Performance ‘Act of seeing’

We’re looking at others, but are we seeing anyone? Are we still there for the other in a world that is becoming more and more virtual and distant? This is…

We’re looking at others, but are we seeing anyone? Are we still there for the other in a world that is becoming more and more virtual and distant? This is the theme of a performance with Danielle van Vree that will be performed several times at the Zuidas this month.The performance is called Act of Seeing, lasts thirty minutes, is free of charge and takes place in both Dutch and English.

The programme looks like this. On Thursday 19 and 26 September and Friday 20 and 27 September, interested parties can gather at both 12.30 and 17:00 at the entrance to the Circl sustainable pavilion on Gustav Mahlerplein 1B.

On 19 September, philosopher Rob van Gerwen will give a lecture on the importance of contact with the other. The lecture lasts 45 minutes and will be followed by the performance. For this lecture/performance one has to gather in front of café Ox & Bucks on the Zuidplein at 15.45 hours.

If you are interested in art and architecture in the Zuidas, which will also include ‘seeing the other’, you can join AkzoNobel Essential Art Space, Christian Neefestraat 2, on Thursday 26 September at 3 pm. After an art tour, the participants will walk to Circl, where the performance will start at 5 pm.

Due to the maximum number of participants, interested parties are kindly requested to register in advance via reserveren.performance@gmail.com. In case of bad weather, the performance will continue and an umbrella can offer a solution. The location is easily accessible by public transport, such as the North/South line.

The following people are involved in the programme: Huug van Tienhoven, Luc van Esch, Anna Benti, Kim Verbeke, Dennis Tiecken and students of the Gerrit van der Veen College. Iris Dik coordinates the programme.

 

(Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator)

 

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Choose your own perfume

A very personal way of getting into the realm of fragrances, that’s what Otentic Perfumes offer in their shops. And guess what, they’ve just opened a new store in Stadshart…

A very personal way of getting into the realm of fragrances, that’s what Otentic Perfumes offer in their shops. And guess what, they’ve just opened a new store in Stadshart Amstelveen!

The world is flooded with new fragrances: all the big brands are trying to lure consumers with beautiful vials and impressive media campaigns, using celebrities as ambassadors. There’s just one issue: these companies shy away from talking about what’s really important – the vial’s content, the personal preferences of individuals and the way different ingredients work together to form a harmonious scent.

Otentic Perfumes offers their clients the opportunity to choose their own perfume, providing a different, more personal way of getting into the realm of fragrances. And you sense that as soon as you walk into their tastefully decorated store: the various perfumes are presented in a unique way, so you can concentrate on the thing you’re looking for: a wonderful perfume that smells so nice it seems to be made especially for you.

The delicate, high-quality compositions are not classified into ‘dreams’ and ‘stories’, but into eight popular fragrance styles stemming from classic perfumery, with each fragrance divided into eight different scents. Crucially, Otentic does not believe in the traditional difference between fragrances for men and women. Flowery scents are not just for women, nor is wood a typical fragrance for men. It is all about the scents you as an individual like, finding a perfume with a smell that’s pleasant to you and ‘connects’ with you as a person.

 

Otentic Perfumes
Binnenhof 35
Amstelveen

 

 

 

 

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My style: Margitte Verwoerdt

Whether something is in fashion or not, Margitte Verwoerdt honestly could not care less. “I like to make combinations, some designer jacket, and vintage trousers, for example, adding a ring…

Whether something is in fashion or not, Margitte Verwoerdt honestly could not care less.

“I like to make combinations, some designer jacket, and vintage trousers, for example, adding a ring of some young designer.” In daily life, she advises individuals and companies buying and selling art, quotes collections and sets up exhibitions. Furthermore, she is involved in the photo-exhibition at Zuidas, ‘Streets of the World’.

“Whatever I am wearing totally depends on my mood and the setting. It can well be something with a wild print, something eccentric, or like for this particular photo shoot ‘less is more’.” If art is your natural habitat, then, of course, AKZO Nobel Art Space is the most obvious location for this photo shoot. “It is a beautiful site where everyone can enjoy Art. You can just walk in and have a cup of coffee. Zuidas needs more of these locations.”

