Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Town Hall, Hilversum, Netherlands

The Town Hall, or Raadhuis, in Hilversum, the Netherlands, was designed in 1924 by the Dutch architect Willem Marinus Dudok (1884-1974) and constructed from 1928-1931. While Dudok was influenced by the Dutch Amsterdam and DeStijl schools of architecture, the design of the Hilversum Town Hall was clearly heavily inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright in the United States. Dudok himself claimed to be influenced more by the great musical composers rather than by architects. He believed that the rhythm, mood, and character of music could be translated easily into architecture. It is not difficult to see such expressions, particularly in the fenestration of the building and the greenery adorning its exterior.

Interestingly enough, these foreign and musical influences were very well received by the general public upon the building's opening, due in no small part to the Town Hall's fine craftsmanship, high-quality materials, and monumentality. Clones of this building now exist in Cachan, France, and Lausanne, Switzerland.

Clinton Riddle

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