Villa Eikhold

Villa Eikhold

Villa Eikhold is an attractive, monumental villa surrounded by a beautiful garden. Built in 1913 to a design by Amsterdam architect Philip Warners Jr. and commissioned by J. Koster. The architectural style used is traditionalist with Eclecticism influence. It is a detached two-storey villa under a hipped roof and several small gable roofs, covered with slates.



On the edge of Terworm nature reserve at 72 Valkenburgerweg lies the Friends of Nature Villa Eikhold. It is housed in a beautiful old villa that was commissioned by Ir. Jan Koster in 1913. This son from a Lutheran Amsterdam family joined the Laura mine at the age of 25. A mechanical engineer, he soon saw the opportunities in South Limburg and founded the "Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot het verrichten van mijnbouwkundige werken" in 1901. He was successful not only in the Netherlands but also in Germany and England, the U.S.A and the Dutch East Indies. All this time, he lived in Heerlen. To accommodate his staff, he had houses built in Eykenerveld and, in 1913, a large villa on Valkenburgerweg for himself and his wife Paula Helena Greeven.

Jan Koster also owned oil wells in Argentina and Romania. During the 1934 stock market crash in Argentina, Mr Koster lost 1.4 million guilders. This loss affected him so much that he died as a result in 1935. After Mr Koster's death, his wife was left alone, but his wife continued the couple's social function. She lived in the house with her companion Fraulein Gertrude Kannegiezer and remained the cordial hostess especially for the children in the Welten neighbourhood. After her death in 1954, the villa was sold to the Stichting Exploitatie Ontwikkelings en Vakantieoord Zuid Limburg for lack of heirs. In 1955, it was transferred to Stichting Natuurvriendenhuizen in Amsterdam, today's Nivon.

The villa, originally called Villa Welteroord, dates from 1913. The villa was built to a design by architect Philip Warners jr. who thus saw one of his first commissions come true. Designing country houses for family members was among his first building assignments. Jan Koster was his uncle. (1) The villa has characteristics of various styles and movements and is part of our cultural heritage. In 1999, Villa Eikhold became a national monument. The name is derived from Eyckholt Castle, which is mentioned as early as 1381 but unfortunately is now just a nearby ruin. Its location is remarkable. During construction, workmen stumbled upon ancient graves and revealed its location atop a Roman burial ground, directly bordering the Vicus Coriovallum, the ancient Roman name for Heerlen.


After the death of Paula Helena Greeven, the NIVON started activities at the villa in 1955, continuing the social and community involvement of the Koster family. The number of beds in the villa, divided into eight rooms, soon proved insufficient. In 1978, work began on the construction of a sleeping wing and by the end of June 1979, the first guests could be accommodated there. No longer in rooms with 4 or 8 beds, but in 28 double rooms. Thus, more than 80 beds are now available.The estate included a large park-like garden in addition to the main house and a Coach House, where in addition to the large barn for carriages, there was a small living area for the two servants.

Architectural description

Detached villa on a rectangular ground plan. The villa has two storeys under a hipped roof and several small gable roofs. The roofs are covered with slate. There is a segmental arched dormer window in the front gable roof. The building material used is brick with cross-bond brickwork. Blue brick plinth, red brick elevation. Rectangular wooden windows and doors. Windows partly with stained glass and with bluestone sills and keystones. Symmetrical layout

Front gable All gable edges with block tooth decoration. Left and right front gables protruding and with chequered gable edges. Both gables end in gables and are covered with a gable roof with wide eaves. A three-sided wooden bay window with flat roof on the first storey of the projecting façade sections. In the second storey of these facade parts a three-piece window and in the gable a small two-piece window. Main entrance in the receding central part of the façade. Front door under large wooden awning resting on four wooden columns. Wooden columns with fluting and capitals. Basement and entrance stairs in brick. On the flat roof of the canopy a balcony with wooden railing. Rectangular wooden balcony doors with sidelights. Door in segmental arched frame of blocks of bluestone. Hardstone partly with ornaments. Door with top and side lights in stained glass. Rectangular window on either side of door.

Left side gable slightly projecting and extending into a gable with gable roof with wide roof overhang. A three-piece window in the gable. In the first storey of the middle section of the left side gable, a semi-circular bay window with flat roof, surmounted by a balcony with brick balustrades. This balustrade has five openings with wrought-iron railings. The balcony turns into a loggia: entrance with two wooden columns with fluting. On these columns a wooden crossbeam. In the bay, a rectangular wooden door with two tall rectangular windows on either side. Door and window with skylights with stained glass. At the front of the bay window a wide terrace with brick balustrade topped with several stone balls and a bluestone cover. Terrace extends to rear elevation. Small openings in the balustrade. Terrace with brick entrance steps. In the gable planes on either side of the bay window in the first storey a two-piece window with fanlights and in the second storey a two-piece window.

Right rear gable extending into a gable with a two-piece window in it and capped with a gable roof. The terrace of the left gable extends halfway up the gable. In the first floor of the right part of the rear façade, double terrace doors with side and top lights. A wooden awning with flat roof resting on four wooden columns with fluting and capitals. Wooden columns on brick bases. In the second storey of this part of the facade a three-piece window. In the first storey of the middle and left rear facade, a connecting corridor from around 1984 to the bedhouse. In the second storey of the middle section of the rear gable, a fire escape dating from around 1984. This facade section is closed by an arched segmental dormer window. The left rear gable ends in a gable with a gable roof with eaves projection. Asymmetrical layout right side façade Central part of right side façade extending into a continuous façade section with two four-piece staircase windows and a segmental arched termination. Source: National Cultural Heritage Agency

Recognised training company

Natuurvriendenhuis Eikhold offers several internships in Facility Services at MBO level. Doing an internship at the Friends of Nature House means working in a dynamic environment where growth and innovation are paramount. People working at the Friends of Nature House Eikhold are enthusiastic, customer-oriented, and driven. The informal and transparent atmosphere means that everyone is close by and you can switch quickly and easily. As an intern, we see you as a fully-fledged colleague, which makes you learn a lot more.

The different internships

You've probably seen it mentioned: BOL and BBL? It's quite simple. It basically has everything to do with how many days in the week you go to school.

BOL is the abbreviation for Beroeps opleidende Leerweg, a combination of school and internship. You go to school all week. You also do one or more periods of work placement. This is called professional practice training (BPV).

BBL, At Beroepsbegeleidende Leerweg, you work and learn at the same time. Besides your real job, for which you have an employment contract with an employer, you go to Arcus for 1 or 2 days. The company where you work must be a learning company recognised by the Collaboration Organisation for Vocational Education and Training.

Social internship

For over 3 years, we had been working with PPL. 2-4 students followed a social internship at NVH Eikhold on Wednesdays. The interns provide support in housekeeping, technical services and gardening.

The group internship

During the group internship, a group of VSO middle or upper secondary students, under the guidance of a teacher or teaching assistant, will carry out internship activities at a nearby location.

The aim of the group internship is to allow pupils to gain experience in a company or institution, under the guidance of a trusted person. In this way, pupils gain practical experience outside school and are better prepared for the individual external internship that takes place in VSO upper secondary school.