- About Dudok
- Architecture by Dudok
- Architecture Hilversum
- About DAC
Photo: Iwan Baan
The sports grandstand of the Municipal Sports Park on Soestdijkerstraatweg, which was built in 1919, is the oldest wooden sports grandstand in the Netherlands. Director of Public Works Willem Marinus Dudok (1884-1974) designed the grandstand in 1919 in the Amsterdam School style. The grandstand was designated a national monument in 1991.
Dudok designed an elongated sports stand with a length of almost 90 meters. Dudok placed the grandstand in such a way that the monumental front was clearly visible from the public road from the city. The symmetrical layout of the grandstand created a monumental effect. The main stand has a stone substructure with a wooden superstructure in the colors white, green and orange. The grandstand would have 500 covered and 600 uncovered seats. A buffet was planned in the middle, with space for an orchestra above it. The grandstand has many Amsterdam School elements such as the beautifully decorated entrance, the serrated roof edge and the elaborate window frames. But the sleek, uncluttered design and the bright colors are already a precursor of the architectural style that Dudok would use in the twenties. The high flagpoles give the stand a festive look.
Soon after commissioning, the design was criticized. The placement of the grandstand meant that spectators had to face the sun. The rain also often played tricks on the spectators. In 1923, therefore, the 600 uncovered places were covered after all. Initially there were no hot water showers, no boardroom and the referee’s changing room was near the main entrance so he had to make his way through the crowd. In 1925 Dudok expanded the sports park with a director’s building with changing rooms and a meeting room.
In 1928, the Netherlands organized the Olympic Games, in which the municipality of Hilversum had succeeded in having the equestrian games take place in the Municipal Sports Park. Dudok’s sports grandstand served as the Olympic Tribune. Fun fact: at these equestrian games at the Hilversumse Sportpark, the Netherlands won two gold and one bronze medal.
The monumental grandstand has been completely renovated twice. Architectenbureau Van Hoogevest brought the monument back to its near-original condition in 1996. The trotting track was demolished as well as the director’s building. This small building was completely rebuilt in 2000 just outside the sports complex under the supervision of architect Baddy Hartman. In 2010 the sports stand was restored again because lack of maintenance had caused wood rot and fungus formation. The grandstand is now a proud part of the Nike complex. Opposite the grandstand, on the other side of the athletics track, has been the European headquarters of this company since 1999. The complex is currently in use by Nike, the Gooise Atletiekclub and by some schools to give sports lessons.
Arenapark 103, Hilversum