It must have been sometime in the mid-1990s, doing a PR job for Bouwfonds Nederlandse Gemeenten, that I first heard the term: inpansion. Urban expansion that you do not realize on yet another pasture, but by taking advantage of opportunities within the existing buildings.
A wonderfully contrarian word that must have taken up permanent residence in me, because virtually all of the expansions we realized in ZeeVELD in recent years were a form of inpansion..
In the empty height of a bedroom we found the space needed to convert it into an independent accommodation unit; we transformed connected, hard-to-use upstairs rooms into individual bedrooms with private bathrooms; rearranged storage lofts turned out to free up enough square footage for a coffee bar; and no fewer than two toilets turned out to fit in the place of a redundant shower.
To change the existing not by attaching something to it, but by soberly analyzing it and identifying in the outcome the possibilities for the new. Exactly the approach that Liber methodology recommends for our psychic well-being: a person does not create himself inner peace by building an annex of peace, but by learning to welcome his inner discontent, over and over again, without judgement or resitance, thereby facilitating the peace that is at the core of it to start speaking.
Becoming who we are is not a matter of axing, but of learning to experience without resistance or judgment how much impropriety we house.
Back to the physical inpansion, starting Feb. 27, 2023, this will once again enthusiastically manifest itself in ZeeVELD’s home, and it will be in the residence built by Rob Schipper in 2002 on the site of the former hey stack. What is now a dining room will become a bedroom, an adjacent part of the hall will become a full bathroom, the utility room will partly be added to the chapel’s storage space, and – back in the hall – there will be a full-length dividing wall here so that the first floor and first floor can be used independently.
Think a month ahead and the first floor will be our second self-contained retreat apartment, for up to two people, while the bedrooms on the second floor will provide additional leeway for groups staying in the main house.
Inpansion. Warmly recommended. For cities, houses, and most certainly for people too.