Studio i.s.m. Zecc Architecten, Rolf, Marnix van der Meer en Yffi van den Berg

Black Pearl

The project

The city of Rotterdam is working hard to transform its existing housing stock. Alongside new urban developments a large number of so-called ‘klushuizen’ or DIY houses have been put on the market. These houses in deprived areas are sold at low prices, but the buyers are obliged to carry out major refurbishments. With his house the Zwarte Parel (Black Pearl), the designers have shown that this encourages innovative designs for reuse.


A shining example of dealing with reuse. Rough and sublime at the same time. The design goes from the inside out. The new spatial structure created by removing floors and walls is visible through the new facade openings that seem to have been punched in the old façade at random.

— Following a sublime play of light, visual corridors and optical illusions, this is where the grittiness of the city takes over again.

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