Dutch architects Gwendolyn Huisman and Marijn Boterman designed this skinny house in Rotterdam for themselves, incorporating hidden windows into the black brick walls and adding a large indoor hammock. The house occupies a narrow gap of measuring just 3.4 meters wide and 20 meters deep between residences.
The house’s proportions, which are narrow and long in relation to its height, provided a structural challenge for Huisman and Boterman who wanted to create light and lofty spaces. Two parallel reinforced concrete slabs run vertically inside the house, bearing the load down to the massive foundation. This enabled the architects to create large openings in the front and rear facades.
The modern house has its own identity with modern details, but still highlights the history of the small gap in the urban context. Perforations in the facade cover three windows that are set back from the street-facing side. These “hidden” windows only show up at night when the rooms inside are lit up. Two large bay windows slightly extend from the front to let the inhabitants sit and watch people passing by.
Inside the house, plywood boxes are used to encase each of the concrete columns and cluster functions suited to the living spaces that they serve. These include the kitchen and storage for the dining room, book shelves for the library and living room, and the bathroom and wardrobe for the bedrooms. The volumes are left detached from the walls to allow for views in between different spaces that are located on either side, with views towards the street and the rear garden.
By placing the volumes and staircase near the center of the house, intimate living spaces appear towards the public street and collective courtyard garden. A large skylight runs along one wall above the main staircase. On the last level, where the stair cuts through the center of the boxes, the treads open to allow light to flood through. Get more views of this amazing house below.