Architect of ‘New Rotterdam’ fame Wim Quist dies

FaceMePLS from The Hague, The Netherlands via Wikimedia Commons
The Willemswerf  Photo: FaceMePLS via Wikimedia Commons

Renowned Dutch architect Wim Quist (1930-2022) passed away on Saturday at the age of 91 in Amsterdam, according to the website of the architectural firm he helped found, Quist Wintermans Architekten.

Although Amsterdam-born, Quist made his name in Rotterdam, where he started working for the municipality before opening his own firm in 1960. He helped design the ‘New Rotterdam’ of the 1980s with his austere, rectangular buildings, including his iconic Willemswerf, an office building bisected by a sloping glass trapezoid from which film star Jackie Chan slipped in his action film Who Am I?

Quist also designed several other of the country’s well-known buildings, including the Museon and the Omniversum theatre in The Hague, the Beelden aan Zee museum in Scheveningen and the Rotterdamse Schouwburg theatre.

He was a professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology from 1968-1975 and the Chief Government Architect until 1979.

Legal battles

Last year, Quist became involved in a legal battle with water company Evides, which wanted to build a new office and renovate the building housing the Rotterdam Drinking Water Pipeline that he had designed in 1977. He argued that the extension was a ‘mutilation’ and ‘cultural outrage.’

The court ruled in his favour, and Evides was temporarily suspended from construction.

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