News of: Thursday, December 16 2010,
The Delft blue miniature houses that the Dutch air line KLM gives to its business class travellers never existed for real.
That is, until now.
In the Oudezijds Armsteeg alley, in the middle of the Red Light District in Amsterdam, 6 new houses have been built - modeled after the little KLM houses. To speak with Oscar Wilde: Life imitates art.
The houses are completely white, and the window frames and the roofs are made in dark blue. The outside of the houses is made of shiny material, in order to create the earthenware, porcelain look.
The design is completely that of the cliché Amsterdam canal house. One of the houses has even been built slightly leaning forward. In previous centuries, gables of Amsterdam canal houses were sometimes not completely vertical, but slightly leaning over, in order to create a bigger impression to passers-by.
The Oudezijds Armsteeg used to be a rather run-down alley, dark and gloomy, with a shabby pool cafe and hardly any light - an alley that was avoided by most.
With the new blue and white houses this aspect of the alley has completely changed.
In one of the houses there will be a beer cafe, part of the Prael brewery that is just around the corner.
The KLM houses are collectors items and are traded on various websites (they can be bought i.a. on http://www.klmhouses.com ).
The idea of using old building designs with a humorous touch in completely new buildings is not entirely new. Earlier this year, a new Golden Tulip hotel has been opened in Zaandam, next to the Zaandam train station just north of Amsterdam, in which several gables in traditional 'Zaanse' style have been incorporated (see picture below).
The trend to use traditional house designs can also be seen in some new residential developments in and around Amsterdam.
Click here for a map of the two locations.
Golden Tulip Hotel Zaandam
KLM miniature house
KLM houses at Oudezijdsarmsteeg