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Siegfried Nassuth

01-01-1922

From 1962 until his retirement in 1981, Siegfried Nassuth (1922) is involved in the building of the Bijlmermeer. His urban design incorporates the ideas of the CIAM and Le Corbusier propagating the separation of functions and traffic.

During his studies at the Technische Hogeschool Delft, Nassuth is taught by Cornelis van Eesteren and Th.K. van Lohuizen among others. Both professors are responsible for the General Expansion Plan of Amsterdam (1934). On graduating, he works for the then urban development department of the Municipality Amsterdam.

In 1962 Nassuth joins the group of urban planners who are tasked with developing plans for the Bijlmermeer, the new expansion area of Amsterdam to the southeast of the city. Nassuth draws inspiration from the philosophy of the CIAM and the Swiss architect Le Corbusier, who advocate a strict separation between housing, work and recreation. Their ideas also envisage the separation of car, bicycle and pedestrian traffic, a principle that Nassuth follows to the letter in his plans for the Bijlmermeer.

Along with Van Eesteren, Jakoba Mulder, the head of the urban development department who is a consultant on the project, is extremely critical about the scale of the plan. Mulder drafts an alternative urban design integrating more low-rise and medium-rise structures rather than the ten-floor high-rise blocks originally envisaged. This plan also provides for a greater mixture of functions. In the end, the authorities decide to build Nassuth’s plan, with barely any modifications. 

Nassuth continues to be involved in designing the Bijlmermeer until his retirement in 1981. He receives the Oeuvre Prize of the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture for his plans for the Bijlmermeer in 1998.

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