On March 18, the Jaap Bakema Study Centre and Archis/Volume will host the presentation of the book Jaap Bakema and the Open Society, the first extensive publication on the Dutch architect Jaap Bakema, his ideas and ideals for society at large. With Dirk van den Heuvel, Brita Bakema, Arnold Reijndorp, Dick van Gameren, Frans Hooykaas, and Herman Hertzberger.
Het Nieuwe Instituut
3015 CB Rotterdam
Free, register via Tickets
Throughout the post-WWII decades Bakema was inspired to build for a democratic and open society. His body of work, his teaching and writing, and his international presence are testimony to the vicissitudes of the welfare state and the roles played by architecture and planning in its construction.
In the midst of the ongoing neo-liberal crisis of today and its conservative cultural fall-out, these ideas on the open society have regained relevancy, in particular in light of the current debates on how to involve citizens in city building and how to create alternatives for our crumbling welfare states. Brought back from the past Bakema’s legacy functions as a mirror to remind us of the radical potential of architectural conceptualization in its commitment to societal questions.
This historical document will highlight internationally acclaimed and lesser known work through texts and first translations, accompanied by a rich, visual documentation from the archives. The book contains interviews with contemporaries, who worked with him in different contexts, and essays that critically probe the socially engaged aspects of his work and the contexts in which they came into being.
Jaap Bakema and the Open Society has been compiled and edited by Dirk van den Heuvel. It counts with contributions by Brita Bakema, Christine Boyer, Lard Buurman, Dick van Gameren, John Habraken, Carola Hein, Herman Hertzberger, Frans Hooykaas, Arnold Reijndorp, Izak Salomons, Johannes Schwartz, Jorrit Sipkes, Carel Weeber. Graphic design by Jaap van Triest. The book is published by Archis, and is available at NAi Booksellers.
Jaap Bakema (1914-1981) was one of the principals of the famed Rotterdam office Van den Broek and Bakema, which authored the Lijnbaan shopping centre and many other ground breaking schemes. Bakema was one of the leading voices of the post-WWII avant-gardes. He oversaw the transition from CIAM to Team 10 and in the Netherlands he belonged to the so-called Forum-group together with Aldo van Eyck and Herman Hertzberger. Bakema can be regarded as the ultimate representative of the build-up of the Dutch welfare state and its changing policies from a universalist approach to the neo-liberal turn by the end of the 1970s.