historic centre as middlepoint in the city and the new area around it, instead partly in the historic centre, like in Groningen:
new buildings in the midst of landmarks like the Martinitoren and the Stadhuis.
Volker Wessels is going to reconstruct the Grote Markt with many architects, so they create different plans for houses and other buildings.
Why not reconstructions and nice modern buildings which really FIT in there, instead of only modernist buildings and a new plaza behind it?
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Old December 10th, 2011, 08:10 PM   #17
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What if they would build an skyscraper in the middle of Venice or in Riga? Would people tolerate that?
In this rendering the people look very happy, despite the three towers.


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So what is the status of the project in Groningen? Is it still ongoing?
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Old December 11th, 2011, 10:57 AM   #18
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So what is the status of the project in Groningen? Is it still ongoing?
The City gave green light to build the Forum and will be finished in 2016. They'll start to demolish the East-side very soon and to costs to build the Forum will be 60 million euro's and will be around the 17.000 m2
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Old December 11th, 2011, 05:10 PM   #19
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Pre-World War 2


Planned:
The new situation doesn't really look like a reconstruction to me. It is something completely new. I'm afraid if the designs of these new buildings will be poor as possible because of the current recession in the Netherlands. It is better to wait until the worst crisis is over. Otherwise you get meaningless architecture without any decorations, just like in the eighties. In appearance these buildings won't last much longer than twenty years.

Just take a look at the developments at the so called Zaailand in Leeuwarden (you mentioned this town before). I guess it should represent something old, but to me this is just a collection of dull boxes in some kitschy wrapping paper. When you really want to make the suggestion that the buildings are old, you should at least bring in some differences in floor heights, differences in sizes of windows and differences in the french balconies. If that is too much to ask i'd rather see something modern...

This could also happen to the market of Groningen. Bad choice imo.

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Old December 11th, 2011, 09:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Kiboko View Post
The new situation doesn't really look like a reconstruction to me. It is something completely new. I'm afraid if the designs of these new buildings will be poor as possible because of the current recession in the Netherlands. It is better to wait until the worst crisis is over. Otherwise you get meaningless architecture without any decorations, just like in the eighties. In appearance these buildings won't last much longer than twenty years.

Just take a look at the developments at the so called Zaailand in Leeuwarden (you mentioned this town before). I guess it should represent something old, but to me this is just a collection of dull boxes in some kitschy wrapping paper. When you really want to make the suggestion that the buildings are old, you should at least bring in some differences in floor heights, differences in sizes of windows and differences in the french balconies. If that is too much to ask i'd rather see something modern...

This could also happen to the market of Groningen. Bad choice imo.
The Zaailand-developments seem nothing to me, it's just some interpretation of modern and old just drawned fast on some paper. I think they could've did better than that. Just some traditional Frisian city-houses on the plaza and you got an nice square The large windows and those other stuff just don't fit in the design. With these buildings you get an not so succesful result, if you built it with those big bricks, which will make it look very new.

Hopefully is this not going to happen to Groningen, but if they just did here and there an reconstruction and on some places an nice modern building, which fits architecturally in the plaza.
Volker Wessels promised to let different architects design houses and other buildings and reconstructions. Also architect Thomas Muller is going to design. The rules that Thomas Muller made are:
*modern and classic
*has to fit in the modern era

So I think with the recession the results of the buildings will fail........
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