Aldo van Eyck



When Aldo van Eyck passed away without warning at the start of the year, he was a vital octogenarian. Yet we will always associate his name with infancy. The playgrounds he designed while employed at the public works office impregnated with optimism both postwar Amsterdam’s most sordid corners and his later work. The city’s municipal orphanage – a both orderly and labyrinthine proliferaton of vaults, with the flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of children – became the built emblem of Dutch structuralism, a movement that emerged around the magazine Forum edited by Jaap Bakema, Herman Hertzberger and Van Eyck himself from 1959 to 1963. The Sonsbeek Sculpture Pavilion in Arnhem (1966) and the Pastoor van Ars Church in The Hague (1970) wrapped up his most fruitful decade. With his residence for mothers and children, in the seventies Van Eyck confirmed a coloristic and socially sensitive approach that earlier in the fifities had led him to participate, as a member of Team X, in the both critical and anthropological revision of the Modern Movement’s tenets in the context of the CIAM.

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