ATELIER KOLLER - Ready for the garden party, The Hague/NL

This 4-story mansion is situated in the Archipelbuurt neighborhood of The Hague, opposite a row of listed historical buildings. The home, with its richly decorated facades and high ceilings, has a small front garden and a back garden of about 115 m2. This back garden is accessible from the basement, which was renovated and transformed during an initial phase of renovations. Now, the owners wanted to rearrange the garden completely. Paved partly with dark red brick and otherwise covered with patches of lawn, plants and bushes, the new garden grounds will take on a much more mineral feel with a summerhouse built up against the back of the property.

The summerhouse, a 3-meter-high structure, consists of two parts:
- an enclosed bicycle shed (with storage space for garden furniture) with a back door that gives direct access to the street through a small alley, and
- a covered dining area with a grill and an outdoor kitchen, completely open to the garden.

The project was also seen as an opportunity to replace the unstable wooden fence separating the property from the neighboring plot on one side. An elegant, strong white stone wall was planned in its place. At the same time, the brick wall on the other side would be renovated and restored.

The timber frame construction of the summerhouse spans the entire width of the garden. The wooden beams of the slightly inclined roof were left exposed, so that they are visible from underneath. Five roof windows frame the view onto the back façade of the main house. Cedar is used for all woodwork: the beams, the plywood for the ceiling, the slats for the wooden screen of the shed, and the benches incorporated along the new wall.

To make entertaining easier for guests and friends, the owners decided on a rather hard, mineral aggregate concrete flooring that is simple to maintain. It links the new outdoor kitchen in the summerhouse to the guest’s kitchen in the basement.


Vegetation plays an important role in the new design: plants and the lawn in the old set-up have been cleared to leave room for a green roof, colorful trees and bushes behind the benches. Ornamental plants peek from behind the arcades, while trailing plants hang down between the arches.

The white color of this wall contrasts with the aged red-brown brick wall in the background. This new decorative wall also fulfills a stabilizing function and acts as a long planter for flora and foliage of all types. Two fountains made out of grey basalt complete the backdrop for a perfect garden party.

lieu / location: 
Archipelbuurt, La Haye, Pays Bas / The Hague, The Netherlands
maître d'ouvrage / client: privé / privat
maître d'oeuvre / architecture: Atelier Koller, La Haye / 
Atelier Koller, The Hague
missions / design phases: Esquisse (ESQ) - Assistance aux opérations de réception (AOR) / Schematic Design (SD) - Construction Administration (CA)
ingénieur de structure / structural engineerBouwadviesbureau van der Ven, Ridderkerk (
entreprise général general contractor: Marbuilt, Den Haag (

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