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Jaap Sterk

Modern amphitheater on ancient barrage

Jaap Sterk used concrete slabs to create an amphitheater on the slope of an old barrage with a view of children playing in the swimming pond in the middle of the garden. The garden in Beek-Ubbergen was voted Garden of the Year 2016. ”A beautiful terraced garden with a huge wow factor,” judged the expert jury.

An uncommon result for both their garden and their home is what the owners were striving for. The young couple with two children from Beek-Ubbergen approached architect Ton Hubbers in 2014 for the renovation of the 1960s bungalow, and at the same time Jaap Sterk was engaged to renovate the 1,500-square-foot garden. The architect and garden architect already worked together a lot. Characteristic of the location are the large differences in height. ”You’re on a moraine here,” explains the garden architect. The southeast-facing backyard is screened from the rear neighbors by a sturdy forest edge that is five meters lower than the house. ”People often decide to make everything flat, but that only makes such a garden smaller. I like exploiting the difference in height. It really runs into a bowl here, perfect for turning it into an amphitheater.” The large terrace by the house is now the vantage point from which the owners have a view of the centrally located swimming pond with the forest edge as a backdrop.

Robust concrete

For the terrace, Jaap Sterk used robust concrete from Schellevis. Jaap Sterk: ,,Tiles of this size can only be laid in a large garden and with a large house. The proportions are very important.” The edges of the terrace are deliberately not finished straight. ,,On the one hand it is from a practical point of view, otherwise you would have to saw everything and that is a lot of work. But apart from that, I think it’s nicer if the edges stagger. I like clean lines, but they shouldn’t be dominant.” The terrace slabs form a staircase to the eye-catcher lower down in the garden – the swimming pond

French front yard

The amphitheater in the green, wetland backyard contrasts with the front yard landscaping. Jaap Sterk paid much attention there to devising a new routing. Because the garage under the house was being converted into an office, the landscaper wanted the old driveway to the garage to no longer be visible. This was accomplished by bricking two walls parallel to each other. Using some functionally placed concrete slabs, Jaap Sterk created a staircase to the lower office. The front yard was further covered with Meskalith split. Because of the color of the gravel and the randomly planted grasses, the front yard has an atmosphere like one might find in a French square on a summer day.

Jaap Sterk realizes that he was able to create the special garden in Beek-Ubbergen because the clients were willing to go along with his ideas.

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