Commissioned by: Ministerie van Sociale Zaken (Ministry of Social Affairs)
Year of completion: 1951
Early on in his career Blaauw made a name as an architect of the Amsterdam School architectural style. His later designs are bolder and more sober in appearance, and it is precisely this period from which his most significant assignments stem. The office building for the Raad van Arbeid (Labour Council), the executive body of the social security scheme and precursor to the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (Social Security Bank), was one of these. The building on Wibautstraat would be Blaauw’s last major assignment. He passed away before it was complete. Fellow architect Zwiers finished the job.
General Expansion Plan 1934
The initial plans for Wibautstraat date back to well before the Second World War. The street was already part of Amsterdam's Algemeen Uitbreidingsplan (General Expansion Plan) of 1934. At that time there were still important tracks and stations, but work was now being done on a new route through Amsterdam Oost in the ‘Spoorwegwerken Oost’ (‘Railway Works Oost’) project. This alternative route rendered the old tracks superfluous; space was freed up for the road that would go on to become a through route between the region of Het Gooi and the north of the country.
Nowadays the building of the Raad van Arbeid is also known as the Singelgrachtgebouw and forms part of the new Amstel campus of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (University of Applied Sciences). The renovated building was put into use for the first time in 2008. It is expected that the entire Amstel campus will be complete in 2015.