Garden house

Tijmen Ploeg
Individuele opdrachtgever
Tram 1-2-13-25
Marlies Buurman, Maarten Kloos (red.), Amsterdam Architecture 1997-99, 2000.

Private house in the backyard of a canal house

The building stands at the back of a garden of an old house in Amsterdam’s historic city centre. As regards typology, it fits in with a long tradition of gardenhouses, arbours and gazebos in the back gardens of seventeenth-century houses in Amsterdam’s ring of canals.

The gardenhouse designed by Tijmen Ploeg is a modern, transparent pavilion. Entry to the pavilion is via a small steel stairway over a pond and a veranda. Behind this are large, glass, foldable walls. The space is used as a study and guest room and is empty apart from a desk and a chair. Partly because of the materials used (wood, aluminium, toughened glass) there is an aura of tranquility about it. The space is roofed over with glass, above which are wooden slats which filter the daylight. The bathroom is incorporated in a rectangular box which is suspended from a corner of the gardenhouse.
An important aspect is the relationship between the house and the pavilion. The house has a view of the garden and the pavilion, while the pavilion – which has its back to the gardens behind – is orientated towards the garden and the house. Together they form a contained whole. (ARCAM/Bu)