Atlas Garden

by / tag

Situated at the edge of the city of Eindhoven, The Netherlands, Monadnock architects designed the Atlas House. The building stands out from its environment: the house is turned at a 45 degree angle from the property lines, the footprint is a small, perfect square and the building rises like a tower above the surrounding white plastered boxes.
The house is inhabited by Bas, Marijn and their dog Julius. They had few wishes for their garden; a terrace to eat outside, a spot for parking the car and something to filter the view towards the neighbouring plots. Most of all it needed to be a place where the three of them could spend time outdoors in a natural environment.
The strong geometry of the house offered all sorts of leads for the garden design and extending this geometry into the garden seemed the logical thing to do. A range of designs with circles, squares, rectangles and ellipses didn’t end up in a satisfactory plan. The garden remained subservient to the house, overshadowed by its strong architecture. It didn’t become a space in its own right.

The solution was found in a different approach: designing the garden seemingly without taking notice of the house and the property lines. By giving the garden a formal language of its own, different as the house but just as strong, a more equal relation between house and garden was created.
Four sloping planting beds sway over the plot. The convex beds accentuate the shapes of the garden and create a variety of spaces. A combination of ferns, perennials and bulbs form a lavish collection of leaves, textures and greens.
A light coloured gravel floor, attuned to the materials of the house, connects the house, the beds and the trees. Incorporated in the gravel are two paved surfaces for the terrace and the car. The front and back door have door mats in the same material.

Three multi stemmed trees – a Pinus sylvestris, a Pinus sylvestris ‘Norska’ and a Gymnocladus dioica – filter the view and connect the garden with the living quarters on the first and second floor. The colour of the trees is attuned to the red and white bricks and the green window frames. 

House and garden represent different worlds. The house represents the human, the controlled, the ordered. The garden represents the natural, the uncontrolled, the wild. A “room of man” is complemented with a “room of nature”, each one enhancing the other.

Projects details

Designer: Joost Emmerik
Architect: Monadnock
Location: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Typology: Residential garden
Built: 2019
Photo credits: © Stijn Bollaert & Marijn Huigen

Joost Emmerik

Joost Emmerik

Joost Emmerik (°1979) is a garden and landscape architect. Trained as an architect and urban designer at Technical University Delft in The Netherlands, he works as a designer and researcher of outdoor spaces. The firm belief in the evoking power of gardens and a need for them in this day and age form the basis of his work. Joost searches for a serene simplicity, combining clear lines, robust materials and luscious planting into places that grow more exuberant over time.  The garden as a world in itself, equal to the house. The garden as a room, not belonging to mankind, but to nature.

Joost is visiting lecturer at Technical University Delft, the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam, the Academy of Architecture Rotterdam and member of the Talent Building Committee of the Creative Industries Fund.