Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Monumental School Reprogrammed into Apartments in Utrecht, The Netherlands by BYTR Architects
May 29th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Having lost its original function in 2005, this former school, located in the centre of Utrecht, was divided into eight elements each to be sold separately and renovated into new residential properties.
BYTR was asked to renovate two of these elements into three apartments. However, we proposed a more complex spatial solution which would allow for a fourth apartment to be included in the same space, generating more revenue for the project.
Years of modifications, improvements and repairs to the facades and interiors have created a rich tapestry of materials and spatial relations which record the long history of the school. BYTR have both drawn upon and continued this tradition when creating the new internal volumes as well as a new external relationship more suited to the school’s new residential function.
Windows to the rear of the building were lowered to better suit the new domestic condition. The originals were located above head height and offered no views to the outside world, to prevent students from being distracted.
The use of mezzanines not only maximizes the amount of livingspace available but also creates an interesting play between different levels, areas of light and dark and introverted versus extraverted spaces. Stairs play an important role in this interior, not only acting as a bridge between these contrasting levels but also an an object which both defines and enhances the space. The clever use of bathrooms, storage and closet space further develop this idea of objects defining rooms.
Contact BYTR Architects