New Pearl 045
House at the Kleine Paterbrug
In the center of Leiden, where the Doelengracht ends, there is an unused plot of street. Architect Simon Christiaanse dived into the history of this place and designed a simple but striking little house.
Back in the late Middle Ages, several monasteries were located around the Doelengracht. The nuns lived in small houses. In the sixteenth century, the monastery population declined and more and more monasteries and houses became vacant. Many small houses became privately owned and the area turned into a working-class neighborhood.
But this working-class neighborhood came to an end: in 1736 the Hortus expanded and a wall was built on the boundary of the site. In 1820 the Doelen barracks were extended to the Hortus. It was not until 1913 that another publicly accessible passage was opened: the Paterstraatje. The Kleine Paterbrug was built over the Doelengracht. Perhaps the simplest bridge in Leiden.
In 2000 the Hortus built a new greenhouse just behind the wall. An opening was cut into the wall, making the Hortus site accessible from the Doelengracht. However, where the Hortus wall makes a kink, a piece of land remained unused. A strange corner where the Doelengracht comes to a dead end.
With a history of small houses around the Doelengracht, Simon Christiaanse Architecture used this history to design a tiny house for this place. The dimensions of the location are less than 3 by 5 meters.
The house has a floor space of only 33 square meters, divided over 3 layers. However, this house contains all the amenities you would expect from a contemporary home: living room, kitchen, bathroom and a cupboard wall.
The design is simple and striking. With a facade of ‘rammed earth’ it differs from the brick wall, but blends well into the environment in terms of color. The slope of the roof is identical to the slope of the greenhouse of the Hortus.
Windows with a curve at the top refer to the monasteries. The pattern of three rounded windows can still be found in a building on the Hortus site. From the inside, these windows offer a beautiful view of the Doelengracht and the Hortus.