Office buildings

Office buildings

With the growth in trade, shipping, insurance and banking and postal and telegraph traffic, the modern office building also emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century. A multitude of buildings arose in just as many styles. The new building materials steel, glass and concrete that emerged in the 1920s gave office buildings a new look. The buildings became more efficient and functional in design. Large open glass facades provided a lot of light and modern skeleton construction for flexible layouts. This trend continued after the Second World War until the open-plan office concept started a new trend in the late 1960s.

The spirit of the building

Dudok always looked for ways to express the spirit of a building in its artistic design. Using new techniques and materials alone was not enough. In office buildings, the business aspect of the assignment dominated, yet the ‘serving task of the master builder’ could be expressed in a joyful, light-flooded workspace. By paying extra attention to a recognizable silhouette, materials such as marble and a single decoration, beauty and functionality went together.

Various assignments

In 1916 Dudok, in collaboration with architect J.J.P. Oud, the office for the Leidsch Dagblad in Leiden in Amsterdam School style. For clients, the name and fame of the architect also played an important role in constructing a representative office building. After Dudok’s name was definitively established with the Raadhuis design in Hilversum and De Bijenkorf in Rotterdam, he received several assignments for large office buildings. He designed his first large office building in Schiedam for the Hollandsche Algemeene Verzekerings-Bank (HAV-Bank). This was followed by more bank and insurance buildings. In 1948 Dudok won a competition for the head office of the Hoogovens en Staalfabrieken in Velsen, partly because he used a steel skeleton. At the end of the fifties, Dudok designed a factory with office building for publisher De Boer on the Vreelandseweg in Hilversum.

The Netherlands of 1845

After house architect Berlage had died in 1934, insurance company De Nederlanden van 1845 commissioned Dudok in 1937 for the construction of an office building in Arnhem. After that, Dudok became the permanent architect for the company. A design from 1939 for an office building opposite the Royal Palace in Amsterdam did not make it to implementation. The insurance company building on the Meent in Rotterdam was completed in 1952; the first branch of Brasserie Dudok opened its doors here in 1991. Dudok was also involved in the renovation of the company’s head office in The Hague, which was designed by Berlage in 1921.

Extra information

Een overzicht en beeldmateriaal van Dudoks kantoorgebouwen vind je op de site in de categorie kantoorgebouwen

De website is een initiatief van enkele bewonderaars van het werk van Willem Marinus Dudok. De site bevat vooral veel beeldmateriaal van alle ontwerpen van Dudok die ooit zijn gebouwd. Het Dudok Architectuur Centrum en werken op onafhankelijke basis samen door beeldmateriaal en informatie met elkaar te delen en incidenteel samen te werken aan projecten.