Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Alleyway Architecture

Its been a while since I talked about anything but clothes, so here's one for all my architect friends. An interesting live/work project by Sculp(IT) Architects from Antwerp. Built in the 2.4m gap between two existing buildings, the space is arranged vertically from office space on the ground floor to bedroom on the top floor. Initially I really loved this project. Its extremely brave and the restrictions of the site forced the architects to come up creative solutions. It looks pretty cool too!

Isn't that the coolest door ever?!

But as I examined the photos I began to wonder whether it really is such a success. I asked myself the ultimate question ,"Could I live here?" and unfortunately despite my admiration for the building my answer is a resounding "No!".

To begin with the building is tiny and minimalist with very little storage space, it just doesn't allow for any of the 'stuff' that I always seem to collect. Now, maybe that is my own little problem but if we are completely honest, most of us (even the most minimalist and architecti-est architects among us) have lives full of clutter. Would you really sacrifice it to live here?

Then, as I perused the photos I realised, there's just no getting away from the fact that you're living in an alley between two buildings. I mean that's whats so cool about the building in the first place. And I do love the way they just painted the existing walls white but I can't help but wonder if you were living here would those beautiful walls begin to close in on you.

And then there's a seemingly minor thing that really lets the whole project down. Its that bedroom/bathroom! The toilet is scarily close to the bed and there is no way that you would be able to take a shower without wetting everything in the room. Your clothes would be destroyed! Now maybe they put in a shower curtain after these photos were taken or something but I jut can't get past the fact that your bedroom floor is a shower tray. How on earth does it work?

On the other hand, I love that rooftop bath. So luxurious! It seems to sum up the whole building. Its an open air rooftop bath, not a jacuzzi. This building has no time for frivolity or excess. Every single thing in this building has to work hard to be here. It has to be beautiful and functional and completely necessary to justify the space it takes up.

In the end I think my verdict on this intriguing project is that I would like to visit it, to stay for a weekend or maybe even a week but I really don't think I could live here...not with another person anyway!

Via Archinect.
They have more facts, photos, plans...
(and fewer opinions


annah said...

that's crazy! rather cool but as you say, SO impracticle!

I've taken the trousers up by a hem-width and they're perfect now...also i wore a nice jacket to the interview (:

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