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Adolf Daniël Nicolaas van Gendt

17-08-1870 - 25-03-1932

Three generations of Van Gendt have produced no fewer than seven architects and engineers. The most famous of these, A.L. van Gendt, sets up his own firm in 1874. His two sons, Johan Godart (1866 - 1925) and Adolf Daniël Nicolaas (1870 - 1932), both become architects as well.

In the early 1890s, J.G. van Gendt works in Berlin and travels across Europe. Around 1895, A.D.N. van Gendt compleets an internal training course with John James Burnet in Glasgow and travels across Scotland and England. After these European ramblings, the brothers start as partners at their father’s firm in 1896.

Following the death of A.L. van Gendt, they continue the business, ultimately as Gebroeders van Gendt [Van Gendt Brothers]. They inherit their father’s stylistic suppleness and effortlessly combined historicist elements with the style of the Amsterdam School or Art Deco. They also win prominent commissions outside of Amsterdam and in the Dutch East Indies, including from industrialists and various banks.

Just like their father, they more or less work as ‘consulting engineers’ together with pre-eminent architects such as J.M. van der Mey, K.P.C. de Bazel and H.P. Berlage. The Amsterdam cityscape in particular has in many places been shaped by Van Gendt’s designs, such as the Hollandsche Manege riding school, the Concert Hall and the shopping arcade on Raadhuisstraat. The brothers not only build for the elite: they also design a holiday camp (1910) in Bergen aan Zee, the Fontainehofje almshouses (1912) in Amsterdam, and the Volksgaarkeuken (1912) on Nes in Amsterdam, a building that includes a soup kitchen and an apartment. Johan van Gendt dies in 1925, his brother Adolf in 1932.

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