Architects: Tjeerd Kuipers (1857-1942)

Tjeerd Kuipers was born in a family of carpenters and builders in Friesland and followed his family to Amsterdam in the late 1870's. Before that he had worked as a pupil at the office of architect J.P.J. de Rooy in Leeuwarden, after which he had had a job for the municipality of Meppel. In Amsterdam he first worked for Salm and later for the Sanders and Berlage firm. H.P. Berlage would become a major influence on Kuipers' work. In 1884 Kuipers won the first price in a contest for farm-design at the international agricultural exhibition in Amsterdam. His first design that was actually built is a school in Buiksloot (NH) in 1886. But he became best known for his protestant churches, of which he built ca. 50 throughout the country.

Kuipers' career largely parallels the development that protestant architecture went through from ca. 1890 until 1940. His early designs are in the neo-Renaissance style, which was replaced by Berlagian Rationalism mixed with Jugendstil after 1899; churches of this period have clean brick walls, decorated by pieces of natural stone to accentuate certain parts. This style usually is simply called Rationalism as well. In his last designs Kuipers used a moderate form of Expressionism.

Between 1888 and 1928 he designed more than fifty churches, mostly for the Gereformeerde Kerk* of which he was a member, and at least one synagogue. Many of these churches have been demolished or destroyed otherwise since.

Besides churches, Kuipers also designed various offices, warehouses, schools and other buildings. One of his most memorable creations is a group of houses in imitation national styles of various countries in the Roemer Visscherstraat in Amsterdam (1894), the Seven Countries' Houses. Tjeerd's brothers Roelof (1855-1922) and Foeke (1871-1954) became architects too. The three brothers occassionally worked together in various combinations, in these cases mainly designing warehouses and factories.

The following is a list of the churches, for as far as known. An alphabetical listing, with many old pictures, of Kuipers’ churches, can be found at Peter Dillingh's page (external link, page in Dutch, opens in new window).  

*The name of this branch of protestantism is hard to translate: Gereformeerd means reformed, just like Hervormd does, but there are differences between these two calvinistic denominations. In the following the Dutch words are used to avoid any further confusion. 

 

1884 design Hervormde Kerk Katwijk aan Zee (ZH)

Entry in a competion, not executed. No further details.

 

1887 design Gereformeerde Keizersgrachtkerk Amsterdam (NH)

Entry in a competion, not executed. No further details.

 

1887 design Gereformeerde kerk Haarlem (NH)

A case of plagiarism; Kuipers designed a towerless church in neo-Renaissance style. The drawings were handed over by the church-counsel to contractor H. van Es who copied the design and was commissioned to build the church. Click here for a picture of this church (opens in new window).

 

1888 Makkum (Fr): Gereformeerde kerk

The first of Kuipers' churches that was built is a towerless church in neo-Renaissance style. Demolished 1964.

 

1888-1889 Amsterdam (NH): Gereformeerde Funenkerk

Wide church in neo-Renaissance style, with two towers. Demolished 1975.

 

1889-1890 Heeg (Fr): Gereformeerde kerk

 

 

 

Church in neo-Renaissance style with tower.

 

1889-1890 Rotterdam (ZH): Gereformeerde Nieuwe Westerkerk

Church in neo-Renaissance style, with two towers at the front. This design won a competion in which it was, according to a critic, not as bad as the other entries. Destroyed by bombs in May 1940.

 

1890-1892 Deventer (Ov): Baptist church

Assignment was preceded by a contest, won by Kuipers. Church in neo-Romanesque style, hidden behind the facade of a 16th-century house.

 

1890 Amsterdam (NH): Gereformeerde Schinkelkerk

 

 

 

Towerless church in neo-Renaissance style. Now a shop.

 

 

1896 Overschie (ZH): Gereformeerde kerk

 

 

Church in moderate neo-Renaissance style. Closed 1964, now used by the Jehovah's Witnesses. Originally with a steeple at the front, the current 'tower' was added by the new users.

 

1895-1896 Den Haag (ZH): Gereformeerde Oosterkerk

Church in neo-Renaissance style mixed with decorative elements inspired by Gothicism. Tower with tall spire standing offset to the right in front of the facade. After the upper half of the tower had been demolished in 1963 the building served as a theatre until demolished in 1987.