“For the photo shoot, I was inspired by this painting by Robert Zandvliet. My denim-look alike jacket and white pants are by Spanish designer Pedro del Hierro. I travel a lot and do not buy my clothes ‘off the rack’. That way, I often create an eclectic mixture. I finish off my outfits with jewellery and other accessories.”

“Pleasant about nowadays fashion is, you can choose to make endless combinations. I pay special attention to materials, quality, shape, colour and I certainly avoid the every-day look.”

 

Photography Oona Brueren

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Carmen Snijder’s morning ritual

  If you bump into Carmen Snijders early in the morning, you better do not start chatting to her. “I really like to wake up in peace and have a…

 

If you bump into Carmen Snijders early in the morning, you better do not start chatting to her. “I really like to wake up in peace and have a bowl of fruit and a cup of coffee. That is the way I prepare myself for a new day. Mostly I am here first. I check my mail and then consider what is most urgent, as a matter of fact, I focus for the day. I like to be left to myself for a while.” 

Right on ‘The Financial Mile’, Carmen is making an effort to create a social enterprise, De Nieuwe Poort, a meeting point for inspiration and awareness on Zuidas.

“What can be done with that beautiful career and all that money involved, to people who are not that fortunate in life. We are all in this together. At Zuidas there is just no time to consider this fact, but there is an absolute need.”

In ‘De Nieuwe Poort’ she is responsible for the completion of’ The Table of Twelve’.

Entrepreneurs, politicians and journalists all come together here to discuss themes like the future of the labour market and social sustainability.

“I like to connect people and to think of programmes, analyzing social themes. We often criticize people without even knowing what they have been through in life. We immediately form an image hearing the word refugee, but in fact, we forget it is all about a human being.”

 

 

Photo Katja Mali

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‘Zuidas should attract more tourists’

  The Zuidas needs cultural icons, if only to relieve the troubled city center. That is what Zef Hemel, professor of planning (University of Amsterdam) says in Amsterdam newspaper Het…

 

The Zuidas needs cultural icons, if only to relieve the troubled city center. That is what Zef Hemel, professor of planning (University of Amsterdam) says in Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool.

Hemels has been asked by mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam to formulate a vision of Amsterdam’s city center. According to the professor, it would be nice if tourists, who spend an average of three days in Amsterdam, could spend two days on the Zuidas. He does not think of a museum, but of international names or institutions that act like a magnet on tourists, without giving examples of that.

Hemel is thinking of a natural route from the Museumplein to the Zuidas. He thinks that the municipality should work hard on this, because in his opinion the Zuidas is merely a business center, he says to Het Parool. According to him provisions are urgently needed at the Zuidas. ‘Now there is nothing at all, the residents can hardly go to a store there.’

According to the professor, the inner city has become far too busy and the social cohesion has disappeared. He sketches the image of people wandering through the city center with earplugs in, gazing on smartphones, but also city dwellers who put their house on Airbnb.

If it is up to the professor, the city center turns into a monumental garden where not only city dwellers come together, but all Amsterdam residents who now avoid the historic heart because of the crowds. Hemel will officially present its vision of the city center in October.

 

Beeld: ArtZuid-Cristóbal-Gabarrón-Enlightened-Universe-2015

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La dolce vita makes the Tuscan sun shine

For those who won’t go to Italy this summer, no worries: Italy can also come your way. With the organic delicacies of La Vialla on your plate or in your…

For those who won’t go to Italy this summer, no worries: Italy can also come your way. With the organic delicacies of La Vialla on your plate or in your glass, the Tuscan sun will start to shine in your own backyard or on your balcony.

We live in beautiful surroundings, with sociable towns and Amsterdam within our reach. However, at times you are in need of a little change. Longing for rolling hills, balmy summer evenings, and strolls through a vineyard followed by a lunch in the shade of a fig tree. Sitting at a long table covered by a chequered tablecloth piled up with delightful bites and delicious wines. That’s when you go to Italy, or Tuscany to be precise. This is how we ended up in La Vialla and it was love at first sight. 

