1994-1995, Utrecht, The Netherlands
The challenge for designing the garden for the new head quarters of the savings bank VSB was to link the building with the surrounding ecological park. The basis for the garden design was to raise the plot so that the parking garage beneath the building presents a 1.4 metre high plinth in a green space. Above a flowering layer of herbaceous plants is a forest of birches, their grid serving to counter the large building. The building’s plinth, clad as it is in tiles, the colour of anthracite with imprints of birch twigs. Hence there is an exhilarating contrast between fossilized and living nature. One of the paths through the ecological park has been extended into the birch forest. From here it crosses a 200 metre long buxus garden by means of a poetic steel garden bridge containing a bench. The reptilian bridge and a variety of unsubtle red sandstone blocks put the sleek, discreet bank building into some sort of perspective.