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Photo: Dudok Architectuur Centrum
Theater Santberen, located on the corner of Noorderweg and Geuzenweg, has a long history. The current building partly dates from 1924, but has been adapted, enlarged and renovated many times over the years. Various Hilversum architectural firms have left their mark on the building.
As early as 1900 travelers could quench their thirst and spend the night at Hotel Santbergen, which was located on the Noorderweg, next to the terminus of the Gooische Stoomtram. At this favorable location, the hotel grew along with the growth of Hilversum and was able to expand with a theater and a skittle alley in the early 1920s. The design for this extension was made by Dirk van Zanten, of the architectural firm Van Zanten-Batenburg, in a sleek Amsterdam School style. A number of Amsterdam School elements of this architect’s design can still be found on the left side wall on Geuzenweg.
In the 1930s, the cone house was renovated by architectural firm B.H. Bakker and C.M. Baker. In 1939 the hotel was considerably enlarged, whereby the current facade on the Noorderweg and the right side facade were created. The design was by the architectural firm of Everwijn and Piet Verschuijl in a businesslike interwar style. The word HOTEL was written vertically on the remarkably high, narrow chimney. Father and son Verschuijl were also involved in some internal renovations in the late 1940s. The entrance area on the corner of Noorderweg and Geuzenweg was probably also adapted during these years.
In the 1950s, the hotel’s banquet hall was a popular nightlife venue for dance lovers, but in the 1960s the building was bought by the Dutch Television Foundation (NTS). They are converting the dance hall into a training studio. The television news was broadcast from the building several times a week. From 1962 the former hotel housed the Institute Training of the Dutch Public Broadcasting and later the Media Academy Foundation until it moved to the Media Park in 2006.
After this, the building under the name Theater Santbergen acquired a multifunctional character with various (leasable) business spaces. There was again a fully-fledged theater room, with a foyer and a studio, which can be rented. Bread and confectionery Matthijs Boon established itself on the side of the Noorderweg. Where the word HOTEL used to adorn the high chimney, the text SANTBERGEN has now been applied.
Noorderweg 2, Hilversum