- About Dudok
- Architecture by Dudok
- Architecture Hilversum
- About DAC
Photo: Iwan Baan
The Zuiderhof cemetery is located on the edge of Hilversum-South and marks the transition to the Hoorneboegse heide nature reserve. The cemetery was designed by architect Willem Marinus Dudok (1884-1974) between 1958 and 1960, the construction took place between 1960 and 1964. Although Dudok had already retired at that time as municipal architect of Hilversum, the municipality gave him permission to to finish several projects within his own architectural firm. He was assisted in this by his partner Robert Magnée (1915-2002). The complex of the cemetery and associated buildings was designated a national monument in 2016.
In the early 1950s, the municipality bought land on Kolhornseweg for the construction of a “South Cemetery” because the space on the 1930 North Cemetery was threatening to become full.
Dudok made a first sketch design for the cemetery and the buildings while he was still employed by the municipality. It is essential in the structure of the cemetery that the graves are not immediately visible when entering the cemetery. Along a broad, east-west oriented central axis, on some side paths lie the rectangular burial fields behind vegetation that hide the graves from view. To the north of these rectangular burial fields is a circle segment divided into three fields, where also burial fields have been placed. The cemetery also has a beautiful urn garden and columbarium.
The buildings, avenues and cemeteries follow a sober, rectangular structure. A large forecourt, bounded on three sides by a six-meter high colonnade, forms the entrance to the cemetery. The auditorium, which is connected to the colonnade, is located on the northeast side of the square. From the auditorium you get an impressive view over the green central axis, which provides a strong perspective image. The buildings have flat roofs and are made of white painted brick. As with the Noorderbegraafplaats designed by Dudok, the finish of the buildings had to be simple and sober, according to the architect, and the spatial effect served to achieve a “humane atmosphere”. The colonnade served as a shelter during storms and rain. The regular, square openings in the gallery connect the forecourt with the cemetery. During a later renovation, doorways were made in the gallery so that the underlying cemetery was also accessible via the forecourt. The floor of the square consists of tiles laid in a decorative diamond pattern.
The service building was transformed into a crematorium in 2015 according to a design by Bierman Henket architects. The area around the forecourt was redesigned and the service buildings were given additional public functions. An office with ashes has been realized in the original supervisor’s building. The former staff house has been expanded with a condolence and coffee room that can also be used as a small auditorium.
Kolhornseweg nr. 13, Hilversum