One of the most immediate impressions one has of a Wendingen publication is of the format. It is ironically a very stout and conventional square shape, while not being a standard Din format. This is obviously a considered format, one which was chosen so as to fulfill a specific requirement. Similarly, once the publication is opened, the considerations of lay-outing the page as well as the type, is as immediate. The shortening of the printed area of the page reverts the visual shape of the page back to a more common rectangular format. The lay-outing of the type too is interesting as it plays along a similar functionality. With colour fields being constructed from smaller sets of shapes aligned together. This back and forth in format and form is something that may be interesting to play with on a digital platform such as a a basic webpage, where format differs from screen to screen, and browser to browser. Although this is fairly standardized, there is some variation. The lay-outing of individual elements in HTML then allows for a chance to reformat the page as desired by the user. While this is in no means a finished or particularly useful webpage, a more playful and relevant investigation into these issues is at least a potentially good starting point.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
I went through dozens of Wendingen magazines, but what stopped me and caught my attention, after turning side by side of every issue i could get from the library of the Rijksakademie, was something that literally fell out of the system. A piece of paper that was stacked between the pages of one of the Frank Lloyd Wright issues. In that moment it didn’t matter if that loose inserted paper piece was connected to the text or not. It was something that woke me up, because it was something different. Not only did it change physically how the pages bended, it visually stood out. Within the machine printed optics of the magazine this personal little letter felt fresh, it felt original and uplifting, even though i didn’t know what the signs and numbers written on the postcard sized paper meant. When i talked to the librarian, she told me that very probably the original owner left it in the magazine and they want viewers to just leave it in. This means that this additional subjective extra piece became somehow a part of the magazine. For me however it was not only about just something additionally put in the magazine. It was as well the “ordered” appearance of the paper. The yellowed post card prsented a lot of different elements, like something cut out and glued, different hand writings in different material and color, different sizes and even something struck through. Overall however the card seems still ordered and almost thoughtfully arranged.
Wendingen x Rijksacademie Amsterdam
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
When i first went trough the pile of Wendingen magazines something struck me when I saw the cover of the “techniek en kunst” edition. At that point i didn’t really know what it was about that edition, but when thinking more thoroughly about it I had the feeling that I had seen it before. Going through my archive of pictures I found a poster designed by Karl Gerstner that had a lot of similarities. It left me thinking how amazing it was that something that was designed an odd thirty years later had a lot of the same qualities. The cover of the Wendingen magazine was designed by Wim Gispen, one of my favorite Dutch industrial designers. Before this discovery I only knew Gispen for his famous chairs, lamps and interior architecture in general. Unaware of the fact that graphic design at that time was not really labeled a profession, designers also did graphic design on the side. Though you can see that the cover designed by Gispen is an early design and not really modern any more it still has some modern qualities.
The use of shapes, circles, overprints and probably a grid in my opinion is quite modern. I think it fits in the same style of work as the early Swiss style of graphic desgin. That is why it reminded me of the work of Karl Gerstner a Swiss graphic designer that was part of the Swiss style. A movement that I am a big fan of because of their simple use of shape and subliminal use of color. Because Gispen is more linked to “de Stijl” movement I would have never expected that he designed the cover for the Wendingen Magazine but overall I am quite happy that I picked this copy because of the insight it gave me in early graphic design and the progression it went through over the years.
