Modern Dutch Architecture

1. Amsterdam Canal

Canals, walks, bridges and facades acknowledge the ebb and flow of water, and of people, in traditional Dutch cities. Spaces are compressed to minimize the area that must be built to accommodate a dynamic population.


2. Utrecht Canal


4. Hilversum TownHall

The layered planes of Willem Dudok’s Hilversum Town Hall rise out of a terraced landscape. Designed in 1924, it begins to abstract and dematerialize the familiar forms and materials of Dutch architecture.


3,  Hilversum Town Hall


5.  Zonnestraal Detail


5.  Zonnestraal

Bijvoet and Duiker’s Zonnestraal Sanatorium, designed in 1925 in Hilversum, uses light concrete slabs that hover above the earth to form a dynamic composition. The sense of transparency allows the ground plane, light, views and inhabitants to effortlessly move in and out.


7. Van Nelle


8.  Van Nelle

Brinkman and van der Vlugt’s Van Nelle factory of 1930 gives a dynamic expression to the fluid movement associated with industrial production. Sculptural forms and walls of glass redefine the look and feel of heavy industry in Rotterdam.


9. Hertzberger


10. Hertzberger

Herman Hertzberger’s fluid forms track the flow of children at two schools in Amsterdam. Concrete and block feel as though they are molded from the earth and then inhabited by steel and glass.


13. Mecanoo

Mecanoo’s 1997 Delft University Library peels the earth up and slides in a glass wrapped volume beneath it. A tower for study is centered within, bursting through the tilted lawn that forms the roof.


14. Mecanoo


11. Kunsthaas


12. Kunsthaas

Rem Koolhaas/OMA’s Kunstshaus in Rotterdam interlocks a series of ramping floors inside a pure rectangular volume. They reach out to engage the sloping earth outside and create a strong sense of spatial drama within.


15.  Koolhaas


16  Koolhaas

Rem Koolhaas/OMA’s Educatorium at Utrecht University ramps upward to make every floor an extension of the ground plane. Slabs that loop up and around are something of a contrivance but are a compelling formal gesture.


17.  UN Studio

18.  UN Studio

UN Studio’s NMR Facility at Utrecht University, completed in 2000, interlocks roofs, walls and floors with a series of folded planes. The layering of spaces brings in light from all directions and creates places for movement around laboratory volumes.


19. UN Studio


20.  UN Studio

N Studio’s 2007 Agora Theater in Lelystad is composed of a series of faceted planes. The juxtaposition of solid and transparent elements creates fluid movement between inside and outside and a sense of theatricality.


23. Utrecht


24. Utrecht

Erick van Egeraat’s Utrecht Fashion and Graphics School, designed in 1995, levitates an auditorium within a glassy volume, freeing its volume from the ground below. The solid volume becomes a focus of campus life while facilitating movement all around it.


21. Hilversum

22.5 Hilversum

Neutelings Riedijk’s 2007 Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum terraces down into the earth to store historical records and rises up to exhibit technologies of the future. The architecture is shaped to tell a story about movement through time and space.


22.  Hilversum