We flew into Amsterdam and spent our first day exploring the historic portion of the city.
Our day then ended with a boat tour around the IJ. This is me and two of my friends in from of MVRDV’s Silodam.
My last name, “Toren”, means “tower” in Dutch, so I had to get my photo taken with each tower sign that we saw!
We started day two with a tour of a working windmill.
Next we stopped at Volendam - a small fishing village.
We got to see the Parkrand Apartments by MVRDV.
Day 3 started with a tour of the Het Oosten Pavilion by Steven Holl.
We stopped at an outdoor market for lunch and I snapped this shot of a worker restocking a fish stall.
Detroit || March 2016
Our first stop was the Peter Lewis Building by Ghery. This is the view as you first enter the building. I loved the sculptural elements of the upper levels.
The exterior of the Peter Lewis building reflected the sculptural nature of the interior. This is the back of the building
Our next stop was the Toledo Glass Museum. The walls were made of two panes of glass, so that the glass sculptures could be displayed between the two panes, in the walls.
An exterior view of the glass museum. As you can see, not all the walls are glass. These two spaces are for storage, so they have solid walls.
Our first stop, once we made it to Detroit, was the Campbell Ewald advertising headquarters. This building was originally going to be a hotel, so a large hole was cut through all of the floors for an atrium/lobby. Once Campbell Ewald bought the property, they stripped the building down and kept the huge hole in order to achieve a very spacious floor plan.
The interiors of the Campbell Ewald headquarters were very industrial, which made it really feel like it fit into the urban landscape of Detroit. This is their library.
We went on a tour of the campus of Cranbrook Academy. The addition to their institute of science was designed by Peter Holl, who was very interested in light and glass. This photo of the windows in the front atrium shows how he used different types of glass to achieve different shadows and reflections on the blank walls of the room.
We stopped at the Cranbrook natatorium to sketch since it had interesting skylights. It was tough sketching them, though, since they're really only visible from the pool.
This is a quick sketch of the plan and section of the natatorium at Cranbrook. From the section, you can see the massive skylights on the ceiling that also serve as ventilation.
One of the saddest parts of our trip was seeing the old Ford Model T factory. Today it is completely abandoned and falling into disrepair. It really shows how Detroit, a once booming city, is now becoming forgotten and run down.
We stopped and toured Wayne State University's Campus. Many of the buildings on their campus were designed by Yamasaki, including the auditorium building in the distance of this photo. I loved the "modern gothic" style of this building and how the building in the forground frames it perfectly.
The General Motors' Renaissance Center had the scariest elevators that I've ever ridden on! They were glass elevators on the exterior of the building, so you could see just how high up you were traveling. It was terrifying!
In this photo, taken from the top of the Renaissance Center, the left half is actually a reflection of the river on the windows of the building.
We got a chance to explore the Heidelberg project, an art exhibit that has taken over an abandoned neighborhood in the suburbs of Detroit. The project was started in 1986 and has just started to be dismantled, so it was great to see it before it is totally removed.
We stopped at Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park apartment complex. I loved how he specifically chose the trees at the park because of the shadows that they would cast on the buildings.
While at the University of Michigan, I had to stop and see the theater where Team Starkid performed "A Very Potter Musical". It was totally awesome!
All in all, Detroit turned out to be a great trip! Can't wait for next year when the studio takes on Boston!
France || July 2014
As we landed in Paris, a storm was just ending, so the sky looked beautiful for our first shots of the Eiffel Tower!
My cousin and I traveled to France with the York County Honors Choir. We were invited to sing at several sites around the country including La Madeleine, which is where this photo was taken.
One of my favorite shots of one of the many "lock bridges." Shortly after we came home, they started taking the locks down, as their weight posed a threat to the structure of the bridge.
Casually house hunting with my cousin!
We had a free afternoon, so we decided to tour the Paris Opera House... best decision ever!
A view from the Paris Opera House, looking down on the streets of Paris. I loved how uniform the buildings were! It's part of what makes Paris so beautiful. I could never live there, though. I'd get lost so easily!
Heading out of the city still left some beautiful views of the tower
Pretty proud of how this photo turned out- especially since I took it from a moving bus!
A beautiful morning to tour Notre Dame!
Some of the beautiful carvings at Notre Dame. As a huge Disney geek, I got the soundtrack of 'hunchback' stuck in my head, and took this photo because it reminded me of one of my favorite lines- "You never can run from, nor hide what you've done from the eyes of Notre Dame"
Looking down the Seine River
We stopped by the Louvre to say "hi" to Mona, but I was more focused on the views from the building to the courtyard than the art.
I traveled to France with my choir and we were given the honor of singing at Normandy on the Fourth of July for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
Dipping our toes in the water and searching for shells at Gold Beach
The town that twists around a rock in the ocean - Mont Saint-Michel
It was so fun exploring all of the nooks and crannies of this tiny town
We weren't allowed to take many photos inside of the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, but back outside I snapped a pic of a new friend we made.
The abbey has a secret roof-top garden framed by gorgeous, crumbling pointed arches.
When the front half of the abbey crumbled in a land slide, a new gothic addition was constructed. In the nave of the church, the addition blends seamlessly with the rest of the Romanesque half, but down below, in the more private areas of the building the two styles collide more awkwardly, as seen here.
I love this zig zag vaulting pattern!
The beautiful little town of Chartres! We were lucky enough to get a tour of the cathedral from Malcolm Miller, who has devoted over 50 years to studying its architecture and stained glass.
The cathedral at Chartres is known for its stained glass. This is one of its three rose windows, with lancet windows below depicting (from left to right) Christ's death, birth, and the Tree of Jesse.
I'm always blown away at the sculptures on gothic cathedrals!
One of the little alleys of Chartres with a peek of the cathedral.