Although as a model it is no longer legitimate in terms of density, land use and energy consumption, today still the suburban allotment appears everywhere. Due to the affordability and the lack of space plots keep getting smaller to the point where the added value of the detached house surrounded by narrow strips of non-space is no longer obvious. How to react as an architect when commissioned to design a house in these conditions without becoming cynical, is one of the aspects of BLAF’s research.
This compact house fits a square footprint of 11,50m x 11,50m. It is extruded to a 2 storey volume. From this envelope the angles are cut away in order to enlarge the side strips of the plot and turn them into useful garden space.
The plan and the structure of the house support the idea of the centrifugal interior space. Four structural V-shaped walls divide the plan into 4 equivalent living spaces that are connected in the center of the plan and open up towards the exterior. The house is wrapped in a light timber frame construction for thermal insulation and airtightness. The outside of the house is clad and finished with liquid rubber. The structural concept of the house is also visible in the interior. Concrete and brick elements are left unfinished, the timber frame shell is finished with wooden cupboards and the ceiling of the ground floor shows a pattern in the falsework of the concrete that mirrors the floor plan.