Docomomo Curacao recognizes modernist architecture as one of the main currents of the XXth century cultural development on the island, above all for its influence in the modifications introduced on the lifestyle of the modern society through the broad programs of public works, and the incorporation of concepts of habitability, hygiene, universal access to housing and services. The modernist interventions were mostly related to civic architecture reaffirming the theoretical proposal of the Movement; A Public library (C.M. Bakker, 1943), an airport, various schools (like the Joan Maurits School (A. de Vries, 1945 -1950), the former St.Thomas College (C.M. Bakker, 1946) and the Peter Stuyvesant College (A. de Vries, 1954), a hospital (more specifically the St. Elisabeth Hospital South Wing (C.M. Bakker, 1952), the St. Elisabeth Hospital Southeast Wing (B. Smit, 1952) and the Mortuary St. Elisabeth Hospital (C.M. Bakker, 1952), care houses (among them the Mgr. P.I. Verriet Instituut ( G.Th. Rietveld, 1949) , a post office (A.A. van Ammers, 1953) with government offices, desalination water factories (Water Factory Mundo Nobo (P.A. van Stuivenberg, early 1950's) and belonging infrastructure like Water Reservoirs) were all product of the modernist movement in Curacao.
Very interesting are the civic structures that were realized and designed in house by the Technical Division of the Department for Water supply. Building desalination water factories solved the ever-problematic water production on the island. Water tanks and even taps in the less habited areas all testify to a modern architectural language, with strong Art Deco influences. Because of the very clear influence on the lifestyle of the Curacao inhabitants, be it in the City or on the former plantation area. The Water Factory Mundo Nobo (P.A. van Stuivenberg, early 1950's) and the only remaining art deco waterreservoir are testimony of the glorious period of the department for water supply.
Interesting is also that the architect Stuivenberg also started to get private commissions and two prominent cinemas were build, unfortunately only Cinelandia Theater is remaining. (P.A. van Stuivenberg, 1941).
Also some very interesting houses and hotel developments that relied on the architectural language of the modernist movement were built:
Spritzer Residence, SBN Doormanweg, Damacor (B.Smit, 1952)
Ben Smit Residence, Angloweg Mahaai (B. Smit, 1948)
Mansion Simon Bolivar, J.B, Gorsiraweg (B. Smit, 1962)
Presently only three modernist buildings on Curacao are protected by law against demolition, being the Old Library (C.M. Bakker, 1943), The Cinelandia Theater (P.A. van Stuivenberg, 1941) and the Mgr P.I. Verriet Instituut designed by world-famous Dutch architect G.Th.Rietveld in 1949.
Nevertheless a long list of modernist buildings of high quality has been put forward by our board in 2008 and every year 10 of these monuments are being documented and registered internationally in close collaboration with the Docomomo International registers department.
On our website we present the selection of the first 10 Modernist Monuments we had to document in order to become an official chapter of Docomomo International.