Wendingen 9-2 1928 Rijksacademie Amsterdam
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
In the Wendingen issue, Kristallen Wondervormen der Natuur from 1924 i found this picture of a calcite stalactite. I choose the picture because I did not remember to have ever seen anything like it and that made me curious. After a bit of research I learned that a stalactite is a type of formation that hangs from the ceiling of caves, hot springs or manmade structures such as brigdes and mines. Limestone caves, where most stalactites are found, are mainly composed of calcite, a rather common mineral found in sedimentary rocks. Stones and crystals have been a huge passion of mine, for as long as I can remember. The interest started in an early age, as my parents took me, my brother and sister for long walks up and down the coast-line in Denmark. We were looking for fossils, amber, seashells and stones. We never really knew why we were doing it, but it soon got competitive. Who would found the most exquisite one? The biggest? The funniest? And we would carry large heavy amounts back to our house and place them carefully, in an order, on shelves or window sills. My mother keeps collecting and my parents house have turned into what could be called an exhibition of stones and stuff. My father sometimes forces her to get rid of some of the stones, because he says “it doesn’t make sense”, but my mother took me to the farthest place of their backyard; a wilderness of weeds and showed me where she get’s rid of the stones. The pile is enormous. When asked why stones are so fantastic, my mother says: because they are ordinary and exquisite and they look beautiful in the rain. Later I started making animations where I would scan some of my favorite stones and give them simple movements. Maybe they would turn around, or switch back and forth between a crystal and a flintstone. I too like the normality of stones and I embrace that my love for them doesn’t make any sense at all.
Wendingen 6-11 1924 Rijksacademie Amsterdam
Monday, March 11, 2013
Hendrikus Theodorus Wijdeveld is a well-known architect and artist. He started his independent architectural life from 1913. During that time, Wijdeveld was one of the members of ’Architecture et Amicitia’ which consisted of young architects. They played an important role in art, architecture and design in The Netherlands. H. Th. Wijdeveld was not only active in architecture, he was also engaged in interior design, typography and graphic design. Being inspired and influenced by architect Cuypers’s neo Gothic style, H. Th. Wijdeveld combined art-deco, typography and architecture into a publication, a stage for artists which I will introduce in following paragraph. He traveled to other countries and created an international network with other artists, therefore, the cultural movements in other countries significantly connected with his works. It made his creative life considerably various and versatile.
Between 1918 to 1932, this art group wanted to create a platform to discuss contemporary architecture and applied arts. They published the specific magazine named “Wendingen”. This poster is one of the covers of magazine. He combined the architecture, typography and decorative art on this cover. “Wendingen” also showed their adoration of decorative art. This magazine was an influential publication juxtaposed with the other one published by De Stijl.
I choose this item/poster because i was attracted by its “pattern”. It’s a little bit difficult for me to understand the information of poster. It doesn’t bother me at all. The decorative typesetting associated with architecture reminds me of textiles pattern. I would like to spend some time staring at this “painting” rather than searching information. However, i still can’t comprehend what has been shown on the poster. The combination of typography with architecture is a new language for me. It is the reason i chose this item.
What is the essential point that a poster should possess? Some posters carry only information that viewers can easily record, but viewers experience no more than the information itself. Some posters are shouting out in a visual way. They can attract people’s attention much more, even though the posters are false examples in terms of commercial strategy. The artists and poster designers have been searching for a wider range of possibilities between this objectives since poster art appeared. This poster “Competition for the League of Nations building, 1927” achieves an interesting balance between sensitive art-deco and sans-serif capitals which are rational reading-friendly.
Tracing back the background of this poster, the development of poster art in the Netherlands was more independent and domestic comparing with other big cites, for example, Paris, Berlin and London. Because of the smaller scale of the society structure, the commerce posters were squeezed in the tiny shop windows on narrowly snaking streets, that viewers should catch at short distance. Jan Toorop’s lithograph below is a good example of that.
Comparing with other countries where commercial posters were flourishing and kept appearing, the advertising posters were trapped in the small scale and didn’t leave a significant impact. The artists didn’t regard the poster art as the main art form especially the commercial posters. One reason is because of the Calvinistic background. To some Dutch artists and designers, the art works connecting with ”money” were dirty and sinful. They insisted to stay uncompromising on capitalism and commerce. They opened the other battle field for discussing and made it an art of taken out every materialistic element, simple truly aesthetics. At the same time, because of the faster industrial development, mechanical techniques were created. Some artists and designers combined the simple form and mechanical repetitive words into making a stronger power more shouting. This movement did change some cultural and political posters that artists paid more attention.
