A former garage in Amsterdam’s Eastern Islands district is transformed by Studio Appelo into a comfortable and contemporary home for a young family.
The Eastern Islands district in Amsterdam is next to the wharfs that were once home to the city’s shipping industry. This neighborhood is characterized not only by its rich history but also the warm, “village-like” character, which it still retains today. Within this neighbourhood, next to the old docks but hidden behind two old overhead doors, was the former industrial garage that Studio Appelo was challenged with transforming into a family home.
Preserving the heritage of the building and creating a modern and functional interior within the almost square space were both key in developing the design. In addition to the spatial principles, the designers had to work within a limited budget, with resources being concentrated on the kitchen and new facades.
The Y-shaped layout of the devised floor plan divides the 115 sq. m. house into zones: the open plan communal living areas, including the kitchen, living room and library are located on the brighter, busier street side of the house, while the children’s living and play area and adjacent bedrooms are in the more private space at the rear, with glass doors providing easy access to the peaceful courtyard at the back, a welcome retreat from city life for the family.
One of the most prominent features of the house are the “blass grune” windows, made up of ninety original steel frames, which allow the home to be filled with natural light. In the interior, the kitchen is dominated by a six-meter-long marble work-top, with industrial style elements, such as untreated concrete floors, textured plaster and steel doors, maintaining a reference to the home’s industrial history. Throughout the space, custom furniture and unique and practical decorating ideas combine the old and new, rough textures are mixed in with soft, and cool tones are blended with a vivid color palette, adding to the unique character of this original yet practical living space.
Studio Appelo website
Photography by Matthieu van Ek