Contemporary interpretation of classical housing themes in the West Indische Opslag in Groningen

At first glance there is nothing remarkable about the project that De Zwarte Hond recently completed in the centre of Groningen: the materialisation and the detailing of the West Indische Opslag are in keeping with the housing in the neighbourhood. However, if you look closely, you will notice a meticulously detailed ensemble of seven town houses. The houses were originally intended to be single-family homes, but the new economic reality demanded a clever redesign. The current layout makes it possible to let two studios per floor, but each property can also be used collectively as student accommodation.

Two conflicting requirements are resolved in the West Indische Opslag. On the one hand a link had to be found with the robust volume of the adjacent office premises and, on the other, the individual accommodation needed to be clearly visible. While the design of the ensemble is in keeping with the first requirement, the layout and the detailing accentuate the individual housing. A vertical concrete element and a stairway mark the entrance, with the front door somewhat recessed. The composition of the windows divides the façade into seven, clearly-distinguishable housing units.

Click here for more photos and information of the project.