COURTYARD LIFESTYLE AUGMENTATION
This being a courtyard the traditional facades had a strong visual impact on the landscape, by their height, they also limit the sun exposition in a northern hemipter region. This dual influence had to be taken into account for the choice of the vegetal species and other materials.
Our signature on this project is the life spaces that we created in the courtyard and the circulation between the different spaces, and of course the 20 meters long ornamental overflowing basin with a mirror effect reflecting the sky, garden and surrounding building. We also planned for wintertime by placing heaters in specific outdoors areas, the flames also are reflected on the water for great visual effects when looked at from the guest rooms windows. In order for the garden to maintain its structure and appeals in cold seasons we used evergreen trees and shrubs, like Rhododendrons in very large pots.
The access and logistics to work on the site was very challenging due to its very central and touristic location in Amsterdam’s historic district. Bringing materials on site was not possible by road all the way to the hotel, the cost of transporting the materials was a substantial part of the total budgeting.
The hotel is also adjacent to 2 waterways, the Oudezjids Voorburgwal canal and the Oudezjids Achterburgwal, and water is no more than 100 to 120 centimeters below ground level. A lot of draining and infilling preparation was needed before being able to proceed with ground works and planting, this was another technical part of the project.
Our collaboration with the blacksmith and the fountain maker who built the basin proved to very enriching and inspirational. I had previously made a prototype of this basin for a trade show exhibit where it gained a lot of positive interest. I was really grateful for this opportunity to use it, real size, in this fantastic project, and I was glad that I had the experience of the prototype too!
Art was included in the garden to further intensify its appeal. We worked with local artists who had also been commissioned for the interiors to also add coherence to both spaces.