The Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) was more than a museum. It was an archive, museum, library and cultural podium all in one. The NAi held important archives and collections of Dutch architects from after 1800 and made them accessible to the public. The NAI is now part of Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Since January 2013 Het Nieuwe Instituut combines all the activities of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI), Premsela, Netherlands Institute for Design and Fashion, and Virtual Platform, knowledge institute for e-culture. The institute manages and provides access to cultural heritage, including the State Archive for Architecture, encourages research, promotes national and international exhibitions and a programme of lectures and debates, develops educational packages, and has a transdisciplinary platform function.
Highlights NAI 1993 - 2013
Euralille and the Grand Palais
The city of Lille in Northern France aims to develop into a business center rivaling London or Brussels. OMA, the office of Rem Koolhaas, has given form to this ambition in the Euralille master plan. It was a largescale and complex design assignment. The Euralille dossier - part of the OMA archive - has been inventoried and made accessible.
NAI developed UAR, a mobile architecture application, which provides information about the built environment on the basis of text, image, archival material and film on an iPhone or Google Android.
De Stijl at Centre Pompidou
December 2010 The Centre Pompidou in Paris opened a large-scale exhibition on De Stijl and Piet Mondriaan. This is first time that such a significant retrospective of this avant-garde movement and one of its most prominent representatives has been held in France. The NAI has loaned more than 100 items for this exhibition from the archives of architects such as Theo van Doesburg, Cornelis van Eesteren, J.J.P. Oud, P.J.C. Klaarhamer, Jan Wils and J.M.L. Lauweriks.
John Hejduk: Building in the mind
The exhibition Piet Sanders: a Dream Collection (2015/2016) presented a number of the architectural models Sanders has donated to the NAI from his private collection. The makers of the models include Asymptote, Peter Eisenman, John Hejduk and Daniel Libeskind. The library has also regularly benefitted from Sanders' generosity over the years. In addition, the NAI has made a small selection from his donations consisting of publications by and about a designer in whom Sanders took a particular interest: the American architect John Hejduk (1929-2000).
Robert van 't Hoff at The KröllerMüller Museum
In April 2010 The Kröller-Müller Museum mounted an exhibition about the life and work of Robert van ’t Hoff (1887-1979) – a socially committed architect who turned his back on De Stijl because of its lack of social engagement. NAI managed the small Van ’t Hoff archive.
OMA depot and database on exhibition
March 2004 the NAi transferred the entire archive of Rem Koolhaas/OMA from the collection depot to the exhibition gallery. The exhibition START showed archival material stretching for a length of 105 metres. The NAI took this opportunity to demonstrate how it manages and preserves cultural heritage. This heritage is made up of not only historical archives but also the archives of contemporary architects whose future importance is already evident.