Untitled (1959) Louis van Roode
This work by Louis van Roode on the western façade of the former Station Post Office is, among other things, special because of the development of an ideal that was strongly advocated in the 50 of the last century, namely the integration of art and architecture. Originally the architects Evert and Herman Kraaijvanger had a blind wall in mind, which should be covered with artificial stone slabs with a mosaic decoration. For the execution, in consultation with the PTT Aesthetic Design Service, artist Louis van Roode was chosen; a man who had acquired a solid reputation as a monumental artist after the Second World War. The idea of the blind wall was soon abandoned, because the stairwell behind this facade could use some windows and light. Van Roode finally came up with the idea of going into space with the windows, so that they would work as an architectural visual element. The Kraaijvanger architects were enthusiastic and Van Roode was given the free hand to work out his idea. Van Roode worked on this assignment for three years, from 1955 to 1958. The result shows on the wall two abstract, wide curves in green and pink decorative concrete, over which a brown line decoration runs. The twenty-two stained-glass windows are different in size and shape, and support the decoration. The Station Post Office was designated as a municipal monument in 1999 and has become a National Monument in 2019. Since its opening on 22 in September 1959, the fourteen-storey building has functioned as a shipping point for PTT Post. After a period of vacancy, the building, including the artwork, was completely renovated in 2009 into office premises with the name Central Post.
The Rotterdam artist Louis van Roode (Delft, 1914 - Rotterdam, 1964) worked a lot for the new architecture during the Reconstruction period. He produced many murals and mosaics that adorned modern architecture, but which also told a story about nature, culture, people and the cosmos. Major works by his hand have been preserved in Rotterdam, but also in Vlissingen, Eindhoven and The Hague. He can rightly be called one of the greatest wall artists of his time.