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Troelstra resort

The socialist J.C. Van Epen (1880-1960) enters his Troelstra resort scheme in a limited competition in 1925, held by the Netherlands Federation of Labor Unions, to design a holiday resort for workers. He submits a design with an idealistic, symbolic and almost religious character.

He labels it with the motto "Sun of the Night," and compares his own work with that of the socialist politician Troelstra in his fight against Capitalism. "I have designed a holiday resort for workers, and also expressed the spirit of the great man Pieter Jelles, who to me is purely the man who brought light to the deeply oppressed worker. PJ was the sun of the night."

"I aimed to make a divine resort for the laborers at rest, full of luxury, ease and tranquility to let him come to rest. Alongside a great heath with stately stairs on both sides, the sculptures of idealistic artists are carved, representing "join up in masses and thousands, nothing can withstand you." Thus we climb the hill of the road from Arnhem and arrive at the Troelstraoord. At the entrance a figure is carved, representing a laborer who has broken his heavy chain, the liberation from enslavement with the Red Flag above him, the sun of the night interpreted in the tower in which the red light shines into the heavens."

The competition jury, whose members include H.P. Berlage, is comparatively pragmatic in its assessment of this design: "The entrance is too confined, and the siting of the toilets just behind it is clumsy. Architecturally, this is a poorly composed design."


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