The name of Cornelis van Eesteren (1897 - 1988) will always be associated with the General Extension Plan of Amsterdam (AUP) for which he and Th.K. van Lohuizen drew the ground plan according to the functionalist principles of the Nieuwe Bouwen (New Building) movement. Thanks to Van Eesteren and Van Lohuizen, Amsterdam acquired its Western Garden Suburbs (Slotermeer, Geuzenveld, Slotervaart, Overtoomse Veld and Osdorp), where light, air and space determine the residential climate.
In the Netherlands, Van Eesteren is considered the spiritual father of the functional city, in which the various functions such as living, working, traffic, nature and recreation are separated from each other. He also came up with the idea of separating the urban expansions from each other by green bridges, which make the surrounding landscape quickly accessible from the city. As chairman of the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM), Van Eesteren became an internationally influential figure in modern urbanism.
Van Eesteren's design of the urban environment was characterised by a future-oriented vision from the very beginning. In the early 1930s, he already sketched out a network of urban motorways combined with free tramways and a network of urban railways. Such concepts are self-evident nowadays, but at the time they could only be discussed in private.
Images: The New Institute