floorplan Palace of Typographic MasonryPALACE about
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The Masonic Lobby

Source collection The Masonic Lobby


Tifinagh is the ancient script of the Berber languages spoken by the Berbers of North Africa. Its roots are unknown, but stone-carvings attest for its early origins. For decades it was persecuted for political reasons, but nowadays it has been revived, giving back the ethnic identity of its users. See also: The Labyrinth of Scripts in the Department of Sign.

Rough stone

In freemasonry, man is seen as a rough stone, in which, however, the cubic stone is present or ‘hidden’. It is his task to bring to light that cubic stone, that is to say, to strive for perfection. In freemasonry, the symbolism of building, the legacy of medieval craftsmanship, occupies a very important place. The freemason sees the world and life as a building to be completed. He builds on the temple of mankind, on a better world, where he sees himself as a building block. See also: Tracing Board Treasury in the Department of Symbol.

Uruk mosaics

These Uruk mosaics (in present-day Iraq) have a basic continuous polarity between contrasts and were made around 4000 BC of small clay tiles. The mosaics were used to decorate monumental palaces and often form rhombuses, triangles and straight and zigzag strips, based on patterns formed by braid and textile. The mosaics were not only decorative: the enveloping of clay exterior walls and pillars by means of mosaics made of harder materials contributed to limiting the weathering of wind and water. See also: Von Wersin's Kitchen, in the Department of Ornament.

Fröbel’s Gifts

Friedrich Fröbel (1782-1852) was a German educator and the founder of the oldest known kindergarten, in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg. It was an institute for children under the age of six, which he occupied with various educational projects. In his theories, Fröbel assumed a belief in divine unity in nature, using spiritual training as a fundamental principle. Three-dimensional forms would stimulate the development of the child; an idea that resulted in the first buidling block boxes: Fröbel’s Gifts. See also: the Building Set Storage in the Department of Construction.

Plaque Découpée Universelle

In 1876 Joseph A. David acquired the patent for Plaque Découpée Universelle, a system that he had invented for sign-writers. With a universal stencil, all UPPERCASE, lowercase, numbers, punctuation, accents etc could be sourced from the grid of the stencil. See also: The Gridded Section in the Department of Poetics.

The Royal Game of Ur

The Royal Game of Ur is board game of the Sumerian civilization (dynasty of Ur, ± 2600 BC). Game boards like these were first discovered in the twenties of the twentieth century by archaeologist Sir Leonard Wooley, in contemporary Southeast Iraq. Because they were all found in tombs of wealthy Sumerians, the game boards are supposed to accompany the dead on their way to the other world. It is assumed that this game is one of the forefathers of Backgammon: no written rules were found, but they were derived from the images on the game boards and other archaeological finds. See also: the Game Board Corridor in the Department of Play.

Mysterium Cosmographicum

Mysterium Cosmographicum was published in 1596 by Johannes Kepler. It deals with the construction of the cosmos as he imagined: Kepler was convinced of the existence of a mathematical harmony in the planetary system. The Creator, according to his conviction, wad guided by mathematical laws. Around the sun, Kepler divides the five Platonic polyhedra so that each time one lies between the spheres of the planets. See also: The Cosmographic Chambers in the Department of Order.


Wijdeveld was the editor-in-chief of the Wendingen, which was a magazine published between 1918 and 1932. Its goal was to publish issues in contemporary architecture, and connect it with other forms of art and design. Just as in the content, Wendingen was anti-traditional in the form as well. The typography was combining sans-serif letters - being subjects of heavy discussions at the time; headline type and ornaments constructed from compositor’s brass rule. All this on a square format and bound with japanese binding. To emphasize the collaborative and experimental nature of the project, each cover was designed by another artist. See also the Wijdeveld Pavilion at the Pavilions of Honour in the Department of Craft.


Philosopher Martin Buber published ‘Ich und Du’ in 1923, in which he accentuates the ‘in between space’, a dimension in which ‘being with the other’ manifests itself. Aldo van Eyck (1918-1999) designed as a starting architect 760 children’s playgrounds, in which his great strength immediately emerged: he could empathize with the feelings of the users, small or large. Based on the philosophy of Martin Buber, Van Eyck conceived the ‘in-between’ as the common ground where contradictory polarities (such as subject and object, inner and outer reality, small and large, open and closed, part and whole) can once again become twin phenomena: Van Eyck embraces the relativity of everything; everything must be related to each other in a reciprocal way. See also: The Conversation Room in the Department of Practice.

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