A Golden Legacy - Constantijn & Christiaan Huygens

CompanyXPEX Experience Experts
ClientWybe Klaverdijk
DesignerJohannes Verwoerd
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

From April 25th till August 28th 2013, the Grote Kerk in The Hague was the venue for a special exhibition about two exceptional men of the Dutch Golden Age: Diplomat Constantijn and scientist Christiaan Huygens. The exhibition in was a spectacular show about father and son’s achievements and their connections with the House of Orange, the gold in our Golden Age, and the science. The Golden Age was a period of great wealth, power, progress and art. Despite their protestant demureness, people flaunted their riches; and despite never achieving royal status in that age, the members of the House of Orange presented themselves as royalty equal to the kings of Europe. This ‘gold of the golden age’ was the basic idea of the exhibition design; it had to be overwhelming and it should give a rich and almost decadent “Versace-feeling”. Another starting point for the design were the colorful paintings of the Golden Age. Society painters like Peter Paul Rubens and Abraham Bloemaert used gaudy colors: gold, red, blue, green and purple, as opposed to the browns and greys of landscapes and interiors painted for the mass market. Each chapter had is own bright color and rich decorative pattern. Dutch painters started to specialize in techniques or genres, and used their painting to show eye for detail and technical skills, like incredibly refined painted lace collars. This detailed richness is translated into the wall designs. From a distance you see a portrait, f.e. Constantijn Huygens. The closer you get the more details the patterns have, like the yarn of the lace collar. We used the most advanced canvas-printing techniques to catch the sharpness and richness of their patterns. Because the venue was a spacious church, we used large shapes that underline the form of the church itself, without mirroring it or physically touching the building. The walls are almost luminous freestanding objects.Shape and color counter-balance saturated grey and brown-tones and the mass of the church