The Hedge House by Wiel Arets Architects

Project description of The Hedge House by Wiel Arets Architects:
Art as part of life was the main purpose of the small house in the 17th-century pleasure garden belonging to Wijlre Castle. It accommodates seemingly disparate spaces, i.e. two greenhouses, a hen house, a tool shed and a living room, together with the space for art.

A linear exhibition space folds out into one of the gardens compartments enclosed by hedges, offering maximum wall surface, and defining exterior spaces between the hedge and the outer wall of the building. The itinerary of the exhibition becomes part of the overall routing in the park by way of two entrances ⁄ exits to and from the private and the public site.

The height of the hedges, together with the stacked organization of the required interior spaces, creates an introvert exhibition gallery in the basement. The upper layers of living room, greenhouses, tool shed and chicken house, which are orientated to the outside, determine the different heights of the ceilings in the exhibition area and define the sources of daylight. Top, side, indirect, and zenith light for the collection penetrates the building at the thresholds between the art gallery and the other spaces. The materials inside and outside the gallery are limited to glass and exposed concrete, in addition to the plastered exhibition walls.

project (title): The Hedge house
location (address): Wijlre, the Netherlands, Kasteel Wijlreweg 1 NL 6321 PP Wijlre
project team: Wiel Arets, Bettina Kraus, Lars Dreessen
site supervisors: Hein Urlings
furniture design: WAA
date of design: 1998-2001
date of completion: 2001
models: Jeremy Bryan, Frederik Vaes
photographs: Hélène Binet, Kim Zwarts, Jan Bitter
clients: Mr. and Mrs. Eyck
program: Art gallery, lounge , orichid room, greenhouses, 7 poultry-houses, room for garden-tools
area: 560 m2

Structural consultant: Ingenieursbureau Palte bv
Mechanical, electrical consultant: Huygen installatieadviseurs bv
Building contractor: Aannemersbedrijf Xhonneux bv.
Building physics consultant: Cauberg-Huygen Raadgevende Ingenieurs bv

Photo credit: Jan Bitter Fotografie