1+1 = 3: The house of an entrepreneur and art collector
Introduction:
In one of the historic apartment buildings in the EUR district, a tower block near the most iconics arcquitectures of the area, the buyer purchased two separate flats, one beneath the other on the first and second floors. The design challenge was to join together the two flats into one coherent home. To implement, in terms of space, something much more substantial than the sum of the two flats (1+1=3), both from the point of view of the light (before the work the first floor flat was quite dark) and the heights (the distance between the floors of flats in this type of building is 2.8m, which in large spaces is slightly restricted), as well as the finishes and domestic installations. The flats are located in what is perhaps the most important apartment building in the district. Even the architecture of the building, built in the second half of the 1960s, has somewhat maintained its own character years later. Starting from the second floor the tower block is completely surrounded on all sides by large balconies, and it is these that give character to the entire building. The lower floor of the two bought by the owner (first floor) comprising all of the east side, which forms the longitudinal aspect of the flat, enjoys a garden. This is a great advantage on the one hand, but on the other, as it is a steep slope rising gradually away from the house, less light enters and the flat is quite dark. The design challenge was to spatially unite the first and second floors, not only with an internal staircase but also with a large opening between the two floors; as a consequence light can pass through to the lower floor and create spatial unity between the two flats. On this basis arrange the property on the first floor, this floor having seemingly been of a lesser standing before the work despite enjoying access to the garden on the entire long side. Following this logic, the bedrooms are located on second floor. The large living room, enhanced by the staircase and double height, includes two walls dedicated to the owner’s collection: an art gallery in a home! Even the yet to be completed garden project pursues this circular continuity between the first and second floors, with two perfectly level metal walkways leading from the second floor balcony to an elevated path at the same level as the balcony but within the garden. This has created a level rectangular path which, on the long sides is formed by the balcony on one side and a garden path on the other, and on the short sides by the walkways. These lead down to the flat area in front of the garden, on the first floor, the external extension of the entire property.