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When KDV architects became more and more involved in the restauration of heritage buildings in
Suriname, the firm realized that restauration should always be accompagnied by technical and
historical documentation. Therefore, the firm set up small research department dedicated to the above
(only 2 staff : Philip Dikland and Rasijem Karijosemito).
But the research surpassed its initial setup, and has turned into an effort to document all heritage in
Surinam. There are 2 main research activities :
Field research on buildings and plantations
Archive research



Heritage technical database
In Surinam several architects have joined force to set up a database with technical drawings of heritage
buildings. The database is available. https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B88mZFitv8emcjVfcG5hWFJOdWs/edit
Of course this is not a new idea. Coen Temminck-Groll and Arthur Tjin-A-Djie started it in 1970,
and have documented many of the main monumental buildings. However, much still remains to be done.
Many monuments were never measured nor drawn. Each year therefore, a few of them are surveyed.
It is joint effort of several architects, together with students of NATIN, PTC and ADEK and ARTESIS.
Soon it was realized that documentation in the past had never been complete.
This was confirmed in a harsh way after the 1996 burning of some of the most important heritage
buildings of Surinam, at the beginning of Gravenstraat. Temminck-Groll’s documentation was much too
incomplete to serve as a basis for reconstruction.
Therefore, KDV – in collaboration with Carel van Hest architects -  set up a new standard for
documentional drawing. Most historic buildings in Suriname are made of timber, and therefore a
complete documentation of the timber frame is the basis for each drawing. After that, the building is
“clothed” with cladding, doors, windows, and mouldings, all of which must be carefully documented in
drawings and photographs.

Therefore, documentational drawings should minimally contain the following :

Site plan  incl. adjacent buildings - 1:200 of 1:500
All floor plans, detailedly showing the timber frame columns - 1:100
Foundations and drainage system - 1:100
Alle relevant cross sections and longitudinal sections - 1:50
All facades and façade frames - 1:100
All interior frames - 1:100
All floor frames - 1:100
Roof framing
Alle relevant detailling, such as :
Details of the brick basement (“stoep”)
Placement of timber frame on brick basement
Connection of doors / windows to timber frame, verical and horizontal
Facade corner detail, showing corner mouldings (“bloklijsten”)
Detailling of galleries and balconies, vertical and horizontal
Detailling of stairs
Gutter detail
Ridge detail - 1:5/1:10/1:20


At the moment, KDV architects maintains the database and coordinates the efforts of all participants.
However, this is not an ideal situation. A foundation should be established and the database be made
available to all professionals in the heritage field.





Heritage modelling
Some 20 detailed 3D-models of Surinamese heritage buildings in skp-format are available at

Heritage historic database
A database with historic information on some 400 estates and 300 sites in Paramaribo.
The database is extended each year. The database is available. https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B88mZFitv8emcjVfcG5hWFJOdWs/edit






Heritage Image database
A database of some 15000 pictures, documenting the built heritage throughout the country.
This database is not yet available on the internet. 
The pictures consist of :
Historic images from several digital archives
Recent aerial photographs, mainly by KDV (1990-present)
Recent street views, mainly by KDV (1990-present)
Recent building documentation pictures, mainly by KDV (1985-present)








Plantation research
Since 2002, KDV has conducted research on the former plantations along the rivers in Suriname.
Main goal is to determine the physical remains of buildings and machinery still present at the sites.
At present 30% of the former estate area along the rivers has been surveyed, and inventorized.
On many estates substantial remains were found, e.g. foundations, sugar mills and steam machinery.
The results of this research can be found in the technical and historic databases.
The database is available. https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B88mZFitv8emcjVfcG5hWFJOdWs/edit



Land office maps
From 2005-2009, KDV architects has digitized some 3000 old maps in the archives of the Land
Office at Kerkplein in Paramaribo. The archives date back to the beginning of the 18th century, and
contain many unique maps that illustrate the development of colonial Suriname.The digital map
archive is too large to be placed on this site. The database are not yet available on the internet.





General archival research
As a part of the historic research, several archives on Suriname have been digitized (dutch language):
Wijkregisters Paramaribo 1846
Surinaamse couranten 1666-1945 – berichtgeving onroerend goed
gouverneursjournaal 1767-1778 (excerpt, not complete)
Surinaamse archieven in Zeeuws archief (RAZ 2035) 1667-1683
registers oud burgerlijke stand suriname 1688 – 1792
index op notarieele inventarissen ARA Suriname 1698-1780
index op notarieele acten GAA Suriname 1611-1807
These databases are not yet available on the internet.



Jewish cemetery research
KDV has participated in the research of Rachel Franke and Aviva Ben-Ur on 4 Jewish cemeteries in
Suriname, at Jodensavanne, Casipora, Kwattaweg and Keizerstraat. The findings have been published
in the book :
Aviva Ben-Ur and Rachel Franke – Remnant Stones : the Jewish cemeteries of Suriname, 2009




Philip Dikland of KDV architects has been author / co-author of several articles :
Bouwmaterialen in Suriname in de 17e - 19e eeuw, 2002 ; unpublished
De surinaamse plantages en de industrieele revolutie, 2003 ; unpublished
Houten molenbouw in Suriname, 2004 ; unpublished
Introduction to Surinam timber architecture, co-author Carel van Hest ;
in : timer framing journal no. 75, march 2005
Het archief van de Dienst der Domeinen te Paramaribo, 2005 ; unpublished
Landmeters in Suriname 1667 – 1861 ;
in : Wi Rutu jaargang 5 no. 2, december 2005
Bouwmeesters in Suriname 1667 - 1940, 2006 ; unpublished
Historische grafplaatsen in de districten en verspreide graven in Paramaribo, 2006 ; unpublished
Bedreigde grafplaatsen in Paramaribo, co-author Jannes H. Mulder
in : Oso, Tijdschrift voor Surinaamse Taalkunde, Letterkunde, Cultuur en Geschiedenis 2005,
jaargang 24(2) p. 263-275
Several of these articles are available. https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B88mZFitv8emcjVfcG5hWFJOdWs/edit
Philip Dikland / KDV architects have collaborated in 3 books :
Michel Bakker en Olga van der Klooster – Architectuur en bouwcultuur in Suriname, 2009
Aviva Ben-Ur and Rachel Franke – Remnant Stones : the Jewish cemeteries of Suriname, 2009
Fineke van der Veen, Dick ter Steege, Chandra van Binnendijk – Dromers, doemdenkers en
doorzetters, verhalen van mensen en gebouwen in Coronie, 2010


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