This detached Rotterdam house had been extended several times in recent decades. Ooze architects translated the owners desire to recycle the ‘soul’ of the house by transforming it in an unusual way. The young architectural firm began with a commission to design a kitchen that then evolved into a complete renovation. The design was based on the maximum building envelope: ridge height, as well as the depth of the extension was defined by the zoning plan.”We simply connected these points” says Eva Pfannes, the architect who designed the transformed house along with her studio partner, Sylvain Hartenberg.
The house on which Ooze began to work had gradually grown over the years. It now consisted of two perpendicular building volumes with a pitched roof, a lower semicircle building in between connecting the two parts, and several extensions on the other side in the angle of the hook-shaped house. The owners wanted to reform these incoherent parts into a logical and comprehensive whole. The pre-defined maximum envelope formed the guideline for a new skin that wraps around the old house and shapes new spaces for inhabitation.
Beyond style or architectural aesthetic, the aim was to engage in a process of rediscovery of the vernacular, to introduce a dialogue between the old and preserved and the new, and to explore a new language which reinterprets the old. It is not an object, it is a collection of very comfortable spaces which are intertwined with the landscape, an extended envelope which extends the possibilities of inhabitation. 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.
“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.