The assignment for the meeting centre of the theosophical P.C. Meuleman Foundation came from C.H. van der Leeuw. In 1912, Van der Leeuw became a member of the Dutch division of the theosophical movement, set up in New York in 1875. His idea was that the improvement of human well-being would result in a harmonious society.
The Theosophical Tempel under construction, later Cinetol and now a public library, 1926.
A series of assignments
Initially Van der Leeuw enlisted the services of K.P.C. de Bazel, who was also a theosophist, but after his death in 1923 he looked to Brinkman and Van der Vlugt. This duo later designed his home in Rotterdam (1927-1929) and became well-known with the Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam (1931), Van der Leeuw’s coffee, tea and tobacco business.
Cinetol as seen from the (former) city archive building, 1980.
The fan-shaped building is finished in reinforced concrete and has an ascending green copper roof. In 1928 it was extended on the right-hand side with an administration office and library building, also in the style of modern architecture: whitewashed and with steel windows.
Interior of Cinetol, 1997.
During the Second World War the building was fitted out as a cinema, later called Cinétol. In 1979 the cinema closed its doors. It was not until 1984 that it was renovated to turn it into a public library. The right wing, to this day, still houses the theosophical society.