Coach house built from recycled remains of building next door

An old coach house in the Netherlands that has been converted into an architect’s home and a studio was built almost entirely from recycled materials from the demolished building next door.

The house belongs to architect Rolf Bruggink, who with the help of fellow architect and designer Niek Wagemans, designed and built the home in Utrecht to live and work in with his partner Yffi van den Berg.

Built in 1895, the former coach house which forms the bones for the home had a 200sqm wooden outbuilding added to the property in the 1950s that was used as office space.

When Bruggink purchased the property in 2011, he demolished the office outbuilding and used the recovered materials to construct a new internal structure for the 50sqm coach house.

The beams, floorboards, doors and wooden frames of the home all came from the from the outbuilding, as did less useable materials like the carpet, steel radiators, and modular ceiling.

Two of the internal walls in the building were constructed from numerous radiators salvaged from the office building.

A wall in the bedroom was produced using aluminium click profiles and roof sheathing.

“The goal was not only to use some of the materials, but to use all of the materials,” writes Wagemans on his website. “Also (to do so) in a way that was different to the original function.”

The spirit of reuse is carried throughout the home with much of furniture also made from upcycled materials.

In the lounge area, an upcycled rug made from old blankets creates a stunning centrepiece, while a chair made from old CD covers steals the show in the lounge area.

Wagemans also created a bespoke dining table made from layering leftover materials from the office building.

Spatial design

This diverse application of materials led to an architectural form that is unique and rich in texture, but Wagemans and Bruggink also managed to fit in a large amount of functionality into the small space.

A sculptural freestanding middle section houses a kitchen downstairs and bedroom, bathroom, and office upstairs.

The sculptural middle section of the house serves to divide the home. Picture: Rolf Bruggink

This middle section also serves to divide the space, creating front, middle and back sections of the open-plan lower level.

The back of the house features a panoramic window that was cut to allow natural light to stream through to the space.

This was the only intervention made to the original shell of the building.

Originally published as Coach house built from recycled remains of building next door by Alice Bradley. Author at