In The Hague’s Vogelwijk district in The Netherlands, a minimalist house extension contrasts sharply with the expressive brick architecture of a 1927’s house, exposing the ‘hidden’ qualities.
Name of project: Fig Tree House
Location: The Hague, The Netherlands
Completed: October, 2018
Office: Bloot Architecture
Principal architect: Tjeerd Bloothoofd
Address: Lindestraat 21, 2565 HK The Hague, the Netherlands
Telephone: 0031 6 14401648
Contractor: Aannemersbedrijf L.R. Treep
Construction: Remmerswaal Bouwadvies
Photographer: Christian van der Kooy
The house has an original annex at the front side with behind it a beautiful fig tree in the garden that was not visible from inside the old house. Because the new extension extends beyond the existing width of the house, the glass extension is going into a relationship with the existing annex. This creates a semi-enclosed outdoor space around the old fig tree. By widening the extension, a third world arises around the hidden fig tree alongside the old and the new world.
The existing architecture from 1927 has elements of Art Nouveau and the Amsterdam School. The new addition adds a sharp contrast to the expressive brick architecture through minimalist detailing. The fully glazed façade has a minimal roof ledge and glass that runs to the level of the garden. From the inside, there are virtually no visual barriers to the outside, to which view and daylight are given free rein. The construction of the extension is kept out of sight but for one plus-shaped column, which makes the roof of the extension seem to float.
The glass facade can open up to a large open corner, which makes the dining table feel as if it is in the outside space. This is in contrast to the modest kitchen and dining room with less natural light in the original house.
In the interior the concrete floor and the new kitchen wall have been used to connect old and new. The floor and the kitchen penetrate into the existing home and in this way mix old and new through sharp lines.
After graduating from the TU Delft in 2007, Tjeerd Bloothoofd worked for several known Dutch offices. In 2010 he decided to take the chance to work on his own thoughts and ideas and founded the studio Bloot Architecture. Starting with designing a garden shed and winning the Dutch Young Architects awards in 2014 the studio got more attention and is now working on projects varying from scale and function. The studio is constantly searching through design and research, for the concept and shape that unites the function, context, actuality and the wishes of the client in a sustainable and integral design that appeals to the development of self-awareness and the liberty of choice in life.