Wassenaar: Ivicke’s Zoning Plan, a Monumental Fuck Up

Enforcement of a zoning plan would suggest there is a plan. There isn’t.

The municipality of Wassenaar has decided to pursue our eviction from Huize Ivicke on the basis of the building’s zoning plan which designates its function as an office, not a residence.

Their reasoning for the decision appears to be that ‘Kantoor Ivicke’ must become ‘uninhabited’ once again in order to be ‘presentable.’ Strange, since we all seem to recall that Ivicke being uninhabited is what led to it becoming unpresentable in the first place.

The fact that it is a house, that it has largely been used as a house, that anti-squat guardians lived at Ivicke for several years under the current owner’s watch, and that many thousands of people are living “illegally” in non-residential (and often state-owned) buildings as anti-squat guardians across the country is apparently irrelevant.

The normalization of actual offices and other business premises as anti-squat housing – operating in a ‘legal grey zone’ – demonstrates that Ivicke’s designation as an office is incidental; a handy bureaucratic tool the municipality can choose to use or disregard, depending on their interests at any given time. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Ivicke Sales Seizure, First Step To Expropriation?

The municipality of Wassenaar is going to court to annul the recent sales of Ivicke by the owner, Ronnie van de Putte, to two of his newly-established companies.

Van de Putte is currently subject to an administrative order from the municipality of Wassenaar to carry out restoration works on Ivicke by July 20. Otherwise, the municipality intends to carry out the work itself and send him the bill.

Thing is though, this bill could quickly add up. And van de Putte isn’t known for paying his debts.

Ivicke’s restoration costs are thought to be around 500,000 euros but this can (and probably will) shoot up once the works begin. Especially since there has not yet been a full architectural assessment.

Kees Wassenaar, the city’s alderman for spatial planning, said the dispute over Ivicke has already cost Wassenaar hundreds of thousands of euros. A spokesperson for the municipality did not want to give an exact overall figure, but the city has incurred around 40,000 in legal costs alone.

These spiraling costs are what led the municipality of Wassenaar to ask the province of Zuid-Holland for help. In response, Zuid-Holland pledged a maximum of 500,000 euros from its monument restoration fund for 2020. We stand against this abuse of public funds for a project that does not meet the criteria set by Zuid-Holland’s own monument restoration policy, where there is no guarantee the money could be recouped, and which does not guard against a new cycle of neglect and decay. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Report on Ivicke’s ‘Emergency Repairs’

In January, following the court ruling stating that the owner must comply with the municipality’s order to carry out emergency repairs, a contractor began the works on Ivicke.

At the request of members of two monument protection organisations, we sent a report (below) to the municipality, with details about how the repairs were carried out. We didn’t receive a response. Instead, municipal officials announced they would inspect the building. We agreed to this and showed the inspectors and the contractor around, pointing out the issues we’d already raised in the letter. The officials barely engaged with us, and merely went around with a clipboard and ticked off boxes. The conclusion of the municipality was that the owner fulfilled the obligation to do emergency repairs. Yay! Win-win for the municipality, who successfully enforced their administrative order, and for the owner, who can keep them off his back (for now). [Read More]

Wassenaar: Huize Ivicke, Restoration Through Expropriation

Instead of unconditionally gifting half a million euros of public money to Van de Putte’s property portfolio, Ivicke must be expropriated before it can be restored. Only then is its future secure.

The province of South-Holland pledged to pay 500,000 euros for Huize Ivicke’s restoration if the municipality of Wassenaar is unable to recover the costs from the owner, Ronnie van de Putte.

This amounts to yet another handout of public money to a parasitic financial firm.

The move comes after the municipality of Wassenaar placed an administrative order on van de Putte last November which supposedly compels him to complete Ivicke’s restoration by July, 2020. Van de Putte contested this order in court, but lost.

In the event that van de Putte does not comply with the administrative order, the municipality of Wassenaar said they will arrange for Ivicke’s restoration and send him the bill. A spokesperson for the municipality of Wassenaar described this scenario as “unlikely,” but past experience tells us otherwise. Ask Amsterdam, Sluis, Noordwijk, or Leiden. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Huize Ivicke, One Night With The VVD

Late last year, VVD Wassenaar organized a ‘political cafe’ on the topic of Ivicke and squatting. The event, with little sense of irony, was called ‘Kraken of Actie?’ In three words, VVD Wassenaar disregarded one and a half years of direct action to reverse the decline of a national monument, whilst presenting their party, who sat idly by until it was squatted, as the saviours of Ivicke. Can’t deny their skills as politicians.

Two of the three invited speakers were VVD politicians. Strangely enough, we were not the third invitee. The first speaker, Daniel Koerhuis, has energetically taken on the role of the latest squatter-basher in parliament for the VVD as its housing spokesperson. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Huize Ivicke’s Nomination for 7 Most Endangered

In the summer of 2019, we were approached to help with the nomination process to have Huize Ivicke shortlisted as one of the 7 Most Endangered heritage sites in Europe under a program run by Europa Nostra. As the current occupants, we offered our perspective as part of the application. A photographer also came round to take pictures for Europa Nostra. While Ivicke made the shortlist of the final 14, it was not selected as one of the 7 Most Endangered. We can only presume that this is because we have saved it from immediate danger…(?)

