Rather than demolish a number of old fishing warehouses in the harbor of Scheveningen in Holland, an architecture firm was hired to give the buildings a new lease on life. Archipelontwerpers, based in Den Hague, designed and built a series of rooftop penthouses which completely transformed the area and the warehouses into a much desired residential space. The steel framed structures with glass fronts offer stunning views of the harbor and an important reason not to demolish the old buildings.
The coast of Holland once played host to a large fishing industry. As such, a number of large warehouses lined the waterfront to accept the fish. But when the fishing industry downsized, many of these old brick warehouses fell into disrepair, were abandoned and were eventually slated for demolition to make way for new buildings and housing. Archipelontwerpers was first asked to design one set of penthouses on top of a warehouse, and after the great success of the first set, two more warehouses were transformed as well. They are called the Nautilus, Ijsvis and Rokerij.
Each penthouse is a two-story, lightweight, steel structure that has been constructed on top of a brick base. They were originally designed as live/work studios, but have sliding panels and open floor plans so as to become whatever the homeowner wants. Terraces on various levels and rooftop patios afford the homeowners plenty of space to enjoy the sea and encourage the sea breezes into their homes.
The projects were completed in 2005, and in 2006, Archipelontwerpers was awarded the National Steel Prize, followed by the European Aluminum Award in 2007. Renovation of the old warehouses and the addition of the rooftop penthouses eliminated the need to demolish and rebuild. Additionally, these penthouses helped frame the idea of rooftop architecture in a whole new light, making it a popular option for inhabitants in the area.