Huize Ivicke in Wassenaar

In December 2019, Europa Nostra published the list of the 14 European heritage sites shortlisted for the 7 Most Endangered programme 2020. In the past years I’ve photographed different nominated sites for Europa Nostra, like the Casino in Constanta – Romania, the Buffer Zone in Nicosia – Cyprus and the Citadel of Alessandria – Italy. During 2020 I will be photographing a couple of the sites that are nominated for this year. Earlier this month I started with the beautiful Huize Ivicke in Wassenaar, The Netherlands.

Huize Ivicke in Wassenaar is currently not abandoned. The house has been inhabited by squatters since July 2018. These young and idealistic people are trying to save the building by physically carrying out immediate emergency repairs and living in the house. The technically illegal squatters are tolerated by the municipality as they are cooperating and working to save the building. They have brought publicity to the situation regarding this property and the stalled negotiations between the owner and the Municipality. However and luckily, in the last months the Municipality of Wassenaar, with advice from the Dutch Heritage Agency (RCE) and support from local, national and European heritage NGOs, has taken concrete legal measures to force the proper restoration of the estate. Hopefully they will be successful in saving it.

At this very moment, a contractor is carrying out emergency repairs to make the building water- and windproof.

History of the site

In 1912, Adrianus Frederikus Johannes van Hattum bought a piece of land (that was previously part of the Dutch royal Backershagen country estate) where he had Huize Ivicke built on. He was married to Xenia Maria Pousette from Denmark. The house became a fairly faithful copy of the Eremitageslottet, the Hermitage hunting lodge in the World Heritage Jaegersborg Dyrehave (Deer Park), north of Copenhagen.

The Ivicke house was built by local architect G.J. van der Mark in 1913. Mrs. Van Hattum-Pousette only lived in the house for about nine years. She died in the house in December 1922, at the age of 33. Her husband later remarried Leoni Hubertina Anna Maria van Zweden. After Van Hattum died in 1961, his widow handed over the house to Lady Gusta Elise Gertrude van der Wyck, wife of banker Paul Adrien Huet. The Huet couple were the last residents. The house first became vacant and was given an office function around 1986.

Since its sale in 2000 to the current owner, Huize Ivicke has been left abandoned to degrade and decay. Huize Ivicke is owned by Muntendamsche Investerings Maatschappij b.v., a company managed by Bever Holding n.v. (owned by Ronnie van de Putte). If other properties of this real estate investor are an indication, he will patiently wait for the building to be declared dangerous and beyond salvage, so that it will be delisted as a monument. This scenario would allow the owner to then demolish the house and sell the land to a developer or back to the municipality at great profit.

The country estate, including the stately house Ivicke, the laid out garden, the wooden children’s play house at the back of the property, and the monumental entrance gate are collectively and separately listed Dutch National Monuments.

The historical facts are provided by Europa Nostra.

More photos showing the current state of Huize Ivicke: