Wandering through my beautiful home town Dordrecht last weekend, I noticed a very peculiar house at the Wolwevershaven 46. First, it struck me as Art Nouveau design, but after a closer look, I was not 100% sure anymore. The railing of the balcony looks Art Nouveau’ish. And the lines in the design are somehow Art Nouveau’ish. But on the other hand – where are the floral decorations. Where is the whiplash? Time for some serious investigating!
Of course, the best way to start is at the city archives Erfgoed Centrum DIEP. And what do you know!
I have discovered that the building existed already long before Art Nouveau existed, but its design was seriously altered in 1913. The owner at the time, Mr. P. Gips, granted the job to architect Franciscus Wenzlaus (Frans) Stam [5-10-1879 / 4-8-1972] who made the following drawings for the Art Nouveau facade and cross section.
The photo below shows the situation before 1911 (I know that because the company that is located in the white building on the left went bankrupt in 1911). The building at the right is the one we are investigating now.
The next photo shows the situation in 1933. ‘Our’ building is now exactly as drawn by the architect mr. F. Stam in 1913. You can see the building that was attached to ‘our’ building in the above situation, basically remained the same, except for the ground floor facade.
Then, in 1939, the new owner mr. W. Muller hired contractor Groeneveld to change the facade again, and that is how it remains until today:
So, what can I conclude? This is a very old building, that was changed in 1913 when it got it’s Art Nouveau’ish facade. However, the 1913 facade was altered again in 1939. The design was influenced by at least 3 style periods, the style is not pure Art Nouveau. And that is probably what got me confused. If you asked me, the building is not one of the best Art Nouveau examples in Dordrecht, but I wanted to share it with you anyways. I found the research very satisfactory and I can’t wait to start my research on the next building!
And just in case you are interested: current owner of the building is Bas Kloens, painter.