Chapter 2 of 18
Seagram Building, Park Avenue, New York
MVDR: But they were there for a thousand years, and still there, you know, and still impressive and nothing could change it, you know. And all of the styles, the great styles past, but if they are still there, they didn't lose anything, you know, they were ignored through certain architectural epochs, but they were still there, and still good. They are still there like the first day they were built.
JP: They were not celebrated buildings at all, anonymous buildings almost?
MVDR: Yes, Yes. When I learnt and I worked with Peter Behrens he had a great sense of the great form - that was his main interest. That I certainly understood and learnt from him.
JP: By form what do you mean, by great form?
MVDR: That is a [unknown] is something, but monumental form let me put it this way, you know. I was lucky enough you know, when I came to the Netherlands, and was confronted with Berlage's work. There there was the construction that made the strongest impression on me; you know, the use of brick and so on, the honesty of materials and so on. I never forgot this lesson I got there you know, just by looking at his buildings I had only a few talks with Berlage, but not about that. We never talked about architecture together.
JP: Do you think he knew that you sensed what he was doing?
MVDR: Oh, I don't think so. I cannot see any reason why he should have, because we didn't talk about it, and I was really a young boy then. But I really learnt this idea from him, you know, and that I must have been open for this particular fuel, you know, because of these old buildings I have seen.