The Faculty Club Huize Heyendael is located in the beautiful Huize Heyendael, also known as 'het kasteeltje van Jurgens'. This striking university building now houses office spaces and the Faculty Club Huize Heyendael.
Kasteeltje van Jurgens
In 1912, the centuries-old Heyendael estate was purchased by margarine manufacturer Frans Jurgens from Oss, who wanted to live there with his family. Since the already existing country house - the current 'Oud-Heyendael' - was old and too small, he commissioned architect Charles M.F.H. Estourgie to design a large country house. Construction began in November 1912.
A park in the English landscape style was laid out around the house, and a beautiful entrance gate was added on the Sint Annastraat. In the woods, Jurgens had thousands of rhododendrons planted to improve the wildlife population. After all, hunting was one of his favorite hobbies.
In 1914, Huize Heyendael was completed. The architect appeared to be clearly inspired by the Dutch Renaissance style, of which the stepped gables at the front and back and the many decorations in natural stone are clear features. The building, which is slightly elevated in relation to the garden, is asymmetrical in design and has a 30.5-meter high, octagonal tower on the north side.
The sculpture on the exterior is mostly made by Egidius Everaerts. The main entrance on the north side in the form of a Greek temple front and the large balcony on the south side are made entirely of stone. The stepped gables are crowned by stone eagles and in the friezes (under the cornice) female heads are carved, representing the eleven Dutch provinces. The heads of architect Estourgie, contractor J.C. Kropman and owner Jurgens are also immortalized in stone. More fine carvings can be found here and there.
The interior is also special, although much has disappeared over time. It was largely designed by Estourgie's nephew, painter A.H. Trautwein. A number of elements were taken from houses elsewhere in the country and some were centuries old. A large stained-glass window in the stairwell shows Frans Jurgens with his wife and four children, surrounded by figures of flowers and plants. Also special are the fireplace in the main hall, the decorated plinths in the stairwell, various stucco ceilings and the paneling and paintings, some of which date from the 18th century.
The former dining room is in a Louis XIV style. A number of so-called wallpaper paintings in this room were made in 1736 by the German Jurriaan Buttner and probably used to hang in Amsterdam mansions. Other paintings are by Trautwein himself. The paintings on the ceiling were lost in an indoor fire in 1948 and were subsequently replaced with new ones.
St. Radboud Foundation
Huize Heyendael remained owned by the Jurgens family until 1949. Then it was sold with a large part of the surrounding estate to the St. Radboud Foundation, which had founded the Roman Catholic University in 1923 and planned to establish the medical faculty at Heyendael. And so it happened: from 1951, many university buildings were erected around "the little castle," as the house is still called today. Since then, Huize Heyendael is no longer a country house. The striking building now serves as a meeting centre, perhaps as the symbol of Radboud University Nijmegen.
Source: www.noviomagus.nl, Hylke Roodenburg