Just In #1
The exhibition Just In #1 presents ten archival items that have been added to the National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning in recent years. They are the first fruits of a collection policy that is increasingly focusing on current social themes, feminist practice and the decolonisation of the collection. Work is shown, for example, by the Vrouwen Bouwen Wonen [Women Building Housing] network, by interior architect Marijke van der Wijst and Surinamese architect Hannes Nooitmeer.
Het Nieuwe Instituut collects archives in the field of Dutch architecture and urban planning. While it manages the archives on behalf of the government, it follows its own collection policy. Since the value and meaning of a collection change over time, this collection policy has to be constantly re-examined. Gaps in the composition of the collection, such as archives representing women and the former colonies, are slowly but surely being filled.
In addition to the archives of architects and design firms, the collection increasingly includes the collections of architecture critics, social organisations and informal networks, such as squatters and emancipation movements.
For the Just In exhibition, a selection has been made from the acquisitions of the past few years. The first results of the changing collection policy can be seen here. Contact with the donors came about in various ways. For example, a widow got in touch about the material of her deceased husband who had worked in Suriname. A more active form of collecting arises from Collecting Otherwise, a multi-year project researching the roles of women in architecture and urban planning, among other topics. The research is yielding new, surprising contacts and archive material.
The archival materials are shown as they arrived: glass slides in boxes with legend, documents in archive boxes with handwritten labels, and collages and sketches in their original presentation folder. After the exhibition, the archives will be inventoried, restored where necessary and packed in accordance with museum guidelines. After that they will be made available to the public.
Read more about the collection and the institute's acquisitions policy.
Het Nieuwe Instituut
3015 CB Rotterdam
Hendrik Petrus Berlage
Metal and wooden boxes with glass slides
These boxes with glass slides by architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage (1856-1934) entered the collection through his great-grandson from Switzerland. In 1923, Berlage travelled to the then Dutch East Indies. During this trip, he collected photos and plans of the architecture, which he used in the form of glass slides to illustrate his lectures and presentations. The composition of the boxes shows Berlage’s perspective, making them an addition to the extensive Berlage archive. But the collection is also an invitation to research and make accessible this material from a non-Western perspective.
After his death, architect Peter Gerssen’s former employee and partner Kas Oosterhuis brought his archive to Het Nieuwe Instituut’s attention. In his architecture, Gerssen (1932-2017) focused on new energy-efficient technologies in combination with maximum-efficiency industrial construction. In his formal studies, he experimented with spatial constructions. His archive is an asset to the collection, because it connects to contemporary issues surrounding sustainability.
Johanna Eleanor Ferguson
Recent research on female architecture students and architecture in South Africa has brought architect Johanna Eleanor Ferguson (1900-1982) to the fore. This archive came to be included in the collection through a granddaughter of Ferguson and through the mediation of Professor Marieke Kuipers. Ferguson was one of the few women who studied architecture at Delft University of Technology in the 1920s and then successfully set up her own architectural firm. The acquisition of this archive ties in with the Collecting Otherwise project, which researches feminist design practice and advises on the development of collection policy.
Ton van den Berg
In 2022, the archives of architect Ton van den Berg were offered by his partner Heleen van Rijnbach. He had already destroyed the entire office archive, but privately he still kept a number of folders from his Surinamese period of 1965 to 1966. These folders reveal his collaboration with the Surinamese architect Hannes Nooitmeer. When he returned to the Netherlands, they continued to write to each other. This correspondence now forms the starting point for a new investigation into Nooitmeer and other architects in Suriname
In 2022, Jo Coenen (1949-) offered this kit for the design of the Vaillantlaan, The Hague, as a supplement to previously donated models. This set functioned as a guideline for facade designs by the various Vaillantlaan architects, to promote unity and cohesion in the architectural design. This ambition illustrates Coenen’s connecting role as supervisor. Jo Coenen and Het Nieuwe Instituut are also discussing the donation of his extensive office archive. Together with the donor, Het Nieuwe Instituut is developing thematic perspectives with which the transfer of the archive can take shape.
Marijke van der Wijst and Ineke van Ginneke
Interior design and exhibition design are poorly represented in the collection. The models by Marijke van der Wijst (1940-) and Ineke van Ginneke (1947-) come from the office archive that they offered in 2020. Van der Wijst is regarded as one of the pioneers of interior and exhibition design in the Netherlands. These models show how they made the story of Anne Frank and her family tangible with a few subtle interventions in the world’s most famous museum house, the Secret Annex.
Hans van Dijk
Architecture critic Hans van Dijk (1948-2021) approached Het Nieuwe Instituut in 2021 with the wish to house his archive and library in the National Collection. His initiative was supported by many influential people in the architecture world. The material not only reflects the many positions he held as editor, author, teacher and critic, but is also a mirror of the architectural debate in the second half of the 20th century. Hans van Dijk was also closely involved in the formation of the Netherlands Architecture Institute, a predecessor of Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Vrouwen Bouwen Wonen: Lidewij Tummers
Architect Lidewij Tummers (1960-) contacted Het Nieuwe Instituut in 2019 for a joint research project on archival material from the Vrouwen Bouwen Wonen network. This network was founded in the 1980s by and for women professionally involved in construction, housing and spatial planning. The archive material consists of reports, collages and studies on themes such as social safety. The aim of Tummers’ research is to trace archival material that is still kept in many women’s homes, and to bring it all together in the National Collection.
Jan de Jong
The Jan de Jong Foundation was established to take care of the estate of the Bossche School architect Jan de Jong (1917-2001). An intensive search for the best destination for his office archive followed. Would this be more appropriate in De Jong’s former home and office in Schaijk, Brabant, or in the National Collection? In the end it was decided to designate the house as a museum house and donate the office archive to Het Nieuwe Instituut. The architectural theory of Jan de Jong, pioneer of the ‘plastic number’ system of proportions, is visualised in this ‘bar abacus’ and ‘abacus for the directions’.
Urban planner Dirk Frieling (1937-2011) was active in several (semi) government services. That is why his work archive is spread over various archive institutions. His private archive remained in his home and was presented to Het Nieuwe Instituut by his widow in 2022. This part of the archive consists of letters, poems, cabaret and a quartet game, which illustrate his working method as a connector. Frieling was also the initiator of Nederland Nu als Ontwerp (1985-1989), a project devoted to future visions of spatial planning in the Netherlands in 2050.