11 August 2011
Villa Rotterdam II by Ooze
by Fatema Ahmed
"In Holland they demolish everything and build everything new," says Sylvain Hartenberg of Ooze, a practice based in Rotterdam and Paris. By reimagining a 1920s brick, gable-fronted house in the suburbs of Rotterdam, however, Ooze has shown that more sensitive approaches are possible.
Ooze was originally employed to add a kitchen to the existing house – a simple extension requiring no planning permission – but was soon given the opportunity to address a bigger problem.
By 2005, when the current owner bought the house, it had been extended twice and the boxy side additions now unbalanced the original structure. The owner wanted to reconfigure the house again, but the problem facing Ooze was that it was allowed to enlarge the footprint only on two side walls of the original house, and to extend to a maximum height of 11m. The gable facade also had to remain, as the owner was keen to preserve it "for spiritual reasons".
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