Home Up Site map

Home > Stuff > Zonnestraal

Acido's Zonnestraal page

Pictures of Sanatorium Zonnestraal

The Zonnestraal Sanatorium (zonnestraal is Dutch for ray of sunlight or sun-beam)
is located near Hilversum, The Netherlands, and is an international monument of architecture.
It's also on a list of the 1000 most important 20th century buildings, compiled by the
Union Internationale d’Architecture.

Main building with the two pavilions

It was opened in 1928 as a sanatorium for TBC patients. Architect Duiker used concrete, steel
and glass for the construction. Concrete was rather expensive in those years, so the complex
was constructed by the very minimum requirements. Some concrete floors are only 8 cm (3.1") thick.
Duiker himself said it was never ment to last; he saw it as a 'disposable building', only ment to
be used for some 40 years.

Original plan with four pavilions

Originally, the complex was planned to have a main building and four pavilions, but two of the
pavilions were never built.


The complex still exists but has been deserted for many years now. One of the pavilions, the
Dresselhuijs pavilion has been abandoned since 1973. This is the left most building of the
maquette above, the other pavilion is still in use.
It was designed for everyone to have an unrestricted view over the open field, but nowadays
Zonnestraal lies hidden in woods: Nature has been taking back her territory ever since.

Main building stairs then Main building stairs now

At june 12th, 2001, the renovation of the complex started off with the main building.

Main building dining hall, composition of two pictures

A few weeks later, at july 28th, I was there with a friend to take some pictures.
The renovation of the main building was in progress, but the Dresselhuijs pavilion was still untouched.
We have been able to record the decay and the influence of nature over time. Though the buidings were empty
(no furniture or so was left), one could see that only very few people had been inside in all these years.

This was good for some amazing pictures of a building fighting against a conquering nature...

Go to the Zonnestraal pictures


Johannes Duiker (1890 - 1935)

Johannes Duiker (1890 - 1935) (Dutch)

The ongoing renovation (Dutch)

Sanatorium Zonnestraal (by Duiker), dienstbodenhuis De Koepel (information, museum)
Loosdrechtsebos 7, Hilversum
Mr. Jan Schriever, tel. +31(0)35 6887777

Back to the top of this page