"Manhattan on the Maas"
I promise I'm not some sort of modernist architecture tourist, in fact I haven't even resolved my stance yet on the whole walking-round-empty-houses experience yet. But in the mean time - turns out that by pure coincidence I live 2 minutes from Sonneveld House! It's my new Hackney Town Hall (in terms of proximity and nothing else, unless they're making you take your shoes off now.)
I'm looking round it tonight as part of Rotterdam's Museum night. A light-up badge will let me in to various places/events across town until 2 AM. Only problem is the map/information is in Dutch..
Sonneveld House is next to the Netherlands Architecture Institute, which is next to a cluster of galleries and museums (Museumpark). The NAi has a great bookshop where I read part of an essay from Architecture Bulletin, its in-house journal. Towards a real Rotterdam describes my new home as the paradigmatic modern city ... a city of islands and points out that the only attempt to implement a thorough urban strategy, a concentric infastructure to supplement the core of the city, was the Rose plan of 1855. Which went askew, and there's still a need for urban cohesion or connecting-the-dots today.
This is evident even from walking around a bit, although I haven't had much of a chance to explore the extent of this former swamp, as I'm spending most of my days (and evenings) in the OMA office. Reading a lot, fabricating imaginary CCTV apocalypses and curbing my snooping, amongst other things.
Finds of the week:
OMA fan tile-art
Iranian S,M,L,XL - this turned up at the office with a kind note: "dear rem, please don't be angry. we scanned in your book and translated it. we hope you don't mind. and if you do, there's nothing you can do about it because of nonexistent iranian copyright law.