Research projects initiated and carried out at the Jaap Bakema Study Centre can lead to exhibitions, publications, discussions and specific partial studies related to the activities of Het Nieuwe Instituut and the research programme of Faculty of Architecture at the Delft University of Technology. The study centre also facilitates research by and with third parties. The activities of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre are socially relevant and generate discussion of current issues. It also contributes to fundamental research and knowledge development on the creative industry, design, culture and society.
The Jaap Bakema Study Centre started life in 2013 as collaboration between Het Nieuwe Instituut and TU Delft’s faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. The goal was to instigate academic research, together with third parties, in the fields of architecture and urban planning. The centre explicitly aims to open up the materials in the State Archive. The collections of the National Archive for Dutch Architecture and Planning form the basis for formulating a research programme which is situated at the intersection of advanced historical/theoretical studies and urgent social issues. The Jaap Bakema Study Centre has an academic advisory board consisting of Tom Avermaete (ETH Züricht), Hetty Berens (HNI), Maristella Casciato (Getty Institute), Carola Hein (TU Delft) and Laurent Stalder (ETH Zürich).
Each year, the Jaap Bakema Study Centre organizes an international conference on topics related to its research. Previous editions dealt with themes such as the open society, the relationship between research and exhibition practices, and architectural drawing in the digital age.
Starting in 2019, the PhD programme, Architecture, Culture and Modernity will be established together with TU Delft. Special emphasis is reserved for the academic value of the archives at Het Nieuwe Instituut. A first open call and PhD colloquium will be set up related to the theme ‘Architecture and Democracy’.
The Jaap Bakema Study Centre also facilitates visiting researchers who help to disclose the archive of Het Nieuwe Instituut. Previous guests include: M. Christine Boyer (Princeton University), Georges Teyssot (Université de Laval), Gianluca Ferriero (Politecnico di Milano), Rebeca Merino del Río (Universidad de Valladolid), and Fabiano Borba Vianna (Universidade de São Paulo), among others. In 2017, the Jaap Bakema Study Centre welcomed Maarten Gielen and Lionel Devlieger of the Brussels-based office Rotor as visiting professors.
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.