Private home on the former Vliegenthart-site, Delft, The Netherlands
LIVING IN A FORMER SAWMILL
The building at Scheepmakerij 9 in Delft, the Netherlands, was built in 1910 and used during the 20th century as a sawmill initially and later on as a linseed oil production facility by Vliegenthart, a major Dutch manufacturer of varnishes and inks. When the customer purchased the building in 2009 for use as a private home, it had deteriorated almost to the point of no return. The roof and wooden beams had been severely damaged in a fire and the walls were on the brink of collapse. The front façade with its characteristic arched windows, a structure listed as an item of special historic interest, was badly damaged.
RVDV architectuur won the order for converting the building into a private home. The basic plan was to restore the front façade and demolish the rest of the building to make way for modern architecture. The house needed to accommodate a family with three children and include home office facilities.
RVDV architectuur created a spacious and well-lit home behind the historic front façade. The front part of the house retains the two original 4 metre high floors. These are aligned with the tall windows in the front façade. However, the living space in the back part of the house is split into three floors to make more efficient use of the building’s height. An atrium with a glazed roof separates the front and back parts of the house. This ensures a generous inflow of natural light from above that penetrates into all areas of the house in spite of the significant depth of the structure. Regardless of where you are, in the large kitchen-diner, in the children’s TV room, in one of the open study-and-work areas or in the sitting room, you are always in contact with each other via the atrium. A ‘crow’s nest’ has been created right at the top, immediately under the glass roof: an open floor suspended from the roof on steel supports that ‘hovers’ above the living room.
Good use has been made of the building’s unique situation by locating the sitting room on the first floor. This gives you a beautiful view over the ‘Delftse Schie’ canal and the ‘Zuidkolk’ lock. The large kitchen-diner looks onto the garden at the rear. The living area extends visually into the garden through a generously sized glass sliding door, which has been set back from the rear façade to make it less conspicuous.
The occupants are delighted with the house, particularly its spaciousness, the generous inflow of light and its versatility in terms of practical usability. Furthermore, the restoration work to the original front façade has contributed to returning the cityscape of Delft to its former glory and given this fine example of Dutch industrial heritage a new purpose. The local historical association, Delfia Batavorum, awarded the Le Comte prize to the plan in 2013 for exactly these reasons. The “Delft op Zondag” newspaper’s public prize also went to the converted sawmill on the Scheepmakerij.
Location: Scheepmakerij 9, 2628 AA Delft
Year of design: 2010
Year of construction: 2012-2013
Year of completion: 2013
Building costs: € 490.582 (VAT exclusive)
Gross floor area: 298,3 m2
Net floor area: 238,6 m2
Client: Private client
Architect: RVDV architecture
Structural Engineer: IMD Raadgevende Ingenieurs
Building systems Engineer: Mabutec
Construction firm: Eekhout Bouw
Photos: Wouter van der Sar
Le Compte Award 2013, Delfia Batavorum, 20th of May 2013
Le Compte Public Award, Delft op Zondag, 20th of May 2013