Most people in Dordrecht know the building as the workshop of the Hageman sailboat. The national monument has a special history, says architect Olivier van den Hoven. The current space has been created over time as two buildings and an intermediate courtyard have been merged.
“As a result, a sort of zig-zag space had already been created at the beginning of the 20th century which stretches from the Wijnstraat to Kuipershaven,” explains Van den Hoven. The 36-meter-long space consists of approximately three parts. The small differences in level and the different widths make the different spaces still tangible in the current building.
One side of the elongated building is more urban, the other side has an impressive view of the meeting point of three rivers. Prominently in the middle is the old, almost square courtyard with a large skylight above.
In addition to their functional wishes, the customers mainly wanted to take this particular spatiality as a starting point for the experience of the new home. Van den Hoven therefore oriented the various parts of the house mainly towards long views.
As you enter from the harbor side, you look deep into the old courtyard; from the Wijnstraat to the kitchen, says the architect. A forward room has been created on the port side, where residents can work.
A room was not deliberately chosen; “It would actually create a barrier between the house and the expanse of the three rivers beyond,” Van den Hoven explains. “With one step you are immediately in the house from the Kuipershaven and you can see the entire width of the facade inside.”
A long library runs along the wall towards the old courtyard. Here, the wardrobe forms a whole with a few wide steps. A spacious kitchen has been built in the old courtyard. The generous but diffused light here comes only from above and colors the room differently during the day.
Another long wall of closet guides the route to the bedroom. The deeper the house, the more intimate the spaces. The bathroom and the bedroom are designed as two parts of the same space, so that the house also retains its space. A dressing room on the Wijnstraat side forms a sound buffer between this most intimate part of the house and the street.
Color and material
In keeping with the space, Van den Hoven opted for a palette of seven colors. The house clearly has three parts, each with its own atmosphere, but due to the use of color and choice of materials, the spaces blend into a whole. In addition, the partitions are not made by means of walls, but with custom cabinets from floor to ceiling.
“They offer a certain balance,” explains Van den Hoven. “This makes the freestanding sculptures and the beautiful Piet Hein Eek cabinet stand out even more. The space also has something like a museum; it went well with the beautiful artwork the residents own.
In addition to his own projects as an architect and interior designer, Olivier van den Hoven runs the design agency Dark & Stormy. He does it with graphic designer Charlotte Nieuwland.
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