Archive for Sunday 30th May 2010, 07:05 PM

Visit in Gent, May 2010

Sunday 30th May 2010, 07:05 PM No comments

The Volcanic Ash cloud has caused a little delay in our meeting schedule. After all we met during the Polish May long weekend. As for such a date the tickets were strangely cheap. We were willing to spend together as much time as possible so on Monday the 3rd when Hanne had to go to Gent to take an exam in Polish I went along. Hanne was busy all morning so I took the opportunity to sniff a little bit around our old quarters. In the afternoon on the other hand we were so busy with ourselves enjoying the city that we didn’t take any pictures at all.

In the morning I managed to trample the entire city across. I took a look over the canals, the area of Sint-Lucas Hogeschool and Portus Ganda. I walked everything around dropping by our old flat. In Brabantdam, in a furniture store, thinking of Zuza I noted down the address of the manufcturer of “growning desks”. Unfortunately they are quite expensive 😛 Very practical though. I do not publish pictures from my mobile – go to the website yourself.

Our old quarters turned out to be teeming with life in the characteristic, hasty rhythm. What prof. StanisÅ‚aw Fisher named recently in his lecture in arcyARCHIwizje in Łódź ‘flickering facades’ one can observe with bare eyes here. If on a map you would mark every new investment with a blinking dot, a map of Gent would look like the starry night sky. An animated map like this was shown to us in urban design class by docent André Coene. I wondered back then how a map of Łódź would look like, if you animated it like this, taking all the data since beginning of 20th century? Since the 50s – like a collapsing black hole?

On one of the most beautiful water avenues of Gent, the canal separating Graslei from Korenlei they started renovation and reintroduction of Oude Vismijn, the old fish trading hall. Lofting Gorup will transform it in to some merciless commercial miracle. I do not know the new function and a little bit I regret for the wooden part of the building which you can see at this picture. Anyway the building was vastly neglected and it is good that somebody is taking care of it. By the way I captured the covered facade of Design Museum at Jan Breydelstraat. Looks like nothing special, but I find it cool, that pedestrians get a couple of archive pictures as a substitution of the real facade. Why no commercials?? 😛

Another romantic canal can be found at Ketelvest. There you can see the back of recent developments of SumProject, office of the architect Paul Lievevrouw. Residence Kouterhof is a standard which the polish “development” will long strive to reach. And I do not mean here the aesthetic interventions, rather the method of financing. The last apartment here was sold in the summer of 2007, before the constructions started for good.
You also get a look towards the west along the same canal, The Flamish Opera and Handelsbeurs. The first hall we already visited two years ago. It served a very cool Swan Lake performed by the Royal Ballet of Flanders and the Flemish Radio Orchestra. The neoclassical facade of the building dated back to first half of the 19th century hides an operetta interior, lavishly reminiscent of the French theater in a somewhat baroque revival style. The hall pleases with good acoustics, and most of all with the performing team. We hope to visit Handelsbeurs in the future.

Wandering in the area of Ketelvest I came across a very interesting church, which I have never noticed before. I don’t know who was this church of, it is situated at Savaanstraat.

The plague of decorative fowl bands, attacking humans in parks is a kind of local oddity. The problem was described in the local papers some time ago. The birds from Muinpark were happy to pose and seemed innocent… 😉

We spent the afternoon together forgetting about the camera. We had a lunch in the patio of Post Plaza at Korenmarkt. This is another building which somehow missed my attention so far. Once it used to shelter the main post office of the city. Postmans gave way for the introduction of consumption and commercial functions. It is a place worth visiting due to the interesting operation hall with brick-steel detail and a glazed, double canopy, characteristic for this area of the world.

In the stream of new views I also noticed the new quarters of Artevelde Hogeschool at Kantienberg and the Polish consulate still in grief at Lange Kruisstraat.
My legs said ‘no’ around 5pm after the 7th circle around the 300-thousand-citizen town. We spent the evening in Brugge…