C.J. BLAAUW, J.F. STAAL, M. STAAL-KROPHOLLER, P.L. KRAMER, G.F. LACROIX, 1915-1918, Studler van Surcklaan, Lijtweg, Meerweg, Bergen
Park Meerwijk / Park Meerwijk ( C.J. Blaauw, J.F. Staal, M. Staal-Kropholler, P.L. Kramer, G.F. LaCroix )
Ground plan Park Meerwijk  ©
Park Meerwijk is the only project devoted entirely to freestanding houses designed by architects of the Amsterdam School. In 1917 the tile manufacturer A.M.A. Heystee commissioned five architects to build a group of villas in a park in Bergen (known as the 'artist's village'). Heystee was already acquainted with these architects as they had been using one of his halls as a meeting room since 1914. Having been granted complete freedom in elaborating and siting the villas, they were able to give their Expressionist ideas free rein. The houses are modest in size and meet the client's request that in terms of sales potential their interiors should 'not depart too much from today's tastes'. Most of the villas have a thatched roof and brick facades with wooden window and door frames, and, not unexpectedly, well-tiled interiors. Three houses under one roof by Kramer (XIII, XIV, XV) were destroyed by fire in 1922 and replaced with new houses. All the others have survived. Staal considered his trio of houses with a single roof on Lijtweg a failure and wanted to name them Bildad, Eliphaz and Zophar (after Job's friends). Villa Beukenhoek designed by M. Staal-Kropholler was radically altered after a fire, and, like part of De Ark, plastered white. The tower above the porch of Villa Boschkant has since disappeared. The Expressionism of the architecture in Park Meerwijk is matched by Wijdeveld's description in Wendingen: 'a myriad of fairy tales have been whispered. He (the architect) is the weaver of a splendid illusion, of shimmering colours and luxuriant forms entwined around architecture of such restraint'.
Projects: I J.F. Staal (De Bark), II J.F. Staal (De Ark), IIa J.F. Staal (Tuinhuisje De Ark), III C.J. Blaauw (Boschkant, nu De Klopper), IV C.J. Blaauw (Beek en Bosch, nu Mussennest), V M. Staal-Kropholler (Meezennest), VI M. Staal-Kropholler (Meerlhuis, nu De Speeldoos), VII M. Staal-Kropholler (Beukenhoek), VIII G.F. la Croix (Dubbel woonhuis), X, XI, XII J.F. Staal (Drie woningen onder een kap), XVI C.J. Blaauw (Meerhoek, nu De Ster), XVII P.L. Kramer (Tuinhuisje De Hut)