Architect Pieter Weijnen’s tall, skinny blue house stands on Steigereiland, one of seven artificial islands dredged from Amsterdam’s IJ Lake in IJburg, the city’s most recent urban expansion plan. The house is not much older than the ground it’s built upon and is surrounded by deep-blue waters and a dizzying range of forms, finishes, and hues—just minutes away from the historic city center.
The “fairytale boat,” so visible from the outside, is also the first thing you see upon entering the house. Suspended above the ground floor, the enigmatic, scaly, blue-green mass hovers, just as likely the belly of a sea dragon as the hull of some fantasy ship. From below, the color and texture of the copper plates, with their beautiful verdigris, form a sculptural centerpiece for the house, articulating and enhancing the vertical thrust of the space rather than interrupting it.
“We always intended to have the kitchen at street level and the living room above it,” says Weijnen, explaining how “the ship” evolved. “So I decided to suspend the living room on a platform 13 feet from the floor. As it’s so visible, the platform needed to have an interesting shape. A friend of mine who builds yachts designed a hull-like structure for it, and we finished it off with recycled copper from a church roof, cut into plates.”
yossawat : the blue house