Hendrik Jorden Evers

24-11-1855 - 01-11-1929

Rotterdam town hall is without doubt the most significant building to be realised by Henri Evers. In 1910, when he is invited to present a preliminary design, he has inviolable reputation and is professor at the Technische Hogeschool in Delft. For Evers, an architect’s artistic vision and the utilisation of the classic principles of architecture are of supreme importance. 

Construction has always been key to the Evers family. His father is a carpenter-cum- architect with his own construction company; in this capacity he is undertakes projects in the area of Ellecom and the Twickel country estate in Overijssel. After studying architecture at the academies in The Hague (1875-1876) and Antwerp (1876-1877) he gains practical experience working for architects’ offices in Antwerp and Brussels (1877-1882), Vienna (1882-1883) and Budapest (1883-1884), after which he establishes a practice in 1885 in Amsterdam.

On 25 April 1889, Evers marries Dina Maria Hooijkaas (1865-1947), ten years his junior, and a drawing instructor. Like Evers, only later, she also studied at the academy in The Hague. She is the daughter of I. Hooijkaas, a preacher with the Remonstrants Community in Rotterdam, for which group Evers will later design a new ecclesiastical building. This prompted Evers to officially change his religious affiliations, from Lower Dutch Reformed to Remonstrants (Dutch Protestants). Despite being a regular church-goer, Evers is probably agnostic – art is his only religion.

Evers emphasises the idealistic nature of architecture and the importance of artistic values to the architect. He also values the use of classic principles of architecture and a grounding in architectural history. With clear-cut, established ideas at an early age, Evers’ approach remains unchanged throughout his career.

Evers' appointment as head of the architecture department at the academy in Rotterdam in 1887 plays a crucial role in his career. He will remain in education for the rest of his working life. He is professor from 1902 to 1926, first at the Polytechnic School followed by its successor institution the Technische Hogeschool in Delft. These activities also result in a number theoretical writings and a book on the history of architecture, making him a highly desired member of various committees, advisory bodies and competition juries.

After becoming emeritus professor, Evers lives in Wassenaar, where he dies on 1 November 1929 at the age of seventy three.


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