CAMPEN, Jacob van
(b. 1596, Haarlem, d. 1657, Amersfoort)

Exterior view

Keizersgracht 177, Amsterdam

Campen's first known work is the façade of a double house for the brothers Balthasar and Johan Coymans in Amsterdam (Keizersgracht 177). His façade differs from the traditional narrow canal house with a stepped gable by having eight bays, of which the middle four project slightly. Constructed of brick, the façade consists of a low ground-floor, above which are two storeys articulated by tiers of pilasters - Ionic below, Corinthian above - capped with a shallow attic. By Dutch standards the roof is rather low. This rigorous articulation of the façade by pilasters was entirely new in the Netherlands. In addition, the pilasters do not stand on a plinth, as was usual.

With this design, which was immediately admired and incorporated in Salomon de Bray's Architectura moderna (1631), van Campen introduced a new development in Dutch architecture that became known as Dutch Classicism.

The photo shows the house of the Coymans-families on Keizersgracht 177, opposite Westerkerk. (Top floor was added in the 19th century.)

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.