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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

Villa Rotterdam in The Netherlands by OOZE architects

January 21st, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: OOZE architects

Living in a Structure

The project is a redevelopment of a villa located in a green neighborhood of Rotterdam.

The existing villa was composed of an eclectic set of buildings stuck together forming a strange architectural patchwork: An original building from the early 20th century, a first extension built in 1991 mirroring the house and a final touch in 2003 to add 3 rooms and several facilities just before the current owner moved in.

Exterior View (Images Courtesy Jeroen Musch & Ooze)

  • Architect: OOZE architects (Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg)
  • Name of Project: Villa Rotterdam
  • Location: Rotterdam,The Netherlands
  • Project: Villa refurbishment
  • Client: Confidential
  • Assistants: Rene Sangers, Interns: Eloka Som, Maartje Franse
  • Photos: Jeroen Musch & Ooze
  • Software used: Different usual CAD software for architect but the most important one was used by the contractor and is called “xsteel”. It is a very powerful 3d software which enables you to produce all the production drawings in 3d. Very important for this type of project. The tolerance of construction was very low, 5mm.

Interior View (Images Courtesy Jeroen Musch & Ooze)

  • Building Consultant: BOUWHAVEN Consultants (Ruud Ghering, Corstiaan Verschoor, Jasper  Martens)
  • Engineer: Pieters Bouwtechniek ( Jaap Dijks)
  • Main contractor: DB Bouw BV
  • Drawings: Bouwbreed BV
  • Services: Interdaad installbouw
  • Inbuilt furniture: Binnenruimte
  • Styling: Dutch Style Company (Monique van der Reijden)
  • Date: 2009 – 2010
  • Use: Residential
  • Site Area: 2500㎡ including water
  • Bldg. Area: 250㎡
  • Gross Floor Area: 549   ㎡
  • Bldg. Coverage Ratio: 10 %
  • Gross Floor Ratio: 1.25 %
  • Bldg. Scale: 2 Stories above Ground ,  0 Stories below Ground
  • Structure: Lenotec – solid wood construction
  • Max. Height: 11 m
  • Landscape Area: 750 ㎡
  • Parking Lot: 4 cars
  • Exterior Finish: Black wood cladding, green roof, glass
  • Design year: 2008
  • Completion year: 2010


Interior View (Images Courtesy Jeroen Musch & Ooze)

Although the existing house proved to be highly inefficient with a set of substantially unusable spaces, the clients really enjoyed the feeling and “the soul of the house”, in other words the task became providing a new house in preserving the spirit of the old house.

The only possible expansion of the foot print were the permission free extension from the two side walls of the original house and to extend to a new maximum height of 11m.

We have decided to use this given maximum envelop as a guide line to form the skin wrapping around the old house and shape new spaces for inhabitation.

Interior View (Images Courtesy Jeroen Musch & Ooze)

The layout has been totally reorganized around a central void. A new staircase on the north wall is servicing first and second floor. Folds and facets were generated by an intuitive rationalism following what was permitted and what would benefit the space inside. This skin became the structure which sits like a hat on top of the existing and works as a load carrier to bring down the additional weight induced by the new floors and roofs.

The only construction method able to perform the precision and the speed of delivery requested by the client was prefabricated solid timber panel (Lenotec) used for the structure of the skin (roof, walls and floor).

Interior View (Images Courtesy Jeroen Musch & Ooze)

This structure is expressed on the inside as well, it gives a sense of the new and the old: living in a new a structure together with the old walls. The transition between the 2 is subtle and gradual. As you go up in the house the relationship is changing. The new is gradually taking over the old. The spaces generated for inhabitation became very different and very specific enriching the life within in the house.

The outside makes reference to traditional Dutch farms using sedum green roofs and black stained ACCOYA* planks in a standard width. The lines of the cladding wrap around the house like a continuous new skin.

Bird Eye View (Images Courtesy Jeroen Musch & Ooze)

Beyond style or architectural aesthetic, our aim was to engage in a process of rediscovery of the vernacular, to introduce a dialogue between the old preserved next to the new and to explore a new language which reinterprets the old.

In the days of “Vacant NL” we are convinced that reclaiming the past is a form a rediscovery of a different future, away from the tabula rasa, a more sustainable and inspiring way of enriching the environment we live in.

* High-technology fast growing, sustainably-sourced wood more durable than teak.


Concept (Images Courtesy Bouwbreed BV)

Jeroen (Musch), the photographer:
“Some people look at it with the wrong filters, they expect to see something which it is not. They still look at it with “modernist” eyes and expect to see an object. It is no object – forget about the box, especially about the white box.
It is a collection of very comfortable spaces which are intertwined with the landscape. An extended envelop which extends the possibilities and does not try to make it pretentious.”

Facade schedule (Images Courtesy Bouwbreed BV)

Gaby, the client:
“The house is a precedent in establishing a new culture of dealing with an existing structure.
“Recycling” is another nature of work; therefore it is not a formalistic but a conceptual house. The new and old come together, in fact they are melted together. The old does not disappear, it is enhanced, and all shapes of the original are still there. The new reacts to it and explodes the space, and creates an interesting expression. Everything has its value and all shapes have a reason.

An openness in both parties, architect and client, was necessary to make the project more special and more stunning. We went together through an incredible process and the project is the result of this. Both, the recycling of the structure and the process can be seen as a sign of times and make it into a landmark.”


Ground floor (Images Courtesy Bouwbreed BV)

1st floor (Images Courtesy Bouwbreed BV)

Section AA (Images Courtesy Bouwbreed BV)

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Category: Villa

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