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
floor 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
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
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.
Location: Amsterdam, NL