- About Dudok
- Architecture by Dudok
- Architecture Hilversum
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Photo: Iwan Baan
The built-up area of Hilversum was low. That is why the roads were always muddy and wet when it rains. A pumping station had to be built in the vicinity of the Utrechtseweg to drain rainwater and dirty wastewater from the built-up area of the municipality.
The dirty water was pumped from the collection point to the flood fields on the Loosdrechtseweg. The rainwater was collected in a pond. After heavy rainfall, the clean water could be pumped to the Oude Haven on the other side of the village. According to the description of the German sewerage specialist Fr. König, Dudok designed a park with a pond as the centerpiece.
The 1-hectare pond was excavated to below groundwater level. The banks took on a varied shape. Two islands were constructed in the pond and surrounded by landscaping. The groundwork was done by unemployed people in the form of job creation. The excavated sand was used to create the hilly landscape around the pond and to level the municipal Sports Park, which was simultaneously realized on the other side of the Hilversum-Utrecht railway line.
The park appears symmetrical, but this is not because the central axis makes a slight angular displacement. The hills were covered with grass, in which fan-shaped shrubs and trees were planted. A semi-paved path system was divided into a high and a low walking route. From every point there was a perspective view of the pond. In the central axis on the undeveloped side of the park, one could choose between the sloping footpaths at the foot of the slope and the monumental, central terrace and staircase. These were flanked on either side by a rhythmic course of flower boxes rising in height, interspersed with tightly shorn conifers planted in series of three.
Brick benches were placed at various levels in the park. The pumping station was built on the side of the Utrechtseweg. The cubic volumes, built in brick, are symmetrically arranged. The building was given garden walls, flower boxes and lanterns. A tarred gravel road, the Laapersweg, served as access.
After the war, the municipal park master J.H. Meijer carried out a reconstruction of the central axis. The conifers along the terraces and stairs have been removed and Lebanon cedars have been planted on the sloping grassy slope, which create a very dominant effect and interrupt the diagonal effect of the grass cover of the hills. From the high walking route you no longer have a view of the pond and the light can no longer reach the flower boxes. In 1996 the park was restored, in 1997 the pumping station.
Source: Annette Koenders, Hilversum. Architectuur en Stedenbouw 1850-1940, Zwolle (2001).