Frank van Klingeren

Architecture | Heritage | One week about

One Week About Architecture by curator SchilderScholte architects

It is clearly visible that there is an event going on in the photo taken in Het Karregat, the community center designed by Frank van Klingeren. A meeting place exactly as the one Van Klingeren had in mind. The ‘meeting pit’ in the heart of the city center, however, gives the impression of emptiness. People tend to gather at the edges of the pit, completely contrary to Van Klingeren’s ideas, who introduced the concepts of ‘de-caking’ and ‘nuisance’ (confrontation).

Bringing together people with different backgrounds was the utopian outlook behind this architectural-social experiment. In addition to a few drifting teenagers, we see on the right the older generation engaged in a serious conversation. The man with the mustache looks doubtful while on the left mainly middle-aged men are attentively watching a clothing rack with hats on top. Is this perhaps what we call ‘de-caking’?

The rings on the ceiling in the background show that Het Karregat is neither a market nor a covered square. There is also a gymnasium in this area. Mixing different functions and using each other’s facilities causes a lot of ‘nuisance ‘, which makes interaction inevitable.

The Karregat is honored for its radical thought in the Zeitgeist of the 1970s and later reviled because of the failure of the utopian desire for the ‘school without walls’. Nevertheless, it is a precursor of contemporary multifunctional buildings. The architecture of Het Karegat was entirely designed from a human value: empath(s) size – connection and dialogue.

Location: de kuil, Het Karregat, Eindhoven
Architect: Frank van Klingelen

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