Fascinating Fake... Haarlemmerdijk 140, Amsterdam by W.J.Klein (2012)
The more you look in Amsterdam, the more Art Nouveau you find. Yes, the main impression is a seventeenth and eighteenth-century city, with a good dash of early twentieth-century Amsterdam School architecture, plus some more modern additions. But there is much more.
Actually, there's plenty of Art Nouveau / Jugendstil to enjoy. Principally, this is limited to shop fronts, and tiled entrances to housing, often additions to existing buildings. There are, however, some surprising finds, notably commercial buildings from the turn of the century, where the wealthy and fashionable wanted to make a statement.
But all is not how it seems... This intriguing specimen caught my eye on a recent visit. Bright and busy, it seemed too fresh. Located on the Haarlemmerdijk, it vies with the architectural medley of styles on this thriving street, a mix of souvenir and local shops, boutiques and cafés, plus private and social housing.
Perhaps, then, it's an appropriate place to play with the architectural history of Amsterdam? In 2012, a dull, workaday 70s facade was transformed into this homage to Dutch Jugendstil. A success?
Alas, many genuine Art Nouveau buildings in the city remain in a poor condition.
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