Inspiration: Didden Village

Inspiration: Didden Village

Tammy Everts
Sep 19, 2008

Lately, we're obsessed with the idea of carving out new space for our expanding family, without having to move. We're not the only ones with this dilemma, so we've been keeping one eye open for stories about families who have risen to the challenge.

We may not have a rooftop to build on, like the Diddens -- who, with the help of superstar architect Winy Maas, built three cerulean blue rooms on top of their warehouse space -- but we can still be inspired by this middle-income family who dared to think outside the proverbial (and literal) box...

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Maas (who also happens to be a family friend, hence the willingness to take on such a relatively small project) considered the Diddens' situation through the lens of his own obsession with creating urban density.

From a New York Times article about the project:

The result, Didden Village, is literally a blue-sky solution to the Didden family's problem... The "village" consists of three bedrooms built on the roof: a big room for the parents and two smaller, semi-detached ones for the two boys, each a distinct houselike shape and separated symbolically by what Maas describes as "a main street." The whole represents both the connections between the family members and their need to go their own ways.

Each bedroom is accessed by its own private spiral staircase — light wooden structures suspended from the metal frame that Maas laid over the original roof. Ending just short of the floor below, the stairs appear to float magically downward. The boys' two staircases entwine DNA-like around each other; a climbing rope hangs down a tube in the middle. From their platform beds the boys can open windows in the opposite slopes of the roof to talk to each other at night.

Sounds idyllic. But let's see some pictures.

Clearly, we need to befriend some architects.

See the Times' full slideshow of Didden Village here.

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