The Bloemenbuurt seems like an ordinary neighbourhood
in Hilversum. What not many people know is that it is the first neighbourhood
with social housing that was commissioned by the municipality. Led by an enthusiastic
guide, you will see and hear everything about the development of the neighbourhood,
and about the various public buildings created at that time, such as bathhouses,
a reading room and school buildings.
First residential complexes for workers
The Housing Act of 1901/1902 required the deplorable and unhygienic living conditions in the Netherlands to be addressed and changed. Every municipality of more than 10,000 residents was obliged to prepare an expansion plan. The architect W. M. Dudok was among those appointed to bring this plan to fruition in Hilversum. Dudok designed simple and affordable houses for workers, which were also attractive, well-built and hygienic. Under the direction of Dudok, 29 of these municipal complexes were established by 1953, the first of which was the Bloemenbuurt. Aside from the conspicuous and important mark that Dudok has left on the design and layout of the Bloemenbuurt, you will also be introduced to some of his contemporaries during the walk, including the architect Verschuyl, who worked for the Workers’ Building Association of Hilversum.
Variety in the layout
Dudok had often asserted that the building of a residential area should be conceived and created as an architectural whole. He designed his plans, not street by street, but as a complete neighbourhood. Dudok designated a relatively large amount of space to green areas and playing fields. Using gateways and sunken or protruding facade walls, he introduced alternation between open and closed streets. With courtyards and squares he promoted social cohesion, to which the central location of public buildings also contributes. He designed houses with small differences but in a traditional way. This gave the neighbourhood the character of a small village
The walking tour takes between 1.5 and 2 hours, and starts by Restaurant Parc.
Significant buildings and locations
Oude begraafplaats Bosdrift Aula en hek: P. Andriessen, 1889; tuinaanleg L.A. Springer