Ivicke perspective by current occupants:

We represent the current occupants of the monumental villa Ivicke, located in Wassenaar, The Netherlands. The residence was occupied on July 4, 2018 without permissions from the owner. In light of Ivicke’s nomination for Europa Nostra’s 7 most endangered programme, we would like to share our perspective. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Living in a Haunted Palace

King of Slums

Early in July 2018, the rapidly decaying historical manor house and the surrounding wooded park Ívicke at Rust en Vreugdlaan 2 in Wassenaar were squatted. Built as a little paradise — degraded to a real estate speculator’s plaything. His name is Ronnie van de Putte: a man with an eye-catching reputation in the world of real estate, infamous for speculating with prime locations and deliberately letting cultural heritage rot away for decades. In the seventies and eighties he acquired the nickname the ‘King of Slums’ and ‘Van de Beerputte’ (‘beerput’ is Dutch for ‘cesspool’). Van de Putte made a fortune buying real estate and reselling it for profit, but he never built or developed anything. For decades, Bever Holding (the real estate fund held by Ronnie and his wife Ria) has left a trail of slums and urban voids throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. Among Van de Putte’s most noteworthy achievements are the total deterioration of a former monastery in Zeeland (abandoned for thirty years) and inviting the collapse of an old horse stable in Noordwijk, creating quite a stir in March 2018, after the place burnt for the third time and the owner still refused to clean up the mess. Also his “Void of Palace” (where the Palace Hotel was located) and the Vuurtorenplein are an ongoing subject of conflict between Van de Putte and the municipality of Noordwijk. In Leiden, a little further south, Ronnie played the same game with the ‘Void of Van de Putte’, right in front of the train station. In 2005, during the kick-off of the nationwide Woonstrijd! Action Tour (‘Woonstrijd’ means ‘Fight for Housing’), the void and the neighbouring office building were squatted and turned into Vrijplaats Multipleks († 2015). Due to clerical errors, the municipality failed to expropriate the building from Van de Putte, which, in 2010, resulted in councilman Van Woensel (VVD: the liberal party) acquiescing to the ‘King of Slums’ and rewarding him handsomely for twenty years of deceiving the municipality: to the tune of 17,9 million euros! [Read More]

Wassenaar: Rust Vreugd Terreur, benefit festival in support of legal costs

May 17th & 18th 2019, Rust Vreugd Terreur at Huize Ívicke, Rust en Vreugdlaan 2 in Wassenaar, a benefit festival in support of legal costs for WH7 Amsterdam, AC Den Haag, and K19 Zeist in corporation with ]LAG(

With legal fees and bills to pay and anniversaries to celebrate, Rust Vreugd en Terreur brings together an eclectic coagulation of visual and sonic experiences. Analogue and digital conjoin in outbursts of DIY and antifascist spirits, resonating sweet harmonics and harsh noises. Two days of performances, workshops, bands, vj’s, dj’s and more in the subverted pinnacle of bourgeois decadence that is Huize Ivicke. All capital accumulation will be redistributed towards the below three court cases.
Two arrestees of the Wijde Heisteeg are in threat by time in jail, fines and DNA samples. Four arrestees of the Autonomous centre in The Hague are still proceeding against fines and probation. Five arrestees of Zeist are summoned.
All arrestees of the above cases were temporarily taken into custody for squatting and are now being prosecuted. Their living spaces remain empty, or partly used by anti squat. They were evicted from places in which active autonomous subculture was thriving without any governmental support or interference. Instead of being grateful for their social function, they are put aside and criminalized [Read More]

Wassenaar: Huize Ivicke squatted

Wassenaar, july 5th 2018 – This week, the rapidly decaying mansion Huize Ivicke, at Rust en Vreugdlaan 2, was squatted. Built like a little palace – stripped by a real estate speculator.

His name is Ronnie van de Putte: a man with a remarkable reputation in the real estate world, notorious for speculating with A-locations and deliberately letting monuments rot away. Bever Holding, the real estate fund in which Ronnie van de Putte owns the majority of the shares, owns the mansion and lets it rot for years. It has therefore been given the appearance of a haunted house, which it is to some extent as a ‘letterbox’ for a range of Ronnie affiliates.

The sad fate of Huize Ivicke is a perfect example of speculation. Because the owner renounced his social responsibility for this special monument and the government seems incapable of changing this (1), we as a group of people looking for a house, squatted the mansion. With the help of friends and family we want to do some work around and on the house in the coming weeks and start a creative living-group here. By living in Huize Ivicke and taking the necessary care of it, we hope to save the monument from further decay. [Read More]