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Parksite Residence, Rotterdam

A former ambulance garage may seem like an unusual option for a home, but in the hands of innovative Rotterdam design office Doepel Strijkers it proved to be an inspired choice. The strongest point of the 2,800-square-foot space, remodeled into a family home for clients Maarten Laupman and Simone Rots, is its location bordering a quiet park. The rear wall was therefore replaced by an enormous glass window, opening the space to the greenery outdoors. The garage’s single level was restricting, but Doepel Strijkers solved this by adding a dugout in the middle of the building, creating the height needed for a second level and for the bedrooms, which are housed in a polycarbonate "lightbox." The custom-built storage elements, kitchen, and stairs—all finished in bright orange polyurethane—link the dugout to the entrance (on the street side) and living room (on the park side). We tour the residence in our slideshow.

A bright-orange polyurethane coating rescues the dugout from any suggestion of darkness or dinginess.

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