Small speculaas biscuits (1957) JH Baas

Max Dereta
About the artwork

These two sculptures originally stood on either side of the former station building. Sybold van Ravesteyn, architect of the former Central Station, originally played with the idea of ​​asking Henry Moore to make these sculptures. He visited London for that, but this would not prove financially feasible. That is why Van Ravesteyn instructed his employee JH Baas to design something in the spirit of Moore. Some see the two sculptures as a coming or going traveler, but according to a newspaper clipping from the NRC of 20 in May 1957, "the objects do not represent travelers, but they are ornamental figures that perform well and that also have a certain character with their combination of mathematical figures; dynamics, law, order, clarity. " According to the unknown author of the piece, they were "Certainly typical characteristics of the railway company". Over time, the sculptures have been nicknamed 'Speculaasjes', but where that comes from is unknown. During the renovation of the Central Station, the 'Speculaasjes' were fortunately preserved and since August 2013 they are visible to the general public again. The sculptures have been placed back on the first and last platform and visible when you cycle through the bicycle tunnel. But as a tribute to Van Ravesteyn and his co-worker, Team CS has had the image return in several places. They are incorporated as a repeating pattern in the walls of the station hall. And even more spectacular - the 'Speculaasjes' are also visible from a great height. Thousands of solar cells have been installed on the glass roof of the station and the contours of the 'Speculaasjes' are visible. A wonderful gesture after almost 60 years!

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About the artist

JH Baas (1909-1990) was an architectural draftsman. He was connected to the Sybold van Ravesteyn architectural office, the architect who designed the former Central Station.