-Re House

“-Re” House no. 21 – It’s the little things

“-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. 

Rethinking and reorganizing a home does not always have to imply changing everything. Sometimes is the little things, a few small changes that make all the difference.

Original layout:
•  Completed: 2010
Surface: 70m²
Loggia: 9m²
External storage: 5m²

• This is actually a not so small apartment. At 70m², it has plenty of space to cater to all the needs of its residents, however the layout actually makes me think of scarcity.
• The double access to the bathroom might have been thought of as a facilitating, however in reality it takes away usable space from both the bedroom and the bathroom. This is an apartment that caters to a small family, the bathroom is not an en-suite thus, the extra door to the bedroom is not necessary.
• The small size of the second bedroom and the lack of any other storage spaces means that the burden falls on to the master bedroom. If the secondary bedroom is to be used as a bedroom and not a as an office, this has the potential of creating clutter and to affect privacy and circulations.
• The access to the storage/laundry room is done through the kitchen and implicitly through the living room. While this is very handy to have as a pantry, it makes no sense as a laundry room. As previously mentioned in plenty of other “-Re” Houses, this is a mater of privacy and access. An access point from the hallway would make the space available at all times, no matter the activities taking place in the living room.
• Last but not the least, I feel that this kitchen layout diminishes the whole idea of an open space layout. In order to make use of its elements one has to work mostly turned away from the rest of the space. So, if you are a person who likes to entertain this will not allow you to cook and easily communicate with your guests.

New layout:
• The first thing I did was to reorganize the bathroom. As you can see, I removed the door to the master bedroom and allowed access only from the hallway. I narrowed it and changed the standard shower cabin to a personalized option that makes use of the entire length of the room. This is actually an easier option no matter the age of the residents.
• I then decreased the size of the master bedroom by removing the storage. By having the storage/wardrobe accessible from the hallway, both bedrooms can make use of it without loosing privacy and without the risk of becoming cluttered.
• I moved the access to the storage/pantry/laundry in the hallway and separated the laundry function from the pantry by creating a well defined storage space in the kitchen.
• I changed the layout of the kitchen to allow for a better communication with the rest of the space and implicitly with one’s guests.
• The one thing I am not particularly happy about is the fact that in order to reach the loggia space from the living room one would have to cross through the middle of the entertaining space. For example, in this particular layout, somebody would have to walk in front of the TV, possibly disturbing anybody using it at that time. However, due to the narrow size of the space, the options are somewhat limited. They do depend on the residents and the way they use the space. The same applies to the secondary bedroom. The use of it as a child bedroom is a standard general option. There are multiple variations that can be applied, however to go that far into detail I’d need an existing context and you’d actually have to hire me!

Click here for more “-Re” House projects
Click here for more “-Re” Adapt projects

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