Exhausted from the hustle and bustle of city life, why not find another place-- somewhere quiet but powerful, a space replete with plain and textured “lives”.
In our project, furniture and ornaments are no longer isolated stuff in a certain space. In fact, they are, together with the partitions, designed to blend into one according to the outline and shape of the apartment in hand. To accomplish our design ideas, we have to ignore these objects’ typical meanings and functions and restart their lives as the symbiotic organs that work together for the entire apartment. In this consequence, their shapes, materials and textures will also in turn interprete their lives in this specific space.
Our project is located in an old-fashioned residential buiding with mutiple storeys in Futian District, Shenzhen. Given that the conduction of space recombination will be largely restricted by an limited floor area of 65 ㎡ and the impossibility to break down most of the partitians and walls, architect hope to set the objects of different sizes in the present layout of the apartment. In fact, these objects reinforce the properties of the space, carry out the functions of storage and display and show the texture of the space, through which we hope to create a tranquil but powerful sense to the resident.
The entry porch is fixed with a square frame, which determines the start and the space of the porch, streches the view at the entrance and separates itself with the open space of the livingroom. The entry porch perfectly shows its organizing and ornamental functions through the intergration of the frame’s changing thickness. Additionally, the whole house strip light system is inlayed in the frame, beginning with the entry porch and leading to different functional areas through the corridor.
By means of the partition by objects and the control of scale, the corridor has its space properties emphasized without being occupied by other functions, endowing the resident a more clean and clear experience just like time-travel. The corridor is also inlayed with doorways of different sizes and is interwoven with various materials. With the guide of the strip light system, the corridor is able to switch lines to different functional areas, such as the corridor to the livingroom, the corridor to the bedroom, the corridor to the work room, etc.
The corridor gathers most of the visible materials in the whole apartment-- like multilayer birch wood slats, anodised aluminium plates, steel plates, stainless steel, raw concrete, concrete groud floors, sandstone, which are separately exhibited by the partitions varying in sizes. Such materials make a transitional variation from smoothness to roughness and from warm hue to cold hue, enabling the room to be suffused with dramatic contrast and special tention.
The long narrow cabinets, the continuous concrete partitian and the semi-circular tables form the basic structure and texture of a standard livingroom. They also transform from the inside out to adapt to the changing scenes, lights and functions.
Along the entrance to the balcony, the long cabinet presents a transitional change from closure to openess, which corresponds to its transitional function from daily necessities organization to artwork exhibition. The closed area of the closet is inlayed with TV and cleaning robots; while the open area is made up of three slanting wood slats which have increasingly growing angles, producing a wonderful visual sense of gradient as the natural light pour in the house. Besides, the first slanting wood slat far from the balcony blocks the main line of sight as the resident come in from the entrance, which also enables its inner to hold longer and larger sundries. The open form without doors of the cabinet will also make it convenient for everyday life.
Here we also set an overhang folding platform made of steel, which ensures the stability of its own structure and its light and thin properties, contrasting visually with the thickness of the board.
The resident is a designer and a coffee lover, and the semi-circular table provides him with more usage senarios. The side of the table far from the balcony works as s small bar counter for assembling all kinds of eletrical appliances and water bar facilities; the other side stretches out a little to the balcony for a tea break or rest; while the large part of the centre is for meal or work discussion. Such a semi-circular struture make the life of the resident much easier. Meanwhile, the table is equipped with slanting interlayers, which not only prevents the distraction from the views of odds and ends inside, but also keep the sense of continuity of the table as a whole.
The semi-circular table extends in perpendicular dimension and forms a built-in cabinet, of which the texture and the concrete partition make a striking contrast between rough and smooth, warmth and coldness. Local part of the layers overhang, providing storage space and extra aesthetic visual experience.
The concrete partition is set on one side of the livingroom as if it were a tremendous painting separating the space of the apartment. Upon the surface of the partition, we can see the natural texture generated by casting in place-- layers upon layers of cement, uneven distribution of fine stones, the sediment and crevices, all of which meticulously record the unique vitality of this wonderful space. Still, a galnce at the moss grown within the crevices add a touch of delicacy and vitality to its entirety. There is no need of redundant design for soft outfit because the constructing of the building is the best artistic expression that only belongs here.
Narrow in space, the kitchen is installed with highly intergrated cabinets in both upper and lower space so as to hold as much cooking wares and groceries as possible. The texture of concrete and birch wood is also echoing here.
Walking through the corridor, we can see the successive birch wood slats, steel plates and anodized aluminum plates and enjoy the aesthetic beauty as the layers recede. Following the strip lights, our eye will eventually fall upon a black bathroom at the end of the corridor. The large area of illuminant upon the ceiling hits the wall painted in black, giving off a mildy sense of technology and mystery. This makes the little room a place of most special texture in the apartment. In addition, the contrast of black and white stretches the vertical dimension of the bathroom visually.
Getting through a double-height doorway in the corridor, we will find ourselves out of the textured world and surrounded by a cozy and exquisite space of birch wood, the bedroom. The bedroom does not contain gaudy and onerous embellishment. Instead, it has a whole wall divided in layers for stowing linen or clothing. Each layer is slightly larger in volume than the previous one, which renders a sense of tranquil comfort sensually.
We make full use of the layer-by-layer clearance of the whole wall. The different layers respectively perform the fuctions of clothing organization, artwork exhibition, sundry organization and mirror. Meanwhile, the entirety of the negative space can be guaranteed, as seen in the minimizing of the soft outfit and furniture.
There is an echo about the exquisite and delicate texture among the grayish concrete floor, the natural texture of birch wood, the shifted metal switch and the sandstone wall, responding to the room’s call for quietness and coziness.
The workspace consists of a dynamical rack, a long-shaped workbench and a vertically designed movable cabinet for material storage.
The tilting rack is constructed based on the idea of slanting books. The oblique texture and the changable scale are fit for the place and classification of physical models and books of different sizes. Such a transition is just like an inlayed dynamical facade in the wall and makes itself an artistic installation in the space.