Archive for the ‘local stories’ Category


3 Lisbon favorites by Pedro Gadanho

Author: Mieke, Posted: August 28th, 2017

PG Adelno Oliveira(1)_cropOf course Pedro Gadanho, director of MAAT – Museum of Architecture, Art and Technology, did not leave us high and dry when it comes to sights to check out!

Earlier he shared his insights on Lisbon and the role of contemporary architecture in the city, as our selected MIMOA mayor. In the second part of his Q&A with MIMOA founder Mieke, Pedro Gadanho shares three of his favourite spots in the city.

1. Galeto


“I’ve been doing interiors for a long time, and I have even put my work of Orange House on MIMOA. Because of that I would recommend to go, to this cafeteria with this classic 60’s /70’s design interior Galeto’s. You can grab a steak there even around 2 in the morning, and check out the people from the nightlife. Galeto is perfect, if you want to immerse yourself in a retro atmosphere!” 

Galeto is located in the city’s Saldanha district near Campo Pequeno. A long bar with swivels snakes across the floor, or sit in one the booths while you’re there. Galeto is around for nearly fifty years and a bit off the tourist trails – so this one is for the true city dwellers.

2. Parque das Nasçõas – The ‘98 world expo site


For a ‘huge concentration of architectural gems’ you absolutely need to go to the ’98 world expo site’, tells Pedro. “You have the Pavilion of Portugal by Siza Vieira, you have Ciência Viva, the Pavilion of Knowledge by Carrilho da Graça. And I also have to mention the Gare do Oriente Station, by Calatrava. There are just so many things to see here!” 

“Expo terrains can look a like vacant, empty places when not being re-developed properly, this sight is a good example of an expo that turned into a vibrant village within the city itself”.

3. Restaurante Panoramico de Monsanto


“This place is surely worth to rediscover!” tells Pedro Gadanho and it even upholds a special memory to him. “It’s a sort of lost architecture, it’s abandoned since the 70’s – it’s UFO architecture.”

“In the early 00’s we briefly blasted life into the place with the Experimenta Design biennale. We turned it into an instant disco for one night. It was amazing, 3000 to 4000 people came. Unfortunately, the fire department came – declared that the building was not safe for usage – and cleared it out, until today.”

The round building of the Restaurante Panoramico is sitting at the top of a hill, in the forests of Monsanto, just before Lisbon and the largest green patch in the city. “The location is amazing, because you have an absolute view of all of Lisbon. The Restaurant Panoramico now looks like a weird ruin, a misplaced form of Eastern European architecture. Except that this building rather has Facist origins, rather than Communist.”

As of this month, the Restaurante Panoramico is re-opened to the public. 

Read the complete interview with Pedro Gadanho here >>

photo of Pedro Gadanho by: Adelno Oliveira


What ups the game of Lisbon?

Author: Mieke, Posted: August 24th, 2017

MAAT Museum / AL_A / Lisboa, Portugal / 2016photo of MAAT by Francisco Nogueira.

In a Q&A MIMOA founder Mieke Vullings asked Pedro Gadanho, director of MAAT – Museum of Architecture, Art and Technology, all about the revamping of Lisbon as a city and the crucial international role of his museum. 

“In this case, it’s the architecture that pushes the envelope, the driving force behind the Museum’s success – it is the building that attracts people and helps people explore and discover the contents of the museum."

Read the complete interview and discover what Pedro Gadanho thinks about the vibrant and innovative atmosphere in Lisbon >>


Vancouver: Just for the sake of adventure!

Author: Mieke, Posted: June 28th, 2017

North Shore Vancouver- fotograaf jojodas

photo of The aquatic centre at Hillcrest park by Hubert Kang.

“It doesn’t get any better then Vancouver, if you want to live in an urban environment and be close to nature", shares MIMOA mayor Manon Garritsen. Two years ago the illustrator/ designer moved from Holland to Vancouver with her family. ‘Just for the sake of adventure’.

The geographic setting of Vancouver is unique! Magnificent mountains, forests, the ocean and beautiful and peaceful islands surround the urban environment. Originally an industrial town, it combines multiple living aspects. “We have always dreamed of a place like this”, Manon tells, “and with our sons being 5 and 7 respectively at the time – timing seemed just about right to start the next adventure”.

Vancouverism at its best! Making a livable city
“Even though Vancouver is still a very car-based city, I love the ambition to be the greenest city of the world”, says Manon. Creating a liveable city is high on the agenda and it shows in the extensive amount of parks, playgrounds, and walkable streets.

Whilst it can be a challenge to go for a bike ride (sharing roads with cars + the ‘killing’ hills) the city is investing in bike-sharing systems and a more extensive bike network. “With the introduction of better electric bicycles, I’m sure people increasingly start using their bikes!”

