Ladies and Gentlemen

Maarten Kloos, director of Arcam, has left the building… quite a stunning building that is…

Maarten some time ago brought us a nice present: a recording of the speech that Ben Merkelbach gave in the framework of the opening of an industrial building at the Van Hallstraat that he had designed. This pre-war gem is now our headquarters.

Due to illness, Merkelbach was unable to attend the opening of a factory in Amsterdam that he designed together with his partner Charles Karsten in 1939 for the Hartmann bros. company, Graficolor N.V. A few years before, in 1936, they had built the AVRO studios in Hilversum, their first company building and most famous work. His connections at the broadcasting corporation made it possible for Merkelbach to have his speech recorded on a gramophone record, which was played at the opening. The AVRO also gave speakers who did attend, such as the head contractor and the client, the opportunity to record a message for the recovering Merkelbach”. (NAi wwwebsite)

It is very inspiring to hear these recordings: a ‘loving’ relationship between client and architect: heart-warming mutual respect. “Dear Mr. Merkelbach, dear Ben, you belong to our factory“. You can check them here (scroll down, only in Dutch)

Merkelbach Van Hallstraat_NL Architects

Maarten, thank you!

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