Clad in wax-covered pine, this 645-square-foot dwelling is striking on the outside and endlessly charming on the inside.
When Marjon Helder and Martin Blankendaal commissioned Chris Collaris to redesign an old, decaying brick home on the waterfront in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the architect decided that starting from scratch—building a new, sustainable home of steel and wax-preserved pine—made more sense than a renovation. “The house was very old and could not be saved,” Collaris says. “[Starting over] gave us aesthetic freedom.”
With a blank slate at his fingertips, the architect set out to create a design that would be as artful as it is practical. “It’s timber over a steel skeleton,” says Collaris, who clad the exterior walls and the sharply pitched roof with the same wax-preserved pine. “This made it sculptural,” he says. “The black finish gives it a slim profile despite the roof’s large overhang.
In combination with the black finish on the walls and the roof, the asymmetrical form of the pitched roof gives the compact house a whimsical appearance. “It also allows for more volume,” Collaris says. High ceilings and an attic mark the interior, which is compact but notably airy.