Kleur Veenhuizen: Handboek voor Onderhoud


Bet, E. & Hinterthur, H. (2022). Kleur Veenhuizen: Handboek voor onderhoud [Color Veenhuizen: Handbook for Maintenance] (1ste editie).

This publication is the handbook to the color range for the colony of Veenhuizen. It was created for residents, owners and policy makers, as well as those curious about the genesis of the buildings and landscape.

The “pauper colony” Veenhuizen was built in 1822 to give beggars, vagrants and poor families from the big cities a better life in the countryside. Gradually, Veenhuizen developed into a penal colony. Its transformation into a prison village triggered a huge building boom. By the beginning of the 20th century, Veenhuizen had become a self-sufficient prison village with schools, churches, a hospital, work buildings, farms and service houses in which life between prisoners and residents was strongly intertwined. Until 1983, Veenhuizen was closed to the public. Only those who also worked lived here. With the exception of the churches, all of Veenhuizen was owned and collectively managed and maintained by the State.

Veenhuizen has since changed from a Justice village to a residential landscape that still includes a number of prisons in use. The transition from one large owner to many owners means the transition from collective to individually performed maintenance and management. Especially with the residential houses, the effects of this become visible. Windows are replaced, shutters disappear and the paintwork of the components takes on different colors. As a result, the so characteristic series and families of buildings are fading.

The handbook and the color range focus on the model homes and farms from the period between 1884 and 1930 and on the structuring and recurring components of the buildings and landscape. There are a number of practical reasons for this. The keynote of Veenhuizen is anchored in the repeatable building types and general supports of the landscape. In particular, it is these homes and farms that will be privately managed and maintained and have an interest in accessible and manageable knowledge. The handbook supplements the color wheel with knowledge of the buildings, how they were built, with what building materials, details and colors. And it shows the landscape components that define the characteristic image, in the street and in the yard.