© Roos Aldershoff

Architects: SNITKER/BORST/ARCHITECTEN/ – Leen Borst, Mark Snitker
Location: ,
Project Team: Brigitte Kwa, Janet André, Pieter van der Pot, Rudy Davi, Petty Tang, Patrick Colly
Design Team – Urban Design: Andrea Alvarez, Sebastian Soelberg
Landscape Architect: Ruwan Aluvihare
Project year: 2007 – 2009
Photographs: Roos Aldershoff

© Roos Aldershoff

The municipality of New West (a town district of Amsterdam) is already for years simultaneously on multiple locations working on a large scale renewal of the Westen Garden Cities of Amsterdam. In this framework De Bomentuin is a small scale project, that is fitted in the neighborhood with modesty and carefulness. The project is realized on the site of the Slotermeerhof, a complex of duplex apartments belonging to the residential home for the elderly, Slotermeeroord from 1963. The small dwellings were demolished in order to make place for more spacious and comfortable apartments and family houses.

© Roos Aldershoff

The direct surroundings of the complex is a very beautiful green, park-like environment. The original buildings enfolded two public green courts with monumental trees.

section 01

The urban design has been made in a special way. The design is a co-production of the housing corporation Ymere, the municipality of New West, the residents of the demolished dwellings and the inhabitants of the neighborhood. De Bomentuin is the first project in the Western Garden Cities in which the inhabitants were so closely involved in the design of the urban layout. In dialogue with the people from the neighborhood, the municipality and the client we’ve decided to preserve the original urban design. The new housing blocks were practically build on the same footprint as the old buildings. While the floor area was more than doubled, most of the existing trees could be preserved.

© Roos Aldershoff

The new ensemble exists of two apartment buildings and two rows of family houses. The whole complex is made in three floors. Each floor is reflected by prefabricated concrete strips in the brickwork and by the horizontal lines of the balustrades. On the corners of the apartment buildings glass walls over the full height of the buildings accentuate the entrances and staircases. The apartment buildings are made with green sedum roofs. The ground floor apartments and terraces are slightly raised from the garden level in order to optimize the view from these apartments to the green surroundings. The choice for brickwork, in combination with wood, concrete and the soft colors of the frames, make that the project is naturally fitted in the neighborhood. In this way the project forms a quiet background for the green surroundings.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "The Tree Garden / SNITKER/BORST/ARCHITECTEN/" 11 May 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • daniel daou

    would it be possible to post the budget and the total square footage along with the number of hours that went into the design? i know it’s an ambitious thing to ask for, but it’d really help to get a clearer picture on this projects.


  • Poulin Giroux Alexandre

    The building is disappointing. You might think it was built in the 70.

    • daniel daou

      I agree, however i think it could be judged under a better light if other details were provided [not that it would make it less uninspired still].

      • madeliefb

        To poulin giroux alexandre and a bit to daniel daou:
        Your remarks show disrespect to the architectural profession: it demonstrates your lack of experience in the real working-field,and your incapacity to understand the complexity of the proces of designing and realizing a building.Also it shows that you are not (yet) competent of recognizing inherent quality and deeper layers in buildingdesigns.
        Although daniel daou at least shows a bit respect by asking additional information that unfortunately sometimes is necessary to understand why a building is how it is.
        Ofcourse this project is not a mind-blowing spectacular blob, deconstructivistic train-accident or a zen-exterior.But that does not mean that automaticaly other buildings thus are not interesting.
        Fortunately Archdaily does understand this complexity and diversity in architecture and that is why they publish this project.
        I wish you a lot of luck in developing your understanding of architecture.

  • jprati

    I’m not sure why this project is being presented here. I’m not saying that it is a terrible building, but I’m saying that it is not an example the world’s best architecture.

    • shetu

      If you think that AD publishes ‘example the world’s best architecture’ only, then you are wrong I think.

  • daniel daou

    could you elaborate more on your points?
    [how does saying a building is disappointing or uninspired imply inexperience, incompetence or even as you suggest, disrespect for the discipline?

    i must say you sound a little bitter. what chord i wonder did our comments strike?

    but seriously though,
    differences aside,
    which would you say are the highlights of this building?

    • madeliefb

      hmm, i try to put in a reply and it does not publish..too much words? ;-p