Hendrik Petrus Berlage
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Berlage studied architecture under Gottfried Semper at the Zurich Institute of Technology during the 1870s after which he travelled extensively through Europe. In the 1880s he formed a Partnership in the Netherlands with Theodore Sanders which produced a mixture of practical and utopian projects. A published author, Berlage held memberships in various architectural societies including CIAM.
Berlage was influenced by the Neo-Romanesque brickwork architecture of Henry Hobson Richardson. This influence is visible in his design for the Amsterdam Commodities Exchange, for which he would also draw on the ideas of Viollet-le-Duc. The load-bearing bare brick walls and the notion of the primacy of space, and of walls as the creators of form, would be the constitutive principles of the 'Hollandse Zakelijkheid'. A visit Berlage made to the U.S. in 1911 greatly affected his architecture. From then on the organic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright would be a significant influence. Lectures he gave when returned to Europe would help to disseminate Wright's thoughts in Germany.
Considered the "Father of Modern architecture" in the Netherlands and the intermediary between the Traditionalists and the Modernists, Berlage's theories inspired most Dutch Modernist groups including De Stijl, the Amsterdam School and the New Objectivists. He received the British Royal Gold Medal in 1932.
Berlage died at The Hague in 1934.
Some of his famous works include:
- the Amsterdam Commodities Exchange
- the plan for extension of Amsterdam, the 'Plan Zuid' or 'Plan Berlage'
- the Berlage brug (bridge) in Amsterdam
- Holland House, Bury Street, City of London (behind Norman's Foster's "Gherkin")
- the St. Hubertusslot part of the Kröller-Müller Museum
- the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag