Patio House | Amsterdam, NL 2011-2012


What to design for a family of which one dislikes mess and the other doesn’t mind at all, whilst there is no place for a storage room? In an old dark garage of 23m deep and 5m wide in the 19th century ‘De Pijp’ area of Amsterdam, two main elements define the design of the apartment: a patio that introduces a surprising amount of daylight in the middle of the floor plan and a 16m long plywood ‘storage wall’ containing a massive amount of storage space and three ‘niches’ that allow for the unavoidable mess-making of a family with two kids in a confined areas: one for the kids, one for the parents and one for cooking.

The plan layout is compact with two bedrooms, a bathroom, toilet and a living room. It has been arranged to optimize experience of space and daylight by keeping the plan as open as possible. Entering one can see all the way through to the back of the house. The existing roof light provides daylight in both bedrooms and the corridor. A storage closet for the back room doubles as bunk bed for the kids’ room. Small details as a window between the bathroom and bedroom enrich the spatial experience. With the patio in the back, the kitchen feels much bigger than it actually is. In summer, when the three sliding doors along the patio are opened, the patio acts as an additional outdoor room.

The space was completely stripped down to the bare construction and re-fitted including all services. With a limited budget and limited time, the whole project was conceived and built in a period of just 5 months.


Design: Marijn Mees

Year: 2011-2012

Client: undisclosed

Size: 110 m2

Budget: undisclosed

Photography: Marijn Mees

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