Fattoria La Vialla is a family farm owned by the Lo Franco family. A sustainable and biodynamic farm and winery. It is about an hour’s drive from Florence, in the enchanting Chianti-area. Tuscan specialties like wine, pecorino cheese, antipasti, sauces, pasta, honey, vinegar, cookies and other sweets are produced at La Vialla. There are over a hundred products, all of them are certified organic, in some cases vegetarian and vegan and, above all, molto delizioso, absolutely delicious!

Organic origin

“The origin of La Vialla is just as organic,” explains Ingrid Stoffer, a Dutch lady who moved to Italy for love in 2004. Among other things, she deals with PR at La Vialla. “In the early 70’s a lot of Tuscan farmers moved to the city, leaving behind their homes. During that time Piero and Giuliana Lo Franco came across a beautiful, but dilapidated house near Arezzo, fell in love and bought it.”

“Bit by bit it started to expand, a terrain with olive trees, a few dilapidated farms, some old vineyards, a flock of sheep without a shepherd and villa La Vialla. A vialla is a simple plough, which is part of our logo. They grew their own fruits and vegetables, because they wanted their children to eat healthy. Everything environmentally friendly and chemically untreated. Nowadays organic food is fairly common, but back then quite unheard of in Italy. It all just happened. Piero and Guiliana were way ahead of their time!”

Straight from the farm

Later Piero and Giuliana started to restore the olive groves and vineyards to their former glory and renovated the old farms, which are now being rented out to clients, mainly to the Germans, Dutch and English. The tourists visiting Tuscany were interested in their organic  wares from the start and that is how the sales began, straight from the farm. In the early 90s the first little car, stuffed to the brim with Christmas gifts, drove to friends in Germany and in 1996 ‘the Viallini’ converted to a biodynamic farm following the principals of Rudolf Steiner. 

Ingrid: “Now, 40 years on, 1.400 hectares are being cultivated and we work with, approximately, 160 people. La Vialla farmstead, with a central square, the shop and the wooden-buring oven, is still the heart of the fattoria. During the summer there are many places to visit: the wine cellar, a barriques cellar with wine barrels made of oak, the olive oil mill, the grain mill, the bakery, the sauce kitchen, the cheesery, the dairy and the farm museum.”

“You can join in for a Tuscan lunch. There is a lot of laughter, good conversations and, of course, everything is about delicious food and wines! However, there is also a lot of hard work and pride involved. From working in the fields and preparing the products, to creating  up labels and the contact with our customers, we do it all ourselves. Our products are not available in the shops, everything goes directly to the consumer.”

Wine

Not only has La Vialla been awarded several significant environmental awards, also the wine, an important product of the fattoria, wins countless medals. Ingrid: “There are strict requirements when it comes to organic wine, one of which is a limitation on adding sulphite. The majority of our wines contain even less sulphite than is legally allowed. If you are talking about pride, you are talking about our wines. Everything comes together: tradition, patience, valuable raw materials, expertise, and lots and lots of love!” 

“Of course, I also use the La Vialla products at home! When friends come over I love to fill the table with a variety of antipasti. That way everyone can enjoy the cipollina, red pesto, olives, artichokes, peperonata’s, and pecorino cheese with jams or honey. We usually pair it with a nice Chianti, or a fresh metodo classico spumante, and sometimes we conclude the meal with a traditional vin santo and cantucci cookies. Our two bambini of 1,5 and 3 drink grape juice diluted with water. All of our products suitable for kids are labelled with a child’s symbol. Whether something is vegetarian or vegan is indicated on each product and, recently, we added a gluten-free assortment.”

No middlemen

“As we grow, produce, pack and send everything ourselves, there is no need for middlemen. That way it is all done by us. We can guarantee high quality and low costs. Orders for € 100 and up are shipped free of charge, any orders under this amount we charge €8,60. You can make a selection of products you like or choose one of our magnificent gift packages to send to family and friends.”

