Council housing, Blijdorp

There lies the new world: spick and span and cheerful. From the air, the rational...

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Jacob Berend Bakema

J.B. Bakema (1914-1981) drukt met zijn firma Van den Broek en Bakema een sterk stempel...

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Treasures of the NAi

Highlights of Dutch Architecture


All these objects say something about the character of the Netherlands. Not in a single story but in many, for there are many gradations to Dutch identity. The Treasury showcases this diversity and richness on the basis of six main themes, six Dutch qualities that are evident in the NAI’s collection: ‘experimental’, ‘together’, ‘open’, ‘makeable’, ‘curious’ and ‘restrained’.

The objects in the Treasury combine into a portrait of the history of Dutch architecture, and thus of Dutch society. At the same time they give us pause for reflection. Can we still identify those themes of earlier times in modern-day architecture? Do we still think such themes are important? The Treasury is, by extension, also a portrait of you. What are your values? What do you find important?

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