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House of Rolf


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Leah Demirjian

Project Name

House of Rolf

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  • Niek Wagemans, Designer

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Text by Leah Demirjian

In Utrecht, the Netherlands, local architecture firm Studio repurposed parts and materials from a nearby, disused office building to transform a nineteenth-century coach house into a modernized, sculptural living space.

In collaboration with Dutch designer Niek Wagemans, “House of Rolf” was created for Studio's founder, Rolf Bruggink, who bought the land containing the original 1895 coach house and 1955 office building in 2011.

Bruggink, with Wagemans—who specializes in working with salvaged materials—outfit the structure with a refinished wood floor and partitions, which were sourced from the demolished office’s rafters and beams, and applied aluminum roof sheathing for the bedroom and walls.

Nearly all of the furnishings in the renovated residence, including carpets, cabinets, and chairs, are also produced from recycled materials by local Dutch designers as well as Wagemans and Bruggink. A rocking chair, created by designer Dirk van der Kooij, is made from old CD covers. The dining table, designed by Bruggink, is composed of layers of leftover materials from the office.

“This piece is part of a series of commissioned tables that Bruggink is producing entitled ‘Table of House’, in which he builds a new table for a renovated house using solely the materials from the original house", the architects said in a release. "In this way he creates a material link between the house in its new and past form.”

The brick, two-story dwelling sports a modern, open interior. Five trusses support its roof and divide the space into six equal bays. The architects established three zones, each containing two bays, to make the most of its limited space. The first zone, which is left empty, preserves the original fabric of the coach house. The second zone contains the home’s kitchen, bedroom, and bath, as well as small office area, and the third zone contains a sculptural structure that forms the living space.

The only intervention made to the original coach house’s shell—a large-format panoramic window that has been cut out of the back wall— allows light to flood into the space.

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