Jaap Bakema and the Open Society

Research output: Book/ReportBook editingScientificpeer-review


The book is a first on the work and ideas of the Dutch architect Jaap Bakema (1914–1981), who was inspired to build for a democratic and open society.
His body of work, his teaching and writing, and his international presence are testimony to the vicissitudes of the welfare state and the roles played by architecture and planning in its construction. In the midst of today’s neo-liberal crisis and its conservative cultural fallout, these ideas on the open society have regained relevancy, in particular in light of current debates on how to involve citizens in city building and how to create alternatives for our crumbling welfare states. Bakema’s legacy reminds us of the radical potential of architectural conceptualization in its commitment to societal questions.
A key figure in the circles of CIAM, Team 10 and Dutch Forum, Bakema bridged the gap between avant-garde discourse and mainstream culture, most notably with his TV lecture series ‘From chair to city’. Famed projects by his firm Van den Broek and Bakema include the Rotterdam Lijnbaan shopping centre and Sporthuis Centrum holiday resorts.
This publication highlights internationally acclaimed and lesser known work through texts and English translations, accompanied by rich visual documentation from the archives. This material is put into perspective in interviews with contemporaries, and essays that critically probe the socially engaged aspects of Bakema’s work and the context in which it came into being.
Compiled and edited by Dirk van den Heuvel, Jaap Bakema and the open society features contributions by Brita Bakema, Christine Boyer, Lard Buurman, Dick van Gameren, John Habraken, Carola Hein, Herman Hertzberger, Frans Hooykaas, Arnold Reijndorp, Izak Salomons, Johannes Schwartz, Jorrit Sipkes, and Carel Weeber.
Graphic design by Jaap van Triest.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages319
ISBN (Print)978-90-7796-657-0
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • modern architecture
  • housing
  • urban planning
  • CIAM
  • Team 10
  • welfare state


Dive into the research topics of 'Jaap Bakema and the Open Society'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this