Published in DASH #06 - Living in a New Past
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Bergen (NH)J.H. Roggeveen

Merelhof was designed in 1949 by the Bergen local authority architect J.H. Roggeveen (1888-1955). It exemplifies the principles of the Delft School, a traditionalist movement based on the presumption of an inseparable connection between past and present, which stressed the ‘timeless values’ of architecture. In the sphere of housing design adherents of the Delft School sought simple, recognizable forms that were inspired by rural architecture from the past. They often found inspiration for the design of homes for the elderly, for example, in ‘hofjes’, the traditional Dutch configuration of accommodation for the needy or disadvantaged around courtyards. The Delft School is further characterized by its combination of the traditional use and detailing of materials such as brick and wood, with the application of new techniques for certain parts, such as concrete structural elements and steel window frames…