Joseph Mendes da Costa
Branch Office De Utrecht Utrecht
This modest branch office belonging to the nationally active life insurance office 'De Utrecht' is a telling example of how young architects approached Art Nouveau, the internationally fashionable architectural style of the day, mixing it with the more rational approach of, say, Berlage. Art Nouveau characteristics of this building include the facade decoration with its sculpture by Joseph Mendes da Costa and the ornate interior. The rational aspect is found in the composition of the floor plans and in such hefty structural elements as the granite lintel on the front facade and the heavy corner elements. The angle the plot's alignment makes with the building line is worked into the facade area in a way that is strikingly up to date.