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The service station on Larenseweg was designed in 1950 by Hendrik Bunders (1892-1965) on behalf of garage owner Ru Schouten. The building, a municipal monument, housed a petrol pump, washing facility, office, workshop and showroom and was built in a business reconstruction style. In 2010-2011 the building was restored and provided with a modern extension. It is currently in use by consultancy Fresh Forward.
Ru Schouten owned a garage, car dealership and driving school on Spoorstraat in Hilversum. He was a real car enthusiast. In 1951 he was supposed to participate in the Monte Carlo Rally, but an accident on the way to the start forced him to cancel. The car, which rolled over three times, was badly damaged, but Schouten was miraculously unharmed.
Schouten’s automobile company had several branches in Hilversum and in 1950 the Hilversum architect Bunders was commissioned to design a new service station, which was strategically located on the access road from Laren.
The service station consisted of a long wing and a shorter building section connecting at an oblique angle. At the long end was the showroom, a pump island with two passages and a room for the gas station attendant. An office annex warehouse, waiting room, cloakroom and toilets were housed in the middle. Next to the short part of the building were a washing facility with the workshop next to it. The workshop was built higher than the other parts of the building. The building had a sleek and businesslike appearance, made of white stone with a lot of glass, steel frames and provided with a flat roof with a slight overhang.
According to the Gooi- en Eemlander, it was a particularly modern service station and ‘an embellishment of the environment’. The very latest American inventions were used in the workshop and there was even a ‘Quick-Service, in which the various actions are carried out at an extra fast pace’.
Hendrik Bunders was a well-known architect in the Gooi where he designed many houses, shops and other buildings. In the twenties he formed together with B.H. Bakker, the architectural firm of Bakker and Bunders. They designed, among other things, the Tesselschadekerk from 1927, also a municipal monument.
In the 1960s the business was taken over by Shell and the showroom was demolished to make way for two extra pump islands. The narrow roof edge of the awning was replaced by an aluminum one and wooden frames replaced the original steel frames.
At the beginning of this century, the disused service station had been seriously neglected. An extensive restoration started in 2010 in which the exterior was returned to the situation of 1950. The building was given a modern extension at the rear, designed by Bierman Henket architects. The expansion is in line with the original design of the service station in terms of materialization and design. The interior was completely renovated.
Larenseweg 279, Hilversum