“-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.
This apartment came my way via a discussion about a similar one that had been transformed through a castling between the bedroom and the kitchen.
Coming from a country where cooking is still a very strong part of the culture and cooking traditional dishes is still best advised in a room with natural ventilation, I can see why the choice was made.
The way the transformation was completed meant unfortunately that the new bedroom had no natural ventilation outside of the access door.
Bedrooms without traditional ventilation is something I have talked quite often (“-Re” Adapt no.11, “-Re” House no.15) and created several designs that showcase how to deal with that type of situation. That being said, a room with only a solid access door will never be an accepted solution for a bedroom.
- Original layout:
- Basic layout without any major problems. The kitchen is a little claustrophobic for my taste, but hey, my kitchens have spoiled me.
- The one thing that I can distinctly say I have an issue with is the access to the garden through the bedroom.
Now, in lockout times, this isn’t much of a problem, however, the rest of the time this can raise a lack of privacy when guests are involved. In my opinion it can also break the line between work and private now that we’re almost all working from home.
True, this is the very definition of first world nitpicking, but hey, you’re not reading my website for a review of participation prizes.
- New layout:
- Important: I have no way of confirming the load bearing walls. I personally suspect the bedroom and kitchen walls have no structural role, however as this is a construction of the 70’s that may be a possibility.
As a result my design addresses only the situation in which the above mentioned interior walls have no structural aspirations. Please always, and I can’t emphasize this enough, always research the structural qualities before going bonanza with a sledgehammer. Particularly in a ground floor apartment.
- As one of the desires for this space was to make use of as much window surface as possible, I decided to focus on an open plan design and move the bedroom in the “nook”.
This change allows one to access the main space of the apartment faster than before, first visually and physically.
- In this scenario, both bedroom and living room have the largest possible surface of windows. The garden can be accessed through the day space. And the kitchen pipes and utilities require minimal relocation.
- Due to the openness of the space, it is not a design suitable for everyone, but then again, that is valid for every single layout out there.