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Where the Dutch Architecture Meets the Land

A Fairy Tale Location

Straight out of a 17th-century masterpiece, Wierdijkje has been found on maps as far back as the Middle Ages. On this coastal stretch of the province of North Holland, where the wind has free play over the land, adorned by meadows lined with trees moulded by the sea wind, a path disappears amongst shrubs and dunes stand in the distance. It is a protected area, so for the time being, nothing disturbs this idyllic picture.

Gallery owners Jorg and Hannah Grimm bought an old stolp farmhouse here in 2014. The house lies on the edge of the village of Bergen, a renowned artists colony. At the beginning of the last century, Bergen was a haven for artists of every sort and between 1915 and 1925, what became known in Dutch fine art history as the Dutch Bergense School took shape here.

A Village Steeped in Dutch Architecture

There are still plenty of examples of the period’s architectural style found in the village. The Dutch architecture blends into the natural environment of its surroundings. Modern architecture and villas with little or no relationship to the authentic character of the village have crept in through the years.

The Grimm’s house is a classic stolp farmhouse, defined by its pyramid-shaped roof. These farmhouses litter the North Holland countryside and the coast of the Netherlands. While they may not be farmhouses any longer, most of them have been renovated, retaining and preserving the Dutch architecture characteristic of this region.

This specific stolp farmhouse, built in 1905, sits on the foundation of an older farm. Most of the land surrounding it was owned by the noble Van Stolk family, who gave 1000m2 of their land to their friend, painter Jaap Min at the beginning of the last century.

Min raised his six children on the farm and painted in the old stable. He raised the ceiling in the central area of the house to create more light and space for his art. By 2014 when the Grimms bought the house, it was on the market as a building plot because the place was so dilapidated. The family was pleased to hear that the Grimms planned to keep the house and restore it, which sealed the sale.

Jorg and Hannah Grimm

Jorg Grimm established GRIMM in 2005. The gallery now represents thirty international artists.

He and Hannah made it the gallery’s mission to support the work of emerging and mid-career artists. Their main gallery is near Amsterdam’s museum square. In 2016, they opened a second gallery space in a classical canal house in Amsterdam. In 2017 they opened an ample exhibition space across two floors opposite the New Museum of Contemporary Art in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City.

We wanted to preserve the house as much as possible, but the most important reasons we bought it were the location and the view. Plus, it is very close to the sea. We have kept the old ‘stolp’ farmhouse, as far as was possible, in the original form.

The Grimms Vision

The Grimms bought the house, intending to turn it into a weekend home where art is the binding element to offer them peace in their otherwise exhilarating life in the art world.

Jorg and Hannah replaced the roof with Dutch hollow roof tiles, all handmade dating back to around 1900. They have renovated the entire interior and designed it to make space for many guests. The house now has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and an attic room with extra sleeping space. A steep, old Dutch staircase leads to the first floor, which houses the master bedroom and en-suite bathroom.

The interior design is eclectic and distinctly personal. The house design holds the family’s three children in mind, their domain being the largest part of the first floor under the pointed roof. The living area is one continuous space on the garden side with a large dining table and kitchen, creating the perfect layout for enjoying a weekend escape with friends.

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