A Drop of the Netherlands
Interconnectivity fostering creativity and new ways of finding inspiration
The Netherlands – a country located in Northwestern Europe. Characterized by water, canals, windmills, vast skies, and much more. Its biggest city and capital, Amsterdam, is a true European city: historical, beautiful, interconnected. And at the same time it is a huge magnet for creatives from all over the Netherlands but also from around the globe.
But what does this country offer creatives from all over the world? And how does its in-built interconnectivity drive creativity in new and inspiring ways? This episode of “A Drop of…” takes Alessandro Preda, a renowned architect and member of the American Institute of Architecture, to the Netherlands. Right from the beginning of his trip, Alessandro notices that the element of water has a specific meaning here. This is not only reflected in the famous canals that meander through the city but also becomes obvious at his first stop.
Frank van den Bruele welcomes Alessandro to Hotel & Wellness Zuvier. A place that invites a multi-sensory experience of water – full of relaxation. The spa is located outside the city center, in the middle of Amsterdam Forest. It has been built following the model of a Roman bath: high ceilings, water at its heart, clear lines and symmetry – an architecture that invites pure relaxation. The combination of different textures, colorful lights, calming scents and the relaxing sound of water round off the full sensory experience.
But it’s not only the Dutch capital that is full of creativity. Alessandro continues his travels to the outskirts and discovers a place which is simply magical and full of creativity in all its facets: Maakgemeenschap De Hoop in Hoofddorp. Back in 2018, Steff van Seijen together with others took the former cardboard factory and developed a new home for a creative community consisting of artists, designers, and makers. Floor Nijdeken, an artist and maker, as he describes himself, was one of the first creatives to experience and add to this special spot from the early days. Here, interconnectivity functions as the heart of inspiration: Strolling around the huge space, Alessandro meets various artists, every single one of whom has their own technique, their own ideas, their own creations. From newbies to experienced artists – sharing expertise and inspiring one another is the focus at De Hoop – it’s an impressive demonstration of the creative power that somehow comes together in the Netherlands. But see for yourself and discover a country in constant motion and full of creativity.
Founder of alepreda architecture & miduny
Alessandro Preda is an Italian-born architect and furniture maker based in Brooklyn.
Ale holds a Master of Architecture from Harvard University and a Degree in Economics from Bocconi University. His research focuses on digital fabrication, craft, and construction methodologies.
He is the founder of alepreda architecture, a design studio with offices in Brooklyn and Brescia (IT). The studio’s work has been featured internationally on Elle Decor, Dwell, AD, and current projects are under construction in the USA, Italy, and the Czech Republic. His award-winning furniture line is commercialized under the moniker miduny.