White House


Claus en Kaan Architecten’s White House, completed in 2006 is a standing minimalist beacon. The irony of its purpose and function seems to stand as a direct opposition to its aesthetic. It is instead, a building by the City Cleansing Department and Parks and Public Garden Department. I appreciate this reinterpretation of expected form into an otherwise unconsidered architectural response.

Encompassing 6000sqm, the building plays with patterns of expectation, which is deliberately evoked by a highly aesthetic architectural gesture. It creates a field of tension between form and content by throwing into disarray at least the conventions of utilitarian simplicity and the appropriate application of luxurious architecture.

This Amsterdam beauty stands bold and clean, although sunken into its terrain. The impression of a fake weightlessness is a further ironical feature in the unusual look of this everyday municipal depot. Claus en Kaan Architeten is to be applauded for their interpretive application of the minimalist discipline.

Photography courtesy of Patrick van Dam.

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