Wonderful, the Stedelijk Museum has reopened and I can finally wander round again the way I used to. The Van Gogh museum as a building never much appealed to me, even though I adored the paintings from his ‘French period’. I soon avoided the Rijksmuseum because of Cuypers’ heavyhanded architecture. The stifled building renovated as a kind of crypt was never much fun to be in. No, I visited the Stedelijk every weekend as an adolescent with my national museum subscription card. It was not necessarily the tendency to study the meaning or technique of art that made me happy, but actually just the act of looking, feeling it and then imitating it at home. The postcard I bought of my favourite painting by Willem de Kooning – Rosy fingered dawn at Louise Point – is still in my possession. Imitating and then improving never came easily to me, so I became an architect instead.
Still, art is, due to its autonomous nature, a great source of inspiration to many architects. So much freedom, daring and expression. How to implement these in our highly determined work. I witnessed the renovation in the P.L. Takstraat in Amsterdam by De Klerk and Kramer at close quarters. I saw the way in which architecture and art formed a whole through the cooperation between the architects and sculptor Hildo Krop. The lead cockerel symbolising the dawn of housing association De Dageraad (Daybreak), is an artwork in itself and partly emphasises the craftsmanship with which the buildings were realised.
Contents Jurriaan van Stigt—It’s Good to Have an Itch, p 8 Laurens Jan ten Kate—The Water Curtain-A Dynamic Ornament, p 18 J.J.P. Oud—Chronical—FORUM XXVII-2/3 1947, p 30 Bastiaan Gribling—Paper Architecture, p 38 Nico Zimmermann—Shine a Light-On Daylight in Museum Architecture, p 48 Francisca Benthem—Frozen Thoughts, p 62 Annemieke Diekman—Museum for the Orphaned Statue, p 78 Jörn Schiemann—Artwork in Search of a New Host, p 86 Jan-Richard Kikkert—Fort Vechten, p 90 Madeleine Steigenga— Gesamtkunstwerk-An Icon on the Move, p 102
In 1996, I called Martin and Joke Visser to ask whether our office would be allowed to visit their Rietveld House renovated by Van Eyck. I studied in Eindhoven for almost ten years without visiting it. Van Eyck played an important role during my studies. Angered by the appointment of our final year professor Dick Apon – one of his Forum friends – Van Eyck then avoided any contact with this alternative architecture course at the TU/e. And Rietveld – having died not too long before – was given little attention in those days. ×