securing privacy in an urban world

the building is an old 1950s police barracks, with the apartments built around a central public courtyard; this spatial set-up creates opportunities for public space, which needs to be mediated by the internal apartment layouts

The brief

a home that creates a large living space facing onto the courtyard; that offers a natural seclusion to the home’s private spaces; that creates varied spaces for living; that creates opportunities for light and art and space and plants

The idea

the principal concept was to build a very thick wall that would separate the apartment’s public spaces from its private spaces, this wall would hold storage and services that would serve its adjacent spaces the building is organised with the eating, living and working spaces facing out onto the courtyard. the bedrooms, bathrooms and service spaces sit behind the yellow service wall this strategy allows for very efficient movement through the apartment with very little wasted space

The materials

the building makes use of a very simple palette of materials which work together to make an unfussy living environment the walls are plastered and painted white, the floors are the the original hardwood parquets, while the furniture is manufactured from recycled plywood this choice in materials results in an easy-to-maintain apartment, where plants and art and working and living and reading can take centre stage

The program

the public spaces of the house include a kitchen, dining room, a small library, a lounge and a solarium the private spaces include a two bedrooms, a storage hallway, a services area (including laundry and dishwashing) and a bathroom the yellow wall includes storage for the bedrooms, the kitchen and the library

Closing thoughts

a home – no matter the size – must be a refuge; a space that contains elements of mystery and magic and serenity