Pioneering in Project Development; the Big City Thinking of Johan Matser”

In the 1950s, against the background of the reconstruction of the Netherlands, an enormous increase in the scale of building construction was created and from that modern project development was born. Not only did this mean a lot of construction was taking place, but also that it had to be done quickly. The complexity of the task of post-war building allowed project development to become more professional and in turn the American example in the 1960s became increasingly alluring. Daring to take these risks led to sensational projects, unprecedented in the Netherlands – an example being Hoog Catharijne in Utrecht.

Johan Matser was one of the first project developers in the Netherlands. In the fifties and sixties, at his own risk and expense, he bought land in and around Hilversum and had it developed with houses and shopping centers. Matser aimed for a high quality of urban living, working and recreation in his projects and that fitted in seamlessly with the process of urban development in Hilversum; he laid the spatial framework within which major projects would be placed in the 1960s and 1970s. This exhibition mainly deals with projects that Matser accomplished in Hilversum and its surroundings in collaboration with the architects W.M. Dudok and R.M.H. Magnée and the agency Zanstra Gmelig Meyling De Clercq Zubli.

The exhibition also focuses on contemporary project development, which has been transformed by external factors such as the large-scale Vinex operation and the credit crisis. In 2020, the need for development increased again, but is now much more complex than ever before. A million new homes are needed, many of which must be built in inner-city locations. This can only mean that the influence of project developers on urban development will be on the increase.


Dudok Architectuur Centrum


Dudok Architectuur Centrum


The exhibition is open on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 – 16:00.  No need to book in advance.


The exhibition is open to visitors from 23 January 2020 until 21 June 2020


Including entry to the exhibition ‘The Life and Work of Dudok’: €3,- per person.  Children aged 12 and under: Free (accompanied by an adult)

website: sbddesign.nl