Tourism and architecture on Schiermonnikoog

in a certain sense Schiermonnikoog is the birthplace of De Zwarte Hond. Founder Jurjen van der Meer, son of a local contractor, grew up on Schiermonnikoog and, as an architect, he left his mark there. One of De Zwarte Hond‘s early designs, the Dijkstra house from the mid eighties, put the bureau on the map. in recent years a number of new designs have also made an impression on this Frisian island, such as the holiday home between dune and beach. These designs can be found in the recently and affectionately published book Van Opduin to Dockboot. Zomerhuizen en toerisme op Schiermonnikoog. (From Opduin to Dockboot. Summer homes and tourism on Schiermonnikoog.)

Tourists have been coming to the island since 1866: to enjoy the beach, the peace and quiet, nature, sun and sea. From then onwards the construction of summer homes became really popular. They are all reviewed in the book. From the Opduin family holiday home built in 1913 by principal author Sikko Onnes to the contemporary designs by De Zwarte Hond such as Dockboot. in the last chapter of the book Jurjen van der Meer talks about his experiences on Schiermonnikoog, from the boy who built little boats and kites in his father’s workshop to the architect who helped shape the island:

“i established De Zwarte Hond in 1985, first on my own in the attic and later together with various, partners in Groningen, Rotterdam and Cologne: an architecture and urban development bureau where the partners and staff work together on all kinds of projects, and always with a communal end product. One of De Zwarte Hond’s first commissions was the Dijkstra house on Schiermonnikoog.

For years now the bureau has been working on a body of work − holiday homes on the Frisian islands. Existing traditions are integrated in this work, from typical timber summer houses with verandas and thatched roofs, to the later brick bungalows with gently sloping roofs and large glass surfaces. Homes that reflect the holiday spirit: upbeat, light, and in direct contact with nature. intimate places to spend time with your loved ones.”

Learn more about the history of tourism on Schiermonnikoog and the holiday homes that have generated it. The book (in Dutch) can be ordered from the website of the Louise publishing company.