Cities where architecture and design are the protagonists; in which the combination of traditional buildings predominates, with the most avant-garde constructions.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
This Dutch city has one of the most important ports in Europe, and it is home to the typical Dutch houses with centuries of history and life, and large buildings that blend into the sky. It is a city where architecture studios and design workshops abound. We can find from a typical Dutch mill to the tallest building in the country. It is the city of amazing cube houses designed by the architect Piet Blom in 1984. Also of note is its fabulous Markhal, a large enclosed space at street level surrounded by an arched residential building. Its interior is very colorful and its greatest achievement is the way it integrates its various functions.
This city located in Flanders is on the banks of the mouth of the Scheldt river, so it also has a very important port. Antwerp and Rotterdam have some competition. These cities with important port infrastructures tend to receive many influences from different countries, and this is reflected in their buildings. Without going any further, near the port there is a building by the illustrious architect ZahaHadid. It is worth noting the Palace of Justice, as well as Zurenborg the Art Nouveau district. Antwerp is a mosaic of buildings that have survived since the 16th century, of industrial infrastructures and disparate buildings.
Located in the west of the neighboring country, Nantes is one of the cities that is giving the most to talk about in recent years. With an industrial past in which the port and its exit to the sea played a very important role, today it is one of the most avant-garde cities. We will be amazed by the contrast between the classic buildings of the Napoleonic era and other much more groundbreaking infrastructures. It has a residential building designed by Le Corbusier. Nantes stands out for the natural way of integrating elements of the 21st century into its urban fabric. It is a canvas on which designers and architects are welcome to make their mark.
It is the second-largest city in the Nordic country and the cradle of Swedish design. Again we are in a port city, modern, fresh, and where the most avant-garde architecture is experimented with. It is a very popular destination for design and architecture students, we will be impressed by buildings such as the Opera building, its town hall or the city market. In its port, a complex of baths and sauna has been installed, rough in appearance but with innovative forms, it is the Frihamnen sauna.
The capital of the Basque Country underwent a “radical” change in the first years of the new millennium. The trigger was the Guggenheim Museum that revitalized the area of the estuary, where the shipyards were located. An industrial city that went unnoticed, it positioned itself as one of the most architecturally interesting cities. After the Frank Gehry building, other projects were completed such as the Euskalduna Palace, the Zubizuri, the tram, or the Iberdrola tower.