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Hendrik Petrus Berlage

(1856—1934)


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(1856–1934).

Amsterdam-born architect, one of the most influential in The Netherlands, who was himself influenced by the work of Sullivan and Wright. He went into partnership with Theodorus Sanders (1847–1927) in 1884, and opened his own office in 1889. His early work was essentially in the Renaissance Revival style, and in the 1890s he produced several Art Nouveau graphic designs, culminating in the Villa Henny, The Hague (1898), a full-blown Art Nouveau work of architecture with furnishings much influenced by the design philosophies of Morris and Pugin. Berlage's most celebrated building is the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (1897–1903), which revealed his respect for the expressive power of constructional arched brickwork. The robust detailing and his love of brickwork and clear expressive functions (such as the kneelers from which the segmental arches in the hall spring, and the junctions between load-bearing structure and metal trusses) made him a precursor of the Amsterdam School, while his writings earned him the respect of the young, aspiring members of the avant-garde. Berlage, like Behrens, designed furniture, graphics, and all manner of artefacts: he was also an important town-planner. Although he was a delegate to CIAM in 1928, he never actually joined, and claims for him as a proto-Modernist are much exaggerated. In fact, when Rietveld asked him to join a group (that included Le Corbusier, Lurçat, Hannes Meyer, and other Modernists) to have a photograph taken at the 1929 CIAM conference, Berlage refused, saying that everything he had built up was being destroyed by the very same collection of people.

Berlage (1996);Derwig & Wert (1994);Polano (ed.) (1988);Reinink (1975);Singelenberg (1972);Singelenberg & Bock (1975)

Subjects: Architecture.


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