Wassenaar: Ivicke remains – empty

Wassenaar (Netherlands) – The inhabitants of Huize Ívicke on Rust en Vreugdlaan (avenue of rest and joy) in Wassenaar have left. The monumental country house, which they returned to meaningful use in July 2018 after years of vacancy, is once again free as a bird. What will happen to the fairy-tale mansion and the surrounding estate in the coming years, no one knows. If it were up to slum king Ronnie van de Putte, the villa would rather be on fire yesterday than today in order to ultimately make as much profit with the estate as possible.

As friends of this autonomous residential community, which has allowed the abandoned estate to flourish in an impressive way in 4 years, we are very concerned about the future of Ívicke. Although the property – with its many rooms – was built 110 years ago as a residential home, the municipality of Wassenaar has fought tooth and nail to ensure that it may no longer be inhabited by anyone. Now – in accordance with the zoning plan – an office is to be built, but which company and when? Van de Putte seems to be the last one to worry about this question. And that is worrisome, because several of his hovels have already mysteriously gone up in flames. Not for nothing has the municipality now placed fences and cameras around Ívicke.

Haunted House

On Thursday morning, on the court-appointed eviction date, the police were on hand to evict our friends from their homes, but it turned out that the last residents had already left. After a months-long process of lawsuits, the battle for Huize Ívicke seems to have come to an end for the time being. Now that no one lives there anymore and the owner still has no concrete plans (except for keeping the municipality on a tight leash) we can this time point to the municipality as the genius who has brought the curse of vacancy on this national monument. Wassenaar gets her infamous haunted house back.

Free space

By making the property wind and waterproof and making it their home, the squatters saved Ívicke in a sense. After many years, the rooms were heated again, the overgrown outdoor courtyard was cleared, and a vegetable garden, compost toilets, and a fire pit, among other things, were created. We have fond memories of those early days, when the residential community took shape and received a lot of support from friends, family and squatters from other cities, who sometimes helped for days.

In the months following the squatting, Ívicke became a “rest and joy” place for more and more people. Like many other squatters and autonomous people from the cities, we liked to come to the monumental country house with our tents to escape the city bustle under an old beech or oak tree. In addition, there was a lot of collaboration to get things done. In the basement, workshop spaces, a bar and a party room were set up. In the central room, cafes and concerts were organized. Around the house, workshop and skillshare days were held by action groups from the climate movement, the No Border Camp settled there and festivals followed in cooperation with artists and autonomous people from the Amsterdam area.

Ivicke House is empty again. But let’s not be sad forever, because we are still going to squat in so many beautiful places!
Thanks everyone for the great years, and wishing all the displaced people the best.

A few friends of Ívicke

Villa Ivicke
Wassenaar, The Netherlands
ivickeautonoom [at] riseup [dot] net

Some squats in the Netherlands: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/NL/squated/squat
Groups (social center, collective, squat) in the Netherlands: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/NL
Events in the Netherlands: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/NL