Renovation of Communal House / VATRAA
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Manufacturers: Astro Lighting, Boen, Foscarini
Text description provided by the architects. The project transforms an old communal house of 80 m² into a house with a distinctive character, now proud to tell its story through space, light and materials. Tight budget constraints and the unattractive character of the old building were seen as catalysts for practical and creative solutions.
Sustainability and cost reduction went hand in hand. Reducing waste and minimizing cost required a surgeon-like approach, first studying the existing structure to remove only unnecessary parts while minimizing new additions. As a result, the design has been reduced to the essentials.
The original structural joists are now exposed to resurrect the spirit of the old house, bringing authenticity and time into the design. By opening the entrance hall to the sloping roof, a large volume now occupies the heart of the house, giving a confined space a grand and inviting feel.
To highlight the qualities of space, light and textures, the spectrum of finishes is limited to just three complementary materials. White painted ceiling joists and whitewashed oak flooring are bound together by a plaster finish that reacts in the presence of natural light. The solid oak furniture completes the composition through warm textures and worked details.
Respectful of the aspect of the HLM housing estate, the house is humble on the outside, while leaving the surprise on the inside. Sustainability did not come with artificial measures but with practical solutions that breathed new life into an overlooked building. The result demonstrates that, if fully accepted, the constraints and specificities of the project can lead to surprising solutions rooted in the real context in which we operate.