hofjeswoningen oplevering

Hofjeswoningen Westeinde

In the old city centre of The Hague we revived three 19th century mews houses (hofjeswoningen in dutch). The mews has a long and rich history, both in terms of use and expression.

In spite of the bad condition and unlisted status we did sense the historic and architectural charm. We maintained the spirit of the building which formed and changed over and over during its existence. From the original simplicity of cheaply built 19th century workers’ housing to the industrial feel of 20th century workshops. We then added another layer to facilitate a new lease of life as contemporary and comfortable city homes.

Converting the neglected building into brand new homes offered the opportunity to create real value for the client. Value framed in a sensible architectural statement.

Efficient planning

We built three duplex city homes. Due to the size of the dwellings efficient planning was essential.

We turned the classic house upside down – with bedrooms 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. While energy use needs reduction to a minimum. We insulated roof, walls and ground floor. And replaced old, single glazed window panes with new high performance windows. A new low-temperature central heating system reduces energy consumption further.

A smart demand-controlled ventilation system ensures good indoor air quality.

Anodised aluminium

Without touching the building’s masonry structure we carefully rearranged its façade. New windows and frames visually bring back the original division into three homes.

Here 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 intervention to reuse as much of the existing building as its condition permitted. We peeled old and defective parts and added a new and contemporary layer. A subtle approach yet a quite radical transformation. From miserable workers’ housing to energy efficient and comfortable city homes.

We take pride in delivering architectural sense on a very tight budget. The project fits perfectly in studio suit’s portfolio of work: we focus on contemporary architectural interventions in existing buildings.

Hofjeswoningen Westeinde is one of 9 nominees for the 2016 Reynaers Projectprijs.