Language variant : Warenhuis de Bijenkorf
Architect : Kramer, P.L.
Locality : Haag
Country : Netherlands
Building style : Amsterdam School
Kramer’s last major building, and his best-known, is the Bijenkorf department store in Den Haag, built in 1924–26. Like those on Mendelsohn’s department stores of the same period, its round corner probably can be traced back to that on Sullivan’s Carson-Pirie department store in Chicago.
Comparing the versions clearly shows the mid-1920s as the cusp between almost-modern and modern: Mendelsohn’s rounded corner is all streamlining, horizontality, motion, while Kramer’s is vertical, formal, stable (whereas Sullivan's original was an almost neutral grid).
Kramer’s ornament is expressionistic but arranged in a hierarchical way; even the double waveform is repeated in a series of pilasters along the facade. The Interior was a large, elaborately ornamented space the full height of the building, but it has been destroyed.
Buch, Joseph: A Century of Architecture in the Netherlands 1880–1990, NAI Publishers, p. 89.
Ed. Heikki Nikkinen