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.
A selection of exhibitions, research projects and activities
Dissident Gardens reference images
In the run-up to the exhibition Dissident Gardens, all sorts of images were pulled from the collection to serve as reference material for research, display and communications. The majority were ultimately not used, but they give an impression of possible perspectives on the central theme of Dissident Gardens – the classic struggle between nature and culture – in relation to architecture and the built environment.
Longing for the Countryside
The exhibition Dissident Gardens contains a pavilion that houses materials from the archives of Het Nieuwe Instituut. They include designs for country houses and holiday parks by Van den Broek & Bakema, Hendrik Wijdeveld, Piet Blom, Gerrit Rietveld and Auke Komter, among others. They show our ambivalent relationship to nature: from immersion in and the subjugation of the landscape to the pursuit of sustainability and optimisation.
Each item in the collection of the four million drawings, sketches, models, professional and personal correspondence, photos, posters and news clippings has a story to tell. But many of these stories have remained untold because nobody has yet uncovered them. For this series of evenings we invite a range of people to undertake a journey of discovery in the archive in order to introduce new perspectives.
In the exhibition The Human Insect: Antenna Architectures 1887-2017 curator and architecture theorist Mark Wigley explores 130 years of antenna architecture, in which architects engaged with this thinnest, least visible part of a building that actually has the greatest effect on architecture. The exhibition contains many original drawings and photographs from the collection.
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.
Squatting: Archive acquisition Hein de Haan
In relation to its research into the Architecture of Appropriation, the institute has acquired the archive of Hein de Haan, an architect who worked closely with squatters and devoted his life to the preservation of the existing city, small-scale construction and mixed developments incorporating housing, workplaces and other amenities.
Open: A Bakema Celebration
Architecture Biennale Venice 2014
The Dutch entry at the 14th International Architectural Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia examines the work and ideas of the architect Jaap Bakema. The exhibition Open: A Bakema Celebration critically reflects on the idea of the open society through Bakema’s work and research.
Surprising Finds from the Collection
For the series Surprising Finds archivist Alfred Marks selects extraordinary drawings, photographs, objects and models from the archives of Het Nieuwe Instituut on the basis of a theme. The presentations do not necessarily show the highlights of the Dutch architectural history, but first and foremost show the richness, diversity and narrative power of the collection.
Structuralism Research Programme
The first research programme of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre is a broadly conceived study of the history and contemporary relevance of Dutch structuralism, a movement that sought to return architecture to a human scale. The study will lead to various publications, exhibitions and conferences.
Scarcity is the mother of invention
The urban planning projects, buildings, interior objects and consumer goods in Designing Scarcity show that shortages don’t have to constrain creativity: quite the contrary. The exhibition showcases a panoply of strategies used by designers and users to find novel solutions in the face of limitation. Alongside contemporary work by designers, the exhibition features historical designs by the likes of architects Gerrit Rietveld, J.J.P. Oud, and Van den Broek en Bakema.
Research for the innovative design process of exhibition models.
The exhibition What is the Netherlands: 14 Entries to the World Expo features a series of fourteen exhibition models of Dutch pavilions, providing the first overview of the development of the Dutch contribution to the World’s Fairs. All fourteen models were made to the same scale, enabling a comparative analysis. The collection of Het Nieuwe Instituut played an indispensible role in the research into the pavilions.
100 years of De Stijl
To celebrate the hundredth anniversary of De Stijl, Het Nieuwe Instituut has formed partnerships with several other cultural institutions, including a co-production with the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. The State Archive for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning is lending hundreds of works to various exhibitions being staged to mark the centenary of De Stijl.