Avant-Jardin

Transformation Prinses Margrietflat – Rotterdam, Netherlands


Competition 2012, Mention


For: Woonstad Rotterdam





The modernistic ideal of objects in a lush park has been only sporadically successful. In reality it resulted too often in an architectonic harshness of empty green and concrete. Concerning transformation for these types of areas or buildings, Plane Sight sees an opportunity in intensifying the connection between building and its surroundings. The goal is to revalue the real estate for the future by reinterpreting relationships.


In the case of the Prinses Margrietflat, the brief was to extend the existing flatbuilding with balconies measuring 2 to 2,5 meters in depth. ‘Avant-Jardin’ establishes a connection between this extension and an intervention in the adjacent park. The proposal contains, aside the requested balconies, an enclosed garden to incorporate a small portion of the undefined surrounding green. This fulfils the desire of the inhabitants of the flatbuilding to have a garden, which is also a visual surplus value for the apartments. On the urban level the garden introduces spatial diversity in the area and a more human scale in the plinth.


Balconies and garden are designed as a cabinet; a conjunction of seemingly individual wooden boxes. Wood brings warmth in the ex- and interior. Variations in depth and diagonal colour gradients increase the recognisability of every single apartment in the whole. It contrasts with the predominant horizontality in the neighbourhood, enlivens the building and decreases the anonymity caused by repetition.
The boxes within the cabinet are bound together by a gracious rim with perforations in the shape of the facial profile of Princess Margriet. Each designstep in ‘Avant-Jardin’ is done to increase refinement, human scale and personification.



Of all 69 entries, Avant-Jardin was selected for the last 7 proposals.