Van den Broek and Bakema’s project for extendible
houses is an example of intentionally planning for future
expansion, something often overlooked in normal housing
design. On an elongated plot of land, the architects
proposed a narrow house not unlike a nineteenth century
British terraced house. This core house contains a
small front yard; it has a kitchen with direct access to the
back garden, and a combined dining and living room on
the ground floor. The core house in its smallest state also
has a second storey, which houses three rooms: a larger
room to the front and two smaller rooms towards the back
of the house.
This smallest functional unit is designed to be expanded
by pushing out horizontally to the front and back, and vertically
upwards. Towards the front, on the site of the front
yard, an additional room can be built, which might be a
garage, a small shop or a guest room. Towards the back,
the entire rear garden can be transformed into a series
of rooms that are organised around a courtyard — which
almost doubles the useable space on the ground floor.
Finally, planning permission allows for an additional room
to be built on top of the first floor flat roof. Together these
changes allow for the initial house of 85m2 to be transformed
into one of 130m2.