Study Landscapes of Herman Hertzberger

architect Herman Hertzberger
project NHL University (Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden), Leeuwarden, Netherlands
written by Vedran Mimica


Things are not difficult to do, what is difficult is to get ourselves in the right state of mind to do them.[1]



To write about one’s teacher’s architecture is always sensitive, and probably also ungrateful. Nevertheless, to write about the phenomenon of Hertzberger is today certainly necessary, perhaps even more than in the time of the teacher’s ‘golden structuralist’ time, from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s.


I met Hertzberger for the first time in Delft in 1983 as a postgraduate student with a scholarship from the Croatian Ministry of Science. Yes, the minister at that time was Stipe Šuvar. I remember, as if it were yesterday, that I waited impatiently for my first meeting with my mentor on the fourth floor of the former building of the Faculty of Architecture in Delft which burned down in fire a few years ago.

[1] The quote Herman Hertzberger used for the introductory essay of his first Berlage Institute publication, as well as in the foreword in his most popular book Lessons for Students in Architecture.