Architects: Kirsten Gabriëls James Webb
Location: IJburg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Project architect: Kirsten Gabriëls
Structural engineer: Strackee BV Bouwadviesbureau, Amsterdam
Services engineer: Wolf + Dikken Adviseurs, Wateringen
Artist façade panel: Yvonne Kroese
Contractor: Bouwbedrijf Stadswerk BV, Hoofddorp
Design year: 2006
Completion year: 2008
Constructed area: 285 sqm
Photographs: Marcel Van der Burg
A site with a south facing view to a canal on the Grote Rietland of IJburg provided a unique opportunity for a family to live in a free-standing villa within 20 minutes of central Amsterdam.
The family of four, a film score composer and a business film scenario writer with 2 teenage children required a house that provided opportunities in living together but also independently. The section of the house clearly describes the programme with children on the lowered level, parents on the upper, and the ground ?oor acting as the communal, family and social area (and also bufferzone).
Similar to a typical Amsterdam canal house the ground floor is raised increasing privacy from the street. The raised ground floor allows clear views to the canal at the rear and accommodates the basement below. This visual connection to the canal is maintained at all times – through the open stairs to the upper level and the absence of any doors dividing the ground floor area. The smaller living area of the ground floor steps down to the kitchen/dining area opening both horizontally and vertically in scale. The lower space opens to the outside terrace continuing the procession to the garden and canal.
The childrens lower level (complete with kitchenette and bathroom) is accessed from the street via external stairs and becomes an independent zone from the main house. The dividing wall between the bedrooms is nonload bearing and in the eventuality of the children leaving the family home the basement could be used and rented as a separate studio apartment.
In the upper level the parents functions of study, bathing and sleeping are ordered from street to canal side. From the bathroom views across the canal are possible, and the bedroom and bathroom unite as one space with a continous floor surface.
The house is transparent from the street to the canal with the main front and back facades of full height glazing. All walls perpendicular to the street are solid timber clad surfaces. A clear demarcation of the house‘s internal levels are revealed in the facade with white bands. Horizontally laid western red cedar boards further striate the volume. The entrance facade consists of a large full height glass door and an art piece by Amsterdam artist Yvonne Kroese. The lasercut steel panel features creatures found on and around IJburg and houses the letter box and other entrance hardware.