Kamers 04 Web Mensenwerk

De Kamers

growing culture house for a neighbourhood in development

De Kamers is a private initiative. Regarding the pioneering years of Vathorst as a challenging social and cultural task, the initiators of the project, a vicar and an artist, sought to create a place for "sociability, inspiration and expression" in the area, with the generous support of many sponsors and the municipality.

The building and its activities are meant to evolve along with its developing surroundings over time, to offer space for various cultural activities and events, such as theatre, film and creative education. The heart of the building is the "Huiskamer", a public "living room", meant to be a welcoming space for everyone.

location: Wezeperberg, Vathorst, Amersfoort
year - design: 2003- 2006​
year - realisation: 2006- 2007
client: Stichting De Kamers
structural engineer: Pieters Bouwtechniek Utrecht, Jaap Dijks
engineer - technical installations: Boersema BV, Amersfoort
contractor: Schoonderbeek BV, Amersfoort
photography: Korteknie Stuhlmacher Architecten, Stefan Müller, Sjaak Henselmans, Moritz Bernoully
Kamers Situation
Kamers Cube Toy 3
Kamers Cube Toy 1
Kamers Cube Toy 2
Kamers Model
Kamers Model Interior
Kamers Model Interior 4
Kamers Model Interior 2
Kamers Model Interior 5
Kamers Model Interior 6
Early model studies illustrate the search for an extensible spatial configuration. Indoor and outdoor spaces are interconnected and of equal importance.
Kamers Model Garden
Kamers Floorplan 1
Kamers Floorplan 2
Kamers Floorplan 3
  1. lobby
  2. theatre
  3. upper room
  4. backstage
  5. dining room 
  6. living room
  7. reading room
Kamers Terrace
Kamers Front

The design consists of simple wooden volumes with cubic shapes and varying dimensions. These rooms are loosely positioned next and on top of each other as a casual, almost improvised, composition that allows for multifunctional use and future changes. 

Kamers Corner View
Kamers Corner

The extremely tight budget, as the building is privately funded, led to the architectural decision to give clear priority to the interior over the exterior. Particular attention was given to the spatial character of each of the rooms. In all rooms the same materials, colours, light fixtures and finishes have been applied, in terms of their proportions. Their different proportions, views and sizes, as well as the different uses of daylight, give each room its own distinct character. 

The exterior of the building is meant to be as blank and silent as possible - in contrast to the extravagant façades of the architecture in the new suburb that surrounds it. 

The cladding of the upper parts of the façades consists of stained, heat-treated timber boards, a new, environmentally friendly process that makes European softwood more durable. The plinth has been designed as an ever-changing band of hand-decorated panels covered with artwork, graffiti, posters and texts made by the users of the building themselves to advertise the building.

Kamers Section 2
Kamers Section 1
Kamers Corridor
Kamers Auditorium 2
Kamers Auditorium

The composition of the cubes implies the semi-enclosure of outdoor spaces. These "garden-rooms" are regarded as being equally important as the indoor spaces and are used as outdoor stages, gardens and terraces. Here the colourfully painted plinth turns into a wainscoting of home-made wallpaper. The large sliding doors emphasise the direct relationship between inside and outside, and the inviting, open character of the project as a whole.

Kamers Cafeteria
Kamers Lunch Room
Kamers Living Room

Thanks to the use of sophisticated timber building systems, imported from Germany and Switzerland, the building became a clear, simple and sustainable structure with high-quality finishes and good spatial and acoustic properties, without the application of additional linings. Walls, floors and roofs of all "rooms" have been constructed in timber, which made it possible to build a flexible and adaptable structure in a very short time period. In most rooms, painted panels have been added to protect the untreated timber where necessary and to enhance the domestic character of the rooms.

Kamers Twilight