The Sint Jans Gasthuis is a building of in-between size. It presents itself as a large, stately house in relation to its immediate surroundings, but at the same time as a compact building. Inside, the cruciform corridor assumes the function of a covered street where neighbours meet. A valuable feature of this collective house. We wanted the building to continue to function as a big house where people live together and where residents meet. At the same time, we also recognised the importance of the residents' own space. The design consisted of some very precise and efficient interventions that increase the quality of living and encourage spontaneous collective infill. The clear volumetrics of the building were certainly not to be lost in the process.
An existing extension added in the 1980s was demolished for lack of value and replaced by an oversized stairwell. A small but effective intervention. The new annex can take on the function of loggia/garden room/collective lounge/garden bench. The light structure valorises the existing building.
Internally, the 12 small residential units were converted into 8 living units and a communal laundry room. The attic space was included. A void was created in the hall, revealing the old central clock. At the back of the building, against a battered facade, bicycle storage, rubbish storage and space for heat pumps were provided, with additional terraces on top.
An extra focus in this project is on sustainable techniques and insulation standards, with the aim of achieving a BEN building. This included an A+ ventilation system that used the existing chimneys.