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Piet Kramer | Pieter Lodewijk Kramer

Pieter Lodewijk Kramer better known as simply Piet Kramer was a Dutch architect and one of the most important architects of the Amsterdam School (Expressionist architecture).

He was born in Amsterdam on July the 1st 1881 and died in Santpoort on 4 February the 4th 1961. His legacy lives on in the many Bridges of Amsterdam and buildings in Amsterdam and around the Netherlands that he designed or influenced like the De Bijenkorf store in The Hague.

In the second half of his professional life, Piet Kramer was the lead architect for canal bridges in the municipal public works department in Amsterdam (Gemeentelijke Dienst Publieke Werken). He made drawings for more than 500 bridges, although the number of realised  bridges is ‘only’ 220. 64 of them are located in the Amsterdamse Bos park with the remaining 156 bridges designed by Piet Kramer being scattered around Amsterdam’s famous canals. Alongside the bridges Piet Kramer often designed the additional bridge houses, ironwork and landscaping and worked with Hildo Krop on the additional sculptural work. He even has a bridge named after him, which he designed in 1917. Bridge 400 the PL Kramerbrug is popularly called Pieter Kramerbrug and is located in Amsterdam South on the Amstel Canal. Kramer’s son Friso Kramer who himself is an industrial designer, opened the renovated P.L. Kramerbrug bridge on September 21, 2013.

From 1903 to 1911 Piet Kramer worked in the architectural practice of Eduard Cuypers, where he came into contact with the architects Johan van der Mey and Michel de Klerk. In 1911 van der Mey received the commission to design the Scheepvaarthuis (Shipping House), a cooperative building for six Dutch shipping companies, now the Amrath Hotel in Amsterdam centre, built between 1913 and 1916. Van der Mey sought the assistance of his former colleagues Piet Kramer and Michel de Klerk to help him realise the building and the resulting Scheepvaarthuis is considered the starting point of the Amsterdam School movement. The Amrath Hotel does tours of the building even if you are not staying at the hotel and it is well worth a trip if you are interested in architecture. See also the video below of the Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam and some photos from one of my previous stays in the hotel.

Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam

Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam by Iain Croll

Later Piet Kramer collaborated again with Michel de Klerk on the well-known De Dageraad housing project in Amsterdam South (1919–1923). Outside Amsterdam he built one of his masterpieces, the De Bijenkorf Store in The Hague (1924–1926). After the death of Michel de Klerk in 1923, Piet Kramer was the leading architect of the Amsterdam School until the end of this movement in the beginning of the 1930s.

Het Scheepvaarthuis – Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam from Louise de Blécourt on Vimeo.

More information from Dutch Wikipedia

or English Wikipedia

Piet Kramer Bridges

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