The Ship and the Dawn, Amsterdam.

The Ship
The Dawn

These two Amsterdam estates were built by socialist clubs for their members to live in during the 1910s-1920s. The people involved knew little about construction or design. But facing a housing shortage, they wanted to provide cooperatively run, low cost, good quality apartments complete with amenities.

Almost accidentally, they employed as architects proponents of a brick expressionist style now known as the “Amsterdam School”. The results are quite special.

One estate was nicknamed Het Schip (The Ship) because of its seemingly nautical references. The other’s name, De Dageraad (The Dawn), came from its socialist club and prophesied a better future.

Each individual brick has a different colour.
Even though constructing curves in brick is tough, this “cigar butt” form is entirely decorative.
Het Schip’s entirely pointless tower was a boast to the other nearby estates built by churches and rival clubs with opposing political views.