In European cities in the sixties there is a major drive for modernization. Also for the Dutch city of Utrecht there is a master plan that for in a ultramodern city centre where Utrecht is transformed in the heard for shopping of the Netherlands: plan Hoog Catharijne. The founders and architects of the plan use modern ideas form international architecture like the vertical separation of functions and traffic. The plan solves traffic problems in the city and celebrate the freedom of pedestrians who walk on a first level platform away from the traffic. The realisation of the plan turns out different than expected. In the end of the sixties, when the mega complex rises in the city there are big protests from the residents of Utrecht and the locale newspapers. At the same time there is a shift in the thinking about architecture by young architects to a more human architecture approach. The design proposal for the music centre of Hoog Catharijne is a good example of this shifting architectural thinking.

In this thesis first an overview of the plans and construction of Hoog Catharijne. Witch motifs played a major role for the plan and how is the concept developed? What was the idea behind the utopian city? Second I zoom in to the architecture of the complex and the other ideas of architecture in the sixties. Also the shift in architecture in the end of the sixties is described. This thesis is about the motifs of the local (the problems of Utrecht), the national (the Netherlands is full and a different approach of architecture should be developed) and international (Modernization, CIAM, Team 10) parties. Hoog Catharijne is used for an example and product of these motifs.

>> Read the full thesis (only in Dutch)


DATR: November, 2013

NAME: Historythesis Joris Korbee

MENTOR: C. Wagenaar

WORDS: 11.627 (exc. foodnotes etc.)

KEYWORDS: Hoog Catharijne, Utrecht, Shoppingmall/Winkelcentrum, Muziekcentrum Vredenburg, modernization, Utopian city, project development, CIAM, Team X, Cityplan.



Related work


Perspectives of the post-modern Neue Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart.


The Yokohama Port Terminal as a new public space.