An abandoned former war period sports building (constructed in 1940’s) was never intended to be renovated. Real estate developers thought of demolishing it as no one would imagine making anything useful out of it. However, the client bought the site and decided to turn the ‘useless’ building into a private villa.

▼别墅外观,exterior of the villa ©Tim Van de Velde

▼主入口,entrance of the villa ©Tim Van de Velde

▼立面局部,details of the exterior ©Tim Van de Velde

▼室外花园,outdoor garden ©Tim Van de Velde


Converting this space into a livable environment presented a special challenge and made this project a unique experience. The work started by dismantling the original structure. An inspirational moment came when walls and ceiling were stripped bare and the raw beauty of the original materials was revealed, which in combination with the vast space filled with light presented a great point of departure.

▼室内概览,overall of the interior ©Tim Van de Velde

▼由客厅看水疗室,viewing the Spa room from the living room ©Tim Van de Velde

▼客厅,the living room ©Tim Van de Velde

▼原体育馆的高窗被改造为落地窗,The high Windows of the former gymnasium were replaced with floor-to-ceiling Windows ©Tim Van de Velde

the large of openings introducing views and natural light into the interior ©Tim Van de Velde


The concrete structures originally used to obtain large spans for the sports hall, visually increase the volume and define the interior space. Subdividing it into separate rooms while preserving the ‘grandeur’ of the original space was a tricky balance.

▼由客厅看厨房餐厅,viewing the kitchen-dining from the living room ©Tim Van de Velde

▼厨房,the open kitchen ©Tim Van de Velde

▼厨房中岛,kitchen island ©Tim Van de Velde

▼餐厅,dining room ©Tim Van de Velde

▼主要生活空间细部,details of the main living space ©Tim Van de Velde


Individually designed furniture elements were used instead of standard partition walls to do the trick. These furniture units do not touch the ceiling. Instead, glass or mirror surfaces are placed on top of them to create visual continuity by letting the original ceiling ‘cut through’ the entire space, while sufficiently isolating the rooms.

▼由室外看主卧室,viewing the master bedroom from outside ©Tim Van de Velde

▼主卧室,master bedroom ©Tim Van de Velde

▼镜面材料在视觉上将空间扩大了一倍,The mirrored material visually doubles the space ©Tim Van de Velde

▼主卧局部,details of the master bedroom ©Tim Van de Velde

▼主卧夹层上的衣帽间,the cloakroom on the mezzanine of the master bedroom ©Tim Van de Velde


Thus, a cosy environment of the human scale was created, leaving the visual continuity of the original space uninterrupted. Made to measure furniture units designed from natural materials – each material applied only once – create a variety of interconnected spaces, each having a unique atmosphere.

▼由室外看儿童房,viewing the children’s room from outside ©Tim Van de Velde

▼儿童房,children’s room ©Tim Van de Velde

▼室外花园延伸到室内空间之中,the outdoor garden extends into the interior space ©Tim Van de Velde


The boundary between the interior space and the garden was intentionally blurred following the principle of visual continuity. The windows which were initially not reaching the floor level were cut through to the ground level to make large openings along the façade. Reflected in the polished semi-gloss concrete floor, large windows create a feeling of lightness and openness, in a way making nature ‘step in’ and enrich the interior space. The deck surface of the outdoor garden continues to the floor level of the interior. The 4-5m height row of bamboo creates a buffer space separating the villa from the surrounding apartment buildings.

▼书房,Office ©Tim Van de Velde

▼客房,guest room ©Tim Van de Velde

▼暴露在室内空间中的砖墙材质,The brick wall material is exposed in the interior space ©Tim Van de Velde


The Villa boasts an elegant indoor spa area located at the end of the house. A great view opens from the swimming pool ‘box’ framed by a black contour of the glass wall, to the ‘heart’ of the house: the kitchen and living room, placed along the same axis. A 3m high mirror surface placed on top of the glass wall from the side of the living room, creates an optical effect of an endless ceiling, visually expanding the space.

▼水疗室,indoor spa area ©Tim Van de Velde

▼水疗室位于别墅的尽头,大面积的开窗模糊了室内外的界限,The spa room is located at the end of the house, with large Windows blurring the boundary between inside and outside ©Tim Van de Velde


A new metal façade was added in order to provide perfect insulation, allowing to preserve the ‘naked’ surface of brick walls and have a warm temperature inside the house. Invisible from the street, the Villa houses generous spaces of great quality, probably making it the largest house in the city.

▼外观夜景,night view of exterior ©Tim Van de Velde

▼水疗室夜景,night view of the spa room ©Tim Van de Velde


▼总平面图,site plan ©MASA architects

▼底层平面图,plan ©MASA architects

▼二层平面图,1st floor plan ©MASA architects

▼立面图,elevations ©MASA architects

▼剖面图,sections ©MASA architects


Architect: MASA architects
City: Rotterdam, NL
Completion Year: 2020
Website: https://masaarchitects.com/
Contact e-mail: Anastasia Chudova (PR manager) anastasiac@madma.nl
Partner in charge: Hiroki Matsuura, René Sangers
Landscape design: MADMA urbanism+landscape
Plot area: 1340m2
Footprint: 605m2
Photo credits: Tim Van de Velde