It is always a treat to receive a La Vialla shipment at home. If only just because of the colourful booklet that comes with it. This booklet is full of pictures of la dolce vita, the sweet Italian life at La Vialla. The pictures are almost too good to be true. However, it ís true, we were there, remember! We were sitting under the fig tree, at a long table covered by a chequered tablecloth, filled with delightful bites and bottles of wine, and surrounded by wonderful people. La Vialla, ti amo, noi torneremo, we will be back!

 

Fattoria La Vialla
Via di Meliciano 26
52029 Castiglion Fibocchi, Tuscany, Italy
T: 0039-0575-47697
E: fattoria@lavialla.it

 

Website and web shop www.lavialla.it 

We charge € 8,60 shipping costs, unless the order is over € 100

Open for visits from April till October, from Monday till Friday

Tuscan lunch from Tuesday till Friday, on reservation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Van Gils offers so much more than suits

Eighteen months ago, Laurens Jan Blok was appointed CEO of Van Gils Fashion, the oldest Dutch brand in men’s fashion. Van Gils is best known for their suits, but they…

Eighteen months ago, Laurens Jan Blok was appointed CEO of Van Gils Fashion, the oldest Dutch brand in men’s fashion. Van Gils is best known for their suits, but they have so much more to offer, including two brand-new collections every year aimed at the middle and higher segments. Their flagship store at Van Baerlestraat is a showcase of the iconic Van Gils experience. 

For fifteen years, Laurens Jan Blok wore navy blue tailor-made suits, just because that’s what was expected of him in the finance positions he held at Ahold, Heineken, Nestlé and Sara Lee. But now, even though it is still winter when we meet him, he’s walking around in white trousers, blue loafers, a jeans shirt and a stylish blue chequered jacket with a white pocket square. “A few years ago, I would never have worn this but I feel really good in it.”

Since he became CEO of Van Gils Fashion in 2017, Blok has been trying to change people’s dress sense at his men’s club and in his circle of close friends. “Men often know how to dress formally but they’re making a hash of it when it comes to leisure wear. They often wear a sweater in their spare time and that just looks awful, I think. I started wearing a jacket in a different colour than my trousers and that looks stylish and sporty. In a joking manner, I asked the members of my club via Whatsapp if they could please wear something more stylish next time and most of them actually started doing that, which is very nice to see.”

Target audience

Van Gils has a pretty broad target audience. “Basically, all men between 25 and 60 years old. In our marketing and advertising we deliberately use a ‘mental age’ of 35. Those who are younger would love to be 35 and the same applies for those who are older than that mental age. And I’m talking about real men, those who do not wear overly formal clothes.”

The Road to Success is pivotal to all marketing statements made by Van Gils. “Living one’s life means going through ups and downs. I don’t like the picture painted by Italian brands in which everything is just perfect. In my opinion, you need ugly things in order to be able to appreciate beauty; it’s all about contrast, the one cannot exist without the other.  And it’s alright if there’s a bit of friction – as long as it is done in style, with a smile and a healthy dose of self-mockery.”

Road to Success

And to achieve that Road to Success, Van Gils offers a formal business look, a smart casual look and an informal look. For just 399.95 euros, customers can buy a smart suit that fits very nicely. A tailor-made suit starts at 499 euros, going up to… whatever one’s budget allows. By mixing and matching you can use your imagination and create all kinds of stylish combinations. Customers will be spoiled for choice as twice a year Van Gils brings a new collection reflecting the latest trends. “That makes us unique. It speaks volumes that other companies are trying to copy us.”

The Van Gils collection consists of brand statements, fashion needs, seasonal essentials and an assortment of basics. “This company has so much more to offer than the suits most people associate the name Van Gils with.” They sell shirts, jackets, shoes and various accessories such as ties, bags and polo shirts – all very stylish leisure wear. Casual Friday? Van Gils has developed a separate line for this phenomenon, with trendy chinos, denim shirts and knitwear.   

