Found project: Cooperative Society De Volharding

    Project : Cooperative Society De Volharding

    Language variant : Coöperatie de Volharding

    Architect : Buijs, Jan & Lürsen, Joan

    Completion: 1928 (orig. function changed currently)

    Locality : Haag

    Country : Netherlands

    Building style : Modern architecture (not specified)

    Description :

    The largest recognizably ‘De Stijl' building constructed in the 1920s was a store and offices for the ‘De Volharding’ cooperative in the center of Den Haag.

    Photographs of ‘De Volharding’ show a complex composition of orthogonal volumes, but a floor plan shows that the main corner is actually skewed at an angle of 96 degrees, which is so slight that even in person it takes some moments to perceive—thought it is probably the reason that the building forms such a perfect-looking composition in photos.

    Its most remarkable and well-known feature, quite novel for its time, was that at nights the entire building emanated light. Moreover, the light was handled in ways as varied and complex as the architectonic elements. The strips between the windows, now plain white glass tiles, were originally changeable, back-lighted signs similar to those on cinema marquees.

    The stair tower, its ancillary shaft, the large roof sign, and the “steeple” were also internally illuminated. Today ‘De Volharding’ is more a daytime experience; its weather-resistant glass and tile finish in ‘De Stijl’ colors continues to enliven the streetscape.

    Buch, Joseph: A Century of Architecture in the Netherlands 1880–1990, NAI Publishers, pp. 185–187.

    Ed. Heikki Nikkinen

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    Cooperative Society De Volharding
    Cooperative Society De Volharding
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski