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Filip Anne Warners

21-11-1888 - 20-02-1952

F.A. Warners made a major contribution to the introduction of the multi-storied house and set up a successful business for their marketing. Later, he provided a key impetus to high-rise construction in the Amsterdam city centre with his office buildings ‘Atlanta’ and ‘Candida’. Using a rather eclectic style, Warner was no great innovator. His significance lies primarily in the development of new types of buildings and their marketing.

From 1904 to 1908, after completing his secondary education at the Hogere Burgerschool (HBS) in Hilversum, Warner follows lessons at the ‘Industrieschool van de Maatschappij voor den Werkende Stand’, a vocational school for the working classes in Amsterdam. As a student he works for a while at the architect’s firms of J.W.F. Hartkamp jr., B.J. Ouëndag and Gebroeders van Gendt. He leaves for London in 1909 to follow a training course at the Architectural Association.

On the instructions of his uncle Jan Koster, the director of the Hollandse Petroleum Maatschappij ‘De Orion’ (Royal Dutch Petroleum Company), Warners travels to Romania in 1910. In Ploesti, north of Bucharest, the 22-year-old Warners designs a petroleum refinery with boilerhouse, engine room, rectification building and laboratory. He also builds a director’s house for his uncle and a number of civil servant’s homes on the refinery site. These are simple, rural houses, whitewashed and with high, slate roofs. Working for De Orion, he has the opportunity to build villas in Bucharest for private clients. He experiments by blending style elements such as local and Moorish decorative motifs.

During his Romanian adventure, Warners occasionally travels to Berlin and in 1912 he visits Italy, Greece and Turkey to study classic architecture. In that same year he visits several European capitals to look at a type of building that up until then was barely known in the Netherlands: the block of flats. Other architects and other ways of building are a source of inspiration to him.

From 1913 onwards he works as an independent architect in Amsterdam. One of his first building commissions is to design country homes for members of his family. Motivated by his friendship with Piet Kramer, he experiments with the traditional and expressive idiom of the Amsterdam School. Through his contact with H.Th. Wijdeveld he also finds inspiration in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Warners introduces the ‘residential flat’ or the ‘multi-storied house’ and takes  the lead in developing high-rise buildings in the Netherlands. These apartments were modern, comfortable and efficient. He builds the first of these in 1913 on De Lairessestraat in Amsterdam. In order to develop similar projects, he sets up the A.M.E.E, the ‘Amsterdamsche Maatschappij tot Exploitatiewoningen’, a company for the marketing of housing projects in 1914, completing Zonnehoek in 1916, Zuidwijck in 1919, Westhove and De Steenhoek in 1921, all on De Lairessestraat in Amsterdam.

In addition, he designs countless offices and industrial buildings, including Atlanta (1928) on Stadhouderskade, and Candida at Nieuwe Zijdsvoorburgwal (1930). After the Second World War, he moves his field of activity from Amsterdam to Tilburg, working with his son, architect A. (Allert) Warners from 1945 on. F.A. Warners dies on 20 February 1952. His office is taken over by A. Warners, and the A.M.E.E. stayes in the control of two other sons until 1986.

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