Municipal Dreams

Municipal Dreams is back on its travels with this follow-up post by Ben Austwick to his account of pioneering social housing in Amsterdam published last week. You can read Ben’s other writings on art and architecture at his blog: http://doilum.blogspot.co.uk/

In the previous post, I looked at the Amsterdam School’s early work in the north of the city where Michel de Klerk laid a radical blueprint for a new kind of working-class housing at Het Schip, an experimental building that emphasised the communal and worked to socialist ideals. Here I will look at Plan Zuid, town planner Hendrik Petrus Berlage’s rebuilding of south Amsterdam from 1917 where the Amsterdam School’s philosophy was writ large in a grand slum clearance project.

A bird's-eye view of the new Plan Zuid as envisaged by Berlage © Wikimedia Commons A bird’s eye view of the new Plan Zuid as drawn by Berlage

Plan Zuid levelled south Amsterdam to be rebuilt on Berlage’s principles. Avenues are bordered by estates of Amsterdam School…

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