Square garden

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Square garden

ProjectDesign of courtyard and roof terrace
LocationAmsterdam Zuidoost district office/Anton de Kom complex
ClientAmsterdam Zuidoost district/Ymere

The buildings of the Zuidoost district office and the Anton de Kom complex together surround a semi-public courtyard. Around half of the garden is a car park for the residents. The terrace is on the second floor of the district office.


The basic principle of the design encompasses the themes of meeting and cultural diversity to reflect the fact that the Zuidoost city district is home to residents from a wide range of nationalities. The courtyard will be constructed on Dutch polder land. The design is based on a square grid. The square is a rational element in the landscape, an earthly symbol, very traditionally Dutch, but also a significant motif worldwide. The square is integrated into the design from general principles to minor details. A highly visual floor, a kind of walkway/circuit connects the garden and the car park. A specially designed tile with a pattern of lines in the square is laid in a traditional diagonal black and white pattern. Both courtyards are bordered by espaliered trees. In the garden the square motif is laid out in a traditional diagonal black and white pattern. At the centre is a square area with a large white prunus tree, with seats arranged around it. The garden is planted with evergreen ornamental grass, where many different kinds of bulbs blossom in summer and winter. In the grass areas there are square flat plinths on which the Centre for Visual Arts exhibits different sculptures every few months.
In 2018, Ymere had a number of conversations with residents, which showed that people wanted more flowers, to grow their own herbs and to make better use of the garden as a place to stay. Commissioned by Ymere, I created a new planting plan and a number of proposals for the design. The plants in the garden have been renewed, the tiles cleaned, vegetable garden boxes have been installed, a large picnic table and a cupboard with garden tools.


The roof terrace, onto which the offices of the Management Board face, is an extended area that is primarily used for receptions. The black and white tiled floor is the key feature of the location, duplicating a section from the garden below. Olive trees shield the offices of the Management Board. Along the fence there is a long line of plant containers containing brightly coloured pink petunias, visible from the garden.

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