- About Dudok
- Architecture by Dudok
- Architecture Hilversum
- About DAC
Photo: Iwan Baan
The Bloemenbuurt seems like an ordinary neighborhood in Hilversum. What not many people know is that this is the first neighborhood with social housing that was developed on behalf of a municipality. Led by an enthusiastic guide, you will see and hear everything about the construction of the neighborhood, about the public buildings of that time such as bathhouses, a reading room and school buildings.
The housing law of 1901/1902 was intended to change the appalling and unsanitary living conditions in the Netherlands. Every municipality with more than 10,000 inhabitants was obliged to draw up an expansion plan. Architect W.M. Dudok was hired in Hilversum, among other things, to shape the expansion plans. Dudok designed simple and affordable houses for workers, which were beautiful, good and hygienic. Until 1953, twenty-nine municipal complexes were established under Dudok’s leadership, of which the Bloemenbuurt was the first. In addition to the great and important mark that Dudok has left on the design and layout of the Bloemenbuurt, you will also get to know some of his contemporaries during the walk, for example architect Verschuyl who worked for the Workers Construction Association Hilversum.
Dudok has often argued that residential areas could only be turned into architecture if they were conceived as one whole. He did not design his plans street by street, but by neighborhood. Dudok spent a relatively large part of the available space on public gardens and playing fields. Through gatehouses and recessed and protruding façade walls, he alternated between open and closed streets. He promoted social cohesion with squares and courtyards; the centrally located public buildings also contributed to this. He designed the houses with small differences, but traditional. This gave the neighborhood the character of a small village.
In the first municipal housing complex (1916-1919) in the garden city extension south of the center, Dudok also included a public reading room in addition to a few shops. A path between two playgrounds led to the central gatehouse with apartments on the ground floor and the reading room on the first floor. Through the arch-shaped gate in this building, the route leads to the central residential courtyard of the complex behind it, where a central park used to be present in the public space. In the facade of the gatehouse, a frieze has been placed above the windows of the first floor on tapered masonry wall dams. Bookends are placed on both sides of the name on the frieze. The total complex comprises 180 houses and is characterized by a great variety. The garden city concept, whereby the interaction between the buildings and the public space is of essential importance, has been violated here by the change in the layout of the public space.
Source: Annette Koenders, Hilversum. Architectuur en Stedenbouw 1850-1940, Zwolle (2001).
Anemonestraat (Bloemenbuurt), Hilversum