“-Re” House together with “-Re” Adapt are two series part of a project in which I review, refine and redesign residential projects available on the Dutch housing market. “-Re” House touches projects that have been completed after the year 2000 and could have been done more efficiently to begin with, while “-Re” Adapt looks at how to better adapt older residential architecture that was designed in a different cultural and historical context.
When I was in university, my best friend’s apartment – well, her mother’s apartment, but anyway – had about 90m², two bedrooms, one office, two bathrooms, two balconies, one living room, one kitchen, three dogs, six cats, two adults and many stowaway friends. And yet, despite that, it never felt small.
• Completed: 1970
External storage: 8m²
• The first thing one notices in this apartment is the distance between the kitchen and the dining room. Yes, we all adore to slalom while carrying towers of plates and hot liquids. It is the highlight of the day.
• For the rest, the placement of the bathroom sink denotes impracticality, the dryer in the bedroom shows that the previous owners used the room as a storage (thus not using the apartment at full capacity) and the kitchen space is rather inefficiently used.
This does brings up the question: is a dryer, in this day and age, a commodity or a necessity? How do you see it?
• The initial location of the second bedroom is perfect for the dining room. It makes much more sense to travel shorter distances, to have them connected and work as one. In this case they are close enough to save one from training for the circus while moving everything needed, yet far enough to make the dinning space feel special.
• Moving the new bedroom to the location of the original dining room was the next obvious step. One solution could be to keep the living room and dining room as one space and thus access the secondary bedroom through it. It would however, decrease the efficient use of the space as it would add circulation areas. It would also decrease the privacy of the second bedroom and as that is one of the important guidelines in my designs, the option fell rapidly through.
• If before, work was something done outside of the home, today, more and more people work partially or fully from home. This makes a designated work space no longer feel like a commodity but rather a necessity. Thus, the addition of the work space in the living area.
• As I said in the beginning, 90m² is a rather decent surface for an apartment. So, depending on the needs of a family, this can easily be transformed in a three bedroom home.
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