“For Duivesteijn, the relationship between politics and architecture has always been a self-evident one, which he has consistently and increasingly broadly propagated over the years from a strong personal commitment. You could say that his successive functions have been a means to put into practice his conviction about the significance of architecture as a cultural asset”, the jury wrote when Duivesteijn was awarded the Rotterdam-Maaskant Prize in 2008.
Adri was an aficionado of Constant’s work and referenced his New Babylon project often. In 2016 he opened the exhibition Constant, New Babylon. To Us Liberty at Kunstmuseum Den Haag, which was a double bill with the exhibition Constant. Space + colour at Cobra Museum, Amstelveen. Afterwards he shared some thoughts on the exhibitions with Mrs. Nieuwenhuys in an email:
It is of course fine, and probably inevitable in the Dutch context, that both exhibitions are in two different museums, but to really understand Constant’s development, the exhibition in the Cobra Museum is the basis. In the New Babylon exhibition this is embedded in his development, but less pronounced. Moreover, as far as I am concerned, the New Babylon exhibition would not have been out of place with a connection to current practice. After all, Constant is not about what he has made in the past, but rather about the fact that he has thought about what our future could be. It is impressive how he, as a loner, has come to such comprehensive visions and thoughts. I can still be excited by his insights and reflections on how our future cities should serve the creativity inherent in the people themselves. His plea for authenticity is so refreshing and so characteristic of his work. For example, the paintings of New Babylon still radiate such power as if they were literally made in the future. When you look at it, you really find yourself in his paintings. And, so much is happening in this time, in people’s lives and within the urbanization processes around the world that his work could be very useful in the search for answers.
We are grateful for Adri’s presence all these years and we offer our condolances and loving thoughts to Adri’s wife Liesbeth and his family and friends.