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J.P. Kloos

11-06-1905 - 08-08-2001

J.P. Kloos (1905-2001) becomes a fervent adherent of the Nieuw Bouwen, after working for J. Duiker and W.M. Dudok and is largely active in the social sector where he designs hospitals, schools and housing.

J.P. Kloos is born in Schiedam. After high school, he continues his technical studies in Utrecht in 1922 followed by completed his training in Amsterdam, where he works for G.J. Langhout on the 'Eigen Hulp' building on the Rijnstraat. As a technical draughtsman/supervisor for J. Duikers on the sanatorium 'Zonnestraal' (1927-1928), he becomes a convert to New Objectivity (known as Nieuwe Zakelijkheid in Dutch). The aptness of his change of direction is underlined when he joins W.M. Dudok in 1928. Kloos works for Dudok until 1932 on the Collège Néerlandais of the Cité University in Paris.

Back in the Netherlands, Kloos works as an independent architect, establishing links with Group 32 and The 8, and moves to Haarlem in 1934. His first breakthrough comes in the form of the Rijnlands Lyceum in Wassenaar (1937-1939). In these years, Kloos occasionally collaborates with fellow townsman G. Holt on projects including the proposal for the architecture competition for Amsterdam town hall (1937).

During the war, Kloos teaches at the Arts and Crafts College in Amsterdam under Mart Stam, with whom he shares many architectural ideals. After the war, Kloos becomes one of the most tenacious and uncompromising architects of the New Objectivity movement and develops an impressive oeuvre in the social sector. He completes projects throughout the Netherlands: hospitals, schools, kindergartens for children with medical needs, senior citizen housing and residential developments.

Kloos attempts to keep the scale of his firm as small as possible so that he can oversee his work as both designer and implementing architect. When working on some projects, after the preliminary design phase, he sometimes collaborates with firms run by his colleagues, such as Van Tijen, Boom, Posno, Romke de Vries, and engineering firm Dwars, Heederik & Verhey N.V. After 1975 Kloos consistently adopts this way of working for large projects, and his offices acts as the ‘design centre’.

Besides his activities as a designer, Kloos sits on numerous study committees, building regulation committees, juries, and also teaches. In 1952, he is one of the founders of the Scholencommissie van de Union International des Architects (UAI), in which capacity, he takes part in many international congresses. In 1982 Kloos is the recipient of the BNA Kubus award for his work as ‘an exponent of New Objectivity and, in addition, for the unmistakable architectural excellence of his work.’

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