12 December 2022
Dutch/Belgian artist Job Smeets creates a five metre bronze sculpture to honour the female designer behind the new development ‘Q Residences’ by American architect Studio Gang in Amsterdam.
Materials: Bronze, polished and hand painted, frosted acrylic, steel structure, LED
Location: Buitenveldertselaan 80, 1082 KM Amsterdam
Developer: Kroonenberg Groep, Netherlands
Architect: Studio Gang, USA
At over five metres tall the new sculpture by Studio Job, a cast bronze monument of a female hand, represents the creative behind the new building Studio Gang, holding the base of an illuminated Q letter. Handmade in his Tilburg atelier by his talented team at Studio Job the artist created the work from his partner Rebecca’s hand, creating a monument in front of the new development, Studio Gang’s first European building, ‘Q Residences’.
‘Hers’ is not just a public sculpture but a beacon to represent the new building by Dutch developer Kroonenberg Groep. “The sculpture is there for the building and the building is there for the inhabitants. When I was asked by Lesley Bamberger (CEO, Kroonenberg Groep) to create a sculpture for a building created by a female architect, I wanted to honour this in the design” explains artist Job Smeets.
Hands have long been an important theme in the artist’s sculptural work over the past 25 years, and their representation to making and creation. For this ‘hand’ the artist used the hand of his partner, explaining “Whose hand could I have picked other than the hand of mother of my children as the model for the work, this link to creation means a great deal to me.”
“For me it’s important that we see representation out there in all forms, it’s a statement to the passers-by about women not just connected to this building but in positions of importance in the modern world.”
This is the third of three large bronze public monuments in the Netherlands unveiled by Studio Job in the past two months, the first ‘The Embrace’ in Dordrecht, followed by ‘On The Shoulders of Giants’ a monument to honour industrialism in Weert, and finally ‘Hers’, Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is one landmark richer
On Monday 12 December, Buitenveldert, built as a garden city, saw the opening of an architecturally daring but carefully embedded urban apartment complex: Q Residences. This complex, which covers an area of 27,600 m2 and has 248 rental apartments, consists of a plaza and two residential buildings: the medium-rise Qube and the tall, elegant Quartz. Of the 248 homes, 99 were built for the middle segment. For this project on the corner of Buitenveldertselaan and Van Nijenrodeweg, developer Kroonenberg Groep hired the American star architect Jeanne Gang. Lesley Bamberger, CEO of Kroonenberg Groep: “Quartz has such an iconic appearance, you can’t pass by without looking back. I always do that with a smile and a feeling of pride. Together we have added a unique part of Amsterdam, which has an impact on the entire environment.” The Amsterdam bureau Rijnboutt provided the urban development embedding and acted as co-architect. Frederik Vermeesch, Rijnboutt agency: “Q Residences is a fine example of high-quality densification in Buitenveldert within the principles of the AUP. High-quality in urban design, in its architectural design and in its materials and details.” NEOO was responsible for the development management from master plan to realization. Contractor J.P. van Eesteren realized the construction.
Unveiling sculpture Studio Job
On the beautiful plaza, designed and planted by Piet Oudolf, Reinier van Dantzig, alderman for Housing and Urban Development, together with Jeanne Gang and Lesley Bamberger, unveiled the creation of Studio Job: a man-sized sculpture in which the Q logo is reflected. As deputy mayor, Van Dantzig filled in for mayor Femke Halsema, who was unable to attend at the last minute. Halsema regrets not being able to perform the opening and she emphasizes the significance of Q Residences for the city: “Amsterdam is proud of this new gem in the city. We thank all those involved for always giving the city a helping hand.” Prior to this festive unveiling, an explanatory presentation led by Humberto Tan took place in the lobby of Quartz. Architect Jeanne Gang: “The design of Q Residences creates a connection between the residents themselves and with the greenery that defines Buitenveldert. On the ground floor, Qube and Quartz form a new, spacious public space that brings people together around art and landscape. the surface of the facade is larger and because the balconies are staggered, neighbors have visible contact with each other. Residents must feel good, in their home and their environment.”
Those present also included Piet Boon, Frederik Molenschot, Petra Blaisse and Job Smeets, the artists who played an important role in the beautification of this iconic complex. Job Smeets, Studio Job: “The cast bronze sculpture of a woman’s hand holding the illuminated letter Q is five meters high. The artwork, called ‘Hers’, represents the creativity of the female architect. It is a statement to passers-by about women who are not only connected to this building, but also to important positions in the modern world.”