Reciprocity Of Human Life & Habitat
Herman Hertzberger


Herman Hertzberger

©Ger Van Der Vlugt



Van Eyck Orphanage. Model From Above

©Herman Hertzberger

This is of course the orphanage of Aldo van Eyck. I'm not going to give a lecture on this building. I could at least however point out two or three things why I think this building is so important. First of all it is the image of making a big building in the way, in the mood of a small town and Aldo van Eyck adds to it that you should think of a small town in terms of a big building. And this is a complete new paradigm for us and consequently you end up in an articulated building which at the same time is a small town where the analysis of the program is made in such a way that it is in fact a conglomerate of houses. The other thing I would like to point out is that it is full of associations of whatever style or whatever way of working, way of designing you can think of, without any quotation. I mean, it is the proof you can have the whole scope of history in your building without the slightest quotation. What inspired me most for my own work is the fact that what Aldo van Eyck made here is a formal structure, because it is quite a formal structure, very precise, which is to be considered a framework for an informal daily life use. For me it was the building that put me on the track that there is no contradiction in formal order and daily life. And for me this was the big thing to start my own buildings.

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