Laan, Dom Hans van der

(1904 - 1991)

Dom Hans van der Laan was a Dutch Benedictine monk, architect and designer. Apart from one house, he only designed religious buildings and worked on his theory of the 'artificial number'. This number relates to the most ideal relative dimensions in 3D (height, depth and width). After studying mathematics for a year, he studied architecture in Delft from 1923 to 1926, under M.J. Granpré Molière, one of the leading figures in Traditionalist architecture in the Netherlands. He didn’t finish his studies and chose to become a Benedictine monk. He combined his religious life with working on his architectural theories and designing a number of buildings, which he would also furnish. His designs include the St. Benedictusberg Abbey in Vaals (1956 – 1978), the Roosenberg abbey in Waasmunster (Belgium, 1975) and the Mariavall convent in Tomelilla (Sweden, finished in 1995). Van der Laan was the leading figure of the Bossche School, a group of like-minded architects, including his brother Nico and Jan de Jong. He lived in the monastery in Vaals from 1956 until his death in 1991.