Le Jardin (1963) Joop van den Broek

photo BKOR archive
About the artwork

Above the entrance of the Hilton Hotel on the Kruiskade is a large glass wall made by Joop van den Broek. The wall has a length of 32 meters and consists of 19 glass panels of colored glass, depicting plant motifs and garlands. The Jardinzaal of the same name is located on the inside of the hotel, hence the title of the work Le Jardin is. As a glass artist, Van den Broek developed a new process by using rough pieces of glass (waste) for an expressive effect. He processed the pieces with the sandblast for whimsical effects. On the outside, it gives the bulging first floor an extra layer and is a colorful eye-catcher. It works even better on the inside, because then you can also see the seams and structures and the way in which the material is part of the work. The building was designed by Maaskant and the glass appliqué fits well with the architecture, in which various decorative details have been incorporated by the architect. Such as a glass block wall with mirrors near the stairwell, which may also have been designed by Joop van den Broek. Le Jardin is part of a very striking building, which in the past was an eye-catcher for this area.

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About the artist

Joop van den Broek (Amsterdam, 1928 - 1979) came from Amsterdam where he was allowed to attend the Rijksacademie at the age of 16. He had a side job in the glass industry and would later mainly become a glass artist. He has worked for Hilton hotels in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Berlin, London and Tehran, among others. His pieces at the Tomado House in Dordrecht have been demolished. In 1964 he was the first monumental artist to win the Prix de la Critique. He was never widely known, but was regarded among colleagues as a glass specialist and became head of the design studio of the glass industry Tetterode in Amsterdam. In his work you see Cobra-like influences, but also a very own style, with which he developed virtually free-standing images of glass. He also made a glass wall in the Adriaan Volker House on Oostmaaslaan in Kralingen.

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