De positie van C.G.F. Giudici te Rotterdam en zijn stadhuisplan uit 1781


  • Ruud Meischke
  • Henk J. Zantkuijl




The three large towns of Holland, Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, each had their own building trade by the end of the 18th century. The Amsterdam building trade was the largest and had much impact on the surrounding area. Amsterdam master builders were called in there and citizens of Amsterdam were in charge in the countryside. In The Hague it was particularly the administrative circles that were fond of representation, but their home grounds were far away, so that their buildings in the countryside did not resemble their houses in town.

Rotterdam was a young town, surrounded by more important towns, such as Dordrecht, Delft and Gouda. It was not until the 17th century that it outgrew them, but it retained a primitive building trade with designing building contractors for a long time. Only for very special buildings was the service of a real architect from outside called in, who designed exclusively and supervised the execution.

In such situations, Rotterdam and Gouda availed themselves of the services of The Hague architect Pieter de Swart. His death in 1773 paved the way for the young draughtsman of Italian descent, Carlo Giovanni Francesco Giudici (1746-1819). The energetic stone trader George Elgin from Scotland, who had settled in Rotterdam in 1754, must have discovered Giudici as draughtsman and assistant around 1770. Gradually Giudici also obtained a few commissions for the town and after 1778 a regular association with the Admiralty.

Much of his work was lost, due to town extension and the bombing of Rotterdam in 1940. Especially the unexecuted designs are important, such as an entry for the competition for the Groningen Town Hall (1775) and a plan for the Rotterdam Town Hall (1781). These had been designed in a somewhat international style with a clear English slant to them, such as open columnal portico's, horizontal wall bands between the floors, fanciful spires and tripartite division of glass panes in the windows.

Only a few important works have been preserved outside Rotterdam, such as two large buildings in Schiedam and some buildings in Leiden after the gunpowder explosion of 1807. No Italian, nor French influence is to be recognized in his work.

Biografieën auteurs

Ruud Meischke R. Meischke was van 1953 tot 1959 hoofd van de Gemeentelijke Dienst Monumentenzorg in Amsterdam, van 1959 tot 1972 directeur bij de Rijksdienst voor de Monumentenzorg en daarna tot aan zijn pensionering wetenschappelijk medewerker. In 1983 werd hem door de Universiteit Utrecht een eredoctoraat verleend en van 1985 tot 1988 was hij hoogleraar architectuurgeschiedenis aan de Universiteit Leiden.

Henk J. Zantkuijl

Dr. ing. H.J. Zantkuijl werkte van 1948 tot 1953 bij monumentenzorg Utrecht en van 1953 tot 1983 bij het Bureau Monumentenzorg Amsterdam, laatstelijk als hoofd. Van 1970 tot 1990 was hij docent bij de T.U. Delft en daarnaast lid van diverse monumentencommissies, zoals die van zijn huidige woonplaats Hoorn.




Meischke, R., & Zantkuijl, H. J. (2008). De positie van C.G.F. Giudici te Rotterdam en zijn stadhuisplan uit 1781. Bulletin KNOB, 107(1), 20–33.