Architect: P. Heyn (1857-1929)
Commissioned by: Stichting van Vrijmetselaren (Freemason’s foundation)
Years of construction: 1910-1911 (with the use of two older buildings on this site)
Kromhout gave Huize Vondel (Vondel House, left) the appearance of a temple, complete with spandril. During the next renovation in 1910, designed by the architect and freemason P. Heyn, the façades of both Kromhout as well as Cuypers (right) were demolished. The building received a whole new façade, more in accordance with the Berlage style, with two towers, plenty of brick and natural stone and stained glass. The age old symbol of the freemasons graces the middle: the square and compass with the letter G for ‘God and geometry’.
Façade of masonic lodge
During the German occupation in the Second World War, freemasonry was banned. The building was confiscated and the interior destroyed. After the war the freemasons reoccupied the building and the damage was gradually repaired. The stained glass diamond was added to the rose window in 1946. The polished diamond symbolises the freemason’s quest for the highest conceivable stage.
Leaded-glass diamond in the front façade
Many Amsterdam Freemason’s Lodges still use this temple. In the Blue Temple on the ground floor, newcomers are initiated to apprenticeship. In the Red Temple are the seats of the Master Masons. The largest part of the interior dates from the 1950s and 1960s. The one exception is the chapter house with its neo-Classical ceiling and pilasters which, miraculously, survived the war.
Interior of the temple, 1993