Willem Marinus Dudok
Hilversum, Dudokpark 1
1927 – 1931
A little over a year ago we planned a day trip to Hilversum. In the morning we visited the Town Hall with a guide. And in the afternoon the Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision by Neutelings & Riedijk architects. A full day so … If you want to follow a tour of the town hall yourself, you can go to the Dudok Architecture Center in the building.
This monumental building was designed by Willem Marinus Dudok. He already started planning this building in 1915, when he became Director of Public Works of the municipality of Hilversum. Different locations were proposed. Eventually this site was purchased in 1923, where the country house “Den Witten Hul” had stood before it. He had no guidelines at this location that he had to take into account for his design.
Dudok had bricks with a different, elongated size developed specially for this building, about 680,000 units in total. In combination with the narrow end or vertical joint and the more emphasized horizontal joint, this produces a horizontal effect. The problem was that the bricks were baked too softly and were therefore very porous. During the restoration between 1989 and 1995, a large part had to be replaced by new ones.
The tower is the first thing you notice. Dudok fell back on his design to the medieval town hall, with the two courtyards and the clock tower as the main elements. There is also a carillon in the 48 meter high tower. It could be heard live every hour for 20 years on the radio stations of Dutch public broadcasting. Below you can hear it again.
Every detail was approved or designed by Dudok. Even the fonts used in the building were selected by the architect. A lot of the furniture designed by Dudok can also be found in the Dudok Architect Center, others are still at their original location. One of the nicest objects I found was the clock designed by Dudok for the mayor’s meeting room. The interior mainly uses tiles, marble and wood.
Town Hall Hilversum
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