1962 – Giraudi Ice Cream Parlour

Cees Dam: “If I remember Giraudi very precisely, I can already see the secret of my later work.”

Dam’s first commissions, like those of so many architects, were conversions of shops, houses and free-standing villas. In almost every case these buildings were a stone’s throw from Heemstede where Dam has set up his own office, originally with his friend Pieter Zaanen from the Academy.

Dam’s earliest work has a frankly and unpretentiously contemporary look, but notwithstanding enjoyed a certain success even then. This was expressed not only in his being commissioned on the strength of work already built, but also in the form of various publications. Because aspects that would characterise Dam’s later work emerged at this early stage, these early commissions deserve looking into briefly. The houses are executed in brick with white rendering, or in course rubble with brown wood frames, with a flat roof, or gently sloping lean-to roofs. A striking contrast with the simplicity of the houses is the lengths Dam went to give the shops a festive air: by ornament and use of material in Giraudi. Wood and marble has been used, and a combination of the colours orange and black. The way of decorating, including artificial fruit, shows some influence from Piet Worm. His wife, Josephine Dam-Holt, designed the lettering, and also the wrapping paper and corporate identity in general, something she would continue to do for many later projects.