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Photo: Dudok Architectuur Centrum
In the early 1970s, the General Bank of the Netherlands ordered the construction of a new and contemporary office building at ‘s-Gravelandseweg 9. The modern building was designed by the Hilversum architectural firm Falkenburg en Mulders. The building was taken into use by the bank in 1974. Almost fifty years later, June 2022, successor ABNAMRO will close the branch and the office building will be up for sale.
The buildings at Nos. 7 and 9 on ‘s-Gravelandseweg were demolished in 1972 for the construction of the new bank branch. One of these buildings was the former rectory of the Grote Kerk, where the bank had been housed since 1940. The rectory dates from 1767 and was built by the village council after the great fire of 1766. According to B&W, “the demolition of the former rectory by government roads could not be prevented because it is not on the monument list”, it informed Bond Heemschut, who had apparently expressed objections to the demolition.
The office building consists of two floors and a roof structure. Under the building there is a parking garage and a safe cellar. The use of materials is characteristic of the 1970s in which the building was constructed. For example, the continuous window strips on the floors have aluminum frames. The parapets consist of large slabs of natural stone (light gray cristallina filippi according to the design drawing). The column cladding is made of black Brazilian granite. During construction, extreme care was taken to conserve the existing trees on the corner with Oude Torenstraat.
A striking feature of the office building is the artwork that has been incorporated into the facade on the ground floor. This monumental glass appliqué window was designed by glazier Joke Cassee and made by the firm Tetterode in Amsterdam. Thick pieces of melted and cut glass were used for this. Up close, it is striking how varied the artist has worked and shaped the glass. The composition in grey, green and window glass was not glued to the facade afterwards, but the architect already spared the 25 meter long gap between street and hall in the design.
’s-Gravelandseweg 9, Hilversum