Living life to the full with art and nature
The Rosa Spier House offers artists and scholars a perfect place to pursue their passion permanently
Established in Laren in 1969, the Rosa Spier House is a residential and professional community for artists and scholars. The illustrious house now occupies new accommodation geared to providing an inspiring living and working environment in a new ensemble of buildings on a new site. At the same time, the facility offers high-quality and personal care to those who require it.
Living life to the full with art and nature
The Rosa Spier House is celebrated and loved. This is because of the renowned harpist and initiator Rose Spier, after whom it is named, and the famous residents, past and present, among them Marten Toonder, M.C. Escher and Caroline Kaart. Containing 137 living units where residents can remain throughout their lives, the new facility is considerably larger than its predecessor and houses artists of all ages. The central cultural building, apartments and care dwellings are all connected to one another but can be separated. This has resulted in a balance between the desired sense of community and privacy and a small-scale character. At the core of both the individual buildings and the continuous connecting route is the perception and practice of art. Residents and staff can reach one another via the garden paths. The existing green setting has been incorporated as an integral part of the ensemble. It provides the Rosa Spier House with a high-quality nature-inclusive setting, resulting in an inspiring and healthy living environment for staff and residents. Interior and exterior spaces overlap with each other in the form of individual and shared terraces, pergolas and transparent circulation routes. As a result, maximum daylight can enter the building, while interior spaces enjoy contact with nature outside. The original pond has acquired a prominent place outdoors, with the buildings arranged around it among the preserved trees. They enclose the wonderful green courtyard garden that provides a place for performances and recitals during fine weather.
Culture and care
The centrally positioned culture building is the flagship of the Rosa Spier House. Accessed through the main entrance, it houses the Anna Stibbe Concert and Theatre Hall, exhibition space, grand café and, on two levels, studios. Adjoining the culture building are two care wings. Residents receive intensive care in these 45 residential-care apartments. Twenty of these are specifically allocated for residents with dementia. Located behind the care unit and on the other side of the culture house are 92 apartments of varying size distributed across four compact residential buildings: The Musician, The Sculptor, The Painter and The Writer. Designed for independent living, these units allow residents to access a garden, balcony or roof terrace and, where required, extra services, support and care facilities. The autonomy of the resident is paramount throughout, and the building facilitates that. Everybody is free to do and they please, smoking is permitted and domestic animals are welcome. Artworks by past and current residents are prominently positioned in the homes, care apartments, shared spaces and outdoors. They provide continuous inspiration and make the house an enjoyable and recognizable place to live.
"WE STARTED OUT AS A RESIDENTIAL AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY. BUT IN RECENT YEARS THE EMPHASIS HAS INCREASINGLY SHIFTED TO CARE. YOU SEE THAT ORIGINAL IDEA REAPPEAR HERE IN THIS HOUSE"
- Karin Annaert, governor/director Rosa Spier House
Special house for colourful residents
The logical interweaving of housing, care and art in a park-like setting makes the design of the Rosa Spier House so remarkable. A design that does not focus solely on either living or care, but rather allows normal life to continue while supporting artistic practice and maintaining the autonomy of residents. This house for culture and care is unique in the world, is exemplary in the current era, and reflects ideas about growing old in a place where you can continue to live independently, be yourself and lead a dignified and fine life with like-minded people.
EGM architects worked with EGM advisors, Slokker Bouwgroep, Melior Real Estate and Sheryl Leysner interior architecture on the new building for the Rosa Spier House.
Photography: Scagliola+Brakkee, Sheryl Leysner (theatre)