Room with a Courtyard
( study / unfinished )
The project began with the necessity for storage space while accommodating the means for comfortable inhabitation of daily rituals and activities.
The design process started with organising the several larger elements through out the room. These had to be readapted on site to ensure fabrication precision.
The floor, the bed, the shelves, the wardrobe, the ceilling were the different topics that needed a bespoke approach.
Designing for the 3m x 3.10m inhabitation layout as well as for the storage requirement meant several updates through out the manufacturing and assembly phase.
Items were designed in conjunction with others, using timber and movable joints, making the entire room an interconnected lego set, that can be easily taken down, modified or replaced.
Re-used wooden floor + head height
Reusing the wooden floor was a quick decision as the quality it presented did not need much improvement. Through a series of sanding and lacquering stages, the floor was dried, resized and re-assembled.
In order to improve the space, a decision was made to lower the floor and add a concrete barrier around the room to prevent moisture and even water infiltration should rain and snow fall hard in the courtyard. This was integrated in the floor and overall room design.
Shelves support structure
As the room needed to act as both storage and living space, shelves had to be used for the various items that were relocated here. Designing shelves around the room turned the idea into a visual opportunity to showcase this respective language. And so, fixing the shelves required structural support in the form of wooden beams anchored to the walls. This has the opportunity of being used as divisions in the future for insulating the room with mineral wool and wooden panels.
The wardrobe container
Turning the room into storage/archive as well as living space, demanded a unit that would contain shirts and other hanging clothes. The wardrobe container is attached to the shelf vertical structure, has two swinging doors and two drawers that can accommodate smaller items.
The shelves build on the vertical structure and use different sizes to accommodate items large and small, books, toys and other digital equipment. The vertical structures transition to the ceiling and support it while offering a few extra storage spaces. The placement of the shelves is different from wall to wall, as they allow room for an armchair, windows, the fireplace, the door, the bed. They cover the entire remaining space.
The bed was entirely manufactured from wood and divided into two separate sections that act as storage compartments for clothes and additional items. They can be accessed separately and have been fabricated using wooden beams, bolts and osb sheets.
The ceilling is a continuation of the vertical beams and its main purpose is to support the soft ceilling from lowering under temperature variations. As the horizontal beams were mounted, it became obvious that the space could be used for further storing items. The images show the ceilling structure with its' accompanying storage spaces.
Room with a courtyard
year : 2019
project : recreational study room
location : Pucioasa, România
type : interior - design & build
dimensions : 9 sq.m
context : rural setting
pre-existing : kitchen storage room
status : ongoing
The desire for updating such a space came from the need for storage on one hand and the necessity for a quiet personal space that would serve as a both a leisure space and a study room during holidays and the warmer seasons. Being so closely connected to the green courtyard made the decision for renewing the space much easier and straightforward.
The process included several reorganizations of the immediate spaces - garage and kitchen space - emptying the former kitchen storage cold room of its previous items. This particular activity proved to be emotional as many of the items that had to be moved were closely related to my childhood, being among the first objects I came in contact with as a child - cooking along side my grandmother.
Therefore, every gesture that relocated an item with its' smell and sound became important and the whole cleaning activity came close to being a ritual, encompassing childhood memories and the needs of the present. The entire process was done single-handedly and became highly emotional - as both of my grandparents are now only in my memory and heart.
Quite a few exchanges have been made between the garage, kitchen, room and courtyard until every item found its new place, be it a kitchen large green cupboard holding glasses, plates and tableware that mesmerized me as a young boy, or tables and chairs. Eventually, the room was emptied and ready for cleaning.
The garage became a time capsule with the kitchen now containing the bare minimum for a good cooking experience. No appliances were purchased and every action used existing items, the spaces being merely reorganized and cleaned.
As the process continued, the workload divided its self into different categories : removing of soil from beneath the floor to lower the room level, floor work, repairing of crooked wall surfaces, ceilling work, window frames and door repainting, wall painting, shelves manufacturing + support beams, small wardrobe, bed and storage boxes, small work table.
Advancing this workload translated into a general initial design concept and several on site iterations and modifications that better accommodated storage and inhabiting scenarios. Several sketches and quick decisions as well as on the spot calls made the process very playful, switching between wood work, painting and floor work.
The most tiresome activity proved to be the removal of approximately 4 cubic meters of soil from the room to lower the floor and gain much needed head space. The soil was removed via shovel through the window into buckets and deposited around the courtyard.