The Jaap Bakema Study Centre is a research centre, founded by Het Nieuwe Instituut and The Delft University of Technology. Het Nieuwe Instituut manages one of the largest architecture collections in the world. Delft University of Technology is internationally recognised for its distinguished research in the architectural field. Working together allows the two organisations to profit from each other’s expertise, resources and contacts. The Jaap Bakema Study Centre is based at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, and headed by Dirk van den Heuvel, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Architecture TU Delft.

Platform for research findings

Het Nieuwe Instituut and Delft University of Technology collaborate to further expand the intellectual infrastructure focused on innovation and the exchange and export of knowledge. Historical materials from the archive of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s are placed in the service of current research and public discourse. The research of Delft University of Technology will strengthen the position of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s collection within a broad, international scholarly network. Het Nieuwe Instituut provides a platform for the research findings of Delft University of Technology, allowing these to be shared with the general public. In addition, the two institutes collaborate in the areas of collection management and digitization.

Dutch structuralism

The first joint research programme is a broadly conceived study of the history and contemporary relevance of Dutch structuralism, a movement that sought to return architecture to a human scale. The appreciation of heritage with respect to the reuse and transformation of postwar garden cities and 1970s suburbs will play a role in the research. The study will lead to various publications, exhibitions and conferences. The first public presentation was the dual exhibition Structuralism, in cooperation with Herman Hertzberger.

Jaap Bakema

The study centre is named after Jaap Bakema (1914–1981), the internationally prominent, socially engaged Dutch architect. His Rotterdam-based firm Van den Broek and Bakema produced some of the most outstanding projects of the post-war period such as the Lijnbaan shopping centre in Rotterdam. Its archive is housed in Het Nieuwe Instituut’s collection. Jaap Bakema was also an eminent professor at the Faculty of Architecture at the Delft University of Technology. Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Jaap Bakema Study Centre curated Open: A Bakema Celebration, the Dutch entry for the fourteenth International Architectural Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Part of the exhibition was ‘Post Box for the Open Society’, an online platform for the exchange of ideas and designs on the subject of the open society.

Marina Otero
Tamar Shafrir, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Katia Truijen, Marten Kuijpers, Víctor Muñoz Sanz
Jan Robert Leegte