The debate continued when the WW1 started. The Netherlands was neutral and locked behind the front line. The debate became a place in which some artists hided as the safest position, including their works. Although they turned their face back from cruel war, WW1 left an enormous impact that no one in society and economy could escape from. One art group started to organize and wanted to bring a new realm of art to their modern world. The publication they published named “De Stijl”. They carried the part of purify spirit from the past and gave it a more mathematics functional meaning. They also connected with constructivism, creating the harmony of materialism spirit.
In the same time, 1917, another magazine, called “Wendingen”, was published by Architectura & Amicitia, representing a group of united architect designers and artists who took an important role in Dutch art at that time. They showed their love of Art-deco, combining architecture approach to typography. These two groups formed important movements in the society at that time. During that era, most artists and designers were trying to provide new modern approach to break the previous society pattern.
The “Wendingen-style” which drew part of the art-Deco tradition from the nineteen century seemed old fashion and alienated for public. Digging into the rule of “Wendingen style” that was built up by Hendrikus Theodorus Wijdeveld, we know it created an elaborate composition of angular type as architecture construction with some art nouveau manner called “the Amsterdam School”. Stern rectangle tittles jump out of the ornamental borders with sanserif letters in the rest of the text. Hand-drawn illustration is placed on the edge of the posters. The fusion of old aesthetic and modern innovation, rationality and sensibility, stern and poetry arranges an interesting composition on this one poster.
In my opinion, the influence from Wendingen is not just a “style”, is the open attitude about “fusion”. ‘Wendingen meaning “turns” or “change”, and Wijdeveld became the new review’s editor-in-chief and “art director”. Unlike De Stijl, publication which began almost simultaneously (one week earlier), Wendingen did not publish manifestos or polemics. Without precise manifesto or rule intervening like an army, it broadly contains various subjects, including paintings, sculpture, theater, commerce issue, cultural discussion and vice versa. It gradually became a platform for ‘young artists’. Although the “Wendingen-style” posters still have strict construction and specific gesture, the way they arranged the layout and the type combined, provided the innovative open manner which saved the “old good time” in the same time. No matter how the viewers interpret this typography, in the other way, the posters become a shout with the crunch of rectangle. It’s cultural-cross. For me, the poster shouldn’t only express rational information. It has to represent the clear gesture from artists and provide the flexible space for different interpretation from different audience. We aren’t forced to be filled with the emotion from creators.
Take some Asian posters as example. This Japanese political poster (below) was born from the restless society in 30’s in Japan. They used the language in a way that we couldn’t entirely understand information. The typography becomes a pattern that shows the atmosphere itself. I can feel this shouting crossing the gap of culture.
The painting above (right) is a famous landscape painting from 1857. the frame is a poem, becoming a decorative border. Keeping us far with the frame make us more calm, as an outside observer, than left one. The poem works not just because of meaning, but because its position.
another nice video of designer Paul Schuitema
Look at later eastern typographical poster and western typography above. I could see the influence from the era of Wendingen and De Stijl still has lots to do with it. The influence is not only shown in a visual way, but also in the manner. When a poster is entirely composed of words, the way they arrange the title has lots to do with the function and emotion. Words express the meaning themselves and feeling and the composition expresses feeling at the same time. It considerably provided “typing” with a chance to break the boundary. The posters above values the clear information and decorative element which give us a flexible space for interpretation. We know the event and can “feel” what they are thinking about at the same time.
In my opinion, it is also an important reason for why this poster from Hendrikus Wijdeveld becomes an annotation of Dutch poster art development and the significant step for transforming the meaning of the poster. It’s manner still influences later poster design till nowadays.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
In my research project I became very interested in some paintings that I found in one of the Wendingen magazine I researched. It was very strange to see some issues about Pyke Koch or Klimt because Wendingen was a monthly publication aimed at architecture and interior design. I am wondering why the chief editor who was the architect H. Th. Wijdeveld decided to publish some issues about paintings in this magazine which appeared from 1918 to 1932!