Everywhere in the city, you can see the mountains or the ocean. No wonder, ‘Vancouverism’ has become an autonomous movement in urban planning!

A place where these elements al comes together is Stanley Park, the second largest park in North America. It includes a beautiful aquarium and outside swimming pool. You can cycle or run for more than 25 km non-stop along the seawall, while passing many beaches, outside pools, forest and marina’s. “I gladly take people there to visit!”

Albeit nature is the definite selling point for Vancouver; the multi-cultural melting pot of immigrants that came to Vancouver over the last 100 years make the city a warm and welcoming place. You can find a multitude of cuisine’s here!

The 3 favorite buildings of Manon in Vancouver:

1. Museum oif Anthropology
This light and spectacular building displays an impressive collection of Northwest Coast First Nations art. You should go on one of the very engaging free gallery tours to hear beautiful stories about the First Nations and their art. An endless inspiration. I should go again.
thumb_museum of ant
2. Small Victory Bakery
This place saved me, when we just moved to Vancouver. When we were in the midst of buying beds, cutlery, a car and finding our way in Vancouver, this serene, light place (with the best coffee, people and treats) was a place in heaven!
thumb_small victory bakery
3. Beaty Biodeiversity Centre
Our kids love creatures, critters and whale sharks, so this museum was a must see with our boys. A gigantic blue whale (not a shark..) skeleton welcomes you when you walk in. An impressive collection 'playground' for kids and their parents.
thumb_Beaty Biodiversity centre

About Manon:

manonManon is an illustrator and surface pattern designer, based in Vancouver who loves to make simple, whimsical illustrations, print designs and patterns. In the past 20 years, she has been following her curiosity and has worked as Urban Designer, Product Designer, studied Fashion Design and founded her own company and online store. It became clear to her that there has always been one constant: the love for texture, drawing and getting a message across by means of to the point and attractive illustrations.
Manon’s illustrations and patterns have been used for home textiles, apparel, socks, bags, stationary, wall decoration, digital content and brand identities. She has had her work featured in several international publications including a.o. Design Milk, Western Living, Elle Decoration, Flow Magazine, Bright. Curious about her work? Visit: www.manongarritsen.com834B59B3-2CF7-4342-8170-4D194591C081Mi destinations: exploring beyond the obvious cultural sights

Every month a new city around the globe is highlighted. Discover the must-see sights for you as cultural traveler, provided and curated by the MIMOA community and team, accompanied by the local stories our MIMOA mayors and guides.
Read here more about Mi destinations >>

We are taking you off track and hope it inspires you to share your stories too. You are invited to join in and add your favourite buildings and sights to our website.
Join the MIMOA community >>


Living next to Piet Hein Eek

Author: Asmara & Bas, Posted: October 16th, 2016

Piet Hein Eek is known as a prominent Dutch designer. In 2015 he realised his first architectural project named RAG Building. Experience how architecture and design compliment each other in one building and how to live like a neighbour of Piet Hein Eek.

Gebaeude RAG | building RAG
RAG Building, photo by Thomas Mayer

Apartments in the former Philips building RAG

Piet Hein Eek transformed a former industrial Philips-building into several apartments. A project realized by architectural firm Eek and Iggie Dekkers.

The former Philips Complex “Strijp R” where Eek has his atelier, is also the area of his latest project. During the Philips era, the RAG building was used as a pumping station for air, which was used for compression or vacuum in the manufacturing processes. The pumping station is one of the buildings in “Strijp R” that wasn’t demolished. It is now situated between newly built residential buildings.



Late summer in Rotterdam

Author: Benjo, Posted: September 8th, 2016

De-Rotterdam-6-klRotterdam, photo by Ossip:

Either as city trip for the weekend or on your way from Amsterdam to Brussels, September and October are great summer months to visit Rotterdam. Busy, but not crowded, as the Rotterdam streets are extremely forgiving to crowds.

The city is ranking high on international trip advising lists, because of its architecture, the activities, the accessibility and of course the connection with its harbor. Since 2014, the Van Nelle Fabriek has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, giving this modernistic coffee and tobacco factory a world renowned status. Though still underestimated and in the shadows of its big brother Amsterdam, Rotterdam can be seen as the capital of modern architecture and industrial heritage of the Netherlands.

Pictures of the Markthal (MVRDV), the Rotterdam high-rise (OMA) and the Central Train Station (Benthem & Crouwel, Meyer & van Schooten, West 8) went viral and thus Rotterdam suddenly was world famous, and not only among architecture lovers.

What’s the best way to visit Rotterdam and enjoy its culture and architecture?