• College van Regenten van het St. Jacobs Godshuis
  • Haarlem
  • NL
  • 2001

(photos: Sanne Peper)(photos: Sanne Peper)

The project concerns the conversion of the remaining former coach house of the manor ‘Leeuwenhooft’, that was demolished in the sixties of the last century. In the past years the coach house was used as a monastery, housing the sisters that ran the adjacent home for the elderly, ‘St. Jacob in de Hout’. After the last nun had left, the client, a centuries-old foundation founded in 1437, that is dedicated to the care for sick, elderly and single people, wished to transform the building in order to house their own offices and archives and accommodate their meetings and receptions.

Apparent Space 02 intends to connect, spatially as well as thematically, the apparent individual privacy of the interior of the building with the apparent open and collective infinity of the surrounding world. The project intends to create within the privacy of the interior a view in the distance: a physical and measurable interval, but also a mental suggestion of more and further. The sense of distance that endorses the intimacy and proximity of the interior, creating an open space within the enclosing walls of the building, as a spatial definition of a specific place on earth where one, as one wishes, could feel at home.

Apparent Space 02 introduces within the existing historical shell, which by its thick and bended walls and pitched roof appears to be an extruded and twisted version of the archetypical European-) house, by strictly architectural means a series of both real and illusory spaces, that seam to expand into infinity, beyond the physical boundaries of the building. In fact the project exists only of one continuous, open space that nevertheless appears as a variable system of individual, but mutually related spaces that accommodate the inhabitants and their programmatical requirements. It creates a variable interior that, depending on different inhabitants, views, uses, light, season or the time of day appears in countless many appearances. Only in order to disappear again.

Apparent Space intends to be an explicitly retrospective project: a modest attempt to interrogate or even redefine apparently forgotten architectural ideals.