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Frank van Klingeren

Rotterdam, Netherlands
Frank van Klingeren selling his open architecture to the people.
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Frank van Klingeren selling his open architecture to the people.
Piet Vollaard Archive

Frank van Klingeren (1919-1999) was, unlike Herman Haan, a real outsider in the Dutch architecture scene of the 1960’s and ‘70’s. Trained as a construction engineer, he was a self-taught architect that kept away from architecture gatherings or cliques. He was more at home among people from avant-garde theatre of the period, than among ‘Forum’ architects like Van Eyck, Bakema and Hertzberger, although he shared a lot of his ideas with the latter. They even received the Fritz-Schumacher-Preis in 1974 together, Hertzberger for his Centraal Beheer office in Apeldoorn, and Van Klingeren for ‘t Karregat in Eindhoven. Both buildings celebrating multi-functionality and an openness towards change.

Although Frank van Klingeren was quite productive as an architect from the late ‘50’s to the mid ‘70’s, his main claim to fame was established with the design of three consecutive multi-cultural community buildings or ‘Agora’ as he called them; De Meerpaal in Dronten, Agora in Lelystad and ‘t Karregat in Eindhoven. But his media presence was broader than that. Especially after finishing De Meerpaal, he evolved towards a counterculture societal critic and television personality, while keeping his distance from direct involvement in flowerpower, hippie or provo movements. He was in that sense a Provo(cateur) in a business suit.

Rotterdam, Netherlands
Bostjan, April 7th, 2018