Chapter 2 of 24
Van Nelle Factory, Holland, 1927, Brinkman & Van Der Vlugt
And to follow the Fiat and the Fiat factory I will take, as we usually do first, the developing tradition of elegant industrialised architecture which we find fully fledged and fully developed already and most elegantly in Brinkman and Van der Vlugt's and Ernst Mai's Van Nelle factory in Holland of 1927. Le Corbusier said of this factory, "The sheer façades of the building, bright glass and grey metal, rise up against the sky. The serenity of the place is total." To describe to you the air of confidence and belief in progress that lead to such work, I will read to you a poem written by the Italian Futurists, Marinetti and Sant'Elia in 1910.
"We will sing of the stirring of great crowds - workers, pleasure seekers, rioters and the confused sea of colour and sand - as revolution sweeps through the modern metropolis. We will sing of the midnight fervour of arsenals and shipyards, blazing with electric moons; insatiable stations swallowing the smoking serpents of their trains; factories hung from the clouds by the twisted threads of their smoke; bridges, flashing like knives in the sun; giant gymnasts that leap over rivers; adventurous steamers that scent the horizon; deep-chested locomotives that paw the ground with their wheels like stallions harnessed with steel tubing; the easy flight of aircraft, their propellers beating the wind like banners with a sound like the applause of a might crowd".
Thus Marinetti and Sant' Elia in 1910.