This top floor of the building, located in the popular district De Pijp, Amsterdam, was formerly used as an attic and was not suitable for living in.
To turn this old attic into a livable space, the previous owner raised the roof about fifty cms a few years ago. After this, it was sold as a renovation object to the current owner.
The new elevation of the space was realised by making a ring of dirty masonry around the old base, laying the largely renewed roof beams on top.
This principle of the space itself, a new elevation on an old basis, has become the starting point for the design.
In the design, the entire space is visibly ‘cut through’. This cross-section is placed at a height of 95cms above the floor.
Above the horizontal cross-section, everything is new and covered in rendered and isolated walls, sleek and finished.
Everything below this line is old or a reflection of it.
The walls here are bare and rough and the use of dark mirrors, unfinished zinc sheets, and rough bricks creates a special composition of materials.
The zinc part above the line reflects a lot of light into the room, but the reflection itself is blurry.
The dark mirrors reflect less light but do give a sharp image.
This makes everything above the “section” a new interpretation and everything below a reflection of the old. The line at 95cms has both a practical and a more poetic origin.
It is the height of kitchen doors and railings – and it is the central point of a man’s body.
Standing with your lower body in the old and your upper body in the new reflects being rooted in the past and looking to the future.
Firm Architects thus centralises the physical user in its design.