Monuments of Curaçao

     

Rietveld’s Mgr. Verriet’s
home for children

Few people know that the sole tropical project designed by Gerrit Rietveld has been built on Curaçao. Rietveld became known for his Rietveld-Schröder House built in 1924 in Utrecht, The Netherlands, which has been recently placed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. Architect, carpenter and innovator, Rietveld was a member of “De Stijl” movement established in 1917 which advocated new functionalism in modern architecture.
Rietveld designed a home for disabled children at Santa Maria on Curaçao in 1949 demonstrating an extraordinary sense of place and people. He designed open living galleries and sleeping quarters under a large roof protected by breathing shutter façades. A sensitive integration of climate, culture and functional aspects, the architecture of the children’s home can be considered a curriculum for tropical building. Acknowledged as an outstanding piece of tropical architecture, designation of Rietveld’s creation as a monument is under way.

Picture Courtesy of
Dr. R.G. Gill

 

 

Financing

The funds for redevelopment and preservation are provided by the Island Government of Curaçao, the Government of The Netherlands and the private sector.

The Curaçao Monuments Foundation, the Willemstad Urban Rehabilitation Corporation and the Curaçao Housing Foundation have their own budgets and funds for financing their restoration and building projects.

For the next decade an investment of some 15 million Antillean guilders per annum is needed to continue restoration activities within the inner city of Willemstad and the monuments outside the city.

Subsidies

To boost preservation activities, a system of subsidies and soft loans has been developed under a Multi-Year Funding Program. Implementing organization is the Curaçao Monuments Fund Foundation.

Owners of monuments, private or institutional alike, are eligible for subsidies which are granted following a standard system. The subsidy for monuments with a residential use is higher than for those with a non-residential use.

In the past ten years 180 restorations were completed, 81 restorations were financed through The Curaçao Monuments Fund.

The total expenditure for pure restoration activities amounted to some 95 million Antillean guilders, while the total investment in monuments reached 135 million, 55% funded by both governments and 45% by the private sector.

Incentives

Because the bulk of monuments is privately owned, incentives provided by the government to encourage and boost preservation is indispensable.

Apart from subsidies and soft loans, tax relief measures are operational for owners of monuments. These include tax allowance for the costs of maintenance of monuments and in certain cases also exemption from import duties for building materials to be used for the restoration of monuments. Exemption from land tax is under study.

Curaçao Monuments Fund

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