The current trend in The Netherlands is to recycle existing buildings rather than to replace them. In the old city of Leiden Mirck Architecture has designed such a rejuvenation for a 15th century landmark canal house. In the 1960s the building’s interior was effectively destroyed, which sad event opened interesting perspectives for the building’s redevelopment. The building is now used as an Annex by the International Tax Center Leiden, a Leiden University affiliated institute for postgraduate studies that is housed in the neighboring mansion at Rapenburg 65.
The Rapenburg 63 Annex houses a fully equipped modern lecture theatre with 74 seats, a student lounge, and nine student studios along with a joint living room annex kitchen that overlooks the splendid garden at the backside of the building. This living room / kitchen addition brings back the long disappeared back building that Mirck Architecture research unearthed from the city’s archives.The lecture theatre occupies also the original courtyard (between the front and back buildings) but a glass roof of the same size as the yard recreates its light-providing function.
The pointed roof of the back building is made of perforated aluminium. Its 21st century appearance combines remarkably well with the old rooflines of the neighboring buildings. In the garden an amphitheater is built, not only to provide for outdoors teaching in exceptional summer weather but also to hide under its slope a highly sustainable heating and cooling system for the new Annex.