Queer Encounters in the Archive: Misplaced Love Letters and Autobiographical Homes

D. van den Heuvel, Martin van Wijk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

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The chapter contains a report of the ongoing research into queer voices and architecture at the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, which holds the National Collection of Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning. After introducing the National Collection, the authors critically examine how its internal power dynamics and mechanisms privilege certain voices while marginalizing others, followed by a brief overview of earlier ‘queering’ initiatives. In the second part of this chapter, the authors present a selection from the National Collection of three post-war architects who resisted the sexual norms and expectations of their times: Onno Greiner, Dick van Woerkom and Wim den Boon. Their incomplete histories are told through the traces of queer desires and lifestyles which haunt their archives. By discussing their autobiographical house designs, the authors aim to foreground practices of queer worldmaking in the National Collection that let us imagine queer ways of inhabiting, dwelling, and living, while reassessing the history of Dutch modern architecture and some of its tenets related to transparancy, spatial concepts and interior design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQueering Architecture
Subtitle of host publicationMethods, Practices, Spaces, Pedagogies
EditorsMarko Jobst, Naomi Stead
Place of PublicationLondon; New York
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-3502-6705-3, 978-1-3502-6706-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-3502-6704-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Architectural Theory
  • Architectural History
  • Archival Studies
  • Queer Studies
  • Wim den Boon
  • Dick van Woerkom
  • Onno Greiner


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