THE CLIENT is an artisan potter who needed a house for her and her family. All of them use the bicycle as their main mean of transport and need a space to keep it. The brief also included a small sudy for working and receiving clients.
Sited at a quiet, low traffic residencial street, the house occupies a 107 m2 irregular trapezoidal area adjoining to three-storey houses in two of its sides and a communal courtyard in the back side. The challenges of brief and site were compounded by planning regulations, which only allowed three floors and a 2 metre set back penthouse .
Organized in three levels, the house arranges a small garage for bicycles which is accessed directly from the street. The internal accommodation comprises of a pottery studio at the semi-basement, a kitchen and a dining area at the ground floor level –connected to a landscaped backyard-, a living room and a master bedroom at the first floor and two bedrooms and a study for the kids at the second floor. The flat roof has an ancillary room and a small swimming-pool, becoming an extra room in summer.
The circulation core is confined to the western edge of the plan, providing access to the different areas. The stair is separated from the living areas by a library wall. On the ground floor, the kitchen is opened to the backyard, an external living space shaded by a tree. The pottery studio is accessed via stairs from the entrance hall.
The main spaces are disposed on an unique bay sustained by concrete load bearing walls. Few materials were used. Cement rough coat walls, staining concrete floors at the ground and semi-basement level and hardwood floors on the upper levels.
Protection from the sunlight is granted by full-height, ceramic lattice sliding doors in the south facade, which also provide privacy to the inner spaces. A large glazed window facing onto the street displays the pottery studio like a showcase.