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Klerk, Michel de

Klerk, Michel de (1884–1923). Dutch architect and member of the Amsterdam School, he is best known for his Expressionist designs carried out in collaboration with Pieter Lodewijk Kramer, notably the Scheepvaarthuis (Navigation House), Amsterdam (with van der Mey, 1911–16), and the De Dageraad Housing Estate, Amstellaan (1920–2). His Eigen Haard Housing Estate, Spaarndammerbuurt, Amsterdam West (1913–20), in which towers, turrets, different types of windows, and finely crafted brickwork suggested the richness of a medieval town, reflects the architect's aim to avoid barrack-like tenements for working-class Socialist housing.

Bibliography

Bock et al. (1997);
Fanelli (1968);
S. Frank (1984);
Millon & and Nochlin (1978);
Pehnt (1973);
Placzek (ed.) (1982);
Sharp (1967)

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de Klerk, Michel

de Klerk, Michel (1884–1923). See Klerk.

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De Klerk, Michel

DE KLERK, MICHEL

DE KLERK, MICHEL (1884–1923), Dutch architect. Born in Amsterdam, De Klerk became a leader of the architectural movement known as the "Amsterdam School." This school, which flourished from early in the century to the mid-1920s, proclaimed the beauty of unadorned materials and surfaces. Individual idiosyncrasy was encouraged, resulting in a rich variety of forms, and an Expressionist idiom was evolved, comparable to that developed in Germany during the same period.

The Amsterdam School became widely known through a series of low-cost housing projects. From 1911 onward De Klerk was engaged in designing workers' houses for the Eigen Haard Estate in the suburb of Amsterdam-Oost. The housing blocks were horizontal in emphasis, broken by sudden verticals, echoing the Dutch landscape. The use of brickwork created a richness of texture. Other features were the strangely shaped roofs with curious projections and whimsical details such as corner oriels in the shape of barrels. Despite the element of fantasy, the total effect of the scheme was quiet and controlled with a human warmth rare in the workers' housing schemes of the period.

bibliography:

H.R. Hitchcock, Architecture, 19th and 20th centuries (1958), 357–9; Roth, Art, 734–5; R. Banham, Guide to Modern Architecture (1962), 53–56.

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