Mart Stam: Dichter van staal en glas
Stef Jacobs, 2016
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The biography ‘Mart Stam. Poet of steel and glass’ paints a broad picture of the person and work of the Dutch architect and furniture designer Mart Stam (1899-1986). Stam was the designer of the first cantilever tubular steel chair or the Freischwinger. The influence of Russian constructivism can be heard in the Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam. Stam, who worked as an architect at the factory in 1926-28, had come into contact with the Russian avant-garde in Berlin in 1922. Stam believed that the functionality and practicality of a building were paramount. The building had to serve people. With this vision he could go to Stalin’s Soviet Union, where he worked from 1930 to 1934. In 1935 he was back in Amsterdam and designed a series of drive-in homes on the Anthonie van Dyckstraat. As director of the Applied Arts School in Amsterdam, he was little loved because of his authoritarian attitude. He left for the Soviet occupation zone in Germany in 1948, where he founded an institute of industrial design and was director of the Kunsthochschule Weißensee. On New Year’s Eve 1952 he returned to the Netherlands disillusioned, where he was received with mixed feelings. He initially joined Merkelbach and Elling but soon started working for himself again.
This dissertation mainly focuses on the question of which circumstances gave direction to his career. IN DUTCH!