Built in 1912, an old school in Rotterdam, South Holland, is reincarnated as six light-filled apartments.
Acclaimed Rotterdam practice
The loft was previously comprised of two classrooms with mushroom-shaped windows, and a wide hallway that ran parallel to the rooms.
The architects demolished the wall separating the two classrooms to create an open, spacious apartment.
The building’s 16.4-feet-high ceilings presented the duo with the chance to insert new intermediate floors and intimate mezzanines. They retained the unique, mushroom-shaped windows, but added a few apertures to create new sight lines, allow for more light penetration, and give the interiors a more expansive feel.
Behind the wooden bookshelf in the living lounge is a hidden staircase that leads up to the home office. From this space, the apartment’s owners can look out to the garden, and from a small opening in the white box, they can also look down at the
The kitchen has a large, concrete island with an oversized extractor hood above it. This white, box-like hood hangs from one of the load-bearing beams, mirroring the cubic form of the workspace box on the other side.
In the adjacent hallway, the architects created a mezzanine level to accommodate two bedrooms with low ceilings and alcove beds. One of the bedrooms has an interior window that looks towards the hallway, and the other has an interior window that looks to the main living area.
On the ground floor, a wooden box, which houses a walk-in closet and stairs to the bedrooms, acts as a partition that dissects the hallway, creating a sense of seclusion for the section of the hall where the
The bath area was designed as a circulation space that’s directly linked to the dining area, but that can be closed off for privacy. The five original lavatories were updated and integrated into the new bathing area.
A mirror placed across the rear wall of the bathroom allows users to experience the original length of the school hallway, with its five toilet doors multiplied to 10 in the mirror’s reflection. What was the old director’s room next to the entrance was converted into guest quarters, and above it, a third mezzanine floor was added.
“The interior of the apartment merges old and new, contemporary and traditional, refined and rough, into a balanced whole,” says ter Beek.