In de verte klinken geweerschoten en ontploffingen afkomstig van het defensie oefenterrein. Voor me doemt gebouw A van Radio Kootwijk op. Het beeld en de geluiden creëren een bizarre sfeer en gedachten schieten door mijn hoofd; van Art-Deco, naar een Communistisch bolwerk, naar de NAZI architectuur van Speer.
Gebouw A is in 1920 ontworpen door Julius Luthmann. Het zendgebouw moest energiezuinig en onbrandbaar zijn en is daarom enkel gebouwd uit beton.
The former radio station “Radio Kootwijk” is situated in the heart of the “Veluwe” , a wonderful natural reserve area.
During WWI, an independent radio link with the Dutch Indies (former Indonesia) became increasingly important. For example all messages via the sea cable, were censured by the British during the war. The obtain independence in these communications, a large transmitter station was built in 1917, in the Malabar Gorge near Bandung on the island of Java. For the Dutch counterpart of this radio link, a suitable location was found on the sand dunes near the village of Kootwijk. Architect Luthmann made a complete design for this establishment. In 1920 the construction started for the actual transmitter building, which is entirely constructed from armoured concrete, a novelty in those days.
The State owned Postal and Telegraph company (PTT) began utilising Radio Kootwijk in 1923 for long wave telegraph transmissions. The equipment was installed in Building A, which is also dubbed as “The Cathedral”. The first actual radio communication with the Dutch Indies, started in 1928, with the historical words: “Hello Bandung, here Kootwijk”. These historical words. are still iconic for many Dutchmen nowadays.
From 1970, Radio Kootwijk supported maritime communications for the “Radio Scheveningen” station, in particular for long-distance communication with vessels at large. Transmission stopped entirely in 1998.