On the Vrouwgelenweg in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, there is a former gardener’s home that was expanded with a storey added below ground. The garden was then only partially completed. To give the larger outdoor area a new, varied and worldly filling, the residents turned to Erik van Gelder with their wish list.
Integrating countless features and functions | A home with a classic, country look deserves an atmospheric garden that complements the style of building. Given the size of the project and the many functions that needed to be given their place, the design presented interesting challenges. For example, a large extension needed to be added, with a taut appearance created from architecture visually suited to that of the home itself. Plus, a luxurious swimming pool that should blend seamlessly into its environment. And last but not least, the existing garden and the remainder of the outdoor area were to be landscaped and furnished to exude pure class.
Chic and charming | The new extension is very much a home on its own, with (outdoor) kitchen, sauna, living spaces and a garage. The underground level offers room for the gym and the swimming pool plant room. In the modern design, eye-warming materials such as wood and zinc are integrated for extra atmosphere. The eye-catcher is the structural swimming pool; the surrounding tiles are ceramic but have a concrete appearance, and there is a raised, hardwood walkway.
The grey coating of the swimming pool underlines the feeling of luxury and ensures that it melts into its environment. The anthracite-coloured stairs bring you to the adjacent sun terrace with old Dutch Schellevis paving and leather loungers.
Interesting planting | On the other side of the swimming pool, there is a hyper-modern kitchen with an island that integrates facilities for rinsing and cooking. The glass walls slide open completely to blur the borders between inside and outside. The uncovered area of the terrace is adorned with a very long table for summer dining. Around the different areas for sitting, lying down and lounging, lush planting has been set out in a variety of tints and textures. From sculptured box trees with spherical Moonlight lamps between them, to column-like high-trunked trees, decorative grasses, climbing plants and shrubs.
Grey and green highlights | To create variation between transparency and the feeling of being enclosed, walls with a stucco look, hardwood frames and bold planters with dense or tall vegetation are placed in strategic locations. For the hard elements, balance is established using primarily grey paving, in large formats, surrounded by decorative gravel. A sophisticated lighting plan with wall, ceiling and ground spotlights, as well as down- and uplights, create a magical spectacle in the evenings, submerging this large outdoor space in an intimate atmosphere.
The residents have their say | ‘We were unsure whether we wanted a traditional extension or a whether we should go modern. Erik proposed a radical break in style with the existing home, but one that would not create a clash. We are very impressed by the way he approached it. Erik sensed exactly what we expected from our garden and the extension. Everything is tuned to our lifestyle, our family situation and our aesthetic wishes. The garden looks modern, yet warm and chic. Thanks to the structure of the natural materials, it’s robust at the same time. Above all, it’s user- and maintenance-friendly. Our outdoor space is a single entity because Erik showed great respect for the previously established parts and the existing plants. Old and new flow seamlessly into each other.’