Black Pearl House

by Studio Rolf.fr
Black Pearl House Studio Rolf.fr

This house takes part of a program of the congregation Rotterdam who wanted to revitalize disadvantaged neighborhoods by selling ‘metier houses’ to private persons.
These homes have in common that they are neglected the last few years and have to be refreshed. The buildings usually consist of several small apartments, one per layer. The purpose of the municipality by selling the buildings is to attract inhabitants with more carrying-capacity. Condition of sale is that the property will be restored within a specified period and will transformed into one house. This causes less, but larger houses. This is the opposite trend to what happens in many inner cities where larger houses are divided into several small apartments.
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.

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