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Big Black House / FABRE/deMARIEN architectes

© Stéphane Chalmeau © Stéphane Chalmeau © Stéphane Chalmeau © Stéphane Chalmeau

From the architect. The project consists of converting a garage into a family residence. Only the street-side façade of the former garage is retained. In order to adjust as accurately as possible to the plot limits and to provide maximum space free of structural elements, we have chosen a steel structure for construction.

© Stéphane Chalmeau
© Stéphane Chalmeau

The house is set back both from the retained façade and from the wall at the other end of the plot, thus leaving enough space to park two cars in front, on the street side and create a courtyard at the back. The entrance, bathrooms and bedrooms are on the ground floor, open onto the courtyard and are hidden by the high stone walls of the neighboring buildings.

© Stéphane Chalmeau
© Stéphane Chalmeau

Unobstructed and protected by horticultural shade netting installed facing south on the terrace overlooking the courtyard, the view is framed at the front by a horizontal window running from one end to the other. The house complies with a sound design that meets requirements for four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large living room and ample storage space.

© Stéphane Chalmeau
© Stéphane Chalmeau

The same materials are used both outside and inside: Black enameled corrugated iron and aluminum sheet, black concrete, plain sheet, perforated sheet and galvanized-steel metal products. The framework and cladding panels are left visible. Structure-assembly procedures remain clearly visible.

© Stéphane Chalmeau
© Stéphane Chalmeau

The house is invisible from the street because it is hidden by the façade of the former garage. On entry, its gloomy shell, crushed between the surrounding buildings, seems to give very little away. The ground floor is a labyrinth of rooms and passages, a cosy, intimate place opening onto the hidden courtyard. The first floor, accessed by a wide staircase illuminated by a skylight, gives the impression of a much bigger house without resorting to gimmicks.

© Stéphane Chalmeau
© Stéphane Chalmeau
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"Big Black House / FABRE/deMARIEN architectes" 19 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/50351/big-black-house-fabredemarien-architectes/>