The Black Pearl was designed by Dutch designers Studio Rolf.fr and Zecc Architecten for a private client, as part of the Urbannerdam housing project in Rotterdam. An unusual black façade kick-started the building’s new identity, so everything, from the brick to the windows and masonry was covered in shiny black oil paint.

Instead of working with the existing openings, the architects kept them in place, but punctured through a new set of minimal openings over and around them, marking the structure’s new life. ‘This creates a relationship between the original facade and the building’s new interpretation,’ they say.

Internally, the structure was completely reconfigured into an open plan interior. The architects used the existing shell simply as boundaries to enclose the new residence. From the ground level up, the building includes an office and studio space, followed by the bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and living room, topped out by an impressive roof garden.

The house’s monochromatic colour scheme – inside and out - marks a departure from the street’s more traditional dwellings, further underlining its individuality. And with the recent Dutch Design Awards 2011 win for the Public Award, which is chosen by the Dutch public, it seems to be a move in the right direction for the city of Rotterdam.

TAGS: ROTTERDAM