Prototype of Maison d’Artiste

The artwork on Mekelweg is a prototype of Maison d’Artiste, a cubist house designed in 1923 by artist Theo van Doesburg and urban planner and architect Cor van Eesteren.

It was never built. “The heirs of Cor van Eesteren asked me for a technical feasibility study in 1999,” said Professor Mick Eekhout, project supervisor, in his farewell speech at TU Delft last March. “It proved to be an interesting cultural challenge, but also technically very complex.” Students at TU Delft’s Prototype Laboratory, Bucky Lab, carried out the research project. The process of reconstruction, geometry, and colours of the design were derived from eight black and white photos of the original cardboard model that was lost, and some drawings, which didn’t correspond. Geodetic techniques were used to reconstruct a 3D digital model that showed that the previously assumed dimensions were off by 15%, and a revolutionary different scheme of colours was also deduced. The model was built in 2003, on a scale of 1:5. The project was concluded with a symposium in April 2005, where some doubt was cast on the scientific correctness of the team’s discoveries. The prototype can remain on Mekelweg until 2023, a century after the creation of the original design, and thereafter it will be exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the city of the 1923 exhibition.

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