 

1897 Hillegom (ZH): Gereformeerde kerk

Church in neo-Gothic style with small tower at the front. Demolished 1928.

 

1898 Leerdam (ZH): Nederlands Gereformeerde kerk

 

 

 

 

Towerless church, Romanesque and Gothic influences. L-shaped ground-plan.

 

1898 Hendrik-Ido Ambacht (ZH): Gereformeerde kerk

Simple towerless church with Romanesque influences. Demolished 1989.

 

1898-1899 Dordrecht (ZH): Gereformeerde Wilhelminakerk

 

 

 

 

Church with influences from both Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Two towers of different size at the front. Behind the front is an almost circular centralizing space which is entirely covered by a low dome.

 

1899 Axel (Z): Gereformeerde kerk

 

 

 

 

Church in Rationalist style. Enlarged in 1918.

 

1899 Noordwijk aan Zee (ZH): Gereformeerde kerk

 

 

 

 

Church in Rationalist style, with square open tower. Enlarged in 1909.

 

1900 Amsterdam-Watergraafsmeer (NH): Gereformeerde kerk

 

 

 

Towerless church in Rationalist style. Already abandoned in 1908, used by the Hervormde kerk from 1910-1939, and by the Jehova’s Witnesses since 1979.

 

1901 Groningen (Gr): Gereformeerde Zuiderkerk

 

 

 

 

Richly ornamented church in an unspecified style, but with Rationalist influences. Front with two differently sized towers. Church rebuilt into apartments 1983-1985. Designed in cooperation with Y. van der Veen.

 

1903 Heinkenszand (Z): Gereformeerde kerk




Small towerless church in Rationalist style. New entrance added in 1979-1980.

 

1904 Amsterdam (NH): Gereformeerde Haarlemmerpoortkerk

Church in Rationalist style. Demolished 1967.

 

1904 Vlaardingen (ZH): Gereformeerde Kuiperstraatkerk

Towerless church. Demolished 1961.

 

1904 Ijmuiden (NH): Gereformeerde kerk

Church in a combination of styles. Destroyed 1944.

 

1905-1906 Groningen (Gr): Synagogue

 

 

 

 

Building with front with two towers, in Rationalist style combined with Moresque influences. Designed in cooperation with Y. van der Veen.

 

1906 Berkel en Rodenrijs (ZH): Gereformeerde Morgensterkerk

Church in Rationalist style, with tower. Demolished 1971.

 

1906 Winterswijk (G): Gereformeerde Zonnebrinkkerk

 

 

 

 

Church in Rationalist style.

 

1906 Groningen (Gr): Gereformeerde Westerkerk

Church in Rationalist style, with two different-sized towers at the front corners. Demolished 1995.

 

1907 Amsterdam-Watergraafsmeer (NH): Gereformeerde Rehobothkerk

Church in Rationalist style, with tower. Demolished 1972.

 

1907 Schoondijke (Z)): Gereformeerde kerk

Towerless church in Rationalist style. Destroyed in 1944, like most of the rest of this village.

 

1908 Tinte (ZH): Gereformeerde kerk

Small church in Traditionalistic/neo-Romanesque styles. Diagonally positioned steeple at the front.

 

1909 Gorinchem (ZH): Gereformeerde Rehobothkerk

 

 

 

 

Church in Rationalist style.

 

1909 Wijnjewoude (Fr): Gereformeerde kerk

Small church in Rationalist style, with diagonally positioned steeple at the front.

 

1909 Oude Wetering (ZH) Gereformeerde kerk

Church in Rationalist style.

 

1910-1911 Wildervank (Gr): Gereformeerde kerk

 

 

 

 

Church built in a combination of neo-Renaissance and Rationalist styles. Tower rebuilt after a fire in 1928.

 

1910 Rotterdam-Charlois (ZH): Gereformeerde Bethelkerk

 

 

 

Church in Rationalist style.

 

1910 Vlaardingen (ZH): Hervormde Nieuwe Kerk

Church in Rationalist style, with two different square front towers. Demolished 1982.

 

1910 Almelo (Ov): Gereformeerde Molenkampkerk

Church in moderate Rationalist style. Demolished 1973.

