Dom Hans van der Laan
Saint Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals

Dom Hans van der Laan, St. Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals, 1956, IMG 013 – Drawing Matter

Dom Hans van der Laan (1904–1991), Cross section and interior view of church, St. Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals, 1956. Pen and pencil on paper, 220 × 280 mm.

Given that we have reduced architecture to proportions – to a matter of measurements, which is akin to solving a mathematical problem, the design has not been created visually. This is in contrast to all the designs I have seen being made, which are always based on sketches: the first thing an architect does is to produce a sketch. That sketch becomes something very important, considered as being from the master himself. Only then does the actual measuring process start. What has been achieved here was not at all designed like that. The process I use has nothing at all of that of an 'artist' nor does it have anything in common with an 'artistic gesture'. It is completely and meticulously thought out. In order to conceive it, I have a set of sizes in my head – It is a very small cycle of proportions – a very nice round chord (...).

– Hans Van der Laan, in an interview with Antoine Bodar, broadcast by Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS), 24 December 1988

Dom Hans van der Laan, St. Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals, 1956, IMG 009 – Drawing Matter

Dom Hans van der Laan (1904–1991), Front view of abbey church, atrium and guest quarters, St. Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals, 1956. Pencil on paper, 220 × 280 mm.

Dom Hans van der Laan, St. Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals, 1956, IMG 010 – Drawing Matter

Dom Hans van der Laan (1904–1991), Cross-section of church and courtyard, St. Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals, 1945. Pencil on paper, 220 × 280 mm.

Dom Hans van der Laan, St. Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals, 1956, IMG 011 – Drawing Matter

Dom Hans van der Laan (1904–1991), Longitudinal section through the church and atrium, St. Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals, 1956. Pencil on paper, 220 × 280 mm.

Dom Hans van der Laan, St. Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals, 1956, IMG 019 – Drawing Matter

Dom Hans van der Laan (1904–1991), Floor plan, guest quarters, St. Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals, 1956. Pencil on paper, 220 × 280 mm.

The work of Dom Hans van der Laan was featured in Disegno 2018: Mastery and Uncertainty with a talk by Lode Van den Broeck.