10 April 2006

Utrecht revisited

Day 2 -

The mission was clear - to see everything in and around Utrecht in one day.

Not an easy task even for me, considering the amazing architecture of the University, the cute canals and streets of the city centre and an old castle in the outskirts of the city. But as they say where there's a will there is a way.

So we started off the day at the University following of a sort of sequence of what we see first. Most of these projects have been posted before so I'll just put a few new angles or insights.

Above is a snap of the inside of the famous 'Minnaert' building and as far as I know it houses a small Library (small in comparison to the main), a canteen and a few Laboratories. The interior photo was clicked in the main lobby of the building on the first floor from where one has to access all the functions. The small red niches provided students with a smaller more intimate space within this monster of a building.

Here's one snap of the Exterior of Weil Aret's Library Master-piece that I have extensively covered earlier last year.

And lastly from the University yet another Master-piece by Rem Koolhaas and OMA. The "Educatorium" not only has a cool name, but also spaces to compliment it inside.

Here you can see all the signature moves of OMA put in practice to create a seamless beauty of amazing visual and spatial quality.

Now I think back about the Villa VPRO of MVRDV (also posted on this blog some while ago) and realise it's uncanny similarity to the ideas that Winny and gang picked up at OMA. But I guess as they say 'if the copy is good, than it's OK to copy'.

After an exhaustive run of some of the great buildings I have ever seen, we headed out to the outskirts of Utrecht in search of one of the many Castles that dot the Dutch countryside.

Kasteel de Haar, has a surreal quality about itself. A sort of Medieval Castle in the flat landscape of the dutch countryside and to add to it the French garden on one side and a English Garden on the other. It was like a catalogue of European History (a very small one I must add). Confusing, but very nice surprise in this rigidly structured country.

After that we headed back into the city and a stroll along the canals in the centre later I headed back to Rotterdam.

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