The Berlage

Session Room K

On the Tower and the Temple

Herman van Bergeijk

The Beurs van Berlage, circa 1903, Stadsarchief Amsterdam.

In his lecture Herman van Bergeijk will address the intentions, the design process and the criticism that informed the reception of the Stock Exchange of the famous Dutch architect H.P. Berlage in Amsterdam, a crucial building for the architecture in the 20th Century. As a socialist architect Berlage has been often received comments on having designed a monument for the capitalist society, a building in which trade would flourish. He nevertheless tried to translate his high pitched ideals in a building that would eventually be part of the new democratic society and that could function as a sign and a signal for the future.  As such it embodies all the conflicts and contradictions of a world in which we live today. Since years it has however lost its initial functions and has been transformed in a cultural temple of the entertainment industry.

Herman van Bergeijk is an architectural historian who studied in Groningen and Venice. In 1995 he obtained his doctorate with a study on the work of W.M Dudok. Since then he has worked as a freelance historian for a long time and has taught at universities in several European countries, the United States and China. From 1997 he was a lecturer at TU Delft. The last years he has been working as a professor of architectural history in Harbin, China. He has several books to his name. A study on the architect A.J. Kropholler was published two years ago by NAi010 and a booklet about urban planning by W.M. Dudok was published by Rode Haring. He recently published, together with Sjoerd van Faassen, the correspondence between Theo van Doesburg and Cor van Eesteren. He is an editor of the cultural magazine Rode Haring

This spring’s series, entitled “Money Talks,” looks at the architecture associated with the storing, trading, management, digitization, and centralization of money. Topics will include the history of the Bank of England, the competition for a new commodity exchange in Amsterdam, the design of banknotes, the commissioning of the headquarters of one of the largest banking and financial services institutions in the world, the post-war development of London’s financial center, among others. Speakers will include Daniel M. Abramson, Herman van Bergeijk, Martin Gran, Carol Patterson, Lauren S. Weingarden, Amy Thomas, and Stephanie Williams.

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