This project is a speculative house built as part of a housing project in the city of The Hague, Holland. The urban planning of this narrow strip of land was designed by the office of OMA, consisting of eight lots in two rows. Each lot measuring 10mx12m with a small (8mx10m) footprint for a single family home. The developer selected eight designs and assigned each to a lot with a common set of criteria and zoning restrictions. The participating firms assigned to the front row, facing a typical Dutch canal were Bernard Tschumi, Marc Mack, Steven Holl and Andrew Mac Nair. The firms assigned to the back row, facing a boulevard were Henry Ciriani, Frank Israel, Hariri & Hariri Architecture, and Stefano De Martino.
In our Spartan- House, we cut the given envelope into two volumes, conceptually creating a path from the street to the canal. One volume accommodated the vertical circulation (stair), service areas (storage, laundry) and is wrapped in a corrugated galvanized steel. This creates a spartan edge on the west side of the house.
The second volume is a narrow brick box typical of most Dutch houses. It is a simple utilitarian volume, housing an open loft space for living, dining and kitchen on the first floor with a row of bedrooms on the upper level. This impenetrable private domain has porthole openings on the east side , connecting this living Vessel poetically to the canal while providing circular lenses to let light into the rooms.
The most dynamic space is the area of the cut, where a double story space stretching from the entry to the other end of the house not only becomes a connector between different parts of the house but a path between two parts of the site: Dedemsvaartweg Street and the Canal.