Architecture, Interior Design – Good cooperation, perseverance, and love for the craft are the main ingredients of the Steel Craft House, a former garage and now a wooden residence in the Dutch city of Utrecht. Every steel sheet of the facade, designed by Zecc Architecten, and every oak slat has literally passed hands multiple times.
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“The stylistic features of a working-class house were revamped.” Say at Zecc Architectento Archipanic. The Steel Craft House “strongly stands out in abstraction and material, while integrating with the adjacent buildings through shape, composition, and detail.”
Features like the characteristic façade layout, the roof cowl with dormer, and a chimney were translated in the steel cladding. Stylistic elements like a plinth, alternating stone bands, brick-on-edge courses, and cornices can also be found in the steel sheet pattern.
The windows in the new façade all have their own character, “anticipating the function that is housed behind them, but jointly form an abstract composition”. At the street level, a transparent recessed front was chosen so that it is more in keeping with the neighbouring buildings.
The ‘bay window’, shaped as a cantilevering enclosed surface by the bathroom, provides for privacy. A small air gap was made at the top. The second surface on the first floor is a mini loggia, behind which the living room is located. Behind the hard, occasionally somewhat closed steel façade hides a soft and light residence.
The interior is formed by a sculptural piece of ‘furniture’ in oak over three building layers. Extra daylight enters via a patio and several skylights. For instance, the dormer was equipped with a light dome, and in the bathroom the light enters via a small air gap in the ‘bay window’ of the front façade.
Not just this working-class local reference but the expression of craftsmanship contributes to the integration, too. At first glance, it contrasts with the brick neighbouring buildings, but at the same time, it is beautifully in keeping with them because the discolouration of the Corten steel refers to the patina of the archetypical Dutch brick.
Photos by Stijn Poelstra on behalf of Zecc Architecten.