year | 1998
place | Zutphen
category | wonen
The mask stands for protection and transformation, as the real features of the face are replaced by the impersonal. It offers anonymity in the crowd and yet welds it together.
The huge glass unit facades which link the group of detached single-family houses optically into a courtyard unit are to be understood as a mask. The uniformity of the glass wall ensures the residents are close to but also enjoy a suitable distance from the public sphere.
The clear form comes to life through the interplay of light and people. It stands out as if on a filter, outside and inside, in the change between day and night.
The stairs extending over three floors lies directly behind. Even the great abundance of light in the staircase does not reveal any secret, apart from the fleeting shadows which flit diagonally across the glass blocks. At night, the masks change into radiating screens. They give the front court light and a contour.
Beyond the uniform identity, each of the ten buildings is itself a reference point for differentiated exterior spaces designated for varied use. For instance, the single-storey part together with the wall forms a small private courtyard on the garden side, an 'outside room' in a manner of speaking.
The rooms’ function and atmosphere change with each floor. The ground floor as a 'representation area' includes a living room, dining room and kitchen – the kitchen even facilitates a 'supervisory glance' into the public courtyard. Two bedrooms and a bathroom are located on the first floor. At the very top, the parents’ bedroom opens out onto a roof terrace, the finishing point of the course and very intimate exterior space, which offers an overview of the immediate neighbourhood.
Design - Realization: 1996 - 1998, competition 1st Prize
Address: Annie M.G. Schmidtstraat, Zutphen
Project Team: Jo Janssen, Paulus Egers
Collaboration: I/AA+ Architecten Enschede
- Motta Books, Jo Janssen Architect 2008 [p. 28-39], ISBN 978-90-807520-3-0