As a former KPN Broadcast employee, everything around radio towers and radio transmitting stations has a special place in my heart. That is why our long-distance walking group also took a walk at Radio Kootwijk a few years ago. The forest is beautiful. My “weekend-tip Radio Kootwijk” is in place this month because in April you can also visit the station inside with a guide.
Due to the development of modern technologies like Communications satellites, Radio Kootwijk lost its position as main overseas wireless connection point of the Netherlands. In 1980, the last transmission mast was blown up. In 2004 the park lost its last transmitter functions, and was transferred from the KPN company (successor to PTT) to the State Forestry Service, which started attracting new buyers. The main building of the former transmitter park, designed by Dutch architect Julius Maria Luthmann and named ‘Building A’, ‘The Cathedral’ or sometimes ‘The Sphynx’, was officially appointed as a monument. It is used as venue and scenery for several cultural events and productions, including the American film Mindhunters in 2004”
The building is perhaps the purest Art Deco building in the Netherlands. After the world exposition of 1900 in Paris, several artists formed a collective “La Société des artistes décorateurs”. In 1925 they organized the Exposition “Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes”. The art historian Bevis Hillier derived from this exposition the term ‘art deco’ in 1968 with the book Art Deco of the 20s and 30s.
Julius Luthmann studied in Rotterdam. The Radio Kootwijk building had to be non-combustible and cause as little energy loss as possible. No iron or wood could be used in the construction; that is why Luthmann opted for reinforced concrete, a revolutionary process at the time.
You can visit the building in April on Saturday, Sunday, and Easter Monday. Costs from 8€ to 18.50€. practical information here.
You can find more about long distance walking over here.
Enjoy your visit to the building and combine it with a walk through the surrounding countryside.