When many contemporary constructions tend towards excessive security and introverted buildings, it is reassuring to dive back into the ideals of an open and humanist architecture, learning again from the Dutch structuralism. Nai010 is publishing a new book dedicated to one of the masters of this movement: Herman Hertzberger, who restored the role of people, through his buildings, writing and teaching, at the heart of architectural design. Written by Robert McCarter, author of numerous monographs of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Alvar Aalto, the book features a complete analysis of Hertzberger’s main buildings and thought process.
Herman Hertzberger is one of the most important and critically influential figures in international architecture of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. A constant champion of fundamentally humanist modern architecture, Hertzberger (b.1932) is rightly regarded as the world’s foremost designer of schools, a building type he has almost single-handedly redefined.
Influenced by Aldo van Eyck and editor of the journal Forum 1959 to 1967, the young Hertzberger was influenced by his studies into a sociological approach of architecture. An inspiration that is found throughout his work, especially in his most notable achievements: school facilities. If this book discusses various urban and architectural typologies – home, school, office, cultural facilities, urban development – the emphasis is always on the utopian nature of this work and philanthropist. An analysis widely supported by plans, sketches and photographs, where smiling, everyday scenes testify the success of these living architectures.
Hertzberger believes that architecture is, above everything else, a shared, collective discipline. His world famous lessons in architecture involve ethics and edification, engagement of the built legacy of those who lived before us, and the fundamentally optimistic and constructive intention to make the world a better place for the people who live in it.
With a foreword by Kenneth Frampton, this monograph by acclaimed international author Robert McCarter examines Hertzberger’s most important architectural works through analysisof the design process and guiding ideas, particularly as these reflect Hertzberger’s engagement with the Modernist tradition, architectural history, urban space and the way we experience it. As Kenneth Frampton says in its foreword, “exceptionally perceptive and beautifully written monograph – the first truly comprehensive treatment of Hertzberger’s practice to date”.
Foreword by Kenneth Frampton
Preface: Architecture of Experience
Beginnings: Towards an Architecture Shaped by the Life that Takes Place Within It
Chapter One Housing
Chapter Two Schools
Chapter Three Workplaces
Chapter Four Cultural Buildings
Chapter Five Urban Designs
Space and the Life-World: Lessons from the Experience of Architecture
written by Robert McCarter
publication date: 11 April 2015
special discount price: € 49.50 (normal price € 69.50)
hardcover | 524 p | 24 x 32 cm | richly illustrated
design: Beukers Scholma | with the support of Creative Industries
Available to purchase here.
Herman Hertzberger (1932), who graduated in architecture from Delft Technical College in 1958, became one of the Netherlands’ most renowned architects. He is a key exponent of the structuralist movement in Dutch architecture.
From 1959 to 1964, he was on the editorial board of the journal Forum, with Aldo van Eyck, Jaap Bakema and others. Forum opposed the pale functionalism of the post-war reconstruction years which had led to an architecture that was bleak and lacking in imagination. More even than functional architecture and urban planning, Forum was in favour of the kind of architecture marked out by (human) relationships, an architecture of encounter and harmonisation.
His design for Centraal Beheer insurance company in Apeldoorn (1967-1972) marked his international breakthrough. This building is based on a linking of 9 m2 squares, subdivided into 4 corner planes of 3 by 3 metres. This formed a permanent structure within which flexible arrangements were possible. The last of his designs to be based on this structuralist vision was for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in The Hague (1979-1990), which comprised sixteen octagonal towers accessed by way of a high, glass void.
From 1990 on, Hertzberger’s structuralism was replaced by a more liberal approach, as can be seen in the Chassé Theater in Breda (1992-1995) and the CODA Cultural Centre in Apeldoorn (1997-2004). Nonetheless, his designs continue to give the greatest priority to creating meeting spaces for users.
Hertzberger is regarded as the leading designer of schools in the Netherlands. In his vision, social spaces should always be the focal point; this was based on the idea that spatial interventions should bring and keep people together. Hertzberger’s breakthrough came in the 1980s with his Apollo schools in Amsterdam; schools whose villa-like appearance and halls, typical of Hertzberger’s work, had a friendly and multi-cultural character and were to become his trademark. And that is where the challenge lies for all his designs, which is to ensure that people encounter people, a foremost task that is central to all his buildings. Recent schools built by his Architectuurstudio HH firm are the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam, the extension and renovation of the NHL Hogeschool University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden, the Uithof Faculty of Science of Utrecht University and a joint primary and secondary school in Rome.
News source: nai010 publishers