Linnaeushof Amsterdam

Alexander Kropholler


  • Dick van Gameren TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment


In 1921 the rapidly growing city of Amsterdam took over Watergraafsmeer polder, hitherto an independent entity. The polder was already the object of a large-scale, planned expansion of the city, whose layout employed the then customary pattern of long, relatively shallow housing blocks. One exception to this pattern was a block between Middenweg, the original central axis in the polder parcellation, and a newly constructed road, Linnaeusparkweg; the large size and depth of this anomalous block were the product of older buildings along Middenweg and a side street with low-rise working-class homes (now Linnaeusdwarsstraat). The spacious, enclosed site wad acquired in 1918 by the Roman Catholic parish of the Holy Martyrs of Gorc kum to build a church. The area not required for the church wad sold as housing land to the Roman Catholic building contractor J.J.L. Rozestraten, who developed the site and rented out the new homes. This not only enabled the parish to generate extra income to finance construction of the church, but also expanded the base for parish life by importing (large), Catholic families into the neighbourhood. In 1924 Alexander Kropholler (1881-1971) was awarded the commission to design the entire complex. A self-taught individualist who had converted to Roman Catholicism in 1910, Kropholler enjoyed a reputation for designing schools, churches and housing complexes.

Author Biography

Dick van Gameren, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Dick van Gameren is dean and full professor at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of Delft University of Technology, and partner at Mecanoo architecten in Delft, the Netherlands. Combining his work as an architect with a professorship, Van Gameren maintains a critical approach to design by lecturing, researching and publishing. In 2007, Van Gameren won the prestigious Aga Kahn Award for the design of the Dutch Embassy in Ethiopia. In 2008, Van Gameren founded the book series DASH (Delft Architectural Studies on Housing) and is since then editor in chief. At TU Delft. He leads the Global Housing Study Centre and is also board member of the Archiprix foundation, of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre in Rotterdam and of the Amsterdam based AMS Institute. He is also a member of the TU Delft Global Initiative Steering Committee.






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