Designed-to-let apartment in a late nineteenth century house rearranged, renovated and upgraded for occupants to add personal touches
2e Sweelinckstraat is the other apartment in the Duinoord building refurbishment project. Bláha’s first move was to rationalise the floorplan by reordering the existing two poorly arranged apartments into two-storey upper and lower apartments. Accessed on ground level from the same communal hall as the Duinoord apartment, 2e Sweelinckstraat occupies the second and third floors and is specifically designed to let.
The design revolves around the building’s central staircase. A private entrance on the first floor opens onto a large hallway that overlooks the street through an original sash window. Up a further flight of stairs, new glazed double doors lead into a 10,5m-long living space. At the far end, the existing terrace is updated with new paving and the external walls are freshly rendered. The rear kitchen is renovated with bespoke white units and worktops, and is now open to living area. Off the landing to the other side of the living space is a spacious guest bedroom/home office with attractive views again onto the street. Up again to the uppermost level, the key aspect of the project is a new link between the turret and main roofs that creates one continuous floor that had previously been split between the apartments. The three bedrooms are now all on the same level, contained within the cosiness of the existing exposed rafters. Between the main bedrooms is a new bathroom where a dormer with skylight has been added to look out of while lying in the bath.
Throughout the apartment, finishes are peeled back to their original surface. Natural materials take precedence and the ceiling roses and fireplaces have been retained, but everything is painted white for occupants to add their own personal touches. The building’s performance has been upgraded too, with new insulation to the inside of the roof, fire-resistant flooring in the living space, a poured concrete floor in the kitchen. Timber windows have been replaced like-for-like. The apartment is now rational, modern, spacious and flexible.
‘A new link between the turret and main roofs creates one continuous floorplan that had previously been split between the two apartments.’
“Because 2e Sweelinckstraat is a rental flat, it was important the design accentuated the building’s original features that are characteristic of this area of The Hague and maximised volumes. But at the same time, the apartment needed a neutral palette of materials and textures that have mass appeal and allow for possessions to add the main colour and character to the interior design.”
Annemieke Bláha, partner-in-charge