Situated in an ordinary unplanned neighbourhood in Sarajevo, the Half House is a new studio extension and refurbishment of the ground floor of a typical Bosnian ‘family house’. The Half House has been designed for a wheelchair user and his wife. The studio extension is a new typology for the area: it is in between a detached studio house, a family gathering space, and a ‘weekend’ countryside house common to the region.
▼开放式的住宅室内，overview of the open interior space
The existing family house and ground floor apartment was built in the early 1980s and has been reconfigured through decades of ‘ad-hoc’ interventions and extensions following the war in the 90s. These renovations resulted in limited and constrained space for living, moving around in a wheelchair, and hosting a large family. The Half House responds to the disjointed, confusing post-war character of the surrounding neighbourhood and existing family house, with a simple, elemental and minimalistic architecture that brings an order to its setting. This first completed phase includes a new side extension that can act as a semi-detached studio unit. It has been designed to accommodate a carer in the couple’s later life, and incorporates a large open-plan dining and living area; covered terrace with barbecue; a WC with walk-in shower; and an upper mezzanine for rest, play and sleep. The form of the studio extension is a single pitched roof, held up by two long flank walls that create a long open-plan central space that gives a sense of generosity. Opening-up the space are glazed pocket sliding doors which extend the living area and create the feeling of a large outdoor covered space.
▼开放式空间的尽头安装着玻璃滑动门，在视觉上将居住空间向室外延伸，the opening-up interior space is glazed with pocket sliding doors that extend the living area
▼两道开有数个洞口的内置细木工墙沿着住宅的长边排列，跨越了整个室内空间，the built-in joinery walls with carved out voids span the full length of the extension house
A key architectural feature of the design is the deep, floor-to-ceiling, built-in joinery walls that span the full length of the dining, living and outdoor areas on both long sides of the space. The walls are treated like an indoor façade, with carved out voids to accommodate windows, passage-ways, seating, book shelving, storage cupboards, lighting, and a space for a future lift to the mezzanine. They transform in use. Opening in-built cupboards, windows and doors, changing the sofa to a bed, or lighting a fire in the stove area, are all everyday actions that bring the walls to life and give the space a sense of dynamism. A large opening in the eastern joinery wall acts as a transition space; a threshold between the old and the new, connecting the kitchen and breakfast area to be provided in phase two.
▼木墙上门洞似的开口，作为过渡和交通空间将新旧两个住宅体量连接在了一体，the large opening in the joinery wall acts as a transition space and a threshold between the old and the new
▼室内空间局部，木墙洞里的沙发可拉开作为沙发床，partial interior view, changing the sofa to a bed
▼墙洞里的沙发细节，details of the sofa in the voids of built-in joinery wall
▼墙洞和玻璃滑动门细节，details of the voids of built-in joinery wall and glass sliding doors
The interior oak walls introduce nature into the space, drawing on the dramatic and extensive forests of Bosnia.
▼木墙上的洞口可作为窗户，the voids of built-in joinery wall serving as a window
▼透过窗户看周边的景色，viewing the surrounding through the window in the built-in joinery wall
The mezzanine level, with in-built book shelving, is a peaceful space separated from the remainder of the house that allows for contemplation, reading, yoga, and play. The walls reference key timber elements of a traditional Bosnian townhouse: a ‘Musandera’, a deep line of built-in storage cupboards that are typically located along the full length of the wall that one walks through when entering a room. The upper gallery with timber lined balustrade also references the wooden veranda’s ‘Divanhana’ and ‘Kemarija’—transitional spaces between inside and outside located on the upper floors that connect house dwellers with nature. This space can also be used for sleeping, with adjacent cupboards built to store a mattress.
▼住宅的夹层空间，the mezzanine level of the house
▼住宅夹层局部，木墙上设有置物架，partial view of the mezzanine level with a deep line of built-in storage cupboards
▼住宅夹层局部，大窗提供了景观视野，partial view of the mezzanine level with a large window for viewing
▼住宅夹层局部，采用单坡屋顶，partial view of the mezzanine level with a single pitched roof
The second phase of the project will start in 2020 and includes a full interior refurbishment of the original ground floor apartment and a new facade to the extension and entire house.
▼新老住宅体量的共用入口，the shared entrance of the old and new volumes
设计任务 | What was the brief?
The project brief was to design an extension and refurbishment to the ground floor of a typical Bosnian ‘family house’. The space had to be fully accessible for a wheelchair user with comfortable space for free movement. The client requirements for the extension (which encompasses phase one of the project) included: a dining and living area, a WC with walk-in shower for guests and glazed views of the surroundings. The extension also needed to accommodate an occasional use of a semi-independent studio unit for visiting guests or for a carer in the couple’s later life.
主要挑战 | What were the key challenges
The project had to be delivered on a relatively low budget and funding for the project was only available in phases. However, the client was very keen to keep the quality of the build high. The local contractor and labourers were not used to procuring or installing some of the high quality products, interior finishes and details previously on domestic projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The availability of good quality materials in BiH is low and often requires long delivery times, good pre-planning and persistence to get good quality materials and not settle for the easier or typical options that are more readily available locally.
解决方法 | What were the solutions?
Rather than reducing the cost of materials and products, we proposed to the client to extend the duration of the delivery across 2 phases. Phase 1 includes the extension and Phase 2 includes the refurbishment of the current ground floor flat. This enabled the budget to be spread across a longer period of time, thus allowing the client to keep the quality of the material finishes and details high. This also allowed the client to use the existing side of the house, while the extension was being built. As well as acting as lead architects on the project, we also took on the role of project manager and construction manager, managing the procurement and installation of key packages of the Works; including the glazing, timber paneling and floor tiles. This involved working very closely with both the suppliers and installers, ordering all materials ourselves and planning and supervising the Works on site.
▼首层平面图，ground floor plan
▼夹层平面图，mezzanine floor plan
▼剖面图A，cross section A
▼剖面图B，cross section B
Architects: Projekt V Arhitektura d.o.o. Sarajevo
Project Management and Construction Management: Vernes Causevic (Projekt V Arhitektura d.o.o. Sarajevo)
Structural Engineer: T&E d.o.o. Sarajevo
General Contractor: Nivelir d.o.o. Sarajevo
Glazing: Hano d.o.o. Sarajevo, Alukönigstahl BiH
Carpenter: Mahir Sehic
Project size: 90 m2
Site size: 300 m2
Completion date: 2019
Building levels: 2
Project team :
Project V Architecture / Projekt V Arhitektura—Architect & Project Management
T&E Sarajevo—Structural Engineer