Radio Kootwijk – a broadcasting station like a sphinx
Radio Kootwijk - titel

Radio Kootwijk

Julius Luthmann

Radio Kootwijk, Radioweg 1

1920 – 1923

Radio

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Netherlands decided to set up an international communication network. This enabled a permanent connection with the Dutch East Indies. A search was made for an uninhabited, remote area for placing a broadcasting station. This was found in the Veluwe. The land, 450 hectares, was purchased from Staatsbosbeheer and a narrow track was laid for the supply of antenna material.

Sender

150 unemployed people from Amsterdam were deployed to prepare the site for construction. A large circle with a diameter of 1200 meters was laid. In the middle stood a central mast and the transmission building, around it at the end of the circle were 5 masts with a height of 212 meters. Among other things, the PTT ensured that conversations between family members overseas were possible. Saturday afternoon there was a 30% discount on the regular rate, but then they still had to invest almost a weekly wage for three minutes of calling to Java, for example.

Radio Kootwijk

Not only buildings were built for the broadcasting system, but also houses, workshops and a water tower were erected. There was a need for water for drinking and cooling. Two pump houses were realized for pumping up and storing the water. The entire village was named after its function: Radio Kootwijk. In the late 1920s, around 200 people lived in Radio Kootwijk. The village was remote and there was no regular bus connection with villages in the area. That is why the community arranged a school bus, a market bus, a football bus and even a church bus on Sundays. The village also had its own fire brigade, garbage collection service, electricity and water via the water tower and pumps.

Building A

The architect of the central broadcasting station was architect Julius Luthmann (1890 – 1973), who worked at the Rijksgebouwendienst. He was also allowed to design the water tower and some houses. The building could not be built out of wood due to the danger of overheating due to the radiation from the transmitters. The sending station therefore consists of reinforced concrete, in the form of a sphinx, the architect was interested in Egyptian mythology. A nickname for this building is “the cathedral”. The style from which it is executed is a mixture of German expressionism and the Amsterdam School, with some Scandinavian influence. Luthmann worked with the sculptor Hendrik van den Eijnde for the decoration. On the back above the large window is an eagle he designed, symbolizing the freedom of radio waves in the sky, the flight of sound.

Visit

In 2009 the site returned to the hands of Staatsbosbeheer. For the use of the nature reserve and the buildings one tries to find a good balance between business, cultural and public use. It is rented out as an event and party location, among other things. You can also organize meetings there, but you can also just visit it on certain days.

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Radio Kootwijk

 

Julius Luthmann

Radio Kootwijk, Radioweg 1

1920 – 1923

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