Dear Shaded Viewers & Diane,
Their car slowed and then stopped on the countryside road. This was supposed to be nothing more than a photo-op of a nearby architectural façade. What it became was an unforgettable time-travelling experience into the depths of Dutch history.
“Anybody home?” It was not necessary to enquire before entering the lonely house via the staff’s side door. The secure robustness of the exterior gave away no secrets of the agricultural grandeur that was hidden within – they walked into a rural dynasty that still floated in the air. Walking carefully and respectfully through the main hall, it all became clear – how this tailor-made landscape had once rattled with the sound of progress, the kind an isolated area could produce and proudly export to become noticeable. They witnessed Dutch farming lifestyle at its best – BUTCH & MINIMAL. It jumped out, the familiarity and nostalgia of fairy tales reminiscent of Anton Pieck’s travelling drawings. Wonderful festive days!
Located in Woold, a hamlet in Winterswijk, The Hijink House is not the typical “House in The Woods”, or even “House on The Hill”. Its silent interior space echoed a prosperous felicity attached to success and good luck. The elevated walls of the side rooms softly told the story of a Dutch lessor administrating different activities from the engine-room of his 19th century farm.
The two adjacent granaries were stocked with memories of busy working days, steaming boilers, heavy winters and the spirit of cooperation that helped feed the busy working men of the estate. This spirit of cooperation is still central to the municipality’s approach for The Hijink House, with the immovable property reflecting the hypothetically planned social and economic improvement of the region.
Unlike most monuments, there was no museum cord to limit non-public areas, so the noble materials that defined the interior could be approached for tactile encounters. But instead they walked on high toes in slow motion, letting the wooden floor crack beneath them while they explored this abandoned treasure. It might be on standby today, but the virtue and industry that defined the farm since 1789 is now generating new business. And with it, it will bring back the gorgeous opulence of the past fully dressed in modernity for our indulgence.