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$ 27,550

Two chairs and Stool by Dom Hans van der Laan, Netherlands 1960s

Documentation Documented elsewhere (similar item)
Origin Netherlands
Period 1950-1979
Materials Pine Wood
Dimensions
W. 21.26 in; H. 37.4 in; D. 20.87 in;
W. 54 cm; H. 95 cm; D. 53 cm;
Seat H. 16.93 in;
Seat H. 43 cm;
Condition Good.
Creation Date 1960s
Number of Pieces 2-3
Description This set of chairs and stool were originally designed by the Dutch Benedictine monk and architect, Dom Hans van der Laan for the Abbey Church of St. Benedictusberg located near the Dutch town of Vaals.

These easy chairs are in an untouched condition. They are made of pine wood and feature copper nails, giving these pieces an understated, rustic look. The pair is entirely painted grey, including the nails. This specific colour was carefully selected by Whim van Hoof to resemble the original shade as closely as possible. The main focus of van der Laan’s design was functionality and rationality, which is reflected in the openings on the sides and on the backs serve the purpose of joining multiple pieces together, and lifting them.

Van der Laan was a leading figure in the traditionalist movement, the Bossche School, that held these values as well. These characteristics make these chairs charming, while also being beautiful pieces of Dutch design history. Although Dom van der Laan left a small body of work behind, his legacy is highly regarded in the world of architecture. The St. Benedictusberg Abbey in Vaals and its interior quickly became his masterpiece at the age of 53.

The appearance and construction of the stool is similar to that of the easy chairs. Like the chairs, this stool is in an untouched condition. It is made of pine wood and feature copper nails, giving it an understated, rustic look that is characteristic of van der Laan’s designs for churches and abbeys. The stool is painted grey, including the nails, making the construction stand out. The main focus of van der Laan’s design was functionality and rationality, which is reflected in the openings on the sides that makes it easy to lift and relocate the stool.

This model is still found in the Dutch church named Sint Willibrorduskerk in Almelo, for which it was possibly designed for in 1964.

About the designer:

Dom Hans van der Laan (1904-1991) was the ninth of the eleven recorded children of Leiden architect Leo van der Laan (1864–1942). Thanks to Brother Lambertus Moonen and Hans van der Laan jr. the full biography is now known.

Dom van der Laan began his studies in architecture at the ‘Technische Hogeschool’ of Delft in 1923, two years after he finished his secondary school. Architectural education in those days was generally confined to nineteenth-century neoclassicism and all teachers originated from before the first world-war. Students in their third year of study had to make their own designs, but those of Hans van der Laan were all rejected. In the same autumn he founded, together with some fellow-students, a study-group, the ‘Bouwkundige Studiekring’ BSK (‘Architectural Study Circle’), aiming to discover themselves the very basics of architecture, which they missed in regular teaching.

On 26 May 1929 Hans van der Laan and his fellow-novice Herman Diepen made their profession in the abbey. In 1936 father Hans was charged with the guidance in the sacristy, which he would retain till his departure to Vaals in 1968. After the war father van der Laan was invited by the bishop of Breda to take guidance of a working party, charged with the rebuilding of the destroyed churches in the diocese.

In 1951 the abbey of Sint-Benedictusberg in Vaals had been founded a second time by a group of monks of the Saint-Pauls abbey of Oosterhout and father Van der Laan was asked by them to design the still missing crypt and church. On 18 October 1968 father Van der Laan changed his domicile from Oosterhout to Vaals, where in 1970 he became official member of the community of Sint-Benedictusberg. In his new home he also was appointed as sacristan, so that he could continue his familiar daily work and in 1973 he was elected as a member of the Council, the board under the guidance of the abbot.

Prior to his death, Van der Laan garnered worldwide acclaim for his comprehensive architectural theory, which has been translated into several languages and presents a doctrine of connections in the design of architectonic space, notably the “plastic number”. ~H.

Dimensions:
Chair:
54 cm W x 53 cm D x 95 cm H x 43 cm S.H
Stool:
60 cm W x 40.5 cm D x 44 cm H
Styles / Movements Mid Century, Modern
Dealer Reference Number 20200365 + 20200366 + 20200367
Incollect Reference Number 367712
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