C.J. Blaauw
Gemeente Amsterdam
Tram 24
Marlies Buurman en Maarten Kloos, Godin van de Zuidas: de Minervalaan- as in tijd en ruimte, Amsterdam 1999.

Urban square in Berlages Plan Zuid

Minervaplein is a public square at the centre of the second Plan Zuid development (1917) by H.P. Berlage. At the intersection of two axes, the roads Minervalaan and Stadionweg, Berlage proposed creating a space surrounded by monumental buildings of international allure. The square was eventually completed in 1929 to a design by C.J. Blaauw; the buildings around it were designed in an austere variant of the Amsterdam School style. The symmetries of the buildings, the size of the square and the tower-like corner buildings succeeded in giving the design the monumental character Berlage had in mind.

The depression of the 1930s, followed by World War II, held back further development of the square after completion of the northern boundary in 1932. It was not until 1958, after Blaauw’s death, that the other sides of the square were completed under the supervision of J.F. Berghoef and G.J. Rutgers. Although Blaauw’s design was by then considered outdated, its completion encountered little resistance. The designs by Rutgers and Berghoef are characterized by the extensive use of natural stone types, especially granite. Blaauw favoured Classical motifs, such as the massive cornice supported by piers which form strongly vertical elements. (ARCAM/JV)