Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
A House For More Than Two in Slovenia, Balkans by BIRO GAŠPERIČ
September 4th, 2017 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: BIRO GAŠPERIČ
Designed for a couple at a crucial point in their lives together, becoming a unit of more than two. With a baby on its way, a new set of needs and priorities emerged. All the choices were therefore influenced by the lively family life set to take place in the free open spaces inside and outside on a daily basis.
At first sight, it seems an easily tameable site. A slight southern slope, all dressed up in green and located among once mighty trees, with an access road to the north. However, it turned out to be quite a test of creativity. A key challenge was the clients’ request for a no-nonsense, flat and intimate grassy backyard for playing with the kids, while also placing the main entrance on the ground level, which lies one level below the access road. The result is a home that is cleverly integrated into the slope, taking advantage of the space and the natural features.
The slope forms an integral part of this two-level structure, which takes the shape of the letter H. This gives it a distinct, unobtrusive look. To keep the levels to a minimum, a daring intervention was needed. The ground floor and the entrance are thus placed below street level, intuitively taking the living space from indoors out to the vast courtyard, hidden from view. The volume composition is complemented with a harmonically designed garden shed, which also serves as a visual barrier, providing the southern neighbours and house’s residents with intimacy.
It is true that the garage shares the upper floor with the children’s wing, bedroom, bathroom and the wardrobe, all facing east–west. This arrangement is only unusual for a brief moment; once lived in, it reveals all of its many advantages. For example, it gives way to a vast living space on the entire lower floor and enables all the main rooms to open up to the green courtyard. The outdoor staircase effortlessly connects the garage on the driveway level with the two-storey glass entrance strategically placed on the ground floor, one level below.
As a nod to sustainability, a wooden framework was used in the construction. But what characterised the building is the massive two-floor reinforced concrete wall, serving as the main support for the roof structure, and thus innovatively assisting the bridging that is some 17 metres wide. Another distinct feature is the prominently extended roof overhang, there to cover the patio and shield the panoramic window from the summer heat.
A house for more than two understands it has to be free and open for life to fill it. Giving a solid structure for the changes that will inevitably occur with a growing family. It has the play of being more or less well figured out. All the action and relaxing will take place on the open, sun-lit ground floor, although the upper floor is never far away with two convenient sets of staircases allowing easy access to the private quarters.
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