Responsibility

The company’s Green Stitch line is testament to the fact that Van Gils is trying to help reduce waste in the fashion industry. “It is a special line containing recycled wool, for example. We find it important to follow these developments and we like to take our responsibility.”

At the Zuidas, Van Gils is available Gentlemen’s Place, although it mainly sells suits. To fully experience this iconic brand, go to the Van Gils flagship store at Van Baerlestraat in Amsterdam. This is where all new Van Gils collections are on display. Alternatively, one could go to the brand store at Stadshart Amstelveen. 

Less formal

“Here at the Zuidas, we notice that things are changing. Lawyers and bank managers are starting to dress more casually on Thursday – no tie, for example. Due to all the hip internet companies it has become more and more accepted to dress less formally. At the same time, whenever I attend fashion shows in Italy, I see that brands like Prada and Gucci – real trendsetters – are re-introducing the suit.”

“That’s why we’re not only offering tailor-made suits but a large collection of basics as well. These are easy to combine with other garments so customers can alternate between business formal and smart casual. And with those basics they’ve got something stylish to wear at the weekend as well – after all, that’s what everyone wants, right?”

Long tradition

The Van Gils fashion brand represents seventy years of experience, tremendous know-how and a long tradition. “This adds a lot of value to our company. And let’s not forget that we operate in many countries: Belgium, The Netherlands, Jordan, Lebanon, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Morocco and Iceland. Not that long ago, Van Gils was bigger than Hugo Boss – Italians really appreciate it when I remind them of this.”

Perhaps the love for this brand and its authenticity has ebbed away a bit, Laurens Jan Blok says, but that will surely change. “By using storytelling we’re going to communicate more clearly what Van Gils stands for and show people that we’ve got much more to offer than just a nice collection of suits.”

One thing is certain: brand awareness won’t be an issue. “It’s great to notice that practically everyone knows Van Gils! And if you ask someone which brand of car they associate with Van Gils they say:  Mercedes Benz. That’s wonderful, isn’t it?”

Van Gils Flagship Store Amsterdam
Van Baerlestraat 74
Amsterdam

Van Gils Brand Store Amstelveen
Binnenhof 18
Amstelveen

 

Caption: Laurens Jan Blok, CEO Van Gils Fashion
Photo: Unmask Photography

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Van Gelder contributes to a warmer Zuidas

A new impetus and a warmer atmosphere – that was architect Ben van Berkel’s remit when he was given the assignment to transform the entrance of the UNStudio building. And…

A new impetus and a warmer atmosphere – that was architect Ben van Berkel’s remit when he was given the assignment to transform the entrance of the UNStudio building. And did he succeed! “It has become much more inviting for people to just walk in,” Van Berkel says.

The entrance hall of the UNStudio building has undergone a massive change. Is it the tremendous height, the earthly colours or the abundance of light that gives the new entrance this real ‘wow!’ factor?

Ten years after delivering the 21-floor building he himself designed, architect Ben van Berkel was asked to create a new entrance that should above all appear ‘friendlier’. “It was a very nice assignment. It was wonderful to improve an existing building I designed a long time ago. To correct it, as it were. ” 

Warmer

The present owner, Union Investments, wanted to give the entrance hall a new dimension and a warmer character. “We realized that by using ultra-transparent glass, enabling people outside to see what’s happening inside. The plants we incorporated into the entrance hall create a nice play between inside and outside.” Another noticeable change is the connection with Coffee DC at the other side of Claude Debussylaan. “This could have been made even more visible, if it was for me.” 

The character of the new entrance hall of this building, located at the corner of Gustav Mahlerlaan and Parnassusweg, is defined by amazing lines of sight, a sense of openness and free-standing columns. And, of course, by the copper-coloured artwork hanging from the ceiling, a real eye-catcher. “In the old days, people used chandeliers to draw attention to the ceiling. We’ve given this a modern touch, using the movement of light to give the illusion the ceiling is even higher than it is.”

