Bas Vogelpoel Architecten

Oude Looiersstraat, stare-well house

Oude Looiersstraat, stare-well house

The Oude Looiersstraat, stare-well house, Bas Vogelpoel Architecten – A special staircase brings structure and tranquility to a three-story house in the center of Amsterdam. The residents, a young family, approached us for a redesign of part of one floor. During the first site visit, we quickly noticed the inefficient layout of the house as a whole, with the living space divided over the 1st and 2nd floors and a wrongly placed void eating space rather than giving spaciousness. We suggested conducting a design study for the entire house to see how the use of space could be improved. After seeing this study, the residents decided to tackle almost the entire house. In our design, we have scaled up the minimalist interior of the residents to architecture.

Bas Vogelpoel Architecten

In the existing floor plan of the attic, the space was divided in two by a landing over the entire width. The stairs brought extra light into the sitting room below. We enhanced that quality by giving it a glass floor. This made the landing visible over the entire width and the living room was given a vertical extension. We then mirrored this downwards, by placing the entrance hall on the 1st floor directly below, also in the entire width of the house, but now with a glass ceiling. The central staircase and the living room thus form an open core in the house, enclosed by the private rooms. This made the house visually and functionally efficient and allowed us to design the circulation spectacularly.

Bas Vogelpoel Architecten

The entrance has a glass ceiling, which is detailed in such a way that from below it appears as if there is no glass at all. As a result, It can happen that a visitor when entering from the street, sees someone floating on the second floor. The hall is lined with ReFeld – a material made from recycled PET bottles that resemble felt – which greatly dampens the sound and calms you after entering from the busy center. Behind the doors are the private spaces, but the stairs and the light lead the attention upwards and because the glass disappears, you already partly feel in the space above.

Oude Looiersstraat stare-well house

The stairs from the hall to the living area on the 2nd floor lead you along the soft, light gray walls to the open, light space above. From a constructive point of view, this is a helix staircase (a staircase without a load-bearing post) whose steps we extended to the middle, coming together in a thin line with a glass plate in between. By removing all tectonic elements, the staircase becomes very abstract, more of a sculpture than a building component.

Oude Looiersstraat stare-well house

On the living floor, you land from the massive staircase onto a glass floor, with the staircase floating above it to the attic floor. The route to the attic requires a double leap of faith: not only do you walk on an enormous, extra transparent glass plate, but the staircase itself also looks a lot less sturdy than it is. This staircase is also a helix staircase, which in principle needs strength from the connection to the floor. By designing it in such a way that the railing connects the hanging bars diagonally, the staircase is very stable. The transparent, light character keeps the relationship between the living room and the kitchen very open. At the same time, the living room’s staircase looks like a piece of art.

Oude Looiersstraat stare-well house Bas Vogelpoel Architecten

Bas Vogelpoel Architecten – We’ve added some light tonal variations to the existing soft palette to subtly differentiate the atmosphere. The attention to minimization in the detailing accentuates the open and calm character of the house as a whole, while at the same time elevating the existing style of the residents to a larger scale.

Project name: Oude Looiersstraat, stare-well house – house in the center of Amsterdam

Type of project: Private interior | Dutch Interior – Amsterdam

Architect’s Firm: Bas Vogelpoel Architecten

Project location:

Completion Year: 2021

Gross Built Area (square meters or square foot): 147m2

Lead Architects:  Bas Vogelpoel

Other participants: Vittoria Di Giannatale, Martyna Komorowska, Magdalena Szyszlo

Photo credits:  Bas Vogelpoel