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Bolwoningen – The Futuristic Bubble Houses of Den Bosch

Science and technology progress so fast that something created only a decade ago will most likely feel like an antique to its present-day observers. This, however, is not the case with the ball-shaped houses in the Dutch city of Den Bosch: they resembled the set of a sci-fi movie when they were conceived in 1984 and remain as futuristic-looking to this very day.

Known locally as Bolwoningen, these bulbous homes were created as part of a Dutch experimental housing program launched in 1968. They were designed by artist and sculptor Dries Kreijkamp in the 1970s and the project was completed in 1984 along with another subsidy winner: the famed Kubuswoningen (cube homes) in Rotterdam, designed by Piet Blom. While the program was shut down the same year the Bolwoningen became a reality, this experimental housing complex continues to stand and remains as wow-worthy as the day it took shape.

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Holland’s Repair Cafes Breathe New Life into Broken Objects

Got something in your home that needs fixing? Take it with you on your next trip to Holland. They have a ‘Repair Café’ there, where you can get almost anything fixed. The concept café, sponsored by the Dutch State, is the brainchild of former journalist Martine Postma. She felt that the Dutch people tend to throw away too many things, even the ones that can be easily fixed. Moreover, in modern times people have lost the ability to fix simple things, she says. So as an environmental initiative, she started the Repair Café in Amsterdam, with the intent of bringing together the people who can fix things, and those that need them fixed.

Postma basically believes that people would rather not throw away their stuff. And she sure did turn out to be right. What started off as a local initiative became an overnight success. Today, there are about 20 Repair Cafes across the Netherlands, and another 50 are being planned. A Repair Café Foundation was set up in 2010, where Postma now works full time. The foundation provides volunteers with information on how to set up their own café. The frequency of the cafes range from once a month to twice a week, and are held at a rented workspace.

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Dutch Students Create World’s Largest NES Controller

Remember the 80’s? Man, those were the days, right? Actually I don’t remember, I was born in 1984, so pretty much everything before 1990 is a big blur. But one thing I do recall is how popular the original NES video-game console was back then. If you remember you’re first Super Mario playing days I’m sure you’re going to love the tribute a group of Dutch students prepared for Nintendo’s legendary machine.

Electrical Engineering students from TU Delft, in the Netherlands, have created an impressive replica of the NES controller, 30 times larger than the original. The overgrown Nintendo Entertainment System controller was assembled in the town square and attracted a lot of young Super Mario fans eager to test the  unique gadget, with their feet. Since the controller was 3.6 by 1.6 meters in size the only way to properly operate it was with your feet. So players just jumped on them and played Nintendo Classics like Tetris or Super Mario on a big six meter wide LED screen.

Unfortunately, the largest functioning NES controller hasn’t gained a spot in the Guinness Book of Records, because there was no official delegation on the scene.

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The Stacked House Hotel of Zaandam

The newly opened Inntel Hotel, in the Dutch town of Zaandam is now the main eye-catcher of the town center, due to its bizarre design, resembling a number of stacked houses.

Inntel Hotel is the brainchild of Dutch designer, Wilfried van Winden. Many of us see hotels as temporary homes, so he tried to emphasize this idea by designing it to look like a bunch of traditional Zaan houses, stacked over each other. The result of his vision is both unique and familar, and definitely stunning.

One can identify almost 70 houses in the design of Inntel Hotel, most of them green and one blue, right at the top.

via Dezeen

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Blue building of Rotterdam

I guess the Dutch have a thing for colorful infrastructure, because the famous Yellow Brick Road is also found in Holland.

This blue building is set in the Delfshaven district, in Rotterdam and it used to be one of the towns least interesting buildings and one of the most unnoticed by the public. The administration asked an artistic firm to freshen the place up, or it would be demolished. They chose to paint the place blue and the deal with the neighborhood is that it will stay this way until the community comes up with a new plan for the area.

Funniest thing is the blue building has become the most photographed building in Rotterdam. That’s how important 2 layers of paint can be.

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Yellow Brick Road

The city of Schiedam was and remains to this day, the poorest city in the Netherlands and the Yellow Brick Road, that connects the center of the city to the new train station, is not only meant to make the city more beautiful, but also to symbolize the road to prosperity and success. Yellow Brick Road also has a shine that resembles that of gold.

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