After the First World War in Europe it was a difficult and depressing period. For the young hoping for careers in architecture, painting, sculpture or interior design the prospects were bleak, with preference inevitably going to older and more experienced exponents with establish reputations, the fact of being young meant a disadvantage. Even the older generation with a record of solid achievement reaching back perhaps to the days before the Great War found it hard to make ends meet in the drab years of the Depression and anyone fortunate enough to be in safe and congenial employment took care to hold on to his position at any cost. It was quite hard for painters to alone sell of their works and many artists started to paint decorative elements screens for interior decorators or to design china or textiles. It presented good opportunities to earn some money. On top of all that, a new movement – Art deco started to come in use.
Art Deco took place in various subjects including architecture.
Frank Lloyd Wright was at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century the American architect credited with the invention of the skyscraper. Wright was instrumental in fashioning a specific American Tradition of modern decoration upon which American Art Deco was built. This is particularly true of the horizontal style of domestic architecture. The best example is ,,The Robie House’’. Inside of the building you can find a lot of decorative elements. On the wall you can see long, black stripe, on the windows arty stain glass, which bright designs. All these Art Deco elements were influence by a number of other art movements. For instance, Edward Wadsworth was one of the main figures in the Vorticism movement. If you look at “The Robie House” walls and ,,Liverpool shipping’’ you can see that Wright using the same concept of a vortex as Edward.
You can find the same examples with Art Deco style and Expressionism(forms derived from nature are distorted or exaggerated and colors are intensified for emotive or expressive purposes), Futurism (forms derived chiefly from Cubism were used to represent rapid movements and dynamic motion; showing hostility to traditional forms of expression), Cubism (the reduction of natural forms to their geometrical equivalents).
In Amsterdam you can find Art Deco style in Architecture too. One of the most famous building is ,, American Hotel’’. It was built in 1900. In American Hotel there are many features which are typical of the Art Deco style period, such as the stained-glass windows. Also you can see some paintings which are placed inside. The café American has beautiful interior which reminded me some of Klimt works. Ornaments on furniture (especially on chairs) and colour palette are quite similar like The Café American.
Moreover, one of the Dutch artist- Pyke Koch was interested not just in painting and drawing but in interior design too. He created and also made interior designer for the van Dam van Isselt house in Utrecht. Pyke Koch painted on the marble table, garden doors and painted dolphins on the floor.
Wendingen magazine was published in 1918 almost in the same period when Art Deco movement started. I think this style was very important in a lot of art fields and it was relevant with architecture and interior design. It can be a reason why in Wendingen magazine you can find some information about artists who was the most concentrate in paintings.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
There is no spectacular reason why I chose this Wendingen magazine. I haven’t had the luck to know anyone who owns such furniture or designed their home according to the Amsterdam School. But maybe because I know so little about the Amsterdam School and the Stijl I became curious in it’s influence on present design, art and architecture. Additionally, how do we people living in the 21st century look at the ideologies of the artists like Piet Kramer, Gerrit Rietveld and W. M. Dudok? Also, what do we think of the photographs of interiors that were designed by these designers?
The first thing I thought of when I saw the photographs is that I wouldn’t want my house to consist of only primary colors with the black, white and gray colour combination. I generally find their houses too impersonal and geometrical because of the lack of spontaneity and absurdity.
The Schröder-Rietveld House, however, I find exceedingly playful because of the ability to turn an open space into separate private rooms. Also, the practicality of the house is simple, sincere and has its particular charm.
The main reason why I liked this ‘Wendingen’ magazine was because of the numerous black/white photographs. My focus also drew to the captions underneath the photographs as they tried to describe the colors of the furniture, which you could not see or even guess.
For some years ago I liked to find old , black & white pictures of random rooms. I would use colored pencils to color these, for example, living rooms or dining rooms in. I would attempt to make the color combinations expressive, intense and sometimes clashing so they become livelier.
