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Photo: Dudok Architectuur Centrum
The Protestant church with striking tower on Tesselschadelaan was built in 1927 by order of the Dutch Protestant Association, after a design by the Hilversum architectural firm Bakker en Bunders. The nave of the church has special trusses, supplied by the Doetinchem company Nemaho. The church building is designed in an expressionist architectural style, related to the Amsterdam School and forms an urban ensemble with the middle-class houses on Gerardus Gullaan. The church, a municipal monument, was transformed into an office complex in 2015.
The Hilversum branch of the Dutch Protestant Association was founded in 1901 by merchants Pieter Hart Nibbrig and Frits Olie. The aim of the association was “to promote the free development of religious life, both within the circle of denominations and beyond.” Liberal Reformed, Remonstrants, Liberal Lutherans and other liberal Protestants became members. From 1905 the association activities took place in the De Vereeniging building on the Oude Enghweg. The growth in membership in the 1920s prompted the board to build its own church.
The church building was located at a central point in the Northwestern Villa area. The church took the form of an aisleless church with a cross-shaped plan covered by a wooden barrel vault. The entrance to the church was oriented towards the Tesselschadelaan to the north. On the south side, oriented towards Gerard Gullaan, a rectory, sexton’s house, catechism room and administrative space were built. Halfway on the west side is the rectangular bell tower.
The brick church was given decorative masonry and glazed and differently colored bricks, related to the Amsterdam School style. The entrance to the church was provided with a large multiple masonry arch. Large, high windows have the shape of a pointed arch through which vertical brick struts are built. Smaller arched windows are located on several sides. Natural stone and brick decorations have been applied in various places. The windows were fitted with stained glass.
The Tesselschadekerk is a high point in the oeuvre of the architectural firm of Barend Hendrik Bakker (1879-1951) and Hendrik Bunders (1892-1965). In the 1920s they formed an architectural firm that was later continued by Bakker with his son Cornelis Marinus. Bunders then started his own architectural firm. The Bakker en Bunders office mainly worked in Hilversum and designed country houses, medium-sized houses, shops and factories.
The church fell out of use in 1988 and was threatened with demolition for some time. The building has since been repurposed. After a design by Kastanje, a real estate developer from Hilversum, the former church has been given a function as a multi-company building with respect for the original space.
Tesselschadelaan 17, Hilversum