Friday, August 31, 2012
On an overcast morning that promised rain, we were determined to find Het Schip before being drenched. We kept on walking, got lost, and finally had to ask for help from various passersby, only getting the right direction from a bike store owner...
Het Schip is one of three monumental public housing blocks in the Spaarndammerplantsoen [park] designed by Michel de Klerk, perhaps the most well-known of the architects from the Amsterdam School, an artistic movement founded in 1915 that encompassed all the design and decorative arts and especially a more expressionistic and creative architectural style.
This complex with the post office corner that resembles the prow of a ship, hence the name, was completed in 1921and is wedge-shaped in layout thereby bounding a large triangular courtyard. It was originally comprised of 102 residences for labourers, a school [that was already there and had to be carefully integrated into the block], an assembly room and a post office [which is now a museum].
Het Schip is distinguished by the innovative use of bricks, tiles, the many charming sculptural ornamentation by Hildo Krop, imaginative window designs, and even the typography is exclusively Amsterdam School.