The original building was built as a workshop but was used as an office the last decade. It was established around 1880. Through the years there have been several renovations. We definitely wanted to get rid of the existing interior that was built in the 90’s. Besides, the existing building was quite dark because it only had daylight from the front and rear facades.
Because the client loves New York, we decided to take the NYC warehouse as a metaphor. The industrial stairs, the concrete floor, the brick wall, the open space, they all contribute to the warehouse atmosphere. The floor is made of new polished concrete what is normally used for industrial purposes. The wooden core is made of plywood with a finishing of brushed oak. The existing walls are made of solid bricks that had to be insulated from the inside. The wall adjacent to the neighbors didn’t need insulation so could be uncovered. Different brick types, braces and repairs tell their story about the history of the building. The existing arches in the brick wall have been restored and exposed. The existing floor was made of a wooden structure on steel beams. The steel beams have been preserved while the wooden structure could easily be modified to make space for the voids.
The big challenge was to fit the required spaces (e.g. only 1 bedroom) in the available 200 m2 in such way that the different areas would still feel cozy and manageable. Normally we get the question the other way around: “design a house of 120 m2 containing 6 bedrooms”, so the more fun to take up this challenge. Because the wooden volume is placed in the center of the house, the space gets separated but the experience of space remains. Besides, the lack of daylight was a leading issue in developing the design. By introducing three skylights and voids underneath the daylight can enter the house, even on the ground floor.
EVA is a new architectural firm established in 2015 by Jeroen Baars, Daniel Biesheuvel, Jeroen Makkink and Maarten Terberg.