“-Re” House no.12: Pointless Space

One of the very first lesson I was taught once I started my education as an architect was the fact that everything has a reason. Every single element in an architecture project has a reason. Even the weirdest angle has a logic behind it. So obviously the apartment below made me really curious. Click To Tweet

Original layout:

•  Completed: 2001
Surface: 100m²
Outdoor space: 12m²
External storage: 4m²

• This is a 2 floors apartment on a long and narrow layout. The division is easy and clear: day spaces on the lower level and night spaces on the top floor. There is a terrace in front of the entrance and a balcony above. There is also a small balcony shaped like a triangle opposite the entrance.
• The access is done through a long corridor that separates the toilet and a storage space from the kitchen and living room. The access to the second level is done through the living room which decreases the privacy of the space. The landing on the top floor is in an open space directly connected to the void and marketed as a bedroom despite its complete lack of privacy.
• The double height space from the living room is small and pointless if the space above is not used in conjunction and increases its wow factor. If the space above the living room were to be used as a lounge or as an office (used to also receive people), than that void could be of value to the space. It would also be a viable option if that were to be the only bedroom space on the above floor and it would be completely private. However in this case, being marketed as a bedroom is a rather short sided option that does not take in account all the factors involved in its day to day use.
• The access to the only bathroom of the complex is gained through the second bedroom. Thi, decreases privacy levels and forces additional circulations.

New layout:
Before I dive into the details I have to mention again that in the original layout, the open space above the living room can be perfectly fine if used as an office or as an extension to the living room where there is no real expectancy of privacy. The staircase circulation makes it impossible to have complete privacy. However it being used as a bedroom (as marketed) raises a large number of issues.
• That being said, I personally do not see the point of the double height in this case. It serves no purpose but to gather dust and infringe on privacy and use of space. As a result, I have decided to remove it and design the top layer using all the available surface. This has given me enough space to move the staircase and to add a small study.
• Due to lack of space and modern design trends we usually clutter our bedrooms. Ideally the bedroom would contain only the bed so it would provide the best conditions for sleep. So instead of making a long bedroom with a storage next to it I saw the possibility of separating the bed from the storage and in the process create a circulation space. This gave me the option to add a small study area reachable through the aforementioned circulation space.
I found two possible versions for the bedroom and study area combo and as I could not decide I added them both here. This is why below you can find two very similar drawings of the same top floor.
• By moving the laundry and storage downstairs and relocating the staircase I have successfully provided access to the bathroom from the main circulation. This provides better conditions for privacy for each one of the (now independent) two bedrooms.
• Last but not least I changed the design of the secondary bedroom. In the same way is not healthy for adults to work and sleep in the same environment, it is not healthy for children. I thus created a distinct separation between the sleeping area and the study withing the bedroom itself.


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