Project Description

June 2014


Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Area: 140 m2
Materials: glass, steel, wood and paint
Structural Engineer: Atko

The transformation of our own very common 19th century Rotterdam upstairs apartment into an unique city paradise infused with biophilic design.

We had been living at this address since our student time. With the arrival of our daughter the rented apartment didn’t suffice any more and we were on the look out for a home with a (roof)garden. Then the opportunity came along to buy the house for a very good price and it also turned out that it was possible to rebuild the house drastically. This became the start of the transformation.

Our biggest wish was to have an outdoor place where our daughter could play and we could sunbath, BBQ and enjoy nature. To realize this, a big part of the original pointed roof had to be demolished. Consequence would be though that the house would become substantially smaller and would this be worth it, considering a roof terrace can only be used when it’s sunny and the Netherlands is not the sunniest country. That’s why we made a design for a terrace for sunny days which can be closed when it’s cold or raining. We call it our Cabrio apartment.

To make this roof terrace, not only had we to take a big part of the roof off, but also did we have to rearrange every room in the house. Where the master bedroom used to be is now the roof terrace. The bedroom moved to where the dining room was. The dining area moved to the top floor, to the spot where previously the bathtub stood. The bathroom and kitchen changed places. The new sitting area used to be a very cold and dark storage room and what used to be the living room is now a spacious play room. The in-between room (this is a typical 19th Century room in Rotterdam houses, where in the old days people used to sleep) has been converted into a walk-in closet. Only our daughter’s bedroom stayed at the same place.