Country Residence/Museum Jachthuis Sint Hubertus, the former residence of the Kröller-Müllers, is one of the most iconic buildings in the Netherlands.
Jachthuis Sint Hubertus was designed by the renowned architect Hendrikus Petrus Berlage (1856-1934). Berlage had already worked for the Kröllers before landing this illustrious contract; he was commissioned to design an office building in London. He also designed the Schipborg - a model farm in Anloo, a village in the Dutch province of Drenthe.
The design contract for the building that would forever link the names Berlage and Kröller-Müller, was likely signed in early 1915.
Jachthuis Sint Hubertus was inspired by an English country house. Typical features of this style include special quarters for each family member, such as the library, the smoking room, boudoirs, and the billiards room. The V-shaped building is another such feature.
Other characteristics that give the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus its distinctive and individual style were borrowed from Berlage. These include the extreme geometric precision with which it was executed, the natural stone, the glazed tiles, the coffered ceilings, and the integrated 'applied art'. Everything was executed with the utmost care because, to Berlage, every interruption and concession would take away from the whole. Berlage's desire to implement his vision without concession led to frequent disagreements between him and his client, Helene. In turn, these disagreements delayed the building process.
The distinctive tower on Jachthuis Sint Hubertus is atypical of English Country House style. It is, however, a defining feature in Berlage's buildings. The tower was added at the request of the Kröller-Müllers, who wanted to enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.
Jachthuis Sint Hubertus is a rather unusual addition to Berlage's oeuvre. His careful attention to the art of design in the house is a departure from the rational and methodical style for which he was known. This is just one of the many reasons why the building has enjoyed such critical acclaim in the Netherlands and abroad.
While Berlage was usually commissioned to design the building alone, in the case of the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus, he also designed the interior, right down to the cutlery itself. He also designed the grounds on which the building sits, including a park with a large pond and a bridge extending over a portion of the pond. As a result, the 'Jachthuis' is considered a Gesamtkunstwerk, or universal artwork.
Jachthuis Sint Hubertus was completed in 1920. The couple used the house mainly as a country house. Only in their final years did it become their permanent residence.