Language variant : Koopmansbeurs
Architect : n/a
Locality : Amsterdam
Country : Netherlands
Building style : Amsterdam School
Project on the map (green arrow)
The “Beurs van Berlage” was designed as a commodity exchange by architect H. P. Berlage and constructed between 1896 and 1903. It influenced many modernist architects, in particular functionalists and the “Amsterdam School”. It is now used as an exhibition hall.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beurs_van_Berlage (June 21, 2011).
In the last competition rendering of the south elevation, incorporating the tower and main entrance, the modernity of the building clearly appears. Berlage’s assistant Walenkamp rendered the brick wall as a simple, absolutely flat plane, using an even wash and no lines for separate brick courses.
Walenkamp’s almost photographic rendering of the main hall flooded with daylight from above shows one of the principal ideas of the building—the paradox of going outside by going inside, led up to by the carefully elaborated sequence of smaller spaces from the entrance to the first glimpse of the main hall. The double rows of columns supporting the sidewalls of this hall are an especially good example of the “in-between realms” concept.
Like the “Hollandsche Manege” or the Panopticum, the main hall is really an exterior space—a Tuscan plaza that happens to have a roof over it, thought that roof is largely of glass, allowing daylight to play across the space and reinforce the illusion of being outdoors. Each wall of this place is itself a building, as in “hofjes”; the clerical personnel and visitors to the offices and ancillary rooms in these buildings circulate along open galleries from which they can look “out”, constant witnesses to the trading activity on the floor below.
Buch, Joseph: A Century of Architecture in the Netherlands 1880–1990, NAI Publishers, pp. 46–47.
Ed. Heikki Nikkinen