Mercat Colon – Valencia

Mercat Colon – Valencia

I visited the beautifully restored Mercat Colon in Valencia in November 2017. This is a market built in 1916 in late Valencia art nouveau style. The market is centrally situated in Valencia in one of the city’s 19th Century expansion areas. The market fell into decay at the end of the 20th Century. The city and some local architects took the initiative to renovate and revitalise the market by adding a basement sales area and an underground parking while preserving the historic market structure.






De Hallen – Amsterdam

De Hallen – Amsterdam

De Hallen in Amsterdam is the outcome of a full redevelopment of a former tram depot into an urban mixed-use project including a hotel, a multi-media library, a cinema, a film studio, an administrative centre, and some retail. The project, located west of the city centre at a short distance from De Jordaen, is best known for its food hall, attracting large crowds. The project respected the monumental and authentic buildings of the tram depot.

amsterdam - de hallen - central walkway

Central walkway in De Hallen, providing access to all attractions and shops.

The tram depot was built in several stages between 1901 and 1928. The depot was listed as monument in 1999. The GVB Amsterdam municipal public transport company stopped activities in the tram depot and handed the premises over to the local district in 1997.

Though there were many ideas for the redevelopment and several attempts to have temporary functions in the buildings, the buildings went into a deplorable state and squatters took over part of the building.

amsterdam - de hallen - food hall - overview2

De food hall in De Hallen met een van de bars.


Local residents, future users, architect Andre Van Stigt and others involved established the TROM Tram Depot Development Corporation in 2010. Aim of the corporation was to 1: redevelop the tram depot into a functioning quality urban mixed-use environment, 2: have functions which connect to the needs in the neighbourhood but also have a higher level attractiveness, 3: feasible and profitable development and operation.

amsterdam - de hallen - food hall - stalls

Food stalls in the food hall inside De Hallen


Today, De Hallen is a 16,000 sq.m complex with a mix of local and commercial facilities. The passageway provides a new walking route through the premises connecting the Bellamystraat with the Bilderdijkkade. The walkway connects all the facilities inside the premises. Eventually De Hallen was delivered in phases, after only 14 to 21 months.

amsterdam - de hallen - denim city store

Jeans studio of Denim City Store in De Hallen


Originally, the redevelopment plans for De Hallen included a significant amount of residential as well. However, to speed up the process, the area for redevelopment and the areas for new development were split and developed separately. Currently a good number of housing projects are underway in the area.

amsterdam - de hallen - new urban residential

New residential developments in immediate vicinity of De Hallen at Bilderdijkkade


De Hallen have been a success since the opening in 2014. The food hall, the restaurant, and the hotel in particular are popular among Amsterdam residents and also to visitors. The success of De Hallen is emphasised by the fact that the surrounding neighbourhood has been branded ‘Hallenkwartier.’ (Hallen Quarter)

amsterdam - de hallen - store selling local products

Store on the central walkway in De Hallen selling goods produced in the neighbourhood and in the city


The food hall and next-door restaurants, Halte 3 Brasserie and Meat West Restaurant, were the brainchild of four college friends, Chong Chu, Tsibo Lin, Zing-Kyn Cheung and Rakish Gangapersad. The focus is on diversity and on originality. The food hall consists of 20 food stalls and 3 bars.

amsterdam - de hallen - hallenkwartier

Neighbourhood of De Hallen already dubbed Hallenkwartier (Hallen Quarter)


Cogels Osylei Antwerp – walking in the Belle Epoque

Cogels Osylei Antwerp – walking in the Belle Epoque

The Cogels Osylei is one of the most remarkable and beautiful streets in Antwerp. The street was developed in the late 19th Century when an eastern extension was built for Berchem and Antwerp. The street counts almost 100 houses, a highly eclectic architectural ensemble. Houses with art nouveau elements stand next to houses with revival design elements such as neo-roman, neo-greek, or neo-gothic.

Cogels Osylei - Antwerp, nrs 44, 46, 48

From right to left: Cogels Osylei 44 (Iris) =, 46 (De Roos), and 48: three houses with different design contributing to the variety in the Cogels Osylei

The houses, built between 1894 and 1908, were designed by various architects, contracted by either the construction company or the person who had himself a house built. Architects active in the area at that time include Joseph Bascourt, Jules Hofman, T. Van den Bossche, Jacques de Weerdt, and Frans Smet-Verhas

Antwerp-Cogels Osylei 45-47-49-51

Cogels Osylei 45-47-49-51: ensemble of houses designed as a castle in Flemish-Renaissance style by Architect Frank Van Dijk

All houses are listed monuments and the street is a protected urban landscape. Only two houses have been demolished and replaced by three newer properties.

antwerp-cogels osylei-view from side street

Cogels Osylei 33 and 35. View from Van Merlenstraat on Cogels Osylei


Antwerp-Cogels Osylei-view

View through the Cogels Osylei, overlooking a selection of houses on the east side of the street


Antwerp, Zurenborg, Cogels Osylei

From right to left: Cogels Osylei nr 50 De Zonnebloem (Sunflower), nr 52 (De Tulp), and nr 54 (Klaverblad). The first two with art nouveau elements, and Klaverblad as example of neo Flemish-Renaissance.


The well known house De Zonnebloem (The Sunflower) was constructed in 1900. Designed by Architect Jules Hofman, who also designed De Roos, attached some floral art nouveau style elements. Nr 52, De Tulp (The Tulip) was built as atelier by artist Eugene Joors. Archtect Jules Hofman combined floral art nouveau elements with cottage style elements in the design. The theme and name of the house refers to the preference Joors had for floral paintings. Nr 54, Het Klaverblad (Cloverleaf) was designed by Architect Daniel Rosseels in a pronounced neo Flemish-Renaissance style.


Antwerp, Zurenborg, Cogels Osylei

Three houses designed by Architect Jos Bascourt in neo-Flemish Renaissance style


antwerp, cogels osylei, zurenborg

Three mansions integrated in House Apolloon, designed by Architect Ernest Stordiau in neo-Roman style.


antwerp, cogels osylei, zurenborg

Cogels Osylei in winter. From right to left nrs 42, 44, 46 and 48


antwerp, cogels osylei, zurenborg, quinten matsys

Block of houses in Cogels Osylei, from left to right: nr 84, nr 82, nr 80, the remarkable Quinten Matsys, and nr 78


antwerp, cogels osylei, zurenborg

Carolus Magnus, a group of 4 houses designed by architects J. Bilmeyer and J. Van Riel