“-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.
I grew up in a house. A beautiful little brick construction built in the 30’s. My bedroom was almost a cube with a floor surface of about 9.5m² and a height of 3.3m. Sounds small, right? What if I tell you that the living room was 16m²? Does it sound better? Yes, because they are proportionate. And in truth the room wasn’t really that small.
My best friend’s apartment was a 3 bedroom apartment and it had the “glorious” surface of 90m². So how come a 115m² apartment has a living plus kitchen of 57m², a master bedroom of 22m², but a secondary bedroom of 8m²? Why? There is plenty of space. Why be mean to your children?
I talked about this before in the case of Re House no.3 and in my presentation for Garage Rotterdam. And it still is an element for which I can not find any reason to back it up. If you happen to know its logic, please do share.
• Completed: 2002
Besides the bedroom issue that I have already explained, there are a few other elements that I’d like to mention.
• The fact that there are windows available on three of the four walls encapsulating the apartment yet the choice was once again to shove everything (bathroom, laundry, toilet) in the center. I do understand, and most of the time support the ease in construction by having everything all curled up against the technical pipes, however for the placement of the technical line much more needs to be taken in consideration. If you’re new here, see my call to give the bathroom a window.
• Speaking of the bathroom. We have 115m²! 115m²!!! And yet the bathroom has 4m², which is less than the next door storage space! It is cramped. There is no space to move, not to talk about having two people at the same time at the sink without doing the museum closet dance like Audrey and Peter.
• I’m also not a fan of the going round the apartment corridor to get to the living space. As well as of having the door to the second bedroom right next to the entrance door. The space needs to have the ability to guide, however in this context you’d be better with a map.
• I wanted to make an easy functional distinction between the day and night area. And so the first thing I did was to study the location of the apartment in order to see if the choice in placing each space was based on the available views. I found all views to be of equal standard so I rotated the functions. This allows a short trip from the front door to the living room without intruding in the private area of the house. It also allows easy access to the toiled from either the day area or the night (private) area.
• I have balanced the sizes of the bedroom. And in truth, there is enough space to add a third bedroom.
• And though I still have a long corridor in the design, that corridor is now a fully functional one, encapsulated in the night area.