Catsheuvel (Cats' Hill)
Catsheuvel appartments. Photo: Klaas Vermaas / CC

Can’t get servants? Come and live here!

This spot is at the edge of the pre-war Zorgvliet villa area. The opening of architect H.P. Berlage’s new Gemeentemuseum in 1935 marked the completion of this residential development on the former Sorghvliet estate.

The appearance of the area contrasted strongly with that of the adjacent Statenkwartier, with its straight streets of uninterrupted terraced housing. In Zorgvliet, the houses were detached or linked together in curved rows. The only high-rise buildings were two ‘woonhotels’ (=residential hotels), a phenomenon typical of The Hague. One of them stood here. Called Catsheuvel, it was a luxury apartment complex created as an alternative to villa life and inspired by a shortage of domestic staff. It offered a restaurant, a residents’ lounge and modern conveniences like central heating and an internal telephone system.

The residents did not have long to enjoy the amenities of the area. Most of the neighbourhood was flattened to make way for the Atlantic Wall. Catsheuvel, the Gemeentemuseum and a handful of villas survived. Between 2004 and 2006, Catsheuvel was demolished and replaced by a new building in a similar style. 

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