-Re House

“-Re” House no. 17 – The Hamster Box

And the hamster box strikes again!

Original layout:

• Completed: 2009
Surface: 90m²

• The issue with these spaces is not that they have enclosed the balcony/loggia with a set of interior glass walls, but that it was not a balcony/loggia to begin with. The space was not designed as an exterior space (which later got enclosed) but as a box that was separated from the interior space. It is simply another room that has a normal window. It might as well be the smoking corner at a restaurant. And if it might be sort of acceptable in the case of the living room and the master bedroom, in the case of the secondary bedroom it simply does more harm than good.
• What surprises me is the fact that this is a 90m² apartment. That is an extremely generous surface and it would be really easy to add a true balcony and a decent sized bathroom. So why skimp on these?

Hint: It’s most likely, all about the money.
If the rules and regulations of the area do not allow balconies over the public area (side walk), loggias can easily take over. However, just as balconies, loggias create volume on a facade which means that building it implies more design, more materials, more work and thus more money. Slapping a bland straight facade, where even the balconies have the same standardized windows make a contractor’s life easier and an investor’s pocket happier. The question is: what does that do to the city and to the quality of the apartments?  


New layout:

• The first thing I had to do was to add a real balcony. It is accessible from both bedrooms as well as from the living room (kitchen).
• I increased the size of the secondary bedroom to a decent surface, where either an office or a bedroom could function with ease.
• And I moved the kitchen. Due to the shape of the living room, the kitchen felt exposed and intruding in the same time. It was large enough to intrude in the lounge and even over power it and in the same time it did not have a space of its own. So by moving it to the narrower side of the room, it creates a well defined area without intruding in the lounge. It also benefits from an easy access to the balcony.

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