Storytelling

Storytelling

Willem Mulierhof 51, 1067 SJ Amsterdam

 

‘Space is the most beautiful piece of furniture', according to Ton de Gier (1925 - 1980). 


We're meeting with the four children of the De Gier family, in the bright and spacious living room. They are between 50 and 60 years old now. We're seated on the couch by the large window, with a panoramic view of the green polder. They spent their entire childhoods here.

‘In 1962 our father, Ton de Gier, an urban planner, purchased a plot of land on Willem Mulierhof. Back then, the city was dirty and hectic. Which inspired him to build his family a home in West. Close to the city, yet amidst the sprawling, green landscape.

As the head of Urban Development with the Municipality of Amsterdam, our father had a clear vision for the city. He understood like no other that the city needed to invest in mobility and that it was bursting at the seams. In that sense, he spearheaded new neighborhoods, like West, Buitenveldert and De Bijlmer. As well as the Metro Line.

 
Previously, De Gier was a student of Cornelis Van Eesteren (1897-1988). Van Eesteren was a well-known architect and was widely known for his functional urban designs. He was a member of the De Stijl movement and his designs the Western Garden Estates (Westelijke Tuinsteden). Van Eesteren's designs were always based on experiences. They were always surprising, adventurous. But they also had to feel like home.  

The philosophy of this mentor is not only reflected in De Gier's professional work as an Urban Planner, but also in the design of his home. Light, restraint, craftsmanship and space have the upper hand. But the house, single-level, is also dynamic with numerous unconventional nooks and rooms. And an extremely welcoming atmosphere. Two years after De Gier purchased the lot, in 1964, the family of six moved in.  

Our father was adverse of folly and held firmly to his principles. Whereas the neighbors' children went to school in Amsterdam-Zuid, we went to the local school. He truly believed in this neighborhood.