Prefabricated wood for a classical town house
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Programme: 340m2 private house in prefabricated wood construction, Passivhaus standard
Conservation area that encourages diversity
The new villa replaces a two storey post war dwelling that due to the poor quality of materials available after the war had already reached the end of its life. This offered the opportunity to build a new house that was more responsive to its context; that could be of exemplar sustainable construction and would provide a modern family home. The site is located in a conservation area. The street is characterised by deep front and rear gardens, large mature trees and by numerous individual houses of different widths and heights in different materials, built at different times in a wide variety of architectural styles. The combination of densely planted front gardens, generous street planting and individual houses close together to form terraces gives the street an ambivalent character, partly urban, partly suburban and at times seemingly rural. This heterogeneous mix is highly appreciated and the protected streetscape designation goes further to classify the street as a series of villas and to promote diversity. White rendered houses are also a characteristic part of the streetscape and the new villa uses render as its principle external building material. The north end of the street had proportionally fewer white villas than the southern end and the new building looks to rectify that balance. The front facade is of a typical urban townhouse with historically pro-portioned windows and ceiling heights in a formal elevation. Behind this facade is a surprising and spatially complicated interior of split levels and specific spaces which is revealed as you ascend the staircase.
Passivhaus and prefabrication
The house is designed to Passivhaus standards. A lot of attention was given to the choice of building system, services and materials to minimise the CO2 footprint. The house is CO2 neutral in construction and low energy in use. To achieve the environmental aims a prefabricated timber frame structure was chosen with a wood based insulation. Walls and ceilings are lined with 36mm reinforced gypsum and floors at ground level, first floor study and wet rooms are finished in 25mm stone, which together gives the houses a thermal mass similar to a historical, brick house.
All architectural stages
Structural Engineer: Jaap Dijks; Pieters Bouwtechniek
Environmental Consultant: Sabine Groeneveld