Spaarndammerplantsoen, Amsterdam, Holland

Michel de Klerk
Date Built
1913 - 1915
Michel de Klerk was responsible for the design of three revolutionary social housing blocks in the vicinity of Spaarndammerplantsoen.  The most famous is Het Schip that has a page of its own on this site.  Before Het Schip he built two other blocks located across from each other with Spaarndammerplantsoen in between.  De Klerk's design addressed his brief to build quality and functional homes at affordable prices.  The Rijksmonumenten website explains that he broke away radically from the custom of providing facades with little more than a few timid architectural accents. "He drew on walls in brick and striking colors with bold styling and detailing. So he created an architectural equivalent of the new society that the social democratic movement had in mind. The great attention to the exterior of the houses was justified on psychological grounds because living in a beautiful environment would strengthen the worker in his self-esteem."

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