We all know them, the gorgeous buildings designed by the most famous architect from all over the world. Architecture that you see on daily basis on pinterest. Try typing Villa Savoye and you will get more than a thousand hits. One sleek picture after another. Flattened on your screen down to a few pixels. Nowadays, we are sitting behind our laptops 24/7, hoping to be inspired by search criteria. We are limited in making great distances and seeing great architecture with our own eyes. It is very disappointing .. But what if I say that we have a distant cousin of Corbusier here in Delft? Here in tanthof?
I have been lucky enough to visit some really beautiful countries that have led to a lot of inspiration. Getting acquainted with works by Tadao Ando in Japan or seeing a Niemeyer in the capital of Brazil, these are experiences that will not be forgotten. But now this option is not possible and trips are limited to areas around your home. What do you do then?
Discover your own city! That is what you should do! There is just as much architecture around the corner from you and me. Tanthof Delft is where I live and where I went on morning walks, deep into the forest, during the summer with an architecture friend. Again and again we were surprised with what kind of buildings there are in the neighbourhood. It seems like a playground for architects. Is it beautiful? Not always. Does it make you think? 100%.
A small selection of the buildings you come across during a stroll. These buildings are not just a commonplace and have the tendency to pull you out of your comfort zone when you think about a typical Dutch residential area.
What ensures that this inspiration is the same as the one from a distant trip to another continent? I was there. You can go there. I was where it was built. I was allowed to touch it, I saw how the shadows did their job. How it comes alive. No sleek images polished in Photoshop for a magazine. These were the buildings as they are intended.
And then the new generation of buildings around Delft station. For some it is architecture that inspires them and some also dislike it. In both cases it sets people in motion to think. Take the time to go there with an architecture friend and experience the buildings. Is this a new movement or are we just not sure what we want as humans?
And if Delft is not your place, go outside in your area! What you may have seen for years as the pub on the corner is perhaps a very architectural building known by architects for its amazing facade. Or that square where you cycle to school every day? WOW! Have a look how those buildings stand at the end, like two guards.
Then comes the fun part of moving through a city: Sharing. Share the experiences, the inspiration, the enthusiasm for architecture. We are the most beautiful inspiration from each other. Everyone experiences a building or square differently. Discussions can start about a funny placed window, or the colour brick used for a building. That is only a source of inspiration. Do it together, but now remotely. I am writing this article in times when we see each other less, the opportunity that you can just meet each other has been temporarily taken away from us. For a good cause, of course, but that doesn't make it any less pleasant. So message your friends! Choose a city! Go for it!