For a private investor, we converted a 215 square meter part of this beautiful 120 year old old Warehouse on one of the busiest harbours of the Port of Rotterdam. The dimly lit space combined with a north-facing facade with just a few windows meant the owner had to have a high capacity of experience in order to perceive a bright and well usable office space. But this capacity combined with the architectural aspirations and the open mind of the owner have led to a perfect collaboration and a well thought out design.
We started out by investigating the maximum number of wall openings in close contact with the monuments committee of the municipality. After securing the right from the committee to open-up the bricked up old window openings in the facade and add extra windows and doors, we decided to recess the complete interior design from the old walls. This appearance of the design being somewhat subtracted from the original shell, the old brick walls, has a dual purpose, at the facade it ensures the minimal north-facing daylight to flow in across both levels. Here we bridged the half meter between the interior and the outer wall with a glass floor over the full width. Furthermore, we added mirrors on the walls on both levels. In the interior the design principle of subtracting the new from the old creates an enriched contrast between the original building and it’s novice function. This is strengthened by material use such as aluminum wall panelling and a stainless steel kitchen. The wood panelling forms a volume embracing the large central vide and ensuring a perfect acoustic for an office.
@Studio De Nooyer, thanks for the photography!