Jaap Bakema and the Open Society

Jaap Bakema and the Open Society is the first extensive publication on the Dutch architect Jaap Bakema, his ideas and ideals for society at large and the remarkable production of his office Van den Broek and Bakema.

Throughout the post-WWII decades Bakema was inspired to build for a democratic and open society. His body of work, his teaching and writing, and his international presence are testimony to the vicissitudes of the welfare state and the roles played by architecture and planning in its construction. His ideas on the open society are extremely relevant to the current debates about how to involve citizens in city building and creating alternative systems to crumbling welfare states. This historical document will highlight both his most relevant and less known work through texts, archival materials and photography.

In the midst of the ongoing neo-liberal crisis of today and its conservative cultural fall-out, these ideas on the open society have regained relevancy, in particular in light of the current debates on how to involve citizens in city building and how to create alternatives for our crumbling welfare states. Brought back from the past Bakema’s legacy functions as a mirror to remind us of the radical potential of architectural conceptualization in its commitment to societal questions.

This publication highlights internationally acclaimed and lesser known work through Bakema’s texts (some of which are published in English for the first time), accompanied by a rich, visual documentation from the archives. The book contains interviews with contemporaries, who worked with him in different contexts, and essays that critically probe the socially engaged aspects of his work and the contexts in which they came into being.

Compiled and edited by Dirk van den Heuvel. With contributions by Brita Bakema, Christine Boyer, Lard Buurman, Dick van Gameren, John Habraken, Carola Hein, Herman Hertzberger, Frans Hooykaas, Arnold Reijndorp, Izak Salomons, Johannes Schwartz, Jorrit Sipkes, and Carel Weeber. Graphic design by Jaap van Triest.


De jaren '70 in Rotterdam zijn goed gedocumenteerd. Ook recent verschenen verschillende publicaties over de transformatie van de stad. In dit overzicht de belangrijkste boeken, rapporten en verslagen uit en over de jaren '70 in Rotterdam.
De architectuur van de jaren zeventig is daarnaast ook onderdeel van een aantal andere specifieke regelingen binnen de bredere Post 65 (1965-1990) periode, het rapport ‘Verkenning Post-65’ en ‘Stadsvernieuwing in Stroomversnelling’ geven hier inzicht in, alsook de publicatie ‘Stadsvernieuwing in Rotterdam’ en ‘Experimentele woningbouw in Nederland 1968-1980’.In de publicaties ‘Steden in de steigers’ en ‘De Ruimtemakers’ komen een aantal bijzondere stads- en projectontwikkelingen in Nederland in het algemeen en Rotterdam specifiek uit de Post 65 generatie aan bod.

Verder laten de publicaties 'Stadsvernieuwing Rotterdam 1974-1984, Stadsbeeld Rotterdam 1965-1982 en Stedenbouw in Rotterdam, Plannen en opstellen 1940-1981 zien hoe er in de jaren '80 gedacht werd over de bewogen recente stadsgeschiedenis: De stemmingsverandering van optimistische wederopbouw naar protest en ontevredenheid leidde tot een beleidsomslag en later, in de jaren '80 tot een hernieuwde belangstelling voor de stad. Kaartmateriaal en beeld uit deze waardevolle bronnen is voor de website op diverse plaatsen benut.

Recentere publicaties over Rotterdam in de jaren '70 en monografieën over onder andere Blom, Habraken en Bakema completeren de literatuurlijst.