The Unbound estate

Hotel concept for an urban escape

Amsterdam | NL

The Unbound was heavily influenced by the ideas of architect and urban planner Cornelis van Eesteren (1897-1988), who’s vision for the expansion of Amsterdam. where light, air and space determine the living climate, is more pertinent than ever today, despite being conceived in the 1930’s.

Faced with an unassuming plot of land on the outskirts of Amsterdam we saw the potential for an enchanting garden, just a bike ride away from the canals. Studio Appelo developed the philosophy that ran right through the project and informed every creative decision – from the landscaping of the estate to the interiors of the rooms and the graphic identity. Central to everything was fluidity and trust – dissolving boundaries, between inside and outside, private and public space. An openness to different uses and functions and trusting that the freedom this created would lead to something unexpected and beautiful.

At the heart of the plot, a sprawling pond with a long bench-lined bridge that runs east to west connects the two distinct parts of The Unbound. To the east the lay out is structured and more conventional. Here you’ll find the hotel, the restaurant and its accompanying vegetable garden. A boardwalk leads to the hotelrooms, some of them with private terraces where you can watch the sun setting over the gardens.
In contrast, the area west of the pond is more rugged and natural: cabins and lodges are loosely scattered among mounds that are covered in wildflowers. The (re-)introduction of a wide variety of native plants and trees immediately boosted the biodiversity of the area and attracted wildlife, birds and bees.
The landscape design invites guests to wander and explore. Paved paths become gravel paths, then just a trail, until they stop being a recognizable path at all. Around each bend you may stumble on a hidden clearing, a bench or a picnic spot.


Renée Appelo
Inès van Sandick
Camilla Ceccacci
Kevin Goh


Peter Mann