Dalerveenstraat 9, Den Haag
52.049688042314, 4.2795476595245 View on map
To be found on route
"If you put art on a building, it has to have something to do with that building". Christa van Santen said in an interview published in a book about the Escamp Collection in 2014. This artist was also interested in the connection with the architecture. She came up with something you can look through, something that respects the wall. "Not that you make the whole end of the wall invisible with a big thing. Even though it is abstract, children can easily recognise the shapes and colours.
Van Santen's relief is at its best when the sun shines on it. Then its structure casts beautiful shadows on the wall behind it. Shadows that change shape in the course of the day.
It is not surprising that Van Santen has devoted so much attention to the shadow effect. For years, she was a lecturer at the Academy of Architecture at Delft University of Technology. During the form studies course, she taught students how to look. Light was her most important instrument. She showed, for example, what the consequences were of a certain type of window on the architecture and perception of a building.
The school on the Dalerveenweg was designed by the De Jongh brothers. The painting teacher at the Free Academy, of which Van Santen was an assistant for ten years after her training, regularly received commissions from these two brothers in The Hague. When they designed the school, they wondered whether embellishing it would not be a good assignment for her. And so this relief became one of her first major works.
In 2014, the relief was fully restored at the request of residents of Escamp. John van Leeuwen, a former student of Van Santen's, made sure, together with the blacksmith Donker Van Heel & Marinus, that the relief looked perfect again.