“Er zal een trotse wijk verrijzen…. Grote grijze toren flats nog mooier dan paleizen”.
“A proud neighborhood will arise… large grey tower blocks prettier than any palace”. ‘t Schaep met de 5 pooten – 1969 – De Bijlmermeer
‘t Schaep met de 5 pooten was an immensely popular TV show broadcasted nationally in 1969. One episode chanted about the creation of a new expansion of Amsterdam: Bijlmermeer, the CIAM inspired hexagonal vertical garden city: concrete utopia. The heartfelt optimism about the new quarter in the making is remarkable: Bijlmer Bliss!
“That desolate wasteland
Will become an all concrete neighborhood
With a thousand houses in a row
And all equal”.
“I can feel that I will love you
Apparently grey concrete was considered wonderful… brutalism appreciated!
During the rescue operation and revamp of Kleiburg -the last remaining apartment building of the Bijlmermeer still in original state- layers of paint have been blasted off. Balconies and galleries once again expose the wonderful tactility of concrete: the consoles delisiously coarse and rough on one side and refined on the other, the exposed aggregate concrete panels vibrant, and the prefab railings smooth and soft. Maybe even better than Travertin.
An unfortunate chain of events aborted our initial aspiration to bring back the tropical hard wood window frames in transparent varnish. But the grey paint (RAL 7039) proofed a wonderful and fitting alternative…
Below the full lyrics in Dutch: