We were asked by a young couple to rethink the upper floor of their two-story Amsterdam apartment in a typical nineteenth-century building block on the Overtoom. The plan – a relatively narrow and deep space with light from the street and the courtyard – had to be reconsidered, to anticipate the arrival of a new family member. The apartment was divided into two bedrooms – situated on either end of the house – and a bathroom, storage room and staircase leading up to the roof – situated in the centre.
The proposal turns the storage room and the bedroom into one big bedroom and leaves a generous hall. By means of a large sliding door the newly created bedroom can be divided into two rooms: a baby room and a guest room. The guest room receives light through the (only) window to the street and the baby room indirectly draws light from skylight above the staircase and glazed partition.
The interventions have been purposefully kept light, transparent and reflective to get as much light through the house and at times, through the reflections in the glass planes, give the illusion of larger spaces. This is countered by the use of a soft materials for the floor – a carpet woven out of sheep wool and goats hair – and a curtain which lends privacy to the baby room.