“-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.
By now, you know the drill. The original/existing layout could do with some improvements, so here is my approach.
• The space of the corridor is dead. There are extremely limited ways to use it further than as a crossing space. One could be adventurous and place a set of narrow shelves, however that is not much of a gain in the context of the entire apartment.
• The apartment is small, thus the kitchen could not be too large. However the way it was placed makes it feel even more narrow and rather claustrophobic. If it would have been completely separated from the rest of the apartment than the small size would have been unavoidable, however there are plenty of options to have a small open kitchen feel spacious.
• The living space might seem large, however the placement of the laundry space and of the air ventilation system force circulation paths within its space and in turn limit its furniture placement and usability. (Yes, I know. I like making long sentences. ;) )
• The balcony. Oh, the balcony! (Breathe in…) That is not a balcony. That is a ledge to get your nose out in the snow, like a cat that behaves royally and stares at the bad weather from a distance.
Some time ago when structurally it was more complex to add a balcony to the facade, or in the narrow streets of old cities (Lisbon, Barcelona and many more) those balconies are rather welcome. However in a brand new building with more than enough space around it, these are puny, mean after thoughts.
• The space of the corridor is actually used for more than just passing by. It allows access to several spaces and connects them efficiently.
• This is one of the situations when the bathroom can complain as much as she wants, yet won’t get a window. Sorry! It did however get a more efficient use of the space and a larger shower. It now also has a large closed right across from it where towels (and not only) can be stored without getting moist.
• Though not much bigger, the kitchen has a more spacious feel. It allows direct use of the table if more counter space is necessary.
• The balcony actually allows the placement of a chair and even a small table to enjoy a lovely coup of coffee be it sun or rain.
• The laundry/utility room can now be used without walking one’s dirty laundry though the kitchen and living space.
• For those that really can’t live without, there is enough space to add a door separating the kitchen & living space from the bedroom & bathroom area.