- About the NAI
Leeuw van Vlaanderenstraat 124
Designers: Marius Frans Duintjer
A great need for new churches arises after the Second World War: many have been destroyed, but there is also a demand for churches in newly developed areas and in the reclaimed polders. A lively discussion was taking place about the way in which that new building demand could be met.
Those in favour of monumentality and tradition as essential components of ecclesiastical architecture thought churches should be cathedrals, not glorified community centres. This contrast between ‘cathedral churches’ and ‘bungalow churches’ informed Duintjer’s work.
Between 1951 and 1964, Duintjer built six churches in newly developed areas as part of post-war reconstruction efforts. The Kruiskerk (Church of the Cross) in Amstelveen and the Opstandingskerk (Church of the Resurrection) in Amsterdam West are counted among the cathedral churches. The wall of the Coal-scuttle is made up of wall panels, with vertical floor-to-ceiling strips in between that allow daylight to enter, giving the building an almost gothic character. It is this unique type of monumentality that gives these churches their cathedral-like allure.
The other four churches are categorised as bungalow churches: simple churches with rectangular floor plans and overhanging flat roofs. Closed walls alternate with glass façades with square panes reminiscent of traditional Japanese houses. Lacking solemn entrances and monumental interiors, these churches are open, intimate and inviting.