Wall House #2
A. J. Lutulistraat 17, 9728 WT Groningen, The Netherlands
Wall House #2
Season '23 pays tribute to Wall House #2
Wall House #2 temporarily transforms into a camera obscura in season '23. The eponymous exhibition Camera Obscura, on view from 1 April 2023 in architect John Hejduk's world-famous design on Groningen's Hoornsemeer, pays tribute to this extraordinary building and its surroundings.
Three Groningen photographers respond with their mainly analogue work to Wall House #2 and its interaction with the area in which the building stands: the Hoornsemeer area on the outskirts of Groningen, with beautiful views of the water. In Camera Obscura, Annemarie van Buuren, Baukje Pietje Venema and Arjan Verschoor each give their own translation of the magic of the place. Indeed, every moment in Wall House #2 is different. Shape, light and colour change depending on the time of day and weather conditions.
About the photographers
Annemarie van Buuren (Rotterdam, 1961)
The work by Annemarie van Buuren (graduated from the Fotoacademie in Groningen in 2012) on show in Wall House #2 is Lightlapse. It mirrors the architect's concept and explores the idea of outside as part of inside. Water, air and light form a fluid, round and moving element of the living space.
Baukje Pietje Venema (Oudebildtzijl, 1974)
For the exhibition, Baukje Pietje Venema created an installation in which she uses pinhole photography to depict the interaction between environment and architecture. A representation of constant change of colour and light, which takes place over the course of the day. How do light and place affect the character of the building? Venema graduated from the HKU in Utrecht in 1998.
Arjan Verschoor (Hilversum, 1967)
Utrecht HKU graduate photographer Arjan Verschoor converted the top floor of Wall House #2 into a veritable camera obscura. He brings the view over the Hoornsemeer in through a small hole. The incident light casts an image of the outside world upside down on the opposite wall.
The Camera Obscura exhibition is on display until 20 August 2023.
Below is an excerpt from Lightlapse by Annemarie van Buuren.
Wall House #2
Wall House is a true sight to see, with its wealth of shapes, colours, interesting details, symbols and meanings. It is a prime example of the architecture of the 1980s and 1990s, when Groningen played a key role in showcasing international postmodern architecture.
The exuberant private home was designed by architect John Quentin Hejduk (New York 1929–2000 New York). Learn more about the story of the house and its architect.
From April until October Wall House is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays, Easter Monday and Whit Monday from 12 noon to 5 pm.
About Wall House #2
Design Wall House #2
Wall House was originally designed in 1973 as a vacation home for landscape architect A.E. Bye (Ridgefield, Connecticut, USA). At the time, however, it was not built. The home would only be constructed in 2001 in Groningen, thanks to the Blue Moon architecture festival. Another of Hejduk’s works in Groningen is the city marker along the A7 motorway, entitled The Tower of Cards / The Tower of Letters / The Joker’s Perch, constructed as part of Groningen’s 950th anniversary celebrations in 1990.
The focal point of the design is a 14-metre-high wall stretching 18.5 metres. Hanging from this are various organically shaped spaces and rooms. The entrance, an interior bridge and office are situated on the other side of the wall.
In 2004 a foundation named Stichting Wall House #2 acquired the building, tasked with providing it with a public and cultural function. In the summer of 2005, the house was opened to the public with four types of activities on the programme: artist in residence, opening to the public, various events and knowledge development.
In 2016, the City of Groningen requested the Groninger Museum to manage Wall House, especially to ensure its public use and cultural designation. According to the Groninger Museum, an architectural icon in its own right, Wall House is a promising attraction and excellent venue for experimenting with small-scale design-related exhibitions that can also serve as an instrument for talent development
A biography of John Hejduk, architect of Wall House #2
John Quentin Hejduk (New York 1929–2000 New York) was an avant-garde architect particularly renowned as theoretician. Few of his designs have actually been built, but thanks to his theoretical-didactic work he is counted among the leaders of the New York Five, which also includes Richard Meier and Peter Eisenman, architects who feature in the Groningen Museum Collection as well.
Hejduk was trained at Cooper Union Institute in New York, the University of Cincinnati in Ohio and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He then gained practical experience at various architectural offices, including that of Ieoh Ming Pei. In the 1950s he began his lifelong investigation of the foundations of architectural design, basing himself on the formal principles of art movement De Stijl. He developed many ideas, transforming these into designs which were also inspired by the visual arts and literature. In 1965 he established himself as an independent architect in New York, while also teaching at Cooper Union. Hejduk was instrumental to theory development at Cooper Union, where, like in the Bauhaus movement, architecture was alloyed with other art disciplines. His students included Daniel Libeskind, who has also worked for the City of Groningen.
Hejduk initially designed rigidly geometrical homes. The Wall House series, which is regarded as his masterpiece, was also conceived in this early period. The series revolves around a half-metre thick wall in which the entrance is situated and from which all the other spaces in the home are suspended.
Hejduk’s fame largely rests on his theoretical body of never-constructed designs. His oeuvre of buildings that actually saw light is modest, comprising Demlin House in Locus Calley on Long Island (1960), Hommel Apartment in New York (1969), the restoration of Cooper Union’s Foundation Building in New York (1975), a residential development with studio tower in the Charlottenstrasse in Berlin (1986–1988) and a villa on the Tegeler Hafen in Berlin (1985–1988).
A. J. Lutulistraat 17, 9728 WT Groningen
- take line 10 from the main train and bus station (Hoofdstation) to Hoornse Meer and get off at the Palmelaan stop. From there it is 500 meters and a five-minute walk along the Hoornsemeer lake, with Wall House soon appearing on your right hand side.
- or take line 9 from the main train and bus station (Hoofdstation) to Airport Eelde and get off at Hoornse Plas stop. From there it is 600 meters and a 6 mnutes walk to Wall House, which is indicated by signs.
From the A28 motorway exit at ‘Groningen Zuid’ and then travel along Van Ketwich Verschuurlaan, turning right if coming from the north, left if coming from the south; cross the bridge, follow Laan Corpus Den Hoorn until the traffic lights and turn left there onto Sportlaan; take the second exit at the roundabout onto S.O.J. Palmelaan; follow it curving to the right, turn left at the second street, M.L. Kingstraat, and follow it until you see Wall House in the fourth street on the left, located on the right side at A. J. Lutulistraat 17.
Wall House is easy to reach by bicycle. Hire an OV-fiets at the main train and bus station (Hoofdstation), or see http://fietsen.groningen.nl for other places to rent bicycles in Groningen. View the route from the Groninger Museum to Wall House here.
Opening hours and admission
From April until November Wall House is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon to 5 pm. Admission is free.
Visiting Wall House #2 outside regular opening hours
A visit outside opening hours costs € 100 (including VAT). For this you have one hour of exclusive access to the Wall House #2 under the supervision of a museum teacher who will guide your group. This tour lasts half an hour, after which there is an opportunity to ask questions. Maximum 30 people.
Wall House is not accessible for wheelchair users and users of mobility scooters. Visitors with reduced mobility should bear in mind that each floor can only be reached by stairs.
You can register via email@example.com or +31 (0) 50 3 666 555.
Wall House can be rented for customized receptions until April 2023.
Cost per half the day € 165.00 (excl. VAT & excl. personnel costs)
Costs per day € 275.00 (excl. VAT & excl. personnel costs).
For a customized quotation you can contact Gea Schenk, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or with the Bookings department of the Groninger Museum email@example.com, telephone: +31 (0) 50-3666514.