'Living as Urban Roof' on display in the Rijksmuseum
A ‘wonderful chaos’, liveliness and a broad range of opportunities for bumping into your neighbours. Architect Piet Blom was one of the most ardent champions of this idea. He elaborated it in a series of drawings, models and brochures entitled ‘Living as Urban Roof’, an investigation of a new community model, integrating all the functions of urban living. A selection of drawings from this series is on display in the Rijksmuseum from 9 November.
Finders Keepers: collections from the archives
The exhibition Finders Keepers presents collections of valuable and worthless objects and the fascinating stories behind them. The State Archive is, in fact, a collection of collections. Within individual archives yet smaller collections can be identified. Finders Keepers features several of these collections that reveal something of the collectors’ motivations.
The collection in the programme of Het Nieuwe Instituut
Het Nieuwe Instituut derives its special position to a significant degree from the range and unique importance of the State Archive for Architecture and Urban Planning, which it manages. The collection has a central place in the institute’s research and exhibitions programmes. In this respect the archive has an increasingly organic connection with Het Nieuwe Instituut’s function as Museum for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture and the central role that Research & Development plays in generating the content of the institute’s programming.
Long may we live!
New housing for the elderly in the archives of Het Nieuwe Instituut
In the spring of 2015 architecture-history and art-history students from the VU University in Amsterdam conducted research in the archives of Het Nieuwe Instituut into the development of housing for the elderly in the Netherlands. The archive contains a cross section of designs from the past hundred years. The variety of material shows that housing for the elderly is strongly linked to political and emancipatory processes.
Architectural Photography in the Collection
At the end of the 1990s, an inventory was taken of all the photographic material hidden in the collection of what was then the Netherlands Architecture Institute, today Het Nieuwe Instituut. The photographs were used by architects for publications, education and lectures, and were sometimes the bearers of new trends and ideologies. Drawing together prints and negatives from the different photographic archives allowed new insights into their historical and documentary value to emerge.
The Structuralist Architectural Drawing 1955-1980
During archival research into the work of architects such as Piet Blom, Jan Verhoeven and Herman Hertzberger for the exhibition Structuralism, we encountered drawings that deviated from the conventional plans, sections and elevations. Instead they comprised abstract structures, geometric patterns with bright colours, visualisations of network-like cities, grids, collages and booklets. Intrigued about the origins and significance of these drawings, curator Ellen Smit initiated a research project with the help of an NWO museum grant. What were these architects actually drawing and why in this manner?
History of the collection
The collection of Het Nieuwe Instituut is much older than the institute itself. Drawings from important architects were collected since the end of the ninteenth century, but it was not until a hundred later that these collections were housed in an architecture museum.
Portraits of architects
Het Nieuwe Instituut’s photo collection contains a large number of photographs of architects: at the drawing board, on a study trip, giving a lecture, in a meeting, teaching students, on holiday, at lunch. From snapshots to formal portraits.
Archive selection by Johannes Schwartz
Photographer Johannes Schwartz was asked to select a series of images from the State Archive’s photography collections that relate to the sort of cultural organisation that Het Nieuwe Instituut wants to be: interdisciplinary, rooted in research, and with a strong focus on innovation and representation.
The Sonneveld House Museum in Rotterdam is one of the best-preserved houses in the Nieuwe Bouwen style, the Dutch branch of the International School of Modernism. It was designed in the early 1930s by the architecture firm of Brinkman & Van der Vlugt. They were also responsible for the extraordinary interior, in close collaboration with W.H. Gispen.