The basis for this project was to design an architectural structure to be placed on a bare piece of land on the Wibautstraat. The piece of land is unique, not only because of its shape, but also because of its proximity to the metro lines, because it includes a hill, and because it is flanked by two bridges, one a major highway to and from the city. The project was to take all of these elements and create a scale model for something that could be placed on this plot. In my case, inspiration came from two different sources. As part of the project, we were required to choose one or two of the buildings designed by Gerrit Rietveld. The second part of my inspiration was to give the structure purpose and thus give me a better idea of the shape it should take.
When we started this project, I immediately thought of a park, due to what is already there: grass, trees and such. However, Amsterdam already has many and lovely outdoor parks and another one is perhaps not necessary. However, there is still no winter park here, nor in most cities, I think. So my plan became to create a sort of building that would function as a winter park, with protection from the elements, but also giving as much of an impression as possible of being outside. The most obvious reference for such a project is the old palaces and winter gardens in London in the 1800s. The other great aspect of those winter and pleasure gardens was that they were really places to meet and to be seen, another aspect I wanted to incorporate. Some of the larger issues with this situation – that the space is not so large, and also that there is so much happening around the surrounding area – would make it difficult to create any sort of intimacy within.