By now you all know I’m developing my own house. The Benjamin One. Somehow it continues to feel like nothing but fiction. The design only exists in my computer. Talks I have with the local government, buyers, contractor, friends and colleagues are… talks. So, Benjamin One, my future house, continues to be some sort of imagination. A dream. Fiction.
I walked by the lot where my house will be constructed and realised something was different. I noticed little yellow pickets defining the lot. My lot. Suddenly the Benjamin One project turned from fiction to reality. It’s just four little pickets. But it makes all the difference to me.
It’s an iconic symbol of London and one of my favourite buildings. London’s Gherkin, designed by Lord Norman Foster. Last week I visited London so I had to check out the Gherkin… again.
Since I love this building I visit the Gherkin every time I visit London. And every time I take many, perhaps too many pictures. This years winner is the photo pictured above.
Last week a Cobouw journalist interviewed me regarding the Benjamin One Project. He wanted to know what inspired me in the design. I answered “iPhone”. Read the full article here.
Well, okay. It’s not just been a while. It’s been a looooooong while. My last post dates back to June 2014, which is exactly 630 days ago. Yep, it’s a long time, and a lot has happened since.
The thing that kept me most busy is an idea. A stupid idea at first. Here it comes: What if I would design and develop my own house?
Yeah, why not?
Long story short: I did. And since it’s my first house, I named the project Benjamin One. Soon it turned out “Benjamin Three” would be more applicable. This is because the local government “forced” me to develop two other houses as well. In return of this “favour”, I was allowed to pick the lot I preferred most. Soon construction of the three houses starts. It’s going to be exciting times!
Exactly seventy years ago more than 150.000 Allied troops, about half of them Americans, invaded Western Europe. They started on the beaches of Normandy and liberated the entire continent within 12 months. Six years ago I visited the beaches of Normandy myself. It had (and still has) a huge impact on me. Just think of it, hundreds of thousands of soldiers risked their lives invading a continent they didn’t know, to liberate people they didn’t know, all because of a single word… Freedom.
Today, especially today, I try to think of the alternative. What if the Americans decided not to help us? After all, it’s not their continent and it’s not them who neglected their armies for way too long (allowing the Germans to easily conquer the entire continent). But the Americans did help us, the rest is history.
I wish we’d think of this more often…