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Dutch architecture

As long as it's businesslike. "Nieuwe Zakelijkheid", "Nieuwe Bouwen" and later comparable stuff. I'd hardly need explain this. Let me just give a partial list of top dogs and looziers among them:



H.P. Berlage

Click to enlarge Berlage's (Old) Bourse
Click to enlarge Berlage's St. Hubertus hunting lodge
Renown, the grand old man of Dutch architecture. But not admired by me for that. It may suffice for some people that he is renown and therefore renown. And his designs are complete and consistent indeed. Still, his spirit is not mine. And, as compared with the below, he is in a league of his own — on par, not one above..

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M.J. Granpré Molière

Well, sort of OK. Trouble is that his resistance to change from the 19th century bureaucratic mentality creates a style that only slightly incorporates new ideas, thus leading to drag.

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W. Kromhout

Click to enlarge Kromhouts American Hotel (own picture) Added for his American hotel (for those not in the know: only the bar is called Americain), which may not be an example of modernism but which is a consistent, complete piece of art. A bit like Berlage, only lighter of spirit.

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R. van 't Hoff

Click to enlarge Van 't Hoffs Villa Henny Seems to be a clear case of one having ideas, until one has met Frank Lloyd Wright. Then Van 't Hoff's work is pure plagiarism at worst, pastiche at best. Take a look at Villa Henny at Huis ter Heide: compare that with FLlW's Ward Willits House, or Stockman House...

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J. Wils

Click to enlarge Wils' Daal en Berg (Papaverhof) Something of the same as with R. van 't Hoff. Although Wils clearly has a far better understanding of the essentials of Frank Lloyd Wrights work, instead of (only) of that ones outward appearances.

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J. Duiker en B. Bijvoet

Click to enlarge Duiker and Bijvoet their Academie-design Click to enlarge Duiker en Bijvoet: Zonnestraal sanatorium
Click to enlarge Duiker en Bijvoet: Zonnestraal sanatorium
Especially since their style is so clearly between Frank Lloyd Wrights Larkin Building and (previous and) later Italian architects. Clear (pre?)cursors of Dudok...

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T. van Doesburg en C. van Eesteren

Click to enlarge Doesburg en Van Eesteren their Maison Particulière An unlikely couple, these two "De Stijl" spatial sculptors, the one being the artist, the other from a renown building (company) family. But their Maison Particulière remains a rare example of the concrete expression of an abstract idea that can hold its own.

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Gerrit Rietveld

Click to enlarge Rietveld-Schröder house (own picture)
Click to enlarge Rietveld-Schröder house (own picture)
Click to enlarge Rietveld-Schröder house (own picture)
Click to enlarge Rietveld-Schröder house (own picture)
Click to enlarge Rietveld: Red and Blue
Is he an architect, or still the furniture maker? If one considers the Rietveld Schröder house, one tends to think the former. If one looks at Van Doesburg and Van Eesteren first and then to Rietveld's furniture (e.g., the red and blue chair), the latter. He did hardly fit in, he still doesn't. Let's just skip the question and appreciate his works.

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L.C. van der Vlugt

Click to enlarge L.C. van der Vlugt's Feyenoord stadium (De Kuip)
Click to enlarge L.C. van der Vlugt's Van Nelle factory (help by Stam)
Click to enlarge L.C. van der Vlugt's villa for Sonneveld
Van Nelle factory. Need one say more.
Feyenoord stadium. Need one say more.
Often associated with Brinkman, for no other reason than that Brinkman worked with him as partners in one bureau and Brinkman needed vision and ideas to prey on.
For the rest: Van der Vlugt as the epitome of Nieuwe Zakelijkheid.

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W.M. Dudok

Click to enlarge Dudok: Hilversum town hall
Click to enlarge Dudok: Hilversum town hall (own picture) Click to enlarge Dudok: Hilversum town hall (Own picture)
Click to enlarge Dudok: Hilversum town hall (Own huge picture) Click to enlarge Dudok: Hilversum town hall (Own huge picture)
If the municipal building of Hilversum is all of the reason, that's already so much more than any modern architect could be proud of.
Second to fourth pictures my own, the last two thumbnails will enlarge to huge format.

