Zaanse Datsja

In the context of the "Netherlands-Russia year" in 2013, Studio Elmo Vermijs built a Datsja, a Russian cabin. The design, which combines woodworking techniques from Russia and the Zaandam area, visualizes the historical relationship between the two regions.


Czar Peter spent several days in Zaandam in 1632 to study local woodworking techniques. The house where he stayed is one of the oldest wooden houses in the Netherlands and sits right across the Zaanse Datjsa.


Studio Elmo Vermijs designed the Zaanse Datsja for a wide range of activities. The shutters can be closed, partially or completely opened depending on the character of the activity that is taking place. All the materials that are used for the dacha come from the area of Zaandam; the roof is made from old cheese boards: the shutters come from an old discarded fence; and the wooden beams are taken from demolished student housing. Each part is either untreated, partially or completely charred.


The Zaanse Datsja is located in the Monet Garden set on vacant land in the center of Zaandam. The urban garden is open daily and run by locals, who grow vegetables, fruits and herbs, and regularly organize activities involving the dacha as a meeting place for locals, tourists and passers-by. The datsja is mobile and can be used at other places as well in the future.