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Reconstruction era

The architecture and urban planning of the period 1940-1965 represent an important development in Dutch architectural history. This was a period of innovation that saw the advent of new materials and processes. Urban planning experienced the introduction of new land parcelling patterns, new layouts for residential districts and a growth in road traffic.

Warnersblocks, Amsterdam by F.A. Warners and J.Ongenae (1957)Warnersblocks, Amsterdam by F.A. Warners and J.Ongenae (1957)

Repair and renewal

The reconstruction era began immediately after the first aerial bombardments ended in May 1940. The Netherlands managed to rise from the ruins of the Second World War thanks to hard work and innovative design. Repairing the huge damage wrought by the war provided an opportunity for innovation in architecture, urban planning and land use.

Re-evaluation

Now, many years later, we are faced with the challenging of re-evaluating and selectively protecting the new buildings of that time. A lack of knowledge and appreciation means that reconstruction erabuildings may soon be lost forever, or will be irreparably damaged. The Agency gathered the knowledge needed to prevent this through the comprehensive cataloguing and assessment of the architecture and urban planning of the reconstruction era.

Reconstruction era, 1959-1965

The Cultural Heritage Agency has selected the 89 most important and characteristic buildings from the period 1959-1965, part of the post-war reconstruction era. This selection programme follows on from the 'Top 100' from the period 1940-1958.

New selection of post-war heritage sites

Again, the buildings chosen are excellent examples of developments in architecture, construction techniques or site-specific art. The best examples have been chosen in a number of categories, including the economy, pillarisation and the welfare state. Various architectural movements and individual architects have also been considered. Specific attention has been focused on green spaces, details and the use of materials, and on achieving an even regional spread.

The Agency asked local authorities, provincial heritage services and heritage organisations to suggest additions to its initial survey of objects. Hundreds of new objects were put forward. The Agency assessed the importance of each, and only the very best examples were included in the list. Just 89 of the 700 buildings considered have been found eligible for the status of scheduled monument or historic building.

The final list of 89 leading monuments or historic buildings was announced at Evoluon in Eindhoven on 18 March 2013.

30 designated reconstruction era districts

The government has selected 30 reconstruction era districts that are of national importance. It will protect and develop these districts in collaboration with local authorities. The 30 districts include:

  • reconstructed core areas like the east city centre in Rotterdam
  • post-war residential developments like Pottenberg in Maastricht
  • rural features such as the Northeast Polder

Top 100

In October 2007 100 leading examples of buildings from the period 1940-1958 were nominated for national scheduled historic building status. The Agency is currently preparing for the selection of top buildings from 1959 to 1965.

  • Top 100 with photographs

Reconstruction era database 

The data on all objects catalogued have been entered into a special database.