25 November, 2007

Utrecht and the town hall

On my independent study travels through the Netherlands, I (and by i, i mean Dannielle, Hali and I) ventured away from the big cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and found our way to Utrecht. Utrecht is a smaller city (4th largest in the netherlands, but small compared to Amsterdam) and quite quaint in most parts of it. There is actually quite a lot of interesting architecture in the city, but visiting on a sunday was a bad idea, because most of the buildings were closed and the inside unaccessible. One interesting building was the extension of the town hall done by Enric Miralles. while i was unimpressed with parts of it, one side of the building was very interesting to me. He created a facade that seemed to be (in parts) incomplete. There were gaps in the materials held together by steel beams. It was interesting because, while it seemed incomplete, you could tell that the look was done on purpose. Another part of this wall was a unique gutter system (at least i think thats what it was). These metal pipes came from the roof into a concrete trough at the base of the wall. the pipes were staggering back and forth making path for water to flow. when it was not raining, the pipes seemed to be used as a fountain. it would be interesting to see how the system works, although i am glad it wasnt raining while we were there. it was rather cold and extremely windy. After the Miralles building we walked around saw some other buildings (i.e. Reitveld Schroder house, Rem Koolhaas educatorium) and i "bahed" at some sheep.

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