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For the 80-year-old architect Herman Hertzberger the exterior of a building is not the main focus. So, no fancy facades that express power or endorse existing hierarchies.
Since the sixties Hertzberger designs collective buildings, like schools, cultural institutions and office spaces, in which the individual is free to create his own place and – at the same time – is stimulated to meet others in open spaces.
Hertzberger's career really took off with his design for the headquarters of insurance company Centraal Beheer. The whole building consists of uniform, open cubes that emphasize the equality of the employees. Its design also enables fluid transitions between public and private spaces. After the completion of the building employees were allowed to bring their own furniture to their offices, creating a true, interior design competition. With this building Hertzberger presents himself undeniable as a creator of common space.
Not surprisingly, designing school-buildings has been one of Hertzberger main preoccupations. An important part of Hertzberger's designs is “functional flexibility”, meaning: buildings must designed in a way that they can be easily transformed to meet the demands of changing times and ideas.

Dutch Profiles is a series of short documentaries about architects and graphic, product and fashion designers in the Netherlands, commissioned by DutchDFA. The shorts are meant to spread freely over the web, but also to be shown as part of lectures, exhibitions and business presentations. “Dutch Profiles focuses on the conceptual, context-oriented and research-based practice of Dutch designers, telling the story behind some of those well-known images,” says commissioner Christine de Baan, programme director of Dutch Design Fashion Architecture. Dutch Profiles includes interviews with, among others: MVRDV, 2012 Architects, Jurgen Bey, Claudy Jongstra, Gerard Unger, Paul Mijksenaar, Marlies Dekkers, Alexander van Slobbe and G-Star.
CREDITS: Commissioning editor Submarine: Geert van de Wetering, Producer: Rosa van Tienen, Research: Liselotte Francken, Director: Marieke Helmus, Camera: Pierre Rezus, Sound: Erik Leek, Editor: Dominique Kools, Colorcorrection: Editpoint, Music/Sound Design: Pastelle Music

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