December 18, 2008
The commemorative 5 euro coin that Holland
has minted as a tribute to its own architecture, is already in circulation. The “Holland and Architecture”
competition, announced by the Ministry of Finance was won by Belgian architect and artist Stani Michiels
has conceived a coin which on the front portrays the face of Queen Beatrix
. Her royal countenance is drawn with the names of the principal Dutch architects written concentrically, playing with the depth of the fonts. The order of appearance was determined by the number of citations of the illustrious architects on Internet sites. Starting from the outermost circle, we can therefore read the names of Rem Koolhaas
, Pierre Cuypers
, Aldo van Eyck
, Gerrit Rietveld
, Ben van Berkel
, Hendrik Petrus Berlage
, Winy Maas
, Erik van Egeraat
, Wiel Arets
The back of the coin depicts the ribs of the books that many of the architects on the front have written in the course of their activity. The volumes are depicted as buildings projected towards the sky and, at the centre of the coin, the resulting skyline draws the profile of the state of Holland
. The birds in flight in this suggestive sky correspond to the major cities of the Dutch provinces.
Also a programmer in Python
language, Stani Michiels
did all of the graphics which led to the coin’s realisation, utilising free software.
A splendid specimen of graphics and an exemplary sign of the attention shown by a government for contemporary architecture where, and it is no coincidence, Holland
has won a place of pre-eminence.