Pushing boundaries

UNStudio, Ben van Berkel’s architectural firm, is an office with versatile professionals. “That artwork is of our own making; our interior design department really pushed the boundaries there. We also came up with the bench flowing over into the planter and other surprise elements, including the chairs in the entrance. All these things together give visitors that feeling of ‘Wow!’ when they enter this building.”

Interesting fact: there is another Van Berkel building at the Zuidas – the NautaDutilh building on Beethovenstraat was also designed by UNStudio. “When the UNStudio building was delivered in 2009, there were mainly offices here at the Zuidas. Back then, I said they should avoid creating a monoculture as the place would be dead after 5 p.m. and people wouldn’t feel safe going home after work. It’s much more lively now, with all the restaurants, bars and cafés that have sprung up, and due to the residential tower blocks that have been built.”

“I would definitely like to stay involved with the Zuidas and I’ve already been asked to look at new projects. It is important to keep building residential homes here, not just high-end apartments. Only then, the Zuidas will be able to make a real contribution to the city of Amsterdam. Actually, I think people underestimate how close the Zuidas is to the town centre and how nice it is to live here. As you can see, I’m very upbeat about the Zuidas!”

 

 

Architect Ben van Berkel
Photo: Christian Richters and Els Zweerink

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Jeroen Swolfs: 195 pictures from 195 countries

Photographer Jeroen Swolfs has traveled the world for the past seven years to collect photos for his book ‘Streets of the World’. He took 195 photos taken in 195 countries…

Photographer Jeroen Swolfs has traveled the world for the past seven years to collect photos for his book ‘Streets of the World’. He took 195 photos taken in 195 countries that depict street life.

In 2009 Jeroen started a huge project: Streets of the World. He wanted to photograph street life in every capital of the world to show what connects people. Jeroen completed this masterpiece in 2017.

With 195 catchy photos of people all over the world, Streets of the World is now the world’s largest photo project ever. By using a consistent visual approach, the photographer has created a strong cohesion between the images.

These accessible color compositions have street trade as their subject and a horizon that is always the same. He wants to show the similarities between people around the world, despite the differences in living conditions.

After seven years of traveling, he now finds it time to share the amazing story of Streets of the World. The photo exhibition can be seen at the fences on the Zuidasdok construction site in the center of Zuidas.

 

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Green light for library Zuidas

The Amsterdam City Council has agreed to open a new library on the Zuidas in 2025: OBA Next. It must become a place where àll Amsterdammers can increase their digital…

The Amsterdam City Council has agreed to open a new library on the Zuidas in 2025: OBA Next.

It must become a place where àll Amsterdammers can increase their digital resilience. OBA Next has the ambition to become ‘the cultural heart of the Zuidas’. The Amsterdam Public Library (OBA) wants to turn it into a wide-ranging meeting place, which can also offer an inspiring study environment to pupils, their parents and students. It must also become a place where knowledge can be exchanged (Open Learning Hub) and where cultural activities take place.

OBA Next will focus less on the classical book, but more on technology, explains Hilde van Wijngaarden, director of the University Library (VU). OBA and VU are going to collaborate in a project called Community Service Learning. This project encourages debate, educational innovation, sustainability and language skills. The OBA hopes to be able to use the experiences gained with this at other library locations in the city.

The new library will be a three-minute walk from Amsterdam Zuid Station. A slow-traffic route will be made at the new western exit towards the Kenniskwartier, of which the VU and Amsterdam University Medical Center are already part.

The city council only approved the plans for OBA Next after a strong debate. This is because the city council has a shortage of money for youth care, reason for the opposition parties, in particular VVD, to propose the scrapping of the new library.

However, the city council, led by progressive GroenLinks, wants nothing to do with this. According to GroenLinks-spokesperson Femke Roosma, the new library is also intended to make it clear that the Zuidas is not only for expensive financial institutions and law firms. “The Zuidas is not only for the rich. It must become a place where all Amsterdammers like to go to, so that they will also see Zuidas as a part of their city. ”

The OBA asked students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology what the library of the future might look like. The American students made models, drawings, photos and texts, which are currently on display in study room 2B of the VU main building.

 

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