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J.J.P. Oud

Heavily underrated. On who indeed was able to come loose of old thinking without loosing the understanding of being the elder. Take a look at the Nederlandse Congresgebouw in The Hague and you'll understand. Then try to find fitting pictures...

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Aldo van Eyck

Click to enlarge Van Eyck's Hubertus house *NOT*. Although liked by the many that cannot escape their mediocrity and therefore flee (flea) into socialist bureacratic political correctness, there's nothing Van Eyck designed that can stand out as architectural innovation.

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Wim Quist

If doing worse than Van Eyck sounds like an impossible joke, take a look at Quists work and you'll know that that sadly is not only possible but by an enormous margin still, too.
The water cleaning station is no more than a blatant, 'uglified' copy of Frank Lloyd Wrights Johson Wax construction. And has one considered the Erasmus University of Rotterdam at Woudenstein? Wasted effort, wasted concrete. Undoing a lot of the beauty of Rotterdam in one single building.

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Herman Hertzberger

Ah. Untermenschen-architecture also, but by example and squared. Quite fit for purpose, though ...
.. if one wants to box the suckers of the herd. Let me stop writing here, because anger about the insult of having this kind of architecture out for public viewing creeps in.

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Carel Weeber

The same, Herzberger cubed. The Black Madonna makes one wonder whether why people complain computers have no consciesness while this building shows that some architects have even less under their skull. What poverty of mind!

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Jo Coenen

Click to enlarge Coenens Netherlands Architecture institute Happily, a positive note to continue with. Being a bit on the (post)modernist side, and thus running the risk of getting outdated, he shows that incorporation of new ideas into serious buildings (his Institute of architecture — NAi, for example) is indeed possible without becoming faddish.
One could also take a look at a panorama picture in Quicktime (317Kb...), plucked from the NAi-site. If you need to download the QuickTime-player (4), click on the icon.
Click to download download QuickTime
Click to play the panorama of outside Coenens Netherlands Architecture institute

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Rem Koolhaas

Click to enlarge Koolhaas: Philosophy No, not for the Kunsthal. That's a standard run-of-the-mill piece of work. But for his OMA work and for his books (rambling on..?). Hence, for the totality of his philosophy.

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A. Alberts and M. van Huut

Click to enlarge Alberts and Van Huut: ING (formerly NMB)
Click to enlarge Alberts and Van Huut: ING (formerly NMB) Click to enlarge Alberts and Van Huut: ING (formerly NMB)(own picture)
"Of the" NMB-bank building in Amsterdam South-East (after the mergers, now the ING building).
Much copied by themselves, in all sorts of (smaller) variants and hence becoming boring.
Let's hope that they'll be able to break free of their tinseltown philosophy and find a whole new way.

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A. Bonnema

Click to enlarge Bonnema's Nationale Nederlanden Never heard of him? So have many, many too many. Just because his beautiful Nationale Nederlanden-building in Rotterdam doesn't fit in with the poverty trend of Van Eyck, Quist, Herzberger and Weeber (see above), doesn't mean his work is perfect for the place. Or does the not fitting in exactly means doing good work ..?

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The Rest

Click to enlarge de Clerq Zubli's Rembrandttower
Click to enlarge Van Berkel's Erasmusbrug ('Zwaan' of 'Schommel')
Won't I include the De Clerq Zubli's Rembrandttower? Well, it's quite nice, but still second division stuff.
Won't I include Van Berkel's Erasmusbrug? Well, it's kind of OK, but mere engineering instead of design when compared to Calatrava. And for Sjoerd Soeters: Underrated by those who don't recognise him, overrated by those who do.

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More will follow here later, like, pictures and stuff.
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