When I hear ‘zigzag’ I think of Spice girls. And if you have no idea who they are that’s ok as they are definitely passé. But to revive their spirit for old times’ sake, I’ll tell you what you want, what you really, really want…to know.
You would have to be really new to the Netherlands if you’ve not heard of Rotterdam’s love affair with (modern) architecture. As in I’m assuming here you’ve heard of Rotterdam in the first place. You know, the other big city that competes with Amsterdam over who is the cooler kid on the block.
To shake things up and offer a different angle, Rotterdam’s ZigZagCity architecture festival is ready to take the second largest Dutch city by storm between 29 May and 9 June and it is promising a unique and fun experience of the city like never before.
I cannot tell you how to zigzag properly, I think a good strategy is to observe and copy the local crowd for they know the best moves. But I can tell you to expect the unexpected in a true creative definition of “010’s” style.
The festival’s rich and colorful menu promises a fusion of the original, contemporary and future vision of the city through the eyes of architects, archeologists, photographers, dancers and musicians.
That’s quite a claim but let’s dive in for some of the highlights.
The free of charge grand opening was on Thursday at Grotekerkplein, which despite the name is actually not that big at all. The square was perked up by dance performances whilst the Rotterdam Symphonic Windband tickled your ear with music echoing across the square from the rooftops of the surrounding buildings.
See, your curiosity is piqued, isn’t it? Oh but there’s so much more, just wait to hear the main course choices.
To mark its 30th anniversary since opening, Kubuswoning (Cube houses), the staple of Rotterdam’s architecture, will spice up your life by palm trees and other exotic flora turning Het Blaakse Bos area into a forest. If that’s not enough for you, you can enjoy an early Saturday morning ‘Safari breakfast’ garnished with the sound of jungle fauna.
In the evening you can watch Hitchcock’s Vertigo on the second floor of the Laurenskerk or you can fine dine in 06 Restaurant, silverware and all, above the city and traffic on Luchtsingel. Your food will be brought to you on scooters from the nearby Rotterdam Noord restaurants and served directly.
Café Dudok will be featuring a photo exhibition ‘Through the eyes of Rob ‘t Hart’ showing the festival route objects through the camera and iPhone lens of the photographer, whilst Haagseveer invites you to explore the young architects proposals of new recreational uses for the Delftsevaart.
If this all sounds a little bit boring and you would like to see something a little more saucy, then the rooftop of De Heuvel will be evoking the erotic spirit of the 60s and 70s with the Roffa Mon Amour salon. Mini staged red light district with the appropriate music to get you in the mood may just be the thing for you.
Traditional or modern, the festival caters to wide range of tastes, so see the full program www.zigzagcity.nl and join me in zigazig ha for a memorable and fun event.