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Photo: Dudok Architectuur Centrum
In June 1970, building contractor A.A. Dijkhuis from Hilversum has applied for a building permit for the construction of a housing block of 4 houses on the corner of ‘s Gravelandseweg and Trompenbergerweg. The design came from E.C. Falkenburg, a much sought-after architect in Hilversum during these years. Earlier designs by the architect for the buildings on the hilly plot had been rejected by the municipality for various reasons. The construction of this housing block is an example of the problems and issues that arose in the villa area of Hilversum in the years after the Second World War.
The first design Falkenburg made in 1968 was a star-shaped apartment building of 4 and 4½ storeys high. However, the site was intended for villa development and not for multi-family houses. However, there were already plans to allow multi-family construction in the area and the municipality promised the architect that it would allow multi-family construction if local residents had no objections. The urban planning department regretted this because the existing country house had to be demolished. Moreover, it considered the height of the building plan too great for the building site in question and suggested that it be reduced to 3 and 3 ½ storeys. She also found that the plan was too close to the property boundary.
On the site stood a spacious country house designed in 1926 by architect E. Verschuijl (with the address ‘s-Gravelandseweg 82), which, according to the urban planning department, was one of the most characterful examples from the 1920s-1930s. According to the council, the house no longer met the requirements of habitability in terms of layout and content (it contained at least six rooms and two bathrooms, a spacious hall, kitchen, basement rooms and garage) and could therefore be demolished. However, the urban planning department opposed this and considered ‘conservation of such an architectural example, which at the time partly determined the image of Hilversum’ to be of greater importance than the establishment of an apartment building.
Falkenburg slightly modified the plan, but when a local resident objected to the building plan, Dijkhuis withdrew the entire plan and had the architect draw up a new plan. However, the demolition of the mansion continued. The new plan involved four semi-detached single-family houses of two storeys high. Although there should formally be an open space between the second and third homes, the Director of Building and Housing Supervision found the plan ‘aesthetically pleasing for this slightly hilly site’ and fit in with the buildings that had been devised for ‘s-Gravelandseweg. Both Bouw- en Woningtoezicht and the Urban Planning Service approved the construction.
The four spacious houses are linked and follow the slope of the site. They consist of a basement and two floors under a flat roof. The outer facade is largely finished with white glazed facing bricks. The first floor has a balcony on the ‘s-Gravelandseweg side, finished with a wooden pergola and a parapet of horizontal wooden parts. All woodwork is painted dark brown. The finish and layout (with loft) are characteristic of construction in the seventies.
Trompenbergerweg 2, Hilversum