In politically neutral Holland one side effect of the Great War was an outpouring of artistic activity, which, linked to socially enlightened legislation would improve the lot of workers’ housing in Amsterdam. These two strands produced an extraordinarily rich and fertile development in socially progressive architecture which included apartment blocks, schools, churches, post offices, civic buildings, cinemas, private villas, bridge houses and street furniture, all with the distinctive decorative stamp of the Amsterdam School.

At the same time that Amsterdam was busy transforming itself in the post-war years, another profoundly different artistic movement had taken root in Leiden and later in Rotterdam. This was De Stijl. These two movements developed separately in a period of experimentation and intense change during the 1920’s. Amsterdam building on tradition, whilst Rotterdam sought a clean break with the past.