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Photo: Dudok Architectuur Centrum
On the Leeuwenhoek site in Hilversum-East, surrounded by the Huygensstraat, Goudriaanstraat and Leeuwenhoekstraat, 144 housing estates with a parking basement were built in 1981 to a design by architectural firm Ir. Jan Plas from Purmerend. The client was the municipality that established social housing with a subsidy from the government. The exploitation was in the hands of Housing Association De Erfgooiers.
The Leeuwenhoek site had belonged to Keizer Carpets and the former carpet factory Cornelis van Brink and was purchased in 1978 by construction company A.A. Dijkhuis. Architect Jan Plas had designed a plan for more than 80 private sector homes on the site. The factory buildings on the former factory site had yet to be demolished. A building permit had already been issued for the plan, but in the end the Dijkhuis heirs turned out to abandon the plan two years later. As a result, the municipality saw an opportunity to realize an important part of urban renewal within the framework of the public housing policy.
The land could be purchased with a government subsidy, but the municipality itself also had to make a considerable financial contribution. However, B&W were of the opinion that ‘through the realization of this project a strong impulse will be given to urban renewal in our municipality, of great significance for the residential area and no less for combating the housing shortage’. This also created the opportunity to build a large number of homes for one and two-person households, for which there was great demand.
The architectural firm was commissioned to adapt the existing plan to accommodate the larger number of homes. The underground car park already existed in the previous plan and was maintained with some adjustments. The new plan comprised 23 single-family homes (4 and 5-room homes), 115 storey residences in 3 storeys and 6 storey residences in 4 storeys. The apartments consisted of two and three-room apartments. The inner ring between the houses was closed to traffic and was used as a walking and playing area.
The architectural firm of Jan Plas from Purmerend built a lot, and in a typical seventies architectural style. Various projects of his hand can be found in Hilversum, including the homes on the former Lombok site on the Neuweg and the residential blocks on the Brinkweg/Weversweg (on the former Matawit site). According to the Stichting Woningbouwcorporation Het Gooi en Omstreken, which put a lot of trust in the office, they were good at ‘necessary thinking along’ and in designing good and affordable homes.
Goudriaanstraat e.o., Hilversum