‘t Melkhuisje, The Netherlands

brown brick facade house front view t Melkhuisje Netherlands
t Melkhuisje Netherlands © Alard van der Hoek

Architects BureauVanEig, The Netherlands
Haarlem, The Netherlands
Construction period 01.2015 - 08.2015
Nomination category Working Together
Purpose Bridgekeeper- and electricity house
Usable floor area 30 m²
Brick type Facing bricks

'T Melkhuisje is a new bridge keeper’s house and electrical substation on the Melkbrug (‘milk bridge’) in the historic centre of Haarlem. Typically, bridge keeper’s houses are small with all sides visible externally, which makes them both special and challenging for architects. Built upon existing foundations, ‘t Melkhuisje replaces a control room which was destroyed by fire. It now contains an electrical substation and a tourist information point. The most important elements of the design were  colour, stone, timelessness and proportion. The lower part of the building houses the substation and information point. The asymmetrical pitched roof protects the control room from the sun and balances the ‘belly’ of the lower part. The façade and the steep part of the roof are clad in a brown brick which ties the building to its surroundings. The green steel elements reference the colour of the bridge.

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