Ornamental vase (1890) HP Berlage

BKOR archive
About the artwork

This Ornamental vase by the famous architect Berlage is located on Koningin Emmaplein. This square is a Dutch translation of the 'crescent', half a round square. This classic form of 19-century urban design is unique to the Netherlands. When Rotterdam became an independent diocese in 1956, the Diocese of Queen Emmaplein moved into 3 as an office and home for the bishop. The square is a national monument. The Ornamental vase emphasizes the stately and historic quality of the square and the Scheepvaartkwartier and is therefore, despite its limited size, an eye-catcher with a symbolic charge. Berlage has been an important architect in the Netherlands, but has not been very active in Rotterdam. An exception is the design he made for the Spiekman monument: a building in the form of a monumental bench, but which has been given a much calmer application in 1967 by relocation. With this demolition, Rotterdam has only one design from Berlage, namely this one Ornamental vase about which less is known. Since this is the only design by Berlage's hand in Rotterdam, that is all the more reason to cherish it.

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About the artist

Hendrik Petrus Berlage (Amsterdam, 1856 - The Hague, 1934) was an important Dutch architect and urban planner. After his studies in Zurich, where he came into contact with the ideas of the architects Semper and Viollet-le-Duc, Berlage went to work at Th. Sanders with whom he designed various buildings in neo-Renaissance style. His ideas of rationalism, shown in his Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, are the foundation of modern architecture in the Netherlands. He built a lot in Amsterdam (including Plan Zuid expansion plan) and The Hague, where his last major work was the Gemeentemuseum.

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