Jaap Bakema (1914-1981) was one of the leading voices of the post-WWII avant-gardes. He oversaw the transition from CIAM to Team 10 and in the Netherlands he belonged to the so-called Forum-group together with Aldo van Eyck and Herman Hertzberger, who launched structuralism in architecture. At the same time he stood at the helm of one of the leading architecture firms of those days, the office of Van den Broek and Bakema in Rotterdam, which was responsible for key projects of the period such as the Lijnbaan shopping centre in Rotterdam. In Germany Bakema was responsible for the design of one of the Hansaviertel towers, the town hall of Marl and the research complex of Siemens in München. Bakema can be regarded as the ultimate representative of the build-up of the Dutch welfare state and its changing policies from a universalist approach to the neo-liberal turn in the 1970s.
Dirk van den Heuvel is Associate Professor at TU Delft and head of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam. Van den Heuvel curated various exhibitions among others the Dutch national pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014, ‚Open: A Bakema Celebration‘. Book publications include: Jaap Bakema and the Open Society (2017, forthcoming), Architecture and the Welfare State (2015, with Mark Swenarton and Tom Avermaete), Team 10. In Search of a Utopia of the Present 1953-1981 (2005, with Max Risselada) and Alison and Peter Smithson. From the House of the Future to a House of Today (2004, with Max Risselada). He is an editor of the publication series DASH, Delft Architectural Studies on Housing and the online architecture theory journal Footprint. He was an editor of Oase from 1993 until 1999.
Bakema & the open society
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