Wooden detailing and black-painted steel fill the lofty interiors of The Gymnasium apartment that Robbert De Goede has built within an old sports hall in the Netherlands.
The objective was to design an intimate, livable home. This resulted in a minimal, industrial approach towards the architecture and a very personal approach towards the finishes, which reflects the clients as well. The Gymnasium’s main living areas are contained on the ground floor, while a new mezzanine level inserted around the gymnasium’s perimeter hosts the bedrooms and bathrooms. A basement, which formed part of the original building, contains a gym and a sauna, alongside the dwelling’s technical equipment.
The basement was originally only 1.2 metres in height, so to ensure its usability, the studio raised its ceiling – creating a cozy, elevated living room above it at ground level. The living area is accessed by a bleacher-like staircase and is intended to offer the family a secluded, intimate seating area, reading space or home cinema. The only original element of The Gymnasium that was retained was its existing steel structure, which was initially hidden behind a flat ceiling. To complement The Gymansium’s existing structure, Robbert De Goede designed the new mezzanine level with a matching black-painted steel structure. Another key addition of the apartment is its new foundation, which features 18-metre-long piles that contain a heat-exchanging system to help heat and cool the dwelling. Teamed with 44 rooftop solar panels that provide electricity, this heat-exchanging system is designed to reduce the dwelling’s carbon footprint.
The interior finishes of The Gymnasium are characterized by a combination of different wood finishes and tactile furnishings. Among the wooden details are chunky central columns, the rough countertop made from larch in the kitchen and unfinished oak on the underside of the mezzanine level.