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Research Platform

The Jaap Bakema Study Centre was founded at the end of 2013 by Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Faculty of Architecture of the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) to initiate scientific research in the field of architecture and urban design together with third parties. The collections of the National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning form the basis for a research programme that is situated at the intersection of advanced historical and theoretical research and urgent social issues. The activities are divided into several long-term projects.

At the outset, in 2013, the primary focus was on the visibility and use of the National Collection for academic research and public presentations. Among other results, this led to the exhibition Structuralism, jointly curated with Herman Hertzberger, and a contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale about Jaap Bakema’s propositions for the “open society”. The programme has now broadened and deepened with international PhD research, the Dutch Research Council (NWO) project The Critical Visitor, and forward-thinking annual conferences. New projects are developed with international partners, such as the Art on Display exhibition with the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.

The Jaap Bakema Study Centre has an academic advisory board. The board members are Tom Avermaete (ETH Zurich), Hetty Berens (HNI), Maristella Casciato (Getty Institute), Carola Hein (TU Delft) and Georg Vrachliotis (TU Delft).

Jaap Bakema

The study centre is named after Jaap Bakema (1914–1981), the internationally prominent, socially engaged Dutch architect. His Rotterdam-based firm Van den Broek and Bakema produced some of the most outstanding projects of the post-war period such as the Lijnbaan shopping centre in Rotterdam. Its archive is housed in Het Nieuwe Instituut’s collection. Jaap Bakema was also an eminent professor at the Faculty of Architecture at the Delft University of Technology. Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Jaap Bakema Study Centre curated Open: A Bakema Celebration, the Dutch entry for the fourteenth International Architectural Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Part of the exhibition was ‘Post Box for the Open Society’, an online platform for the exchange of ideas and designs on the subject of the open society.