Het Nieuwe Instituut preserves 580 archives and collections of Dutch architects and urban planners including P.J.H. Cuypers, H.P. Berlage, J.J.P. Oud, Gerrit Rietveld, Van den Broek & Bakema, Herman Hertzberger, Piet Blom, OMA and MVRDV. The collection’s great cultural and historical value derives not only from the artistic quality and uniqueness of the individual collections but also from the archive as a whole, which charts 130 years of developments in Dutch architecture and urbanism. Alongside presentation drawings, photographs and models, the archives contain sketches, working drawings, correspondence, posters and other documents.

The collection is at the heart of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s activities and the source of its investigation of current issues in the fields of architecture, design and e-culture. For example, a long-term research project on Dutch structuralism conducted within the Jaap Bakema Study Centre resulted in the exhibition Structuralism – An Installation in Four Acts and an accompanying series of debates in 2014. That year Jaap Bakema’s work was central to the Netherlands’ submission to the Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibitions Designing Scarcity (2014) and What is the Netherlands (2015) were also based on research in the archives.