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Karel Petrus Cornelis de Bazel

14-02-1869 - 28-11-1923

Until 1895, K.P.C. de Bazel (1869-1923) is employed by the firm of architects of P.J.H. Cuypers, after which he goes his own way, attracted by theosophy and symbolism. Together with J.L.M Lauweriks he devotes himself to applied arts, graphic design, furniture design, painting and sculpture and ceramics. De Bazel also gives great attention to details and to refining both interior and exterior elements in his architectural designs.

After leaving primary education, K.P.C. de Bazel takes up an apprenticeship in a carpentry workshop. His interest in drawing prompts him to take the night course in architecture at the Royal Academy for the Arts in The Hague in 1881. He is appointed draughtsman to the office of architect J.J. van Nieukerken, possibly thanks to the intercession of one of his tutors. The following year, De Bazel moves to Amsterdam where he works for P.J.H. Cuypers, and meets the versatile artist J.L.M. Lauweriks. 

De Bazel is gradually promoted to 'chef de bureau' with the Cuypers firm, and takes drawing lessons at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam during the evenings. In 1895 Lauweriks and De Bazel leave Cuypers’s firm when their artistic and political convictions begin to clash. De Bazel and Lauweriks are drawn to anarchism, Theosophy and symbolism. They work together for five years on applied design projects ranging from graphic design, furniture design, painting and sculpture to ceramics. During this time, De Bazel is the secretary and chairman of the society Architectura et Amicitia and also takes part in the competition for the society’s General Library Building (1895).

At the turn of the century, De Bazel becomes ill and is forced to suspend his activities. After his recovery, he sets up as an architect. He designs country houses and villas for the artists L. van Deyssel and J. Veth in Bussum. In his designs, he pays enormous attention to detail and to refining elements in both the interior and exterior. Many of the designs are elaborated in studio ‘De Ploeg’ where he works alongside K. van Leeuwen and C. Oorschot from 1904. He continues to develop plans and submit projects for competitions, such as the proposal for a World Capital City with Peace Palace in The Hague (1905-1906) and for Rotterdam town hall in 1912. De Bazel’s scheme for the town hall was inundated with praise and considered a model for contemporary architecture although in the end, it wasn’t actually built. 

In his later years, De Bazel also built huge housing complexes such as the blue collar housing on the Spaarndammerdijk in Amsterdam (1918) and various complexes in Eindhoven for Philips (1916-1923). In 1917 Dutch Handelmaatschappij commissioned De Bazel to design a large office block on the Vijzelstraat in Amsterdam. It is the most noted building of De Bazel’s career, although he was unable to see the work reach completion. De Bazel dies in November 1923.

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