The historic centre of Sittard has seen many trades come and go, from the early merchants trading goods between the Duchy of Jülich and the villages along the Maas river, local farmers and craftsman to the generic 20th century commerce. All these periods left their traces behind on the Voorstad, a historic exit road that connects the city centre with the train station.

Especially the last period of commerce has transformed many of the small scale historical craftsman and trade buildings on this historical street into generic shopping front facades that disconnect the ground floor and street level with the upper stories.

The point of departure for the renovation and transformation of this small trade building lies in maintaining both the functions, dwelling and commerce connected to the street level. Therefore, the dwelling and shops are designed with the same grammar, enriching each other’s presence rather than neglecting one another. The internal organisation is an optimisation of the existing plan in which the location of the new stairs was crucial.

Despite the historical relationship with the adjacent house, we have decided to give the building its own identity. Standing out in diffidence, we applied a soft grey tone in combination with wooden window frames. The distinction between shop and dwelling entrances is then subtly arranged by two? different nag sizes, pushing the wooden entrance door of the apartment backwards and by pulling the glazed shop window and door outwards.



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