The client that requested the design for this private residence lived in a monumental tramrail station keeper’s residence. The private residence designed by Erick van Egeraat is an extension of this monumental building, but is only connected by a very slender and minimalistic glass hallway. The residence is located on a railway dyke, which is part of the North Holland water defense works. Government guidelines generally do not allow construction works on or into dyke bodies, and local guidelines do not allow the construction of large volumes above ground. To meet all guidelines and restrictions, and to still meet the client’s requirement of an ample habitable surface area, only the living area is placed above ground. The bedrooms, bathrooms, and technical installations are placed below ground, into the slope of the extension of the dyke. As the plot is quite wide and long, the building is placed on the opposite boundary from the core body of the dyke, so as not to compromise the dyke profile. Natural light into the subterranean quarters is provided by large patios, as well as the part of the subterranean level that sticks outside of the slope of the dyke. The ground floor extension is kept very minimalistic, with large panes of glass and concrete detailing, in order to reduce the presence of the extension, thus respecting the autonomy of the monumental building. The large glass façade will in turn connect the inside with the large garden and the swimming pool.
In order to bring the monument to its original condition, the existing extension would have to be removed, leaving a large opening in the façade. The parts of the façade and windows that can be restored, will be brought back to their original condition. In the remaining opening on the ground floor, the history of the building is not restored, nor falsified, but filled in with a modern component, to match the design of the extension, and to bring everything together.
With its modern architecture and sensitive approach to the monument and its surrounding garden, this private residence provides the client with a unique living environment. Its spaces and materials allow for a very comfortable and highly personal way of living in the city of Amsterdam.