Aldo van Eyck Pavilion

Aldo van Eyk Pavilion (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij) 1
Aldo van Eyck Pavilion, Otterloo (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

In the Kröller Müller Museum in Otterloo this winter the Aldo van Eyck Pavilion of 1967 has been rebuild and opened this spring. The original pavilion was a temporary structure and only existed in the summer of 1966 for the Sonsbeek Exhibition back then. The pavilion has been rebuild in the sculpture garden of the Kröller Müller Museum in the vicinity of an also rebuild Sonsbeek Pavilion of Gerrit Rietveld.

The architectural thematics of Aldo van Eyck include the building-as-city with streets and (round) plaza’s.

Here I’m interested in the experience of the space and the sculptures. In contrast with generic museum-space the spaces in this pavilion are narrow. The walls are made of cheap cell-concrete blocks. It reminded me at the narrow cellar space of the Capitol Museum in Rome. But this space is even more narrow. The result is that a sculpture doesn’t share a space with other sculptures. One experiences every sculpture apart from the other. Not the space, but the way you move through the pavilion -linear, or diagonal- provides connections between different artworks. Only in the perifery of the pavilion one takes a literal and figural distance to the sculptures so one can see them together.

Moving inside the pavilion, the sculptures and the figures of the visitors start to overlap and start a dialogue. All sculptures are reflections of the human figure. The size of the sculptures are comparable to the human scale. Not only do the sculptures occupy the same space as the visitors, some sculptures are even put on ‘benches’ so you can literally sit next to a sculpture.

The pavilion questions the relationship between sculpture and the human figure - that what the sculptures reflect on. A relationship that one is also confronted with in for instance the German Pavilion of Mies van der Rohe in Barcelona.

Does all form start off with the human body?

Aldo van Eyk Pavilion (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij) 2
Aldo van Eyck Pavilion, Otterloo (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Aldo van Eyk Pavilion (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij) 3
Aldo van Eyck Pavilion, Otterloo (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Walking by here on this photograph is the Dutch television-celebrity Karel van de Graaf.


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