Garance’s Bike Ride

My name is Garance Weber, and I study Architecture at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, which is in a small village in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. I am currently doing a year long internship at an architecture firm in Rotterdam.

Everyday I cycle for 40 minutes to work (and back) through the beautiful city of Rotterdam. I go from the very east to the very west, cycling through the modern city center with all its bruteness and glory, to Delfshaven, which is as traditionally Dutch as it gets. It's amazing to me how varied the Rotterdam landscape can be, from windmills to skyscrapers, and from big streets to farmland in just a couple of minutes.

I drew a range of buildings! From the beautiful Witte Huis, which I have been told was the first skyscraper of Europe when it was finished in 1898, to De Rotterdam, which is one of my favourite modern office buildings. I also drew Hotel New York and The Erasmus Bridge, which are very close to each other and yet completely different in architectural style and feel. One is a postmodern superstructure, the other an elegant 19th century building with all kinds of ornaments. That contrast defines Rotterdam for me.

I drew the card in Vectorworks, which is a computer program that I use on a daily basis to create markups for the projects I work on. The card I designed takes you on a trip through Rotterdam, which you and your pen pal can enjoy too.