Portal to nature

Studio Tjep. have designed two entrance gates to the Aemstel Schooltuin in the Netherlands.

Studio Tjep. has created two whimsical portals to nature in the historical Amstel Area in the Netherlands.

The Dutch design studio was commissioned by the Amsterdam South City Council to create two new sets of entrance gates into the famous Aemstel Schooltuin, a school garden that has been open to the public since 1959. The working-garden, where over 500 school children will learn about nature and grow their own plants, is situated in Amstel, a picturesque place steeped in rich cultural history.

Tjep. created two gates to add a contemporary element to the historical area.

This amazing area deserved a design that paid homage to the unique context, but also brought a new influence to the place, says Tjep. founder and lead designer, Frank Tjepkema.

The two gates are essentially a border between city and nature, in particular took keep the notorious plant criminals, rabbits, at bay – which the design does through tightly woven patterns at the bottom. It’s design was bought to life by integrating references to the lush flora and fauna of the nearby environment combined with classical area elements.

The gates stand eight-meters wide and four-meters tall and become a portal, ushering people from the urban Amstel to the historical landscape beyond. 

I hope children and others will feel some anticipation, some excitement, as they pass through the gates to discover the verdant wonders of nature, Tjepkema concludes. 

Watch the Talk with Frank Tjepkema