-Re Adapt

“-Re” Adapt no.20 – And Sometimes a Bulldozer Is The Only Way Out

“-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. 

The presence of the double doors in the bathroom, its location next to the kitchen and the year of construction tell you with certitude that this apartment has already seen a number of modifications from its original layout.
I would honestly not be surprised if at its origin there was no sink in the toilet; an unfortunately common historical inheritance of the technological past.

  • Original layout:
    Completed: 1966
    Surface: 95m²
    Balcony: 5m²
    External Storage: 3m²

•  Obviously, the first thing that caught my attention was the unfortunate location of the bathroom and its double access from the kitchen and dining room.
I always end up picturing awkward situations of people in bathrobes clashing with guests or people cooking. It is actually a fun way to discover the possible issues that may later arise.
•  Within this floor plan, there are two circulations that keep crossing paths: the bedroom-bathroom line and the living room-kitchen line. This is bound to create problems both in casual day to day activities as well as in regard to privacy when guests are involved.

  • New layout:

• Due to technical considerations, the bathroom and the toilet are the last spaces in the house you’d want to relocate. This results in the kitchen being the obvious candidate to take the plunge. True, it is not the easiest thing to relocate a kitchen, however its implications are easier to deal with.
• By relocating both the kitchen and the living spaces, I have created a cluster for the day activities which has no disruptive interaction to the night area (a.k.a. the bedrooms).
• The relocation of the kitchen has freed up the space next to the bathroom, allowed for an easy access to it and a much more liberal use of the balcony. Its previous location is a great candidate for a storage/entry way area. It is easily accessed and reached from all spaces being thus able to cater to all of them.
• The balcony is now a stronger feature in the layout. It can be accessed with ease from the living room and together with the intermediary hallway can serve as additional space during parties and other social events.

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