Modernity in Middelburg: a design garden where everything fits | In Middelburg, this hyper-modern design home is made with minimalistic architecture in distinct volumes. Erik van Gelder was given the assignment of transforming the existing garden— that consisted largely of grass zones—into a modern outdoor space that complemented the building style while still maximising features for relaxation and enjoyment.
Few frills, but a lot of beauty | The home combines an anthracite-coloured stone façade with plastered white volumes, a dynamic play on the lines and regal natural lighting through the many windows. In its design, Erik took maximum consideration of the building style to strengthen the connection between the interior and exterior. This resulted in a minimalist design in which most components are in alignment with each other. A powerful ‘skeleton’, unbalanced proportions and high-quality materials formed the foundations.
An expressive wow factor | The residents were adamant about having room in which to enjoy the sun, lounge about and relax. They also wanted a swimming pool annex with a luxurious covering and room for a sauna, steam bath and dining terrace. Erik designed a sublime pool house with Ibiza allure and a pavement that reconciled the anthracite-coloured natural stone with a raised deck terrace. Raised platforms are present elsewhere in the garden—deckchairs in sun-drenched places and a luxurious lounge suite around a fire table. The lounging corner is lit with LED strips and has a wall with storage for the fireplace worked into it and flanked by pillars.
A harmonious mix of cement and vegetation | Schellevis stepping stones have been placed in the grass zones. The same tiles have been randomly placed around the house itself as a high-quality paving material, supplemented with bricks and occasionally filled with decorative gravel. The pedestals, as well as the assortment of round, square and rectangular planters, are predominantly aluminium. A sober colour palette was chosen, in which white and anthracite are the primary tones.
Cosiness in a close-fitting coat | A number of existing trees and hedges have been kept and pruned. New planting has introduced tall trees—some with multiple trunks—and a sophisticated mix of perennials and shrubs, decorative grasses and ferns, as well as a number of bulb and root crops for a touch of colour.
The strict shape of the garden does not detract in any way from the sense of comfort. The carefully planned layout, the atmospheric lighting, natural materials and luxurious furniture serve to create a peaceful sensation in which everything is in balance. Erik created a gem of a design garden that offers the utmost privacy, all organised in a composition that you never grow tired of looking at.
The residents have their say | ‘When we were initially working out the garden design, we came upon a number of Erik van Gelder realisations. His vision of landscaping and his characteristic signature matched perfectly with our style preferences. For his design, Erik started from the rear of the house and drew his plan for the garden from there to the front—a refreshing way of working that genuinely stood out for us. The outdoor space has been an enormous success in its entirety. All the elements flow naturally into each other. There is an aesthetic interaction between house and garden.’