Modernists Abroad

Hook of Holland, Netherlands

In 1924 J.J.P. Oud, City Architect to Rotterdam, designed this workers’ housing block, built in 1926–27 in the city’s Hook of Holland district. The elongated two-story structure of two- and four-room units earned international attention. Oud created an integrated architectural whole, with shopfronts at the rounded ends of the residential buildings, creating a dramatic streamlined appearance.

Phillip Johnson, who selected the project for MoMA’s 1932 Modern Architecture show, visited the site in 1929 and wrote: “We still think that Oud’s Hook houses are the Parthenon of modern Europe. That’s putting it a little strongly, but they are splendid.”

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