 

1910 Leeuwarden (Fr): Gereformeerde Oosterkerk

Towerless church built in a combination of Rationalist and neo-Romanesque styles. Demolished 1981.

 

1911 Dieren (G): Gereformeerde Opstandingskerk

 

 

 

 

Towerless church in Rationalist style. Badly mutilated with different windows and painted white in 1962. Abandoned 2000.

 

1911 Venlo (L): Gereformeerde kerk

Church built in a combination of Rationalist and Romanesque/Gothic styles. Polygonal tower at the right hand front corner. Demolished after having been abandoned in 1974.

 

1911 Eindhoven (NB): Gereformeerde Oosterkerk

 

 

 

Church in simple Rationalist style with short tower with saddle-roof standing offset to the left, and with choir-like polygonal back. Out of use in 1969. Mosque 1973-1988. Roman Catholic St. Antonius van Paduakerk since 1991, after the nearby church by J. Stuyt had been demolished.

 

1911 Kampen (Ov): Nederlands Gereformeerde Nieuwe Kerk

 

 

 

Towerless church in Rationalist style with Romanesque influences, especially at the entrance.

 

1912 Hallum (Fr): Gereformeerde kerk

 

 

 

 

Church in Rationalist style with polygonal ground-plan, built at the tapered corner of two streets, filling the available space as effectively as possible. The facade was changed once, and originally had a rose-window.

 

1912 Nijmegen (G): Gereformeerde Noorderkerk

Church in Rationalist style. Demolished after closing in 1972.

 

1913 Rinsumageest (Fr): Gereformeerde kerk

 

 

 

Church in Rationalist style. Small belltower on top of the front.

 

1914-1915 Rotterdam (ZH): Gereformeerde Bergsingelkerk

 

 

 

One of Kuipers' most monumental churches, thanks to its front with two polygonal towers of different sizes, which creates the impression that the church is much larger than it actually is. Built in Rationalist style, with perhaps a few touches of moderate Jugendstil. The building, which occupies a rather small piece of land on the corner of two streets, has a centralized main space with a polygonal ground-plan.

 

1915 Velp (G): Gereformeerde kerk

Church in Rationalist style, with built-in polygonal tower. Destroyed by fire in 1964.

 

1916 Rotterdam (ZH): Gereformeerde Nieuwe Zuiderkerk

Church built in a combination of styles, with monumental front tower. Often considered Kuipers' best work. Demolished 1969.

 

1918 Medan (Indonesia): Gereformeerde kerk

Church in neo-Romanesque style. Nowadays in use by the Gereja Kristen Indonesia.

 

1919 Halfweg (NH): Gereformeerde kerk

 

 

 

 

Church in Rationalist style.

 

1919-1920 Dirkshorn (NH): Gereformeerde kerk

Church in Rationalist style, with tower.

 

1920 Ouderkerk aan de Amstel (NH): Gereformeerde kerk

 

 

 

 

Church similar in style to the one in Eindhoven, but with the tower at the other side of the front. Abandoned 2000.

 

1922 Hardenberg (Ov): enlargement Höftekerk

A new nave is added to an older church, which as a result loses its octagonal ground-plan.

 

1923 Leeuwarden (Fr): Gereformeerde Koepelkerk

 

 

Dome-church built in a combination of Rationalist, Expressionistic and Romanesque styles. The building has a polygonal ground-plan, more or less shaped like an arrow.

 

1924 Delft (ZH): Gereformeerde Westerkerk

Church in moderate Expressionistic style, with tall tower. Demolished 1981.

 
1924-1925 Rijssen (Ov): enlargement reformed church

 

 

 

Third aisle in neo-Gothic style added, consisting of three traves, each with a seperate gable and roof, and a choir-like eastern part.

 

1926 Bussum (NH): Gereformeerde Wilhelminakerk

 

 

 

 

Church in moderate Expressionistic style, with tower and pseudo-transept.

 

1928 Brussel (Belgium): Gereformeerde kerk

 

 

 

 

Church in Rationalist style. Closed in 1995, now Russian-Orthodox church. Original small windows in the tower have been replaced by bigger ones.

 
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