This project began with a rather surprising apartment tour with a new client. This client had recently bought an old apartment in the south of Paris, and he was looking for an architect to work on a quite ambitious project: converting this 50 sqm 1-bedroom apartment into a home for a family of five.
▼室内概览，general view ©Tim Van de Velde
For this apartment, the diagnostic phase highlighted several elements. First, the overall floor plan of the apartment is almost square, which is an advantage in order to fit all the required spaces. Then, despite its small size, the apartment runs from the front to the back of the building and is only seven meters long. Therefore, every space will benefit from maximum natural light. Finally, the three-meter high ceiling offers lots of opportunities for verticalization. The only constraint in the project is the load-bearing wall running across the width of the apartment. But this wall already has three openings, and they allow enough flow between each side.
▼起居空间，living area ©Tim Van de Velde
Based on these elements, l’atelier decided to create a living area running from front to back of the building to take advantage of the morning and evening light. This space is staggered to create open subspaces, a kitchen and dining room on one side, and a living room on the other. The entrance is integrated as part of this living area, at the junction of the two subspaces.
▼起居室和餐厨空间位于公寓的两侧，the living room and the kitchen & dining room are arranged on either side of the apartment ©Tim Van de Velde
▼来自波兰的浅色松木有着大面积且匀称的纹理， light-colored pine wood from Poland with a generous yet fairly uniform pattern ©Tim Van de Velde
Then, l’atelier chose to design a compact and vertical area for the bathroom and the children’s bedrooms. In the boys’ bedroom, there are two one-meter high sleeping alcoves, one is located above the bathroom, and the other one is under the elder daughter’s bedroom. This latter sleeping area is reachable via a Donald Juddesque staircase in the living room.
▼卧室入口，entrance to the bedroom ©Tim Van de Velde
▼卧室窗景，bedroom view ©Tim Van de Velde
l’atelier staged the project in three different phases, and we included a few easily movable partitions in the floor plan. As of today, the apartment can accommodate five people, and this layout will remain as is for the next three years. When the two eldest children leave, the parents’ bedroom wall will be removed to create a bigger living room. Finally, in about ten years, when the youngest boy leaves, the two remaining bedrooms will connect to make a larger bedroom for the parents.
▼可移动隔墙，movable partition ©Tim Van de Velde
▼室内细节和浴室，interior details & bathroom ©Tim Van de Velde
Location: Vanves, Paris, France
Area: 50 sqm
Project manager:Yvanna Herbé
Team: Lucas Jalife
Project end date: August 2020
Photo credits: Tim Van de Velde