Herman Hertzberger

Starting on March 27, 1999, the Balcony Room of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) will be the venue for its own travelling exhibition Herman Hertzberger Articulations, which was previously on display in Germany and Argentina. Four pavilions, designed by Hertzberger himself, will offer insight into the creative process that has resulted in works such as the Centraal Beheer Office Building in Apeldoorn and the Chassé Theatre in Breda. Sketches, models and photographs are displayed in the pavilions in a striking manner. Each exhibition pavilion highlights one of four categories that form the leitmotivs running through the oeuvre of Hertzberger: schools, theatres, office buildings, and urban designs. Hertzberger is always working on the layout and articulation of space. The increasing scale of his projects illustrates how, over time, an emphasis on detail has given way to a focus on larger elements of the building and the integration of the building into the context. The underlying idea has remained unchanged however: a clear, comprehensible structure in which users and visitors can easily find their way and where they feel at home.

Hertzberger (1932) - his fame established by the Centraal Beheer office building in Apeldoorn (1968-1972) and the Vredenburg Music Centre in Utrecht (1973-1978) - now builds around the whole world. In addition to projects in the Netherlands such as the Chassé Theatre and the extension to the Vanderveen department store in Assen, recently completed projects include a housing complex at Stralauer Halbinsel in Berlin (Germany) and a guesthouse in Kurobe (Japan). Discussions about an urban design for Tel Aviv are currently well underway. Hertzberger often uses elements from earlier commissions in order to arrive at a new form. In this process he makes extensive use of the sketches and impressions garnered on his travels. The impressions and ideas are set down in the notebooks that he always carries around with him.

Mobile Pavilions
The exhibition Articulations consists of four mobile pavilions. Since it is made to travel, the exhibition must be assembled and dismantled quickly at very different locations. That led to the choice of a design both particular and practical. When closed, the pavilions form four right-angled crates on wheels, which together fit into a standard steel sea container. Each pavilion consists of sections that, when opened and placed opposite each other, form a semi-enclosed space. Glass cylinders supported by the pavilion walls offer one a view, from the closed sides, of the models within. Video screens mounted on three of the four pavilions show interviews and other film footage that provide more information about the theme of the pavilion in question: schools, theatres, and offices.

The premiere of Articulations was held in the summer of 1998 at the Deutsches Architektur Zentrum in Berlin. After that the exhibition was on display at the VII International Architecture Biennial in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Before coming to the NAI it was briefly on display at the International Building Show held last February in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. The upcoming destinations include the Architektur Museum of the Technische Universität in Munich and the Cite' d'Architecture in Paris.

The exhibition is accompanied by a Dutch/English newspaper that concentrates on texts by Hertzberger himself. The newspaper originally appeared in an English/German edition. It is possible to produce the paper in other languages in collaboration with institutions wishing to stage the exhibition.
To coincide with the exhibition, NAI Publishers produced an English-language publication entitled Herman Hertzberger - Notations. This book contains many sketches and fragments from the notebooks that the architect always carries around with him and in which he records his ideas and thoughts. The fragments and drawings are analysed and commented upon by the authors Herman van Bergeijk and Deborah Hauptmann. The book contains many illustrations in black and white and in colour, and costs 49.50 guilders.