A modernist garden
Brinkman en Van der Vlugt were among the first architects in the Netherlands to design a garden that complemented their Functionalist building design. The clean lines of Sonneveld House are echoed in the design of the garden. The building’s rectilinear massing is mirrored in the form of the terraces and hedges. The design was shaped by ideas about a healthy lifestyle and outdoors activities: the balconies, roof terrace, veranda and garden allowed for intensive use of outdoor spaces for fresh air, sun, games and relaxation. And the family made full use of these opportunities: there are countless photographs showing the family enjoying the garden or one of the balconies.
The ‘public’ part of the garden, visible from the street, consisted primarily of lawn and cleanly trimmed evergreen hedges. This part of the garden had a relatively static design with crisp horizontal and vertical lines. The garden to the east of the retaining wall was intended for private use and was therefore separated from the entrance and driveway. It was slightly lower and had a more dynamic design with softer lines. Areas of low planting gradually fused with higher plants and the lines of the hedges were softened here and there with overgrowing plants
Een tuin bij een witte villa: Huis Sonneveld te Rotterdam. ‘The Garden of a White Villa: Sonneveld House in Rotterdam’, article by Eric Blok and Birgit Lang in Cascade, Bulletin voor tuinhistorie, 2003. The authors were the landscape architects for the restoration of Sonneveld House. They researched the history of the garden and devised the planting plan.