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Smallest House, Meppel, Netherlands

Wednesday 26 Nov 2008

Slim brickings

copyright: DeLeeuw Van Zanten 
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Dutch town gets intriguing new landmark. 

A narrow alley in the Dutch provincial town of Meppel has been widened into a ring road as part of an urban restructuring project. An existing building, a butcher shop, had to be demolished. The city asked De Leeuw Van Zanten to find a solution for the blank wall that now dominates this new street.

They discovered that the existing building was instrumental for the structural stability of the buildings next to it. Demolishing it would bring down these buildings as well. The architects also felt the memories associated with the old edifice should not be allowed to simply disappear, and combined poetry with engineering.

We have narrowed down the existing building to 70 cm in width, so that it assures the stability of the neighboring houses as a sort of ‘book end’. The new edifice has its own house number and front door; the openings in the sidewall are reminiscent of the former butcher shop.

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Were you involved in this scheme?
DeLeeuwVanZanten/ architecten

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