Het Dorp (the Village), one of the first self-contained residential communities in the world solely for people with disabilities, was designed in the Netherlands in the 1960s by Jaap Bakema of the Rotterdam firm Van den Broek and Bakema. My own encounter with this unusual place began after a ten-minute walk up the Amsterdamseweg from the Arnhem train station, when I saw a cluster of low-slung monolithic brick buildings, topped by yellow painted fascias, in a pastoral scene of meadow and trees.1 The entrance to this complex turns off the main road into a parking lot edged by a few small shops, ending vehicular connection to the surrounding neighborhood (Figure 1). Initially, what struck me most were the large modernist buildings in the midst of pitched-roof residential developments. That impression shifted with the appearance of a man walking his dog from his electric wheelchair, a circle of...
Humanizing Modernism?: Jaap Bakema's Het Dorp, a Village for Disabled Citizens
Wanda Katja Liebermann holds a doctor of design degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and is a licensed architect. Her research focuses on theories and practices of architecture and urbanism in the context of the politics of disability rights and identity in the United States and the European Union.
Wanda Katja Liebermann; Humanizing Modernism?: Jaap Bakema's Het Dorp, a Village for Disabled Citizens. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 June 2016; 75 (2): 158–181. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2016.75.2.158
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