I like to work with themes such as nostalgia: focus on the beauty as on the absurdity of it. The furniture in the ‘Wendingen’ issue have a touch of nostalgia now, which I do not believe that someone like Rietveld or Kramer would have wanted their designs to turn into. This is simply bound to happen, so the interesting part to it now is what to do with these photos in the Wendingen issue?
There were several photographs of Piet Kramer‘s work in the issue, which I genuinely like, and who is now one of the known key figures of the Amsterdam School. I did a bit of investigation on him to see what else he has made, how his style developed and who he worked with etc. This I considered to share on the blog but I did not desire to simply focus on him but specifically on the work shown in the issue. I wanted to rediscover the style of the Amsterdam School and turn these practical and geometrical methods into something bourgeois and decorative and work against their ideology, without offending them.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
After visiting the Rietveld Schröder House(>) in Utrecht and listening to the guide’s explanations about Gerrit Rietveld himself and his approach to art and architecture, I started to think and wonder about our school, The Rietveld Academy. Everything the guide said sounded familiar; Rietveld started his projects by making 3D sketches out of paper or cardboard, rejected decoration without some kind of function, loved simplicity, searched for refreshing visual effects, but the most important; every time he took a chance by just doing something.
Why are we learning this way of expressing ourselves? What was wrong with the traditional academic approach? And why is the Rietveld Academy still known as being different then other Art schools? I started my research on this subject after reading about the Vienna Secession in the ‘Wendingen’ (>).
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Reading Wendingen magazines I found an article in one of them about sculpture. Some of the names of the sculptors presented in the magazine were Hildo Krop, H.A. van den Eijnde and Jules Vermeire. The pictures in the article seemed very interesting so I decided to do my research on this topic.
These were the pictures in the Wendingen Magazine with sculptures
by Hildo Krop, H.A. van den Eijnde and Jules Vermeire
Amsterdam School sculpture is considered to be part of Symbolism, which is a collective noun for different art movements that arose as reactions to the Impressionism around 1885 – 1900. The major common denominator of Symbolism movements is the view that the task of an artist is not just to depict his impressions, but to express himself using symbols. The most commonly known of these art movements are Expressionism and Jugendstil. Some Symbolistic sculptors that you might know are Auguste Rodin, Willhelm Lehbruck and George Minne.
I liked my research to be based mainly on my own experience, so I started cycling around the city, photographing all sculptures, part of the “Amsterdam School” architecture, I ran into. Saying sculptures I also mean ornaments, facade reliefs, etc.. Due to my working method my research is not a very scientific one, but more of a personal impression of this Amsterdam School sculptures. What you will find below is a selection of the pictures I took while biking through the city and my comments to them. If you scroll over the picture with your cursor, you will see some further information on the topic. By clicking on a picture you open a new tab, in which you can see the enlarged version of this picture.
These nice sculptures stand upon the columns of bridges
Door posts and cornerstones are often richly decorated
Facades of Amsterdam School buildings are sometimes very much like sculptures themselves
Some of the sculptures were added later on
A type of sculptures that is closely related to autonomous sculpture in Amsterdam School are the those on the bridges. The sculptures are placed upon the columns of the bridges, that can often be found at both sides.
Although there are not too many sculptures in the Amsterdam School movement, (parts of) the buildings themselves often look like sculptures. Here I show just a few of the many examples.
A kind of sculpture that is much beloved and used in Amsterdam School is ornamentation. There are various forms and themes of it.The most common form is regular ornamentation. Most of the ornaments have one of these few themes: human figures, human heads, flowers/plants or eagles. What stroke me when I watched the human figures, is that most of them wear ancient clothing. They also often practice traditional professions, like blacksmithing, cow herding and sailing. These images make clear that the Amsterdam School was not only a very renewing movement, but also a very traditional one.
