As part of my photography course we took a trip to the Heijplaat, a neighbourhood of Rotterdam with the appearance of small village on a peninsula in the middle of the port. The assignment was to take a series of black and white pictures that gave an impression of what the quarter must have looked like when it was recently built.
I like to prepare myself well for these assignments, so I plunged into the history of this part of the city in order to make a plan for my series. This is what I found.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the largest pre-WWII shipbuilding and repair company in Rotterdam, Rotterdamse Droogdok Maatschappij, ordered the architect H.A.J. Baanders to build a new district near the docks to house their employees.
It was a difficult time, so luxury was out of the question. Still the architect who belonged to the Amsterdam School, wanted to create houses that were attractive in order to uplift the spirits of its inhabitants. That is why he designed buildings with different shapes (rounded, organic), decorative masonry, wrought ironwork and integrated architectural sculpture.
In my photos I have tried to capture the characteristics of this architectural style. The sunlight was fierce, not ideal, but I took up the challenge and made use of the shadows as much as possible. I hope you like the result and get an idea of this interesting district.
In response to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Buildings.