Pierre Cuypers

Pierre Cuypers

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Pierre Cuypers

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Petrus Josephus Hubertus (Pierre) Cuypers (May 16, 1827, Roermond – March 3, 1921, Roermond) was a Dutch architect. His name is most frequently associated with the Amsterdam Central Station (1881–1889) and the Rijksmuseum (1876–1885), both in Amsterdam. More representative for his oeuvre, however, are numerous churches, of which he designed more than 100. Moreover, he restored a large number of monuments.


Cuypers was the son of a church painter and grew up in surroundings in which interest for art was encouraged. After he studied at the urban college in Roermond, he moved to Antwerp in 1844 to study architecture at the Royal art academy. He was taught by Frans Andries Durlet, Frans Stoop and Ferdinand Berckmans, all pioneers of the neo-Gothic architecture in Belgium. Cuypers was a good student; in 1849, he gained the Prix d'Excellence of the academy.

From 1875 he led the restoration of the eastern front of the Mainz Cathedral, which he executed according to his own plans in Romanesque style. In doing so, he created as an opposite pole to the western tower group the high, gothic likely eastern tower helmet, replacing a bell floor and the Moller iron cupola. After a tour in the German Rheinland, he returned to Roermond, where he was appointed a town architect in 1851. In 1852, he opened a work shop where ecclesiastical art was manufactured.

Cuypers' ecclesiastical work was initially strongly influenced by 13th century French architecture and by the...
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