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House Nieuwegracht / Rocha Tombal Architects

  • Architects: Rocha Tombal Architects
  • Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Architects: Rocha Tombal Architects - Ana Rocha, Michel Tombal
  • Project Team: Igor Lopez de Uralde, Mike Schäfer, Tony Slothouber
  • Client: Jaap-Jan Boelens en Leontine van Elden
  • Construction: Pieters Bouwtechniek Delft bv
  • Contractor: Bouwbedrijf Vrolijk, Amsterdam
  • Costs Contractor: 237.000,- euro excl. BTW, excl kitchen and wooden flooring
  • Area: 400.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Christian Richters

© Christian Richters © Christian Richters © Christian Richters © Christian Richters

From the architect. The commission consists in the transformation of a monumental building from the 17th century which until 1948 was used as a community centre from the “Nicolai-church”. The monument was originally built with two parts: the front-house which received later an art-deco façade and, separated by a patio, the back-house and garden.

© Christian Richters
© Christian Richters

In the last decades several renovations took place which destroyed the clarity of these spaces. The situation in which we found it, with plenty of small divisions, allowed almost no contact between the front and back parts. The living functions were concentrated on the extreme facades enjoying the natural light, while the areas in between were to dank to be used creating a central barrier. The clients wished to create one united space with good light conditions.

1st floor plan
1st floor plan

By removing some of the inside walls and enlarging the doors towards the patio, the natural light was finally allowed to penetrate the centre of the house; in this way, and now enjoying the total space, new distribution alternatives were made possible. Finally, in order to connect front and back in visual and physical ways, we proposed to design a continuous organic closet from front to back, where all facility’s inclusive staircases were introduced.

© Christian Richters
© Christian Richters
Cite:"House Nieuwegracht / Rocha Tombal Architects" 26 May 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>