Celebrating 25 years: Helenastraat

How do you work on the renovation of a monumental building that does not have monument status? We are sharing this special residential project on Helenastraat Curacao, as part of the celebration of our 25th anniversary.

The former building had fallen into disrepair and was in desperate need of renovation. Little is known about the history of the house. The only hint about the past were the three indoor chimneys. This may indicate that these were once three separate workers’ houses. But besides that, there was no real clue to previous functions and residents.

The house didn’t had a monumental status. But this project was treated by Lyongo as if it were heritage, since it was owned by Stichting Monumentenzorg Curacao. In 2011 he made the drawings for the renovation and designed the extension. His assignment was to make this house habitable again.

Preserve the history

“This was the situation as I found it. For me it was important to preserve the soul of the building and preserve its historical values. In Curacao – like in many other countries – a lot of attention goes to the larger monuments, buildings formerly owned by the rich. Monuments are the carriers of stories, and to be able to preserve the complete and balanced story it is important also preserve the small monuments that pertained to the laborers. For me this was enough reason to treat the old building as if it had a formal monumental status.”

Inspired by two worlds

It became a house of 70 square meters, with two bedrooms. A second volume of 35 square meters was added and built in the garden. Lyongo got his inspiration for this design from the environment. “People immediately asked why I choose for a zink roof instead of a roof with roof tiles. That was a design choice based on the working-class neighborhood Nieuw Nederland. On one side you have the wooden houses with the characteristic corrugated metal roofs . On the other side of the plot is a luxurious city villa. The contrasts were stark. This house connects both worlds.”

When the house was completed it was published in an article that you can read here!

Door |2024-04-04T07:51:16+00:004 april 2024|25 years, News|0 Reacties
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