'Bakema and the Open Society'

A conference organized by the Jaap Bakema Study Centre together with Het Nieuwe Instituut and TU Delft as a conclusion of the Dutch contribution to the 14th edition of the Venice Biennale.

Tuesday 25 november, 9.00-17.30

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft, Berlage rooms
Entrance free of charge
Info and registration:


9.00-12.30 Morning session

Welcome and coffee
Introductions by Dick van Gameren (TU Delft) and Dirk van den Heuvel (Jaap Bakema Study Centre, TU Delft, Het Nieuwe Instituut)                      
Bakema's Idea of the Open Society Seen Through the Eyes of Foreign Critics, Rixt Hoekstra (Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main)
The Internationalization of Post-1963 Skopje. Van den Broek and Bakema’s Competition Entry and Its Legacies, Jasna Stefanovska (University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje)
Housing in the Work of Van den Broek and Bakema. Split Level, A Way of Social Design, Alejandro Perez Duarte (Universidade FUMEC, Belo Horizonte)
From Hoddesdon to St. Louis. The Heart of the City as Relationship, Leonardo Zuccaro Marchi (TU Delft and KTH Stockholm)
Architecture and Cold War. The Case of the Hauptstadt Berlin Competition, Carola Hein (TU Delft)

12.30-13.30 Lunch break

13.30-17.30 Afternoon session
The Open Society and Its Experiments, Dirk van den Heuvel (Jaap Bakema Study Centre, TU Delft, Het Nieuwe Instituut)
People's Palaces. Architecture, Culture and Democracy in Post-War Western Europe, Christoph Grafe (Bergische Universität Wuppertal, VAI Antwerpen)
From Knoxville to Bidonville: The Peripheries of European Welfare State Architecture, Tom Avermaete (TU Delft)
Architectural History and the Sociology of the Welfare State, Mark Swenarton (Liverpool University)
Plans for the Future: Research, Archives and Institutes. Discussion panel with participants and Guus Beumer (Het Nieuwe Instituut)

17.30 Drinks 

On the occasion of this event, several papers were presented that are published here.


'People's Palaces' by Christoph Grafe (Architectura & Natura)

'Architecture and the Welfare State' by Mark Swenarton, Tom Avermaete, Dirk van den Heuvel (Routledge). More information can be found here.


'Jaap en Sia Bakema: Habitat'

The New Institute is presenting an exhibition about Jaap Bakema and his collaboration with his wife Sia Bakema, in Gallery 3 from 30 June on. This exhibition is highlighting Bakema’s private life. On display are wall hangings and mosaics by Sia that played a key role in his design practice. She was a textile artist and regularly offered colour advice to the office Van den Broek en Bakema. The exhibition has been created in close collaboration with Brita Bakema, the daughter of Jaap Bakema. Click here for more information. 


'Sorry We're Open!'

On Thursday 19 June Het Nieuwe Instituut welcomes the curators of the Dutch and the British Biennale pavilions. The common ground between the themes of the two pavilions, the Dutch ideal of the open society and the creation of the British welfare state, will form the starting point for a public conversation. Speakers are Wouter Vanstiphout, Guus Beumer and Dirk van den Heuvel. More information can be found here.

Experimental model that investigates urban modularity, by architectural office Van den Broek en Bakema.


'Opening: Open A Bakema Celebration'

The 14th Venice Architecture Biennale opens on 7 June and runs through 23 November 2014. The exhibition Open: A Bakema Celebration will critically reflect on the idea of the open society through Bakema’s work and research. The shifting roles of the state and the market, the architect and the individual citizen are scrutinised in an installation that utilises a multiplicity of media: models, historical correspondence, photography, drawings, TV material and films as well as this website, where you can find the Post Box for the Open Society, an online platform for architects and designers to share new ideas for the open society.

Stop-motion video, made at the opening of 'Open: A Bakema Celebration', 2014.