It has been more than twenty years ago since architect and professor Har Oudejans died. During the funeral ceremony at the crematorium Westgaarde in Amsterdam friend and colleague Kees van der Hoeven gave an impressive speech, which he later on published on internet. Up till now it is one of the few publications about Har Oudejans.
In many ways Hendricus Theodorus Oudejans (1928-1992) was a controversial man. Because of his precise and very personal way of looking at the world around him and his often unusual way of communicating you loved or hated him. His students at the Faculty of Architecture admired this unorthodox architect and teacher for his passionate view on architecture and the zealotic way of discussing it. His main interest always has been the archetypical way in which architecture communicates with us. What is a door? What is a threshold? During his appointment as professor Architectural Design at the Faculty of Architecture in Delft (between 1970 and 1988) he worked with a group of like-minded professors such as Aldo van Eyck, Herman Hertzberger, Joop Hardy, Jaques Choisy and Jan Rietveld (Vakgroep 13). On the other hand in the late sixties there was – as in a lot of other universities – a left wing (we could say Marxist) movement of younger colleagues who didn’t liked his traditional, emotional and human approach towards the field of architecture. In this atmosphere Har Oudejans, tall in stature and with piercing eyes provoked and at the same moment was also quite often provoked.
His contribution to the building environment and the architectural debate of the sixties and seventies at the Faculty of Architecture in Delft has been wrongly underexposed.
Even more reason to start this investigation about the life and work of Har Oudejans and throw the spotlight on him.