This classic Dutch row house was in poor condition, and required a thorough reinforcement of the foundation and load-bearing structure to make it livable. In spite of its structural issues, the brick building had great potential, as well as strong aesthetic and functional qualities with glass-in-lead detailing, and classic ‘en-suite’ room separations.
A combination of intrepid clients, and an ambitious design vision has resulted in a dramatic redesign for an otherwise commonplace apartment renovation. Voids and split levels now accentuate its full height. The rear façade has been removed and clad with glass to a full height of 11 meters. Floor levels have been detached from the façade, creating a void that spans three levels and generates an abundance of daylight for the interior. In the back of the house, the load-bearing wall between the corridor and the living room has been replaced with a steel construction, while four new floors extend from it.
These are connected to the existing floor levels, but the interplay of voids, split-levels, and a full glass facade, crafts a spectacular drama between interior and exterior on the one hand, and between the existing and new floors levels on the other. The new build in the back of the house is a three-dimensional, L-shaped element of five stories, accessed by an elegant steel staircase, which introduces a new dynamic between the different parts of the house. It also facilitates a separation of functions (owners and guests, for example). Vertically, the L-shaped element ends in a roof-terrace, with a jacuzzi and outer kitchen lying far away and above the balconies of the lower floors.
Playing upon the tension between antique features and contemporary style, the renovation restores the classical street facade to its former glory, but offers something bold and new behind closed doors. To the owner, the residence promises an extraordinary living experience within a classic context. To passers-by, it maintains the quiet guise of the classic row house.