A stunning solar-powered home has emerged from the bones of a former school for infants in Leiden, the Netherlands. Design firm ATELIER SPACE completed the beautiful adaptive reuse project, taking care to preserve historic elements while imbuing fresh contemporary touches to the renovation. Energy efficiency was a major focus in the redesign, which includes energy-saving features such as improved insulation, underfloor heating, and home automation.
Built in 1925, the historic brick nursery was constructed with great open spaces and tall ceilings filled with natural light from skylights and large windows. These features lend themselves easily to reuse as a residence and the architects made no major changes to the overall structure of the building. A single classroom, for instance, were repurposed into three bedrooms. The architects also preserved the tiled floors in the corridor, original doors, and wooden rafters to maintain a connection to the building’s past.
While the tiled corridor was kept intact, the architects replaced the other floors with insulated concrete with underfloor heating. The roof and glass windows were also bolstered with improved insulation to minimize heat loss. A water and air-based heat pump heats and cools the building. Solar panels provide electricity. JUNG KNX home automation allows the homeowners to control aspects of the house, such as lighting and the shutters, remotely from their phones.
The spacious 694-square-meter home includes five bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, a media room, workout room, and an open-plan living room, kitchen, and dining area housed in a converted gymnasium. The school’s old playground was transformed into a sunny courtyard with plastered brick banks and planters around a “conversation pit.” The second floor contains a small guesthouse.
Images via Brigitte Kroone