Jan de Jong (Netherlands, 1917-2001) / Dom Hans van der Laan (Netherlands, 1904-1991)
Two prayer stools – Green stained wood with nails.
During the reconstruction period after WWII the Dutch architect Jan de Jong and the Dutch Benedictine monk Dom Hans van der Laan collaborated on several architectural projects including the interior furniture. They created an outstanding body of work in the style of the Bossche School. Jan de Jong was able to translate many of Dom v.d.Laan’s idealised concepts and ideas into pioneering buildings and spaces. They worked in such close collaboration however that it is difficult to discern the individual level of input into the furniture they designed. The artist Wim van Hoof worked with the two architects proposing different colour schemes for their projects. The original olive green surface visible on these prayer benches was one of those schemes.
Dom Hans van der Laan (1904-1991) was a Dutch Benedictine monk and architect. He was a leading figure in the Dutch ‘Bossche School’. His theories on numerical ratios in architecture, in particular regarding the plastic number, were very influential.
Jan de Jong (1917-2001) was a talented craftsman-architect and student of v.d. Laan and it is claimed that in many way he surpassed his mentor.
These prayer benches are part of a collection of furniture that we have acquired. They were made for Sint Willibrordus church in Almelo in the 1960s (full provenance including photos of the pieces in-situ. is available). The church was one of the best examples of modernist churches of the era. Unfortunately it was knocked down in 2005.
“What I do, I do not want, and what I want, I can not do” [Dom Hans v.d.Laan]
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