Jakob Berend Bakema


Quick Reference


Groningen-born Dutch architect, who worked under van Eesteren and for the municipality of Rotterdam before setting up a partnership with J. H. van den Broek (1898–1978) in 1948. In 1947 Bakema had joined CIAM, and in 1963 Team X (10), while in 1959–64 he was joint Editor of Forum (which promoted the cause of Structuralism). Both partners favoured the ideals of Modernism and of De Stijl, attacking the conservative craft-orientated beliefs of the Delft School. Their Lijnbaan Centre in Rotterdam (1949–54— which has not worn gracefully) was a precedent for many shopping ‘malls’, while their Civic Centre at Marl in Germany of 1958–62 (four tower-blocks linked by lower slab-blocks) is representative of a type that became widely influential over the following decades. The partnership's Town Hall at Terneuzen (1968) and the Psychiatric Hospital in Middelharnis (1973–4) both have aspects reminiscent of Constructivism. The firm had a huge influence on developments in Britain and Germany, but Bakema's assertion that architecture is the three-dimensional expression of human behaviour savours of the cliché, while his campaigns to jettison craft traditions and any historical references arguably have done much damage.

M. Gray (ed.) (1981);Gubotosi&Izzo (eds.) (1976);Ibelings (ed.) (2000);J. Joedicke (1976);J. Joedicke (ed.) (1963a)

Subjects: Architecture.

Reference entries