Showpiece

In consultation with the local authorities, housing association De Dageraad decided to build 294 houses for the general public. With the aid of government subsidies, such associations had been dedicating themselves to improving public housing since the introduction of the Woningwet (Dutch Housing Act) in 1901. The neighbourhood, with homes, schools and a library, was supposed to become the showpiece of social-democratic house-building, and to this end the promising architects Michel de Klerk and Piet Kramer were enlisted.

 

Relief of Amsterdam housing association "De Dageraad", 1992

Undulating façades

De Klerk and Kramer worked in the style of the Amsterdam School, with its characteristic undulating brick façades and details. The imposing access to the neighbourhood was formed by two identical school buildings on either side of P.L. Takstraat. They were built in 1923-1924 by Arend Jan Westerman; the woodcarving was produced by Hildo Krop.

 

Ornamental entryway in the P.L. Takstraat

Streets and squares

The area has the shape of a Y with P.L. Takstraat as central axis. The variation of façades and the striking corner sections, designed by Kramer, provide a flowing play of lines. The twin squares on either side of P.L. Takstraat, the Henriëtte Ronnerplein and Thérèse Schwartzeplein, designed by De Klerk, provide a more static image. De Klerk assumed that a front elevation is perceived on the move, whereas a square is a place to loiter.

 

Façade on the Burgemeester Tellegenstraat