“In practice, we have put many small houses inside the home,” says the architect.
According to the American design and architecture site Arch Daily, this young couple had a wish for a home that utilized every knot and hook to the maximum and could also be expanded without being built to accommodate their growing family.
Moved into the old harbor canal
When the young family had bought what was once used as a canteen in the harbor area at the KNSM island in Amsterdam, they hired the architects of Marc Koehler Architects to take care of the job of making it quite industrial built into a home.
– The young couple, who was expecting their first child, had a wish for a home that worked for their needs and their way of living, explains architect Marc Koehler to Arch Daily.
The apartment, measuring 160 m2, was named A House like a Village, A house like a village, due to its very special interior and floor plan.
– To create the home the family want, we end up creating a series of independent rooms – or volumes – creating an exciting contrast between the intimate and the open.
In addition, the family wanted to make the best use of the large windows towards the port area, and let as much daylight as possible flow into and light up the entire home.
For the young couple, both born and raised in Amsterdam, it meant a lot to buy the old harbor building and turn it back to home for themselves and their family.
– It is a few years since the building was first built and used as a home, explains Koehler.
An absolute plus with the building is without doubt the large glass surfaces on both sides of the building that provide unique views of the water and the rest of the harbor area.
Nice little reminder of the old garage
Built house in the house
The most unique thing about this property is not that it was built by an old canteen or that it has a panoramic view of the harbor area in Amsterdam, but rather lies in the way the interior is divided into.
The way this apartment is divided is made with overlays to have the characteristics of a small crew, or village, explains architect Koehler.
– In practice, many small houses have been installed inside the home, and that the areas between these houses act as small streets where the family can participate in many multifunctional activities such as play, work and socializing.
In contrast, the small house structures accommodate less mobile activities like bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as storage.
By pushing together some rooms and making them take up less space, one has had the opportunity to allocate more space to other areas, explains Koehler.
The streets between the houses also make it possible for daylight to come right into the heart of the home and to enjoy the spectacular views from many of the house’s hooks and hooks.
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In addition, the architects explain that they took into account that the young family is likely to grow over time.
– The open spaces can eventually be “colonized” and become additional rooms if the family would need it.
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For the design site Domus, the architects explain that they had an unusually close relationship with the clients in this home.
– The young couple was very clear about what they wanted from this home, explains architect Miriam Tocino.
– They took part in the design process from the first moment and had many opinions and inputs, which made it an exciting collaboration.
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Tocino explains that to get an insight into how the family lived and wanted to use the house, they got to describe how they looked for the perfect everyday life in their new home.
– This meant that we were mapped both assets, how they used them and not least household routines specific to this family. This analysis was based on the interaction between open and closed rooms in the apartment.
The architect explains that storage solutions that were both practical and accessible were an important part of the family.
– Daily routines such as dressing or ironing clothes are taken into account and supported in the form of wardrobes and cabinets hidden in walls and in furniture.
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2. the floor, or the fairground, is a somewhat more private and intimate zone than the large open living room below. Here are activities such as cooking and eating, as well as having a home office.
– The family calls this floor its roofhouse, explains Tocino.
For us, it was important to get to this floor as the family felt that they had taken advantage of the full volume of the house in the best way without stealing the feeling of open space and a lot of space in the first floor of the house.
The interior and decor of the unique harbor house is kept quite tight and neutral. The woods used on the small interior “houses” add warmth, while the windows with a view are allowed to perform the house’s greatest natural eye-catcher.
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– This is a young couple and a young family. So for us, it was also an important factor in reflecting this in colors, shapes and furniture, explains architect Marc Koehler.
Smart storage solutions allow both community zones and private rooms to be kept tidy and organized, and it has been emphasized that things must be available where they need them.
– Planning a home in this way, from such an early start and with such a unique insight from the client about what they want, makes it possible to get a home that works at all levels, the architect concludes..
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