Zuidlarenstraat, Den Haag
52.051483645971, 4.2694384455772 View on map
To be found on route
This school building was opened in 1957 as HBS Zuiderpark. The architect was Sjoerd Schamhart. He designed a light and functional building, entirely in the style of the time. At the time, many artists were commissioned to decorate the building. Jan Snoeck was one of them. The architect asked him to do something with the ventilation grid of the school's basement. Snoeck immediately thought of pipes and tubes. This is how this sculpture came about, made up of various types of pipes of different thicknesses and lengths.
With all its tubes, Snoeck's work of art resembled the Russian Spoednik rocket launched in the same year. In popular speech it was therefore quickly dubbed 'Snoecknik'. It is precisely the use of this material that makes this tubular sculpture an oddity in Snoeck's oeuvre. In an interview in 'Goede sier gemaakt', a book on post-war reconstruction art in The Hague South-West, the artist said: 'The shape of the tubes was fixed; I could only vary their diameter, length and colour. So I was forced to work indirectly'. Whereas Snoeck is now known for the free, organic way in which he creates shapes. In the early sixties he chose clay, a material with which he could work directly. Everything he does with the material is visible in the resulting form. That does not apply to the tube plastic. There, the material is much more recalcitrant. And that is reflected in the final result.
The colours black, white and clear blue that Snoeck chose for his pipes were derived from the school building itself. A cheerful yellow, which later appears frequently in his work, is still missing here. During the renovation of the building in 2010, most of the works of art were also taken in hand. Due to corrosion, the 'Snoecknik' was even completely reconstructed.