W.M. DUDOK, 1917-1936, Diverse locaties, Hilversum
Dudok in Hilversum / Dudok in Hilversum ( W.M. Dudok )
Municipal Sportspark  © 2006 Jan Derwig
Willem Marinus Dudok was first director of Public Works (1915-1928) and then City Architect to Hilversum (1928-1954). In both capacities he set an indelible stamp on the architecture and planning in that city. Obviously this is most legible in the monumental, visually defining city hall which has become almost synonymous with Hilversum. But his many housing projects, schools and other municipal buildings have exerted a more fundamental influence. During his long period of office Dudok designed two dozen municipal housing projects, all realized in traditionalist garden-city style. These neighbourhoods are often graced with a special facility of striking design. The primary schools are a good example, though the Bathhouse on Bosdrift and the public library also fall into this category. The 19 school buildings are perhaps the best illustration of Dudok's 'cubist' architecture developed as it often was from perspective drawings. It usually consists of an elongated two-storey block of classrooms and a gymnasium, the two linked by a monumental entry zone. The length of the blocks is accentuated by window bands, repeating windows, canopies and flat or flattened roofs. The entry zone by contrast is a high-powered upward thrust. In the earliest examples (e.g. the Geraniumschool) we can still discern Amsterdam School influences. The 1921 Dr. H. Bavinckschool with its shades of De Stijl was the springboard to Dudok's characteristic formal idiom. His flattened or thatched roofs when they occur are a conciliatory gesture to the architecture of the immediate surroundings. There are also functionalist touches in his work. In the Snelliusschool dating from 1931 he applied large glass surfaces, and the entrance sports a semicircular monumental stairtower with a facade almost entirely of glass block. Yet modernism for him was a formal inspiration only; he left Modern Movement philosophy where it lay. Out on a limb stylistically are his own house, 'De Wikke', and the City Sports Park of 1919, the first of Dudok's Hilversum works. Here, expressive tiers of wood seating decorated with geometrical patterns and painted in light bright colours sit atop a brick basement. This feature is now part of a business park (Arenapark).
Among the few Dudok buildings in a functionalist-modernist idiom may be included the Wildschut pavilion (1936) and Noorder cemetery (1927-1930). It is in this cemetery, tautly organized rather than in the traditional landscape style and with a white-rendered abstract pavilion cum caretaker's lodge, that the master lies buried. After the war Dudok's architecture became more subdued, a change most noticeable in his private commissions outside Hilversum.
1 Geraniumschool (Geraniumstraat, 1917-1918), 2 Gemeentelijk Sportpark (Soestdijkerstraatweg, 1919-1920), 3 Dr. H. Bavinckschool (Bosdrift 21, 1921-1922), 4 Badhuis (Bosdrift, 1922), 5 1e, 2e, 5e, 7e Gemeentelijke Woningbouw (Bosdrift/Diependaalselaan/Hilvertsweg, 1916-1923), 6 Jan van der Heydenschool (Zwaluwplein 2, 1925-1926), 7 Fabritiusschool (Fabritiuslaan 52, 1925-1926), 8 Eigen Woonhuis De Wikke (Utrechtseweg 71, 1926), 9 Julianaschool (Eikbosserweg 166, 1925-1927), 10 Catharinaschool (Egelantiersstraat 115, 1925-1927), 11 Nassauschool (Merelstraat 45, 1927-1928), 12 Ruysdaelschool (Ruysdaellaan 6, 1928), 13 Vondelschool (Schuttersweg 36, 1928-1929), 14 Calvijnschool (Eemnesserweg 107/J. van der Heydenstraat, 1929), 15 Kleuterschool Nelly Bodenheim (Minckelersstraat 38, 1929), 16 Noorderbegraafplaats (Laan 1940-1945 2, 1927-1930), 17 Lorentzschool (Lorentzweg 135, 1929-1930), 18 Multatulischool (Sumatralaan 40, 1928-1931), 19 Snelliusschool (Snelliuslaan 10, 1930-1932), 20 Paviljoen Wildschut (Vreelandseweg 50, 1936)