Ah, the Netherlands. A land of wealth and good taste where even a demolished office building can get a second life as a sunny bungalow worthy of an eight-page spread in a shelter magazine. In the Dutch city of Utrecht, architect Rolf Bruddink has built himself a gorgeous new home in a 19th-century coach house–using only material salvaged from the destroyed office next door.
Bruddink, who runs Studio Rolf (and is responsible for this fantastic M.C. Escher-esque renovation) bought the land with the coach house and the office building in 2011. The original coach house was built in 1895 in the back of an aristocrat’s home on the historic Maliebaan avenue in Utrecht. In 1955, a wooden one-story outbuilding was built, but was abandoned and not in use by the time Bruddink acquired the land. While demolishing it, the architect had the idea to use the recovered material as the sole construction material for the coach house he planned to refurbish for himself and his girlfriend.
Working with Niek Wagemans, a Dutch designer who specializes in building with second-hand materials, Bruddink set about designing a home that would use all of the materials from the neighboring building, leaving nothing to waste. The over 2,000-square-foot office building produced more than enough materials for the coach house, which has a footprint of about 500 square feet. The designers created a solid wood partition from old rafters and wooden beams, a refinished wooden floor from old floor beams, and aluminum roof sheathing for the bedroom and first-floor walls.
The resulting two-story house has a sculptural living space in the center that is a free-standing structure housing a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and office. Bruddink also made sure all the furniture in the house was made from recycled material. For example, one of Dutch designers Remy & Rene Veenhuizen’s whimsical Accidental Carpets lies in the living room–it’s made from woolen blankets that are cut and glued together into colorful swirls. A rocking chair, created by Dirk van der Kooij, also Dutch, is made from old CD covers. Other furnishings were designed by Bruggink and Wagemans from old window sills and leftover materials of the demolished office building.
Bruggink’s now lives in the house with his girlfriend Yffi van de Berg and their dog. Next door, he built a workshop and between the two structures is a lush verdant garden. It seems that one man’s waste can be the same man’s treasure–at least when you live in the Netherlands.
[All Photos: Christel Derksen & Rolf Bruggink/courtesy Studio Rolf]