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.
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.
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.
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?
The State Archive is not only a research collection but is, itself, a subject of research. The archive really only comes to life when the accumulated materials are studied, interpreted and shared, thus creating new ideas, meanings and stories. Reflecting on the impact of the digital archive in relation to the paper archive plays a central role in this.