House MG by Stats Architecten

In the historic city centre of Schiedam, Stats Architecten has realized a distinctive villa. Dynamic, spacious, with lots of glass and a hint of maritime sensation was the wish. In an almost hidden location on the waterfront, the striking exterior houses an interior with a ‘widescreen’ experience.

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Idyllic living in the city

The house is part of the project the Plantagewerf: the transformation of a former industrial site into a residential oasis with 6 detached or semi-detached villas, all designed by stats architecten. The location is within the Plantage, a city extension from the 18th century of the old town of Schiedam. It is one of the most beautiful and sought after residential environments of the city with an unique atmosphere and identity. Facing the Plantage itself – the oldest city park in the Netherlands – are traditionally patrician houses. Directly behind them on the water’s edge there has always been a colourful mashup of functions and scales: from city industry to modest worker’s houses, from grand backyards to messy wharfs. The Plantagewerf adopts this rather loose and varied spatial layout, but opts for a modern architectural language that adds contrast and drama.

Expressive functionalism

The homes are designed as a family of individuals embedded in a distinct, green setting. Within this ensemble, the design for the house MG is the most radical in modern expression and spatial experience. A simple design with 3 rectangular floors, transforms into a spatial adventure due to the angular rotation of the living floor and the stairwell. The materialization of the exterior is quite sober: wood, metal and glass – a maritime touch, but also a reference to the former industrial sheds of wood and steel. Sharp corners give the house a dynamic appearance and provide the interior with scenic spectacle. A semi-enclosed balcony and a glass corner for the dining room negotiate between inside and outside. The green surroundings and the experience of the harbour become part of the interior through the large glass surfaces.

Widescreen, books and concrete

A house with as much glass as possible and an open plan – that seems incompatible with an extensive book collection. In order to create enough storage space for books, a bookcase was designed over the complete height of the villa. In the entrance hall, the bookcase contains closets for the cloakroom and the fuse box. From there you walk ‘through’ the bookcase up the stairs as a start of an exciting, spatial route. Proceeding up between and around the bookcase and a wall of in-situ concrete, on every turn you are treated to spectacular, widescreen vistas.

Photography courtesy of Stats Architecten

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- by Matt Watts