Located in Roombeek, Enschede, the KLM house is the latest project to be completed in a neighborhood that was destroyed by a fireworks warehouse explosion in 2000. Instead of turning to the typical cookie-cutter planning strategy, the municipality decided to allow residents to design and build according to their own tastes, allowing architect and owner of the KLM House, Michiel de Wit’s design imagination to run wild.
The KLM House has become a special landmark in the eclectic neighborhood due to its dark facade as well as its odd, yet strategic form. Supported by concrete pillars, the boxy home sits high above the street. By lifting the structure from street level, de Wit was able to give the home optimal interior illumination as well as privacy from neighbors. The interior can be accessed through a central staircase leading up from the parking spot below the home. The staircase continues through the living space and upwards to the rooftop terrace.
Due to its quirky form and dark timber cladding, the KLM home has earned a number of nicknames from neighbors such as “the cartridge”, “Pandora’s box” and of course, “the black coffin”.
Photography by Rene Fokkink and Jeannet Stassen