The city is, par excellence, the space of compromise, of constantly brokenboundaries.
Designinga comfortable private dwelling in a bustling urban setting can prove to bequite difficult considering the spatial, visual and auditory separation issuesand the obvious differences between intimate, private space and open, publicspace.
Theassignment consisted in inserting a new family house and commercial space betweentwo existing residential buildings, on an empty site in downtown Bucharest, onCavafii Vechi Street. The main features of this particular site are itsstylistic eclectism and the busy, noisy – clear, quiet ambivalence, given bythe character of the streets that define the fronts of the buildings. Thesedetermined the elevation aesthetics and the allocation of main entrances: thefaçade on Cavafii Vechi Street (intensively circulated) is very severe, withsmall and scarce openings, offering as much privacy as possible while thefaçade on Razvan Street (quiet and narrow, with low traffic) is more open, withterraces and larger windows. The main access to the house is from this side andthe entrance to the commercial space is from the densely populated area ofCavafii Vechi.
This house is made for an accessories designerworking at home, her husband, a writer and their two teenage children.
Thebuilding looks sealed; the main connection to the outside is the interiorcourtyard – a private exterior space that provides optimal natural lighting andventilation. The facades are aligned to the existing fronts and, although theiropenings might seem random, they are, in fact, picture frames for the urban setting,controlled perspectives over the exterior scene. In addition, the materialityof the exterior walls - horizontal wood formwork concrete – contributes to abetter insertion in the existing architectural fabric, being very similar tothe stripe-textured plaster walls of the neighboring neoclassical buildings.
Spaceorganization wise, there are two main directions: ranking by space dimensionsand functional dissociation: the western half towards Cavafii Vechi Street isdestined for semi-private areas (retail, home office, atelier, guest room) whilethe eastern side belongs completely to the family house (living room, kitchen,bedrooms).
Afundamental element in the design of this house is the main staircase, attachedto the interior courtyard, winding around it like a spiral. With itstransparent walls and occasional interesting elements animating it along theway (open library on the first floor, large fish tank on the second floor,sequences of paintings), this staircase grants a fluid, calming and uniqueeveryday journey around the house, in contemplation.