Architect: Hermanus Johannes Maria Walenkamp (1871-1933)
Commissioned by: Woningbouwvereniging Het Westen (Het Westen Housing Association)
Years of construction: 1916-1919.
The complex has rationalistic characteristics, which can be seen from the walls predominantly made of brick in which natural stone has been used in structurally important spots. The large brick surfaces and the spacious layout with plant-filled internal grounds were remarkably modern for that time. Unsurprisingly, Walenkamp was considered an innovator in Dutch architecture back then.
The largely closed internal grounds give the Zaanhof a rural character. The architecture emphasises the rural aspect. Thus in his design Walenkamp kept the houses low and he used timber framing in the gable ends.
The Zaanhof in 2005
For the gateways on the north and south sides the architect allowed himself to be inspired by Romanesque church architecture. This can be seen in the Neo-Romanesque arched windows and gable ends. What is striking is the gateway on the west side; it has ornamented pillars in natural stone.
Façade Zaanhof with grand entryway
Above the gate on the west side two tile pictures can be seen. On one of these is a red cockerel with a rising sun, a reference to the rise of socialism at that time. On the other, two white birds with a setting sun can be seen, a reference to the First World War. What is unusual on the north side of the courtyard are the stairs that span the difference in level with the old Spaarndammerdijk (dyke), which is positioned higher up. The body of the dyke is still very much in evidence.