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A careful reconstruction


The streets extending from Rotterdam city center have a mix of residential and commercial spaces on their ground floors. Graaf Florisstraat is no exception. A walk along this spacious tree-lined section of historic Rotterdam reveals a mix of different uses. With the growing attraction to inner city living, and the city's imperative to increase density, ground floor commercial spaces are often converted to accommodate additions to residential spaces. This presents some challenges, but also affords new and interesting possibilities as this transformation demonstrates.

Understanding the value that living close to the center of a thriving city has, a young Rotterdam family commissioned P·A to transform the ground floor office space of this Graaf Florisstraat building to a living space. Without disrupting the urban exterior, P·A crafted a bold interior transformation using level changes and enhanced connections between the basement and ground floor level, taking advantage of high floor to ceiling height. The kitchen on the basement floor opens to the garden, enhancing interior-exterior connection. From it, a staircase tribune draws this space into a relationship with the rest of the living area, thereby maintaining a social and functional connection, while also marking a subtle separation.

Whereas the ground floor accommodates the communal functions of the dining and living room, the first and second floor house the family's private living functions with generous spaces allocated for sleep, play, and study.

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