The Beurs van Berlage was designed as a commodity exchange by architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage and constructed between 1896 and 1903. It influenced many modernist architects, in particular functionalists and the Amsterdam School. It is now used as a venue for concerts, exhibitions and conferences.
The building is constructed of red brick, with an iron and glass roof and stone piers, lintels and corbels. Its entrance is under a 40m high clock tower, while inside lie three large multi-storey halls formerly used as trading floors, with offices and communal facilities grouped around them.
The aim of the architect was to modify the styles of the past by emphasizing sweeping planes and open plan interiors. It has stylistic similarities with some earlier buildings, for instance St Pancras station and the work of H. H. Richardson in America, or the Castell dels Tres Dragons, Barcelona, by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. True to its nineteenth-century roots, it maintains the use of ornament in a civic structure.
On 2 February 2002 the civil ceremony of the wedding of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta took place in the Beurs van Berlage.
The Beurs van Berlage has a café located on the Beursplein side and the tower is also open to the public.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.