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LEFT: Architecture tours by Guiding Architects. MIDDLE: Central Station, rotterdam. RIGHT: Contemporary canal houses on Java Eiland in Amsterdam.


Discovering a city’s culture through its architecture From waterways to museums, and from warehouses to the world’s first 3D-printed canal house, cities and their architectural identities are arousing more and more interest. Rather than walking blindly through foreign streets, the international network of Guiding Architects aims to reveal the urban landscape through their professional tours, using various themes to explore how the world’s major cities take form. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE

Counting 45 global destinations, Guiding Architects is a network of independent companies, carrying out professional guided architectural tours for groups of any size and occupation: think overseas architects and political delegations, art associations and rotary clubs. Internationally acclaimed projects carried out by prolific architects like rem Koolhaas, renzo Piano and Santiago Calatrava are developing a renewed vigour for city breaks, with tourists taking to boulevards and buildings to uncover foreign cultures. And who better to explain these urban landscapes than resident architectural experts?

Covering Amsterdam, Rotterdam and more: architour running tours for over a decade, the Amsterdam-based architecture journalist Anneke Bokern has seen changes in the

34 | Issue 15 | March 2015

Dutch capital that have bolstered the city’s once disused harbour districts. With a notable shift riverwards, she enthuses over Noord-Amsterdam’s newly-found creative impulses. “The EYE Film Institute is definitely one of the most beautiful new buildings. But projects on an urban scale, like the artificial archipelago IJburg and the IJdock peninsula, are equally exciting.” Alongside Amsterdam’s historical quar-

ters, Bokern appreciates the city’s union of past and present: “Presenting this modern side of Amsterdam is part of our mission too.” Just thirty minutes from Amsterdam lies the more “modern and functional” rotterdam, a city Bokern declares a tour favourite despite its less romantic nature. She explains: “The architectural cacophony

BELOW LEFT: Tours with ArchiPedes give a very close look to architectural details: the filtered walls in Zumthor’s Kolumba museum. RIGHT: From Cologne’s old town it is a very short distance to the new harbour district with Teherani’s crane houses. Photos: Barbara Schlei

Discover Benelux & France | Issue 15 | March 2015  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.

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