0707 – Nijmegen

“I see it as my duty to cherish this house”

In the series The most beautiful house in Nijmegen this time a look at Jurriaan Gerritz, resident of Sint Annastraat 175.

,,This house, from 1910, is of incredible beauty, with a mix of styles. All original elements have been preserved and beautifully restored by the previous occupant. Even the garden is original. If you cycle past this building, you will hardly notice it. The façade, with blue natural stone and sober ornamentation, is understated: Dutch Jugendstil. The tower at the top seems low, but inside it is twice as high. Inside you enter the spacious hall with the beautiful staircase. A bit of English country house style. The hall serves as a living space there. We also use it as such. Sometimes we eat here with a lot of people. And beautiful, that skylight with stained glass on the roof. Also special.”

,,During the Four Days Marches, a lady suddenly stood at the door. She was the granddaughter of the man who built this house for himself, one of the Haspels brothers. These were leading designers and builders who left a big mark on the Nijmegen canals. We took a picture of her on the stairs. She will tell us more about the house one day.”

,,In the interior you can see the Arts and Crafts movement, which connects art and craftsmanship. Painting of walls and ceilings. Stained glass windows with details of flowers, bees … I still keep discovering things. For example, I found a wood paneling behind a panel. With this technique, a more expensive type of wood was painted on a cheap plate. And I discovered a place where a fireplace had been.”

,,It’s a family home. We would move here after the sale, three years ago, when my father-in-law fell. We have adapted the house so that he could live here on the ground floor. We are a few doors down, but we also use this property. It is wonderful to be here with friends, or alone, without the hectic pace of family life. Or to come together with people for dinners or parties.”

“Some friends live upstairs and there is a practice room. My father, a painter, uses the house as an exhibition space. The intention is that we will withdraw here in a while. I see it as my task to cherish this house and make good use of it.”