Text description provided by the architects. This project aimed at turning a brick shack into a holiday guesthouse. It was to be fully equipped for a couple, featuring a Kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom and a sitting room.
The high-ceilinged original shed enjoyed a remarkable communication with the outside through an ample arch. In order not to tamper with its interesting roominess, the project has ajusted itself to the existing space the way a swallow’s nest clings to an attic’s framework, altering the volume as little as possible.
This ‘nest’ which occupies the upper volume of the shed is hidden from view by wickerwork screens. Like Venetian blinds or mucharabiehs, they allow a person to see without being seen. Wickerwork, a material designers commonly use for chairs, is here given a modern new lease of life.
On the ground floor, the kitchen and the bathroom are partitioned off. In the living room, thanks to an ample curtain, one can have a shower in a vast open space, while enjoying a good view of the natural environment. Thus, the exceptional rapport between the inside and outside of the shelter has been preserved. No visual or material barrier has been added : the orchard appears as an extension of the living space. There is no such thing as an inside/outside boundary line. The humble shack now affords an outdoor lifestyle in the midst of an orchard, with all modern conveniences.
The space concept:
The biggest challenge was to conserve the space quality of the existing building : the relation with the garden, the inside height, the arch which allows you to see all your environnemnt (the garden and the sky) anywhere in the building.
The answer was to seperate the new façade from the old one. The new facade is inside, and the new building occupies the half of the volume of the old building. With this system, we could put folding door, so the builing stays totally opened on the outside. The goal was to save this relation between this inside and the garden.
The wicker :
I chose wicker for the screen because I wanted a living material, with its own impecfections and irregularities. This material is not static, the color changes and it moves a little with the humidity. In the idea to be close to the nature, I didn't want something controled, fixed, which never changes. In this univers all controled, I like the idea that somethnig is not.
Moreover, it was a way to make a link with the old building, with its old material which is close to 100 years old. It makes reference to our handcraft inheritage and it makes live this inheritage in a contemporary way.