Tolhuislaan House by Willem van Genugten
Rotterdam’s Katendrecht used to be a port neighbourhood of questionable repute, but it is swiftly becoming the district to watch. Taking advantage of Urbannerdam, construction manager Damian Zarebski and his partner have transformed an old townhouse in the area.
The renovation took place in record time – the couple was given the keys in September 2010 and works were done by March 2011. They had five hours of architect time through the program to get them started and decide on the basics and structural issues, but after that, their friend, local architect Willem van Genugten, helped them with the execution. ‘We mixed styles, with the biggest contrast being the classical style downstairs against the modern style of the kitchen,’ says the owner. ‘The wooden floor acted as a common thread throughout the house.’
They still faced many challenges, however, with coordination being top of the list. ‘I had seven different companies working on the house at the same time,’ explains Zarebski. ‘The kitchen’s design was especially tricky. It was big and handcrafted in Poland, and the coordination between carpenters, architect and myself took time. In the end, it had to be craned into the house, through the back window.’