HUGO KAAGMAN STENCIL KING
2010 Electricity Boiler House
Enschede, Roombeek, the biggest
Delftblue building in the world !
Cie Architects & Kaagman, Stadshaard, Enschede 2010The boiler house in Enschede, a
Usually electricity boiler houses are located in suburb locations. The boiler house in
Enschede is in a prominent place in Roombeek. A neutral building would not be the right
choice. Moreover, by the size of the boiler house (one 10 meters high building with a
tower of 40 meters ) it is not possible to make it invisible.
The boiler house is an entrance building for Roombeek, a landmark. Right on this place
was the catastrophic fireworks explosion occurring at a fireworks depot on 13 May 2000 ,
which killed 23 people. 1,500 homes were damaged, leaving 1,250 people homeless. The
facade is composed of panels of 1 x 1 meter with striking motifs and figurative images.
They are reminiscent of the lining of Delftblue tiles from Holland fireplaces and thus make
possible the association that this building has something to do with fire and heat.Delft Blue
tiles are often figurative images that are anecdotes of everyday life. On the boiler house
figurative images relate to the production of energy, well known buildings and people from
Enschede, or more common themes in the life and work of artist Hugo Kaagman.
"I wanted a temple of energy, but some people associate it with a mosque." "Originally, I
started as a graffiti artist. I cut the stencils and spray them on walls, canvas and paper, says Kaagman (1955). This earned him the title "Stencil King" and "The Dutch Godfather of Stencil
Graffiti". Kaagman started in the nineties with Delft Blue.
"Delft Blue came in the seventeenth century from China to the Netherlands ," continues Kaagman. "The Dutch version has a white tile with decoration in the corners and center an image
from the Bible, the life or craft a daily scene. I went looking for the history and identity of Enschede. As a tourist I went with a camera walking through the city, I visited museums and
archives. The tiles have now contemporary images related to the culture of Enschede.
The approximately 1300 tiles include tiles with images that are interspersed with 'whites'. In the seventeenth century Holland the result of our economy, but here it is primarily intended to
keep the composition balanced. The images are alternately framed by the Chinese Wan Li motives and a Spanish mauresque motive.
"The scale of the ornaments on the tower is bigger, like the motives on the corners of the building that seem to hold the buidling together. The tower is reminiscent of a church tower. At the
top is the sun motif composed of tulips with the symbolism of the solar rays, so it is a temple of energy The lily leaf grows over the edge and climbs up to the sun . This is the largest object
that I've made in Delft Blue. "
It attracts attention. It's only a matter of time that the boiler house is recognized as one of the major tourist attractions in the Netherlands. It is the largest artwork in theNetherlands made in
Delft Blue. "