Wiel Arets Architects

Wiel Arets Architects

Amsterdam, NL | Maastricht, NL | Z├╝rich, CH | Munich, DE


Hedge House

Today an annex of the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, though originally constructed as a private art gallery, the Hedge House is located in Limburg, in the south of the Netherlands. Its program combines disparate entities more frequently found in gardens than galleries: a tool shed, a chicken coop, and two orchid houses–the roofs of which are completely composed of glass. And it's in the garden that surrounds the Hedge House that its initial ideas began; local regulations permitted only the building of a tool shed, and only when combined with other programming–and thus made hybrid–was it granted permission to be built. Situated on the grounds of the seventeenth century Wijlre Caste, the project takes its name from its location amongst the surrounding garden's hedges. With numerous entries, the main entry presents a 'fast' stair that leads to the gallery below, and a 'slow' ramp that leads to the kitchen. The triangular chicken coop, whose glazed wall overlooks the garden, abuts one orchid house, which abuts a secondary stair that descends to the lower level.

The gallery's spaces vary in height–interlocking with the seemingly disparate components of the program above–and are finished in white plaster so as to contrast with the interior and exterior concrete walls of the ground floor. Natural light streams into the portion of the gallery at the foot of the secondary stair, from full-height glazing at its end–which opens out onto a zig-zag pathway that leads to the garden–and also from a slender space within the outer wall of the tool shed and second orchid house. Double height ceilings are characteristic of the central gallery space, and rise to the sloping roof of the ground floor, which enables a view up into the second orchid house via the glass wall of its inner edge. The gallery then compresses, illuminated by the natural light that streams down the 'fast' stair, which completes the routing of the gallery and returns visitors to the main entry above.

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Kasteel Wijlreweg 1
6321 PP Wijlre
the Netherlands


560 m2

Date of design

Date of completion

Project team
Wiel Arets, Bettina Kraus, Lars Dreessen


Palte BV, Huygen Installatieadviseurs BV, Xhonneux BV, Cauberg-Huygen Raadgevende Ingenieurs BV

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Status: Built
Location: Wijlre, NL
Firm Role: Architect