Friday, May 20, 2011
De Stijl versus Wendingen
Wendingen magazine 1929 #3 on Diego Rivera. Cover by Victor Huszar
The magazines de Stijl and Wendingen were both founded around 1918. De Stijl was connected to the artistic movement of De Stijl and Wendingen was connected to the Amsterdamse school. These two movements are completely different, if not opposite to each other (De Stijl being functional and minimal, only using the primary colors and black white and grey, and the Amsterdamse School playing with different colored bricks and all these ornaments). Logically these two magazines felt like competitors when they started to publish.
Wendingen magazine 1921 #4 on Frank Lloyd Wright and Berlage. Cover by El Lissitzky
That’s why I was completely confused when I saw a cover of Wendingen depicting a work of El Lissitzky, a constructivist artist and what I’ve always been told is that constructivism was kind of close to the Stijl. This issue was about: Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture!!! I always thought that he was the one heavily influencing the Stijl. What turned out to be the case was that the Dutch back in those days weren’t really making ‘groups’. They stayed individuals and were inspired by different sources and that’s why, how different the movements may be, also individuals brought characteristics of the Stijl into the Amsterdamse school and the other way around.
Isn’t that just great: they were existing movements but there seems to be no rules or boundaries in taking aspects of other movement, you are free to be inspired by everything.
[by Liza Prins]
SMELL it, LICK it, SUCK it, BITE it, CHEW it, EAT it.
4 years ago I went on a study trip to a curtain great house, build by a curtain great architect, that I do not remember. And just before I went in, my previous teacher at Architecture and Design, Aalborg (Denmark), told me and the rest of my class, that we would get goosebumps, when we first got inside this building. He was in love. Than I went in – but no goosebumps. I apparently did not feel a thing.
Only now I understand, what he was taking about – but in another context.
Today I was placed in front of these amazing art magazines from the 1920s named “Wendingen”. I really felt it.
I tried to smell it.
I was just about to lick it.
I would love to suck it!
I wonder how it would be to chew it.
I really wanted to eat it.
[by Kristine Andersen]
Inside and Outside the Amsterdam Ring
>As the capitol of the Netherlands Amsterdam is a popular place for new businesses and companies. Still you see that a lot of these companies place there new architectural masterpieces outside of the ring. Is this because of the high ground prices inside the ring?
> On a trip trough Amsterdam we quickly discover that the historical buildings of the city are not only in the center-canal areas. Around these canals you see a band, almost like a protecting layer, made of architecture that is maybe even historical as its center. The buildings and blocks give you an unique look on the wide collection of the Amsterdam School architecture. This is something that a lot of tourists miss when they come to the city: icons like ‘het schip’ in the Spaardammerbuurt, mercatorplein, the Berlage Lyceum and the many blocks and bridges through the city. Maybe this is a good thing; in this way it stays as an unique treasure that functions as a decor for the the daily life of many. Lets hope this architecture will be protected in the future and won’t be replaced by transient cheap Almere buildings that will be replaced every twenty years.
[by Taro Lennaerts]
B-Group goes “Wendingen”
[click left for English / click right for Dutch]
[by Henk Groenendijk]
A call from the past
In some places the atmosphere doesn’t seem to change with time. Regardless of new interior pieces, integrated technological devices or relatively fresh layers of paint on the walls, you just come in there and dive into the setting of decades ago.
That happened to me when I stepped into the hallway of a former post office, which is now turned into the museum called ‘t Schip. Blue shiny tiles on the walls and floor, wooden benches, iron bars around and the coolness of the air immediately placed me into the first half of the previous century, when the work there was humming: post office workers were stamping, sorting or preparing for dispatch numerous letters and parcels, customers were writing addresses on envelopes, buying stamps and waiting for the telephonist to scream out loud their name and the number of the telephone booth where they could pick up the phone and hear the voices of their far away families or friends.
