Airports and Railway stations are some of the most fascinating places to watch life go by. They are at all times, flooded with people with hopes, with dreams, with aspirations and with purpose – all trying to go somewhere – maybe the first vacation of their lives; to grab that dream job; for meeting their friends or loved ones; to attend to an emergency; to home; to experience experiences never experienced before; for business; or to just make a living at those places, to get by the day, while watching others, in hopes that one day they might join the crowd, to go somewhere.
When I took a flight back to Amsterdam from my trip to Prague, I couldn’t shake the feeling of the need to take a moment to retrospect and realised that I felt some of those emotions, which I seem to remember in vivid detail, every time I landed at or took off from this particular Schiphol Airport.
I stumbled upon this building, while browsing through the pictures of buildings with modern architecture in the Netherlands. A sudden urge to see it led me to jump onto the next train. After a series of incidents – missed metros, taking the wrong train, getting myself lost in the station, being stuck in in a bus in mad traffic, I finally reached 2 hours later – way beyond my initial estimate of 35 minutes and it was all worth the trouble as it turned out even more stunning than what I expected.
Although it seemed quite opaque from the outside with the black walled exteriors, the interiors on the contrary were just the opposite – there was a flood of natural light everywhere.
The huge atrium basking in sunlight exhumed an enormous sense of space which made everyone and everything seem small – the readers were merely specks of dust amongst hundreds, reading a book or two from a collection of millions. That amplifying effect turned the softest of rustles – my slow footsteps and the camera’s mechanical shutter, into the loudest of noises, which apparently due to damping effects of the building design, no one could hear but me.
The sharp dramatic shadows, casted by the natural light, in most corners of the library, made it quite enjoyable to shoot silhouettes from a variety of angles.
It probably was the first time that four of my friends, all unanimously agreed, for an impromptu trip to the beach. After a 30 minute train ride, we reached Zandvoort and 5 minute walk later, we were at the beach. It being a friday, neither of us were in a hurry to do anything and that gave me with plenty of time to walk around and take pictures.
It was especially fun watching the dogs run about, for no particular reason, but for the joy of it.
I enjoy modern architecture, as the usual main ingredient is something I adore – Minimalism. Except physical objects that serve a function of utility, all things Modern Art, the squiggly drawings and incomprehensible artefacts, inspite of the popular notion of minimalism, are simply beyond my mortal comprehension. It precisely was what put me off from visiting the Stedelijk, but since I had nothing better to do, I finally decided to go. Needless to say, I had a great time taking pictures of the building than looking at art.