A. VAN DER STEUR, B. HOOIJKAAS BZN., B. VAN VEEN, 1945-1950, Blaak 28, Rotterdam
Bankgebouw Twentsche Bank / Bank Building Twentsche Bank ( A. van der Steur, B. Hooijkaas Bzn., B. van Veen )
© 2007 Rook & Nagelkerke
Although the post-war rebuilding of Rotterdam was dominated by the 'objective' architecture of the Groothandelsgebouw (Wholesale Building) and the Lijnbaan shopping precinct, the first new buildings to emerge after the war were these traditional bank premises: this Twentsche Bank by A. van der Steur, B. Hooijkaas Bzn. and B. van Veen, the Nederlandsche Handel-maatschappij (Netherlands Trading Society) by C. Elffers and A.A. van Nieuwenhuyzen and the Amsterdamsche Bank/Incassobank by the Kraaijvanger brothers. Almost identical in volume, they share the same building line so as to present a monumental urban elevation along Blaak.
The building for the Twentsche Bank is tuned to the neighbouring NTS building. The bank has a granite plinth and a tall ground floor of polished concrete block. Its taut, rational facade is crowned with a cornice. The main entrance, once again placed asymmetrically, has a monumental frame. This building has two generous light courts.
Mergers in the banking world deprived these buildings of their duty as head office. At the end of the 1980s, there were plans to demolish them and replace them with new-build. Comité Wederopbouw, an initiative concerned with preserving reconstruction-era architecture, protested against these plans with success. In 1995 the three banks were proclaimed city monuments and at present contain offices and related functions.