The booths are still there. With exactly the same heavy door, yellow tiles on the walls and little table. And even though the place of the telephone was taken by the modern computer you still get a feeling that if you come in you can hear those voices. The voices of the past.[x]
photo by Gordon Parks
[by Anastasia Starostenko]
A wrestling match
If de Amsterdamse School and de Stijl were to fight each other in a wrestling match de Stijl would totally kick de Amsterdamse School’s ass. De Amsterdamse School would be wasting time executing these beautifully choreographed moves while de Stijl would engage in some straight on pounding with it’s massive angular fists and totally destroy de Amsterdamse School’s ass. Then de Amsterdamse School would attempt to retaliate by trying to impress de Stijl through jumping around like a ballerina but like a true wrestler de Stijl would bellow out “None of this fairy Efteling crap!” And pound de Amsterdam School straight into the floor, leaving only some bricks in a beautiful brownish/red color and a perfectly square hole in the ground.
Doctors wouldn’t be able to restore de Amsterdamse School to his old self since the resources are no longer around. De Stijl however, would collapse some days after the match as it would turn out his sturdy build was way overestimated and so the next week’s competition would be between a Bijlmer “Honinggraad Flat” and a temporary complex of sea containers.
[by Sanne Hartland]
Wendingen Dudok-issue cover design by Wijdeveld • Hilversum Cityhall by Dudok
dive into the exiting world of Typotecture [x]
[by Casper Braat]
Architectura et Amicitia
The ‘Amsterdamse School’ is a interesting architectural-style and is partly als known by it’s social-aware approach. The style belongs to a neo-style and contains architects such as: van der Mey, de Klerk [known by his work 'the ship'], Kramer, and others.
I think it’s interesting that the ‘Amsterdamse School’ does not only stand for architectural knowable realizations, but that there’s also a whole movement for furniture [tables, chairs, clocks, lamps, textile etc], and even the idea of a ‘typical type font’, > Amsterdamse School is everywhere.
Wendingen was a interesting magazine [launched by the group, Architectura et Amicitia, of architects, artists etc] and was mainly focused on the ‘Amsterdamse School’.
I see this style as organic and yet non-organic, same as that it looks formal and family-aware. It is all and non, and that strikes me the most.
[by Petros Orfanos]
My Little Time Machine
Being born and raised in Amsterdam and going around this city for 23 years I can still every now and then catch this utopian feeling by walking past the frozen canals in the winter or taking the ferry to the north part of the city by sunset, but I sometimes wonder what it must feel like being a tourist in my own city discovering new places and seeing things you have never seen before. The 5 minutes I spend inside the Scheepvaarthuis was the first time in a while that I felt this way. For this very short period, for just these 5 minutes I was a tourist, a tourist who stepped in a Time machine and was able to see inside a little part of her city from almost a hundred years ago.
[by Giulia Shah]
pelican + crystal + ship = Amsterdamse school
What made the Amsterdamse school style buildings so colourful was the rich use of symbols. Perhaps the easiest thing to notice was the inspiration from the nature in the structure of the buildings: flowing round forms (like a shell) or geometric forms (like a crystal). This gives the buildings a feeling of a living organism.
Then there are also sculptures full of symbolism. Sometimes they are telling the story about the building, like it’s function or it’s history. For example the Scheepvaarthuis is built in a triangular shape so that it looks a like a huge ship and there’s a lot of Indonesian style statues and sculptures to tell about the Dutch colony.
The funniest thing I saw were the pelicans in Spaandammerbuurt. One of the explanations that I found for a pelican as a symbol was that it is a sign for charity after a legend that the pelican pecks her own breast to feed her starving chicks with her own blood. Well, is this maybe something for social housing then?
