The story of what is now known as the House of Rolf begins in 1895 when the structure was originally built in the backyard of an aristocrat’s residence. Then in 1955 a wood structure was added in the space between the residence and the structure which back then was used as a coach house. Even though the wood shed was only meant to be a temporary construction, it lasted 57 years until in 2011 Rolf Bruggink bought it together with the coach house and the surrounding terrain.
The architect founded Studio Rolf in 2009, a company with a focus on product design and on methods that allows them to transform and repurpose existing furniture, giving it a new aesthetic, new functionality and prolonging its life span.
After the purchase of the coach house, the architect decided to demolish the wooden structure and this gave the studio a really cool idea: to use the recovered materials to decorate and remodel the interior of the coach house.
They kept the exterior of the building as it was: a brick structure, making very few changes to its structure. The structure covers an area of 15m by 7m and has a height of 5.5m. The trusses that support its roof divide the interior into six equal sections and the architects used this organization to create three zones.
The first one was left completely empty in order to highlight the original character and beauty of the coach house. The second zone contains the kitchen, a bedroom, bathroom and an office and the third one is a private zone with a panorama window on the back wall of the building. This window is the only modification made to the original structure of the building.
The spaces are organized on two levels. The ground floor houses the kitchen, a bathroom and a technical space while the upper level is where the bedroom, a walk-in closet, bathroom and office are situated.
The architects made it their primary goal to use all the materials salvaged from the demolished wood structure, not wasting anything. This inspired them to create all sorts of interesting and unique things. Two of the walls inside the house, for example, are built out of salvaged radiators.
There’s also a partition wall that was made of trusses and purlines and an area with solid wooden floor from old beams. Moreover, all the furniture inside the house is either created by renowned Dutch designers or custom-made using reused materials.
The beautiful and colorful carpet in the living area is made from old blankets and the display cabinet in the kitchen is made from old window frames. There’s also a rocking chair made from old CD covers. Another beautiful piece is the dining table which is a symbiosis of samples and leftover pieces of material from the old structure.
All of these unique design accents and furniture pieces represent the physical link between the house’s past and present, between its history and its current state. The architects tried to highlight as much as possible the existing qualities and the beauty of the salvaged materials, making them the focal point of the entire project.