Aldo van Eyck and the Amsterdam playgrounds


  • Vincent Ligtelijn




Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


Aldo van Eyck design experiences engendered the development of broader architectural concepts, many of which he further developed in his writings. Aldo van Eyck used various forums to attack an impoverished functionalism that was devoid of qualities such as ambiguity and reversibility. In the history of architecture, it is rare for architects to reflect on their own work, but design and research, writing and building were intrinsic to Aldo van Eyck. He kept on looking for a formal vocabulary to bring the multiple and the general into order and harmony through his architectural assignments. When he set to work at the Amsterdam public works department the opportunity to regenerate the vacant urban spaces in the city arose through the design of an intricate network of playgrounds. This essay will focus on the architectural qualities of these playgrounds.

How to Cite

Ligtelijn, V. (2019). Aldo van Eyck and the Amsterdam playgrounds . Docomomo Journal, (61), 30–41.




Author Biography

Vincent Ligtelijn

Architect and former lecturer in Housing and Urban Design at the Faculty of Architecture of Delft University, in the seventies in association with Van Eyck. His articles and lectures concern architectural items of all times and places, his books monographs about Josep M. Jujol and Aldo van Eyck.


De ROODE, Ingeborg, “De speelobjecten: duurzamer dan sneeuw”, in Liane Lefaivre and Ingeborg de Roode (Eds.), Aldo van Eyck, de speelplaatsen en de stad, NAi, Amsterdam, 2002, 100.

LIGTELIJN, Vincent, Aldo van Eyck Werken, Bussum, Uitgeverij Thoth, 1999.

LIGTELIJN, Vincent, Aldo van Eyck Works/Werken, Basel/Boston/Berlin, Birkhäuser, 1999.

LIGTELIJN, Vincent; STRAUVEN, Francis (Eds.), Collected Articles and Other Writings, 1947-1998, Vol. 2 of Aldo van Eyck Writings, Amsterdam, Sun, 2008.

MUMFORD, Eric, The ciam Discourse on Urbanism 1928-1960, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2000, 116, 153-156.