Black Pearl in Rotterdam South

The renovation of the Rotterdam ‘metier house’ is turned into an architectural spectacle, where was experimented with time and space. The 100 years old facade of a dwelling in a closed housing unit, is totally painted black. Both masonry, frames and “windows” are covered with a shiny black oil. This creates a kind of ‘shadow’ of the original facade. In some places the new transparent windows pierce through the historical facade. The new windows announce a time with a very different way of living. This creates a relationship between the original facade and the new interpretation which become readable. All floors and small rooms behind the old windows run into one spatially contiguous entity.

New interpretation: three worlds
The existing building is used as a box to build a completely new house in it. All walls and floors of the house were demolished which created a space of 5 meters wide, 10 meters long and 11 meters high. In and up this box three different “worlds” are stacked: the studio, the house and the roof garden. On the ground floor, the 5 meters high studio is built. This studio space is kept as open as possible. This is achieved by organizing the necessary facilities along the walls as much as possible, in one continuous element. The living area is placed above the studio with a height of 6 meters. In this space, a sculpture is build which divides space into several areas without creating closed rooms. The object is designed and situated in a way that in several places views arise which emphasize the entire length, width and height of the place. The design is concentrated on the residual spaces between the object and the existing walls.

Materialization sculpture and colour use
The sculpture is entirely composed of screwed bars together which forms both construction and finish. This construction method creates a great freedom of form. A large part of the object hangs with these bars on the roof floor so that support becomes superfluous.
In the house, five colours are used: black, white and three greyscales. An existing side wall is totally painted white. The traces of construction, including the old railings and pipes are all painted white. The other building wall is left untreated. The different faces of the object are painted in three greyscales. These shades are aligned to the space they enclose. By this method, the space between the object and the existing box are strengthened.

Rotterdam South accommodates with this new metier house a black pearl…

Black Pearl designed by Studio i.p.w. Zecc Architecten.

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