The residence that Jan Hoogstad realized for himself and his wife on the Westerkade in Rotterdam is a classic example of a penthouse that is both metropolitan and far removed from the city. The residence and the office building underneath it originated from the renovation of a 1960s modernist office building. The most noticeable part of the renovation was the replacement of the entire façade. For the greater part, this is covered by a glass screen that is folded over the new façade like a second skin. The ground floor and entrance section were changed and the fifth floor was opened up and transformed into dwelling space and roof garden. A second residential floor was added to the existing concrete structure.
The entrance, kitchen and living room are situated on the lower floor of the penthouse. The upper floor includes the bedroom, study, bathroom and wardrobe. The living room is divided into two areas, one low and snug with a fire place and one double high with incident light from four sides through large glass façades. The contrast between the open and closed, with the fireplace functioning as a filter in between, is a motif that turns up in many guises in every house that Hoogstad ever designed. The difference is emphasized by the small raise of the floor of the sheltered area. The same spatial motif recurs in the exterior space. It consists of a roof garden and a patio-like space bounded by the top-floor balcony, which in turn is connected to the garden by exterior stairs.
The atmosphere of the dwelling is relaxed and light. Daylight flows lavishly through the rooms, the light-coloured wood used for the floors and casings give it warmth. The architecture is subtly casual.
Based on a text by Hans Ibelings, architectural critic
245 m2, 1999