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MVRDV transforms a former commercial building into a private home inspired by a Morrocan riad

Netherlands Architecture News - Jun 12, 2020 - 15:58   2439 views

MVRDV transforms a former commercial building into a private home inspired by a Morrocan riad

MVRDV has transformed a former commercial building into a private home in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Named Villa Stardust, the 770-square-metre villa is inspired by a Morrocan riad, the interior living spaces of the villa are oriented around a central patio, which functions as an extra outdoor chamber. 

The used materials and colour palette give the dwelling a Mediterranean look and feel. As a retrofit building, Villa Stardust is a highly sustainable project following circular economy principles.

MVRDV transforms a former commercial building into a private home inspired by a Morrocan riad

As a former commercial building with a limited privacy due to neighbouring structures, the key strategy in this transformation is the insertion of a vibrant central garden patio. 

This draws its inspiration from the Moroccan riad – a traditional dwelling form oriented around a central courtyard. Villa Stardust’s central garden is an outdoor living room open to the stars, but entirely enclosed by the building at its four perimeter faces.

Perforating the building’s deep footprint, typical for commercial structures, the 230-square-metre garden allows the building to breathe, ensuring that all interior living spaces are awash in natural light and ventilation. 

MVRDV transforms a former commercial building into a private home inspired by a Morrocan riad

Sufficient floor space remains of the 1000-square-metre total to not only house a family of five and provide a clear interior-exterior connection, but also to accommodate the client’s small medical practice – all on a single level.

All interior living spaces are oriented around the garden, which facilitates a strong visual connection between different spaces, and a ‘chill-out’ space for the client’s teenagers. 

MVRDV transforms a former commercial building into a private home inspired by a Morrocan riad

As such, the garden becomes the most colourful part of the villa. With its Oregon Pine windows, terracotta tiles, and blue-glazed stones for the patio’s pond feature, it not only draws natural light in, but serves as a visual attraction. 

As a retrofit building, the villa is a highly sustainable project following circular economy principles, and also incorporates additional recycled materials in the patio’s floor cover such as re-purposed terracotta tiles.

"The residents asked us to design the villa after they had already bought the building; I think it's very clever that, as non-architects, they understood its potential," said Nathalie de Vries, co-founder of MVRDV. 

MVRDV transforms a former commercial building into a private home inspired by a Morrocan riad

MVRDV partner Fokke Moerel, whose team led the renovation, added: "We left external walls intact, to guarantee privacy, and then reduced square metres considerably to improve livability." 

"At 770m2, the villa is still quite spacious, but by using symmetry and a quiet colour palette, with a few Mediterranean accents, we created a sunny atmosphere."

Just as the patio’s colourful resplendence functions as a visual focal point in a regular, orthogonal floor plan arrangement, colour and Moroccan embellishments become focal points within the interior’s otherwise quiet palette. 

MVRDV transforms a former commercial building into a private home inspired by a Morrocan riad

For example, fit-out includes a kitchen with a powder-coated stainless steel block, as well as a tribune structure in the living space which simultaneously incorporates a media room and storage. 

Additionally, Moroccan tiles line the bathroom floors, lending a rich visual texture to the villa’s tranquil interior backdrop. This hierarchy establishes a consistent rhythm that creates a consistent harmony, both within the home, and between the home and the natural environment.

MVRDV transforms a former commercial building into a private home inspired by a Morrocan riad

MVRDV transforms a former commercial building into a private home inspired by a Morrocan riad

Villa Stardust Floorplan. Image © MVRDV

Project facts

Project name: Villa Stardust

Location: Rotterdam

Year: 2020

Size and Programme: 770m2 private residence

Year: 2020

Architect: MVRDV

Founding Partner in charge: Nathalie de Vries

Partner/Director: Fokke Moerel

Design Team: Roy Sieljes, Elien Deceuninck, Daniella Persson, Natalia Lipczuk

Copyright: MVRDV 2018 – (Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries)

Project Management: DEGVAST huisadvies & ontwerp, Ron de Gast 

Contractor: AvT interieur en bouw, Adriaan van Trigt

Planting Advisor: Stek, Rotterdam

All images © Daria Scagliola

> via MVRDV