HUBERTUS HOUSE

Architecture of the building

The story behind the architecture

Aldo van Eyck (16 March 1918 – 14 January 1999) was born in Driebergen, The Netherlands. He taught at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture from 1954 to 1959, and he was also a professor at the Delft Technical College from 1966 – 1984. He was also editor of the architecture magazine Forum from 1959 – 1963 and in 1967. The Hubertus House in Plantage Middenlaan, also known as the “Mother House”, was built to support “fallen women”. This house was to provide accommodation not only for some 70 children deprived of parental care, but also for about 20 single parents in need of serious help. The house has offered shelter and protection to these parents and children. The house is mostly about connection and separation. This is reflected in the relationship between the whole building and the street. Responding to the requirement for more openness, he designed the Hubertus House as a point of transparency in the street, as an open building that offers visual access to the interior of the city. The entrance and stair house are positioned to create two different buildings: a tall modern building and a less-tall older extension to the existing houses. He did this by using different colors and materials acting as unifying elements. Within the two separated buildings, there is a facade. This facade does not set the new buildings apart, but marks a strong connection. The facade falls within the bounds of the new structure, where it establishes a new, shifted center between old and new. The whole building shows a dynamic between 2 dissimilar halves. During the construction of the building, van Eyck decided to paint successive sections in different colours. (purple, red, orange, yellow and green). “I don’t choose colours,” Van Eyck wrote, “the rainbow is my favorite color”

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