– From nature to architecture and from architecture to printed matter –
[by Katje Hannula]
Een historische wandeling in een moderne stad
De excursie was een belevenis op zichzelf. De eerste keer dat ik zolang heb gefietst in Nederland en tegelijkertijd zoveel moest onthouden. Je leeft in het heden maar wordt omringd door het verleden. Gebouwen uit de negentiende eeuw of veel verder met hedendaagse bouwstijlen in hun glorie. Een vermoeiend uitstapje met interessante gebouwen zoals de Gerrit Rietveld academie die in de stijl van het modernisme is gebouwd met veel staal en glas. Het gebouw is een transparante doos terwijl je aan de achterzijde ervan massieve gebouwen ziet. De straatnamen die flitsen voorbij tijdens het rijden sommige heel duidelijke leesbaar o.a. Oost zaanstraat, Hembrug straat, Spaardammer plantsoen. Ik kan ook zien hoe de architecten mee gaan met de tijd: combinatie van oude bakstenen, glas, marmer, hout, enzovoort. Mijn hersenen proberen de tijd en de ruimte te bestuderen hoewel niet alles tot me doordringt. De hoeveelheid aan informatie is niet te verwerken. Ik wilde nog meer weten over het soort typografie, dat gebruikt werd voor de nummers van de gebouwen. De tijdschriften wendingen zijn heel uniek en hebben een heel diepe indruk achter gelaten. Ik zag ook hoe de verschillende architecten de stad tot eenheid wilde creëren ondanks de moderne gebouwen tussen de oude. Men wilde geen afbreuk doen aan de historie van de stad Het Olympische gedeelte dat alleen zichtbaar was voor me toen Henk erover vertelde. Door dit alles besef ik dat de exterieur van een stad ook aantrekkelijk wordt als je meer erover te weten komt.
[by Annemarie Daniël]
archi*-talent or archi-braveness
It really makes me wonder how is it possible that architecture differs so much every time you go somewhere . It happened to me in Amsterdam in even more intense way.
Amsterdam’s architecture for me personally is in a cartoonish style or like someone wanted to created imaginary world called “ let’s fit in here”.
I feel like there were not strict guidelines for building . People seemed to enjoy planning the city. No restrictions and open mind are definitely the keys of the
whole charm of the city.
Compare to Poland ( it was a communistic country for some time), our architecture is packed with straight lines and forms and it visibly dominates in large cities. It has a bit of sadness and harshness in a way you approach it and how you feel about it. Amsterdam posses flow of energy that comes and goes . It is a great piece of art in itself and even it is already artistic and feminine it wants to be even more chic by putting f.ex. typography on buildings, graphical images on pathways or even decorating the edges of the houses. It is all to make people’s lives here better to let the energy be felt by people living in here.
Another aspect that attracted my attention a lot is the way buildings from different styles are put together, next to each other. Are they any aesthetic limitations? Is it the way people make art – experimenting in a way, showing the contrast, behaving mad or just enjoying the weirdness of those different styles? Does it has to be clear why something stands next to other object? In my opinion and the best explanation that works for me is simply to intrigue people’s imagination, to let them feel special. What is more this way of building may not fit established rules but by not feeling “ as it should be “ it gives the reason for existence the city needs to posses. To inspire people , to disturb and to let you discover it. This is the purpose an architecture should serve to really strike your mind, excite you and wake up when you, still sleepy, go out to face the world. Just like an art.
* archi – trouble of endless movement of investigation
[by Agnieszka Zimolag]
Mercatoplein is one of the Amsterdamse school constructions which developed through out and after the First World War as an architectural movement. Mercatoplein is influenced greatly influenced by Frank LLoyd Wright’s le Corbusier that was a project developing 5 years before the square was completed and is a good example of how a suburban space can be turned into a socio economical center where people gather and shop or eat.
What intrigued me most in the square was the design the of windows, because contrary to their small shape,their frequency of their repetitive pattern reminded me of simplified church stained glass windows.
Patterns were indeed found in the window design of Het Schip by Michel Klerk as the top windows of the backside opened in a shape of semi spiral form could convey to the Fibonacci theory.
Sources: studiokoning, Amsterdamse_School [Wikipedia]
[by Claire Bamplekou]