On May 31, a monumental artwork from 1965 by Pierre van Soest will get a new home in The Hague. The unique concrete relief used to be part of the Youth Building “De Albatros” in Amsterdam-Noord, which was demolished in 2001. After almost 20 years of careful work, preservationists have succeeded in giving the work – a collaboration between a visual artist and an architect – a suitable re-use. In May it will be transported from the NDSM Wharf in Amsterdam to the Binckhorst in The Hague as part existence as part of the Van Klingeren Pavilion (formerly Jeugdherberg Ockenburgh).
Post-war architecture and related art have been demolished rapidly in recent decades. This fate befell not only Van Soest, but also his contemporary and friend, architect Van Klingeren. Developer Stebru and the reconstruction architects – Leon Thier and Gerrit van Es – discovered the concrete relief of Van Soest after a tip-off. With the help of Bond Heemschut Amsterdam, the Municipality of Amsterdam and Stroom Den Haag, the work will be preserved and given a public appearance in alongside Van Klingeren’s architecture, as it had originally.
Pierre van Soest (1930-2001) followed a painting course at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. He twice received the Royal Subsidy for Painting (1953 and 1954), exhibited twice at the Paris Biennale (in 1959 and 1961) and had a solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1978. He mainly worked in the field of monumental art and carried out murals and concrete reliefs in public and private buildings. His work has been included in countless collections, including that of the Stedelijk Museum, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and the Bonnefanten Museum Maastricht.