Jan Wils - Netherlands

The two free-standing, tower-like office buildings are among the best-known designs of the Dutch architect Frans van Gool and are located in the immediate vicinity of the Rijksmuseum. In their size, volumetry and contour, the buildings refer to the villas that had previously been on the site. The two buildings are located on the border between the canal zone and the 19th century districts. The two elegant office buildings with up to seven storeys have exposed brick facades. The façades are punctuated by a regular pattern of square windows without subdivision. The total of 312 windows with tinted panes are installed flush with the façade. In this way, the physical appearance of the buildings is emphasised. The controversial buildings became known in 1980 during the debate on the aesthetics of functionalist architecture. Local columnists were very negative about the buildings - only over the years had the criticism gradually subsided.
The Dutch architect Jan Wils (22.02.1891 - 11.02.1972) is one of the most important representatives of the Amsterdam School. Until the 1920s, he was one of the best-known architects in the Netherlands. His perception was shaped by his achievements as a founding member of the avant-garde artists' association de Stijl. However, he was overshadowed by better-known members such as Theo van Doesburg or Piet Mondrian. Jan Wils is often referred to as a "pre-war architect". In this context, his architectural achievements are reduced to a few early works. In contrast, his work remained largely unnoticed after the Second World War. Only after his death was his late work increasingly appreciated. The architecture of his later creative phase is strongly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright. Among the works of his late period are the Papaverhof housing estate in The Hague and the City Light Theatre in Amsterdam. In addition, Jan Wils increasingly received commissions from the United States and overseas after the Second World War. Despite all this, the pre-war Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam remains the undisputed major work in his vast oeuvre of over 200 architectural works.

Der niederländische Architekt Jan Wils (22.02.1891 - 11.02.1972) zählt zu den bedeutenden Vertretern der Amsterdamer Schule. Bis in die 1920er Jahre gehörte er zu den bekanntesten Architekten in den Niederlanden. Seine Wahrnehmung war geprägt von seiner Leistung als Gründungsmitglied der avantgardistischen Künstlervereinigung de Stijl. Allerdings stand er dabei im Schatten der bekannteren Mitglieder wie Theo van Doesburg oder Piet Mondrian. Jan Wils wird oftmals als "Vorkriegsarchitekt" bezeichnet. Dabei werden seine architektonischen Leistungen auf einige wenige frühe Arbeiten reduziert. Im Gegensatz dazu blieb sein Werk nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg weitgehend unbeachtet. Erst nach seinem Tode wurde auch das Spätwerk zunehmend geschätzt. Die Architektur seiner späteren Schaffensphase steht unter starkem Einfluss von Frank Lloyd Wright. Zu den Arbeiten seines Spätwerks gehören unter anderem die Wohnanlage Papaverhof in Den Haag sowie das City-Lichtspieltheater in Amsterdam. Zudem erhielt Jan Wils nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg zunehmend Aufträge aus den Vereinigten Staaten und Übersee. Trotz allem bleibt das Olympiastadion in Amsterdam aus der Vorkriegszeit das unbestrittene Hauptwerk in seinem gewaltigen Oeuvre von über 200 architektonischen Werken.

1926 - 1928  Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam