07 March, 2008

Amsterdam is Amazing

Amsterdam was absolutely amazing. After visiting Amsterdam, I'm pretty disappointed that the general hype that Amsterdam gets in the U.S. involves the red-light district and legality of certain substances... in fact, before comming to Europe I thought Amsterdam was probally over-rated based on the stories I'd heard, but in reality Amsterdam's greatness is far beyond any of those stories. The density of good architecture is far greater than I could imagine. The urban development is quite interesting as well. The way the Dutch have been creating and inhabiting artificial land reminds me of the New Orleans project we did las semsester where everything is below sea level, and it gives me a new perspective on land development. In addition, I found the housing developments extremely interesting. In the U.S. we have a problem with urban sprawl and mass produced housing developments; in Amsterdam, the mass production takes on character and strangely enough, individuality. The housing developments we saw more or less alloted a few plots to a single architect who essentially created a series of homes that could interact as one piece of complex architecture. In addition, the homes were given rules so that they all fit together within a certain realm while also maintaining individuality. The general result created very different and interesting architecture that at the same time related to its suroundings. I like it. Can we go back? Please?

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