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Netherlands house with dugout level and floating lightbox inside

LEX Architecten and Doepel Strijkers have teamed up to transform an old ambulance bay into a modern urban home in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Dubbed Parksite, the house sits next to a secluded park which is visible through an expansive glass wall that maintains the original garage character of the building. Inside, a sunken kitchen and dining area at the center of the layout leaves enough room for a floating upper level, enclosing the bedrooms in a polycarbonate lightbox with integrated LEDs that set the whole home aglow. Encircling the lower level living area, orange polyurethane stairs connect the kitchen and dining area to the entrance hall and living room overlooking the park. Just on the other side of the glass, an intimate deck offers private green views. Here’s a quick tour of this interesting house, from its original intended use to its innovative interior.

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Beneath the dugout, “the suspended light box functions as a focal point in the movement from the front of the house to the garden,” according to the architects. “As one moves under the box, views of the park emerge, creating a sequential build up of spaces culminating in the breathtaking view of this green oasis.”

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Just on the other side of the glass facade, a patio sits within the overhanging concrete and steel frame, creating a private alfresco sitting area overlooking the park.

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The architects preserved the home’s original garage feel with a large glass wall, exposed concrete and steel beams crisscrossing overhead, adding to the home’s modern industrial aesthetic.

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From inside looking out, the concrete and steel structure frames the perfectly manicured lawns and lush greenery – a secluded secret garden tucked in the city center.

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Encircling the sunken hub of the home, a mezzanine living area takes an unconventional shape. Skylights overhead and a wall of glass flood the space with warm sunlight and green views. A swing suspended at the center of the space is pure child’s play – a literal piece of the park incorporated inside the house.

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In this house design, what is typically a background element becomes the undisputed focal point – the tangerine colored stairs take center stage, both for their vibrant color choice and their bold, in-your-face presence. Practically speaking, they are the vehicle connecting the lower principal living areas to the mezzanine.

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The stairs feature built-in blocks which visually break up the long, straight lines and serve as functional surfaces, much like tabletops and chairs. The custom-made orange cabinets, countertops and kitchen island turn this dugout space into the home’s hotspot.

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Overhead, the translucent lightbox glows with integrated LEDs, illuminating the lower level while drawing attention to the floating upper volume.

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At the rear end of the kitchen / dining area, the orange stairs lead you up to another back, black staircase which takes you up to the enclosed volume. Here, the bedrooms and bath enjoy total privacy without giving up their spotlight, so to speak.

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A pivoting glass door offers some separation without closing off one living area from the next.

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The translucent polycarbonate lightbox lets light permeate the space without compromising privacy.

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Or course, this one-time garage also offers a home for the vehicle of the house.
Floor plans:

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Section:

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LEX Architecten and Doepel Strijkers
via Contemporist

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