In one of the oldest streets in The Hague we revived three mid 19th century mews houses – previously in use as workshops and car park.
Although badly neglected and not listed we sensed the historic and architectural charm of the old mews. We carefully maintained the spirit of the building that formed and changed over and over again during its existence: from the original simplicity of cheaply built 19th century workers’ housing to the industrial feel of 20th century workshops – and added another layer to facilitate its new lease of life as contemporary and comfortable city dwellings.
Converting the dilapidated building into contemporary homes offered the opportunity to create real value for the client whilst making a sensible architectural statement. The combination of both is at the core of studio suit’s work.
We built three small duplex city homes. Due to the size of the dwellings efficient planning was essential.
We turned the classic house upside down – with sleeping downstairs and living upstairs – to create an upstairs floor free of room divisions. Here we offer open plan living – flexible space to be used at will.
Comfortable and healthy living
Modern city homes ask for maximum comfort in a healthy environment reducing energy consumption to a minimum. We insulated roof, walls and ground floor and exchanged old, single glazed windows with new insulated window frames and glazing. New energy efficient central heating boilers combined with underfloor heating reduce energy consumption further.
A simple and inexpensive demand-controlled ventilation system ensures good indoor air quality.
Without touching the building’s structure we carefully rearranged its façade. New windows and frames visually bring back the original division into three homes.
We used anodised aluminium to contrast nicely with the rough plaster walls. This industrial material suits the straightforward look of the building well while the warm champagne colour combines nicely with the white wall.
Minimum resources – maximum gain
We limited the architectural intervention to reuse as much of the existing building as its condition permitted. We peeled off old and defective parts and added a new and contemporary layer if and where required. A subtle approach yet a quite radical transformation – from miserable workers’ housing to energy efficient and comfortable city dwellings.
We take pride in delivering architectural sense on a very tight budget. The project fits perfectly in studio suit’s portfolio of work which focuses on contemporary architectural interventions in existing buildings.
The project is one of 9 nominees for the 2016 Reynaers Projectprijs.