Watertight one-person dwellings
The project is for three dwellings situated in the outbuildings of a former steam laundry with upstairs accommodation built in 1934. The project is an example of how high-density and comfortable dwellings can be accommodated in former workspaces on plots located behind the typical ribbon development in Eindhoven. The three dwellings are organized in three zones that can be found in the original spatial configuration. Two dwellings make optimal use of the existing building structure and spatial qualities. The third dwelling is situated in a new volume on the street side of the plot and adds a striking element to the streetscape.
Dwelling 1 is situated at the extreme rear of the existing development. The characteristic interior space is encroached upon in two places. Firstly, the car can drive right into the living room in brutal fashion, its headlights announcing the drivers arrival. Narrowly contained within a glass showcase, the car becomes part of the interior, its radiator a painting. Midway along the hall a small swimming pool pushes into the roofing felt and functions as a sanitary space. Here you can actually shower in the roof, and during a heavy summer shower you don't have to turn on the tap.
Dwelling 2 is situated between Dwelling 1 and the block of existing dwellings along the street. Raising a few beams and lowering a few beams creates space for a raised bed and also for an elegant roof profile that allows more light to penetrate the dwelling. A hothouse for roses shelters the five-metre-high, blue-tiled bath cubicle on the roof. Access to the dwelling is - in true Brabant style - through the kitchen. A stairs of steal grates rises from the communal bicycle shed next to Dwelling 2 to the roof terrace of the adjoining apartment complex. Ten goldfish try their luck in a pond set in this bitumen surface, which in fact functions as the roof-gutter.
Dwelling 3 is a new three-level volume on the street-side of the site. Two parking spaces can be accessed directly from the street. The living level extends over the cars, its interior showcased behind the glazed front with an enormous cruciform glazing bar. Bathroom, storage and hall are located on ground level. The bedroom is romantically located in an aluminium summerhouse on the roof terrace on the fourth level. From the roof terrace, the raised living room offers a view of the street below.
The three dwellings respond to the densely built urban courtyards situated around the site: a landscape with dales of lawns and hills of bitumen and gravel. The existing character is intensified by further articulating the volume of the sheds. The use of bitumen felt on the roofs and facades of the three dwellings gives continuity to the whole project. A hothouse for roses as bathroom, a summerhouse as bedroom, a swimming pool as toilet, a drain as pond and a bankirai garden fence as safety net all harmonize smoothly with the existing elements in the surrounding gardens. The setting thus created is a cross between a garden and a building
in cooperation with
Joep Mol Architect, Urban Affairs
E.J.M. van Eerd