Duisburg, Tervuren 2015
A very thorough renovation/transformation of an early 20th century spacious single-family-house that was no longer conform 21th century demands. The architect did not hesitate to approach this building very ambitious and motivated the client to join him in this story. A story that resulted in a very harmonious house on the outside, as well as on the inside.
Some surprises during demolition works stressed the urgency for a thorough renovation even more. These surprises helped motivating some well-considered design decisions. Twisting the staircase in the building was one of them and made an other experience of the house and surroundings possible. An other example are the large windows which gave the house a completely different appearance. These new large openings where only possible due to the decision of the architect to relocate the living room to the first floor and bedrooms to to street-level. By placing these large window one in front of another new and more depths and views occurred.
Next to these bigger conceptual decisions the architect conceptualized several skilful details that perfectly fit the architecture preconceived. Three floor materials are used in the house specific to demands of those rooms: concrete, industrial parquet and terrazzo. In each of the common rooms the floor material was used for an object or piece of furniture. The terazzo floor of the shower transfers smoothly into the in-situ made bathtub. In the living room the desk is made out of the same wood as the floor which results in a beautiful integrated object. The same principle was used in the kitchen where the partly floating kitchentop is moulded in the same brown concrete as the floor.
The small extension creates an inner garden in front of the bathroom thus resulting in more privacy. In the small extension there’s a storage room for fruits from the garden and a desk looking over the garden and landscape behind.
The architect chose weathering steel for the façade, not only for its esthetical quality but more for its similar colour and texture in relation to the neighbouring houses. The weathering steel was the perfect solution to use as second insulating skin over the existing and neglected building since it creates a protective patina on its own.