Ijburg House / Gabriels Webb

Architects: Kirsten Gabriëls James Webb
Location: IJburg, Amsterdam,
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.

Cite: "Ijburg House / Gabriels Webb" 10 May 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=21710>
  • http://workspacestyle.com Work Space Style

    I want to live here, please let me live here?

  • Marcus

    Beautiful layout and design.

  • Harry Wild

    Common, I’m not impressed

  • gonzalo

    I don’t get the, “Common, I’m not impressed” comments. If Arch Daily only intended to show projects that were UNcommon, or revolutionary, they’d show one or two a year at most, if any at all.

    C’mon, these are great projects that any architect should feel good about, if he or she did it. You would be, wouldn’t you?

    What uncommon work have you done Harry Wild? And even if you have, was every project you did uncommon in its own right? Of course not.

  • Terry Glenn Phipps

    I like to imagine myself sitting in that wooden chair in the shade of the potted whatever-it-is tree, staring blankly at the road, and hoping that someone may stop and rescue me from this human filing cabinet that I paid a licensed architect to commit. Occasionally I look over my shoulder at the custom made cement staircase and flimsy handrail that leads past the supergraphic tattoo my wife was convinced to emblazon on the front of our domestic bliss and directly to the portal of colorless oblivion that the architect ironically described as the “front door”. Then I hold my spinning head in my hands until the sick feeling subsides. When I muster the courage to raise my head, before me there is only the blank and empty road forever mocking me with its promise and void. Deep inside I know, this must be hell.

    Terry Glenn Phipps

  • gonzalo

    See, now THAT’s criticism!! I don’t share the same sentiments, but I totally comprehend what Terry is trying to say about how HE would feel in this home.

    It’s a sentiment (and you can correct me if I’m wrong Terry) that doesn’t stem from the project being “common”, but instead comes from an idea of the project being like a “filing cabinet” or “flimsy” or even “hell.”

    Great stuff Terry.

  • bri

    Did anyone notice the owner drives a PT cruiser? nerd.

  • Harry Wild

    gonzalo don’t get the point, that’s clear

  • Angel Ovcharov

    Great! I’m not a fan of the floral thingie on the front though. Kind of ruins it for me.

  • Jenny

    Nice layout! I don’t understand what’s the point of the floral plane.

  • http://bentply.tumblr.com bentply

    Great house! I think the decorative pattern at the entrance is what makes this project unique. It adds some detailed ornament to balance the minimal quality of the rest of the project.

  • http://www.winifredwikkeling.com/blog royal creme

    Now Terry, thank you for that very amusing review. I love it when people are clear about the impact a particular project has on them. But why is it that we must hold the wife responsible for the “tattoo” at the front, which frankly would be the only reason this house would receive a double take from outside.? I would hope that when you muster the courage to raise your head, you might find some solace in the waters of the canal out back…


    Well I think a criticism made based on pictures is not complete, because until you live and feel the space, you only criticized on the surface. I like what i see, the layout how is open to the backyard rather the front, the choice of materials simply and pure. I don’t know is this house works I never been there before :)

  • Bo Lucky

    It really IS a well designed house – in every aspect. It fits both in architectural and urban scale. It may not be suitable for everybody but you can’t say it’s common… unless common is comfort, harmony and peacefulness… The only “thing” I would reduce is a number of stairs… they only make your life more difficult… otherwise, it’s a great house.

  • Rinda

    The front door is striking and creates a balance with the starkness of the exterior architecture. It allows the interior design of the home to blend traditional and contemporary which is a feat in itself. Good Job!

  • http://www.creativolabuenavida.tk daiber

    nothing special for me, just another unsignificant house for me. Though the overall desing doesn’t look bad, don’t see anything interesting for me.

    I think gonzalo didn’t kinda got the message from the other guy, wich is similar to my comment

  • http:www.officedesignblog.com Office Design Blog

    wow beautiful home, I love the open staircase