Green but not crunchy. The project is a combination and renovation of two adjoining apartments in a prewar building for a professional couple and their young children. Sustainability is a top priority for the clients and they were looking not only for sustainable materials but ecological design strategies that would encourage sustainable practices and lifestyles. A strategic set of cuts and insertions along with a series of custom fabricated sliding panels are used to generate a flexible floor plan that affords a range of privacy and openness while promoting the transmission of natural light and natural air flow. The family is able to go without air conditioning through then whole summer.
Sustainably harvested wood from managed local forests, recycled resin, and energy efficient appliances are used. In addition, demolition is kept to an absolute minimum and materials are reclaimed and recycled. The majority of new insertions take the form of custom cabinetry pieces in local walnut and strand woven bamboo. These make up the kitchen volume and storage elements. Inexpensive and efficient fluorescent strips are used as lighting throughout and are located in coves, cabinetry pockets, or are diffused by resin panels to create a warm glow.
The plan can be configured to create a loft like space with a high degree of visual porosity that affords a view from one end of the apartment to the other, and can alternately be closed off to create more private regions. The organization of the plan is such that the apartment is also dividable into a parents’ apartment to the east and a children’s